A 30 minute ride by train from Roma Termini, a unique open air railway museum and great Roman food. Don’t they make up for an exciting and relaxing half day escape?
Colonna is on the Rome-Cassino line. If you disembark and walk down the hill to the supermarket rooftop carpark, you will find a convenient coffee shop for first port of call.
Then proceed across the main road, in fact the old Consul road (Via Casilina – Highway 6) between Rome and Monte Cassino, and the axis of much fighting in World War Two between the German Army and the combined USA/NZ Forces. Immediately across the road and just 100 metres from the main station, is the delightful Ferrovia-Museo della Stazione di Colonna, still being developed by a wonderful team of volunteers.
The museum features a great deal of Narrow Gauge rolling stock, an exhibition gallery in the form of a restored goods shed, the Station Master office and residence and much more. On the ground floor are some wonderful displays from the remnant railway, which used to operate all the way in to Termini. Upstairs there are some railway models and also there is a recreation of a wartime radio signals station.
After this inspiring visit, you may choose to walk 200 metres or so back to Rome and on the left hand side you will encounter Osteria Il Bersagliere with regional fresh flavours to die for and good value, regional prices.
With the distant views across Tivoli and snow-capped mountains in winter and early spring, this location is an absolute delight, local people are particularly friendly and helpful, and both the museum and the restaurant are within easy walking distance of the railway station.
Happily enough, on a Saturday you can take the afternoon trains (you need to double check on day of travel) for a pleasant run downhill back in to Roma Termini.
What are you waiting for, then?
Tim Fischer, AC
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome.