The Renon Train and two reporters’ journey
In one of his books, writer and journalist Paolo Rumiz tells the story of when he traveled with the great reporter Ryszard Kapuściński (1932-2007). Together, they “got on the little train of the Renon plateau, which clanks towards Bronislaw Malinowski’s little turn-of-the-century home. Malinowski was a Polish anthropologist who traveled to Oceania, created the bases of reportage journalism, and came back to South Tyrol to study, for fifteen years between the two World Wars.”
From the windows of the small train car, they could see “fields, red leaves, apple and chestnut trees, a minuscule church dedicated to Saint Mary of the Snow. On the background, 1920s’ houses and a view so tidy it could almost be Swiss. All around, the shadows cast by famous men – Mahler, Kafka, Freud – who came here to rest” (translated from P. Rumiz, “La leggenda dei monti naviganti”, Feltrinelli, Milan 2007).
The small, narrow gauge train is the last working model of its kind in South Tyrol. It was inaugurated in 1907 and now takes visitors from the village of Maria Assunta to Collalbo, on the Renon plateau.
Then it dives into the amazing landscape, embraced by the Dolomites.
Photos via: ©Emanuele Simone