When the president of Ferrari and the French rail company SNCF get together to design a new train, you can expect something very fast, very expensive, and very red. The Italo has been unofficially nicknamed the "Ferrari train," and it made its first run out of Rome just last Friday.
The Italo hopes to change the way that customers perceive train travel in order to make it seem like a realistically viable alternative to air travel, which is increasingly full of suck. For example, just $60 gets you a sumptuous leather seat in "Smart" class on the Rome to Milan route, a distance of about 360 miles that the train will cover in about two hours at cruising speed. Two hours is, of course, approximately the same amount of time that you spend with a stranger's hand in your crotch at airport security.
If you decide you want to splurge a bit, the Italo makes it very easy to do so. You can upgrade to a four-seat semi-private salon car for $480, and there are also options for first class seating in dedicated cellphone-free cars. Power sockets and tunnel-proof Internet connectivity is everywhere, and some trains will even feature dedicated "cinema cars" playing first-run movies on immersive screens.
There are a bunch of other advantages to these new trains as well: they're lighter, more efficient, quieter, safer, and 98% recyclable if you can find a bin large enough. And like all (or, let's go with most) Ferraris, they're not to shabby to look at, as you can see from the gallery below.
Service starts April 28.