With its sleek lines and Ferrari-red colour scheme, Italy’s new high-speed Italo trains look fast even when they’re sitting at the platform.
Of course, once it pins the needle at 300 kilometres per hour the Italo almost becomes a blink-and-you-miss-it experience.
The bullet trains will be sprinting across Italy from March 2012 as part of the country’s first private high-speed train network, operated by Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori.
NTV’s network will serve Bologna, Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, Salerno and Turin.
Even the driver's compartment is cool!
But there’s more to Italo than just speed or even the eye-catching livery, which may or may not be coincidental to the fact that Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is among the founders and shareholders of NTV.
The train's interiors were styled by design firm Italdesign Giugiaro and feature wide panoramic windows and leather interiors.
Creature comforts on board the Italo include wireless Internet, a satellite TV channel which can switch from 24-hour news to events of major import (such as the latest AC Roma vs Milan match).
Travellers can tune into video and audio programming on touchscreens or use their own tablets, laptops and smartphones to connect via streaming Wi-Fi.
A dedicated cinema carriage at the end of the train boasts a series of high-definition screens mounted along the ceiling with audio in four languages.
There will be three classes of travel – roughly equivalent to business, premium economy and economy – and while ticket prices have not yet been revealed, they will vary depending on the time of day, day of the week (as well as weekends) and also be discounted for booking well ahead of travel.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.