Almost a hundred years have passed since, in 1921, the English writer D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda went on their journey into the Sardinian interior, a journey that was made famous by Lawrence’s book ‘Sea and Sardinia’. If you want to relive the same experience, hop on board ARST’s Trenino Verde (Little Green Train), and discover the timeless, wild hinterland of Sardinia, where little has changed in hundreds of years. The third class carriages that Lawrence travelled in have been faithfully reconstructed to every last detail and to take your place on its narrow wooden seats below the bulging luggage racks is to travel back into the past and discover a world long since disappeared.
A journey in the Trenino Verde is an incredible experience, the traveller gently rocked to and fro as the train slowly rattles its way past awe inspiring landscapes and glimpses of the wild, uncontaminated nature that holds sway in the Sardinian hinterland. A seemingly endless succession of scattered olive trees, tall yellowing cane, green fields dotted with white sheep and neat rows of fig trees go by the window, broken every now and then by the turquoize sea, bright white sand, and reddish rocks of one of the island’s idyllic beaches.
The narrow gauge train runs along a track that has been blackened by the passing of time, winding through the rolling hills, lushous plains and jagged coastlines of Sardinia against a backdrop of peerless, breathtaking scenery, unrivalled by any railway on the planet.
There are seven Trenino Verde railway lines that consist of over 370 miles of track. The Mandas – Arbatax line runs from the mountains to the sea; the Mandas – Sorgono stretch recreates Lawrence’s journey; the Sassari – Tempio Pausania – Palau lines run through a wonderful landscape peppered with cork trees and granite rock formations; the line from Mandas to Sadali passes through Trexenta the heart of the Ogliastra region of Sardinia; from Mandas you can also go to Gairo through the wonderful forests and limestone outcroppings of the area; and last but not least the Alghero – Tempio Pausania line runs from the Coral Riviera to the Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda).
For more information, bookings, timetables and prices please visit the Trenino Verde website
Monserrato Tourist Office
Images from Daniela Deidda