The train was first inaugurated in 1929 and at the beginning it was exclusively used by commuters who lived in the valleys surrounding Genoa and who came to the city to work in the port area.
Casella cable train
The new official inauguration of the restored and improved line took place last May with three special trains leaving from Genoa’s Piazza Manin and running, with several stops along the way, up to the town of Casella. The inaugural train was composed of 4 cars pulled by one old-style steam locomotive.
Thanks to the slow motion of the train, from its carriages’ windows one can easily admire (and photograph) the surrounding landscape: the first 6 kilometers of the route are overlooking the sea, the city of Genoa and its suburbs’ buildings, which gradually disappear to give way to the green hillsides of the Polcevera and Bisagno valleys. The panoramic train then goes up to Sant’Olcese, covering wide bends and then reaching Casella, an old town and the biggest in the area.
View of Genoa from the Casella train
This train had been dearly missed by locals (tourists focus on the sea and unfortunately often ignore the amazing Genoese hinterland) who use it on weekends to visit the towns in the countryside where they own their second home or to go hiking in the woods surrounding the city.
The Genoa-Casella Railway allows suggestive out-of-the-way trips but it also represents a convenient local public transport service for those living in the valleys who must go to the city or vice versa so its original purpose is somewhat respected in this way.
The cable train runs on 24 kilometers of tracks that have their final station in Casella, a pleasant summer resort located in the northern part of the Scrivia Valley.
The resorts touched by the railway line cater to all tastes offering restaurants and trattorias (small Italian inns) which know how to re-propose the local culinary tradition.
Casella train station in Genoa
For its reopening, a photographic exhibition was set up in Casella displaying pictures of significant historical interest and a show on train modeling was opened in the nearby town of Sant'Olcese.
Hiking and biking lovers are able to avoid massive tourist flows and congested roads choosing this slow but panoramic journey on this cable train.
In an age of fast food we seek slow food, in a fast-paced reality we long for slow mobility so this way of traveling can be appreciated once again.
Along the route plenty are the stops and the outdoor activities and destinations, the most popular one being the “castles trail,” a hiking trail which touches 5 different castles in the area.
Along these trails is also possible to do bird watching and admire the many species of animals which live in the area.
Our region is covered with beautiful forests and characterized by a rich biodiversity. And in defense of this biodiversity, the Wildlife Recovery Center was opened to take care of all the wild animals of our territory that are orphans, injured or simply in trouble.
Hedgehogs, squirrels, foxes, deer, dormice and badgers live in these woods together with swallows, hawks, owls and barn owls.
The train is now very popular because it had been closed for so long so it’s absolutely necessary to reserve a seat online before heading to the station.
By reserving a spot over the phone is even possible to get a spot for your bicycle and the bike is indeed the best mode of transportation to go discovering these unspoiled valleys.
View of the countryside