Everyone loves trains, so a railroad museum at the place where the first railway in Italy started is really something special. Back during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies with the royal seat in Naples, the first railroad in Italy was opened in 1839 with the first line between Naples and Portici. Here, at Pietrarsa, just south of the city, was a complex for manufacturing mechanical equipment for the Navy, then was converted to making locomotives and carriages for the railway. It was the first industrial complex in Italy. It was later used for maintenance. The plant was closed in 1975, restored and is now a fantastic museum.

Wander the complex's areas to see the steam engines that are in the former repair yards; the carriage and electric trains; diesel engines and machinery. There's a section dedicated to model trains, and exhibits and videos along the way. Outside, open-air exhibits show off an elegant station waiting pavilion from the 1800s, built of decorative iron. An iron water pump that filled the steam engines, and a turntable track, for turning and rerouting within the rail yard are also interesting.

If you time it right, your visit can be made even more fun by the twice-monthly roundtrip train trips from Naples to the museum aboard an old time carriage! It runs to the museum and on to Ercolano, then returns to Naples Centrale. Definitely worth looking into for a fun day outing! Check the museum's website for the dates.

The Museo Nazionale Ferroviario hours:

Thursdays: From 2:00 PM til 8:00 PM
Fridays: From 9:00 AM til 4:00 PM
Saturdays: From 9:30 AM til 7:30 PM
Sundays: From 9:30 AM til 7:30 PM
Monday and Tuesday by appointment

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Address in Naples:

Via Pietrarsa.

Ph. (+39) 081 472 003.

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