Hello from Milan, Italy! I’ve reached the final country on my trek and I’ve arrived via another world class train line. Today’s star was the Bernina Express, which travels between St. Moritz and Tirano, Italy. This line is named after the Bernina Pass through the Alps.

In the last few days, I had been seeing snow in the forecast for St. Moritz. I spoke about the forecasted snow with a few people working at my hotel and they were skeptical that it would snow there this time of year.

So, this morning when I woke up and looked out my window…sure enough the snow was falling!

Snow falling over a train station with red trains and a building in the foreground. Trees and a lake are visible in the misty background.

Staff in the hotel continued to tell me this is very abnormal for St. Moritz this time of year. I’ll take them at their word and believe that I must be very lucky then to have a train ride in snow today.

And it really did make the passing forests look like a winter wonderland.

A serene forest scene with evergreen trees covered in a light layer of snow. The ground is also lightly dusted with snow, creating a calm winter atmosphere. The sky is overcast, and snow is gently falling.

Sure, we couldn’t see the mountains or valleys that we’d normally see on this route, but I think it was worth it to get a taste of winter in Switzerland. A few passengers sitting nearby agreed it was our lucky day.

After about an hour into the trip, we stopped so passengers could exit and take photos. We were told this is a very scenic location. I’ll just have to assume that’s true.

A snowy landscape with evergreen trees and sparse bushes. The ground and trees are lightly covered in snow, creating a serene, wintry scene. The sky is overcast, and snowfall can be seen in the background.

Since we really couldn’t see anything much in the distance, I decided to photograph the snowy train instead.

A red, snow-covered train car with large windows, labeled “Bernina Express,” is stopped in a snowy landscape. Snowflakes are visible in the air, and the setting appears to be a cold, wintry environment.

A red train is traveling through a snowy landscape. The tracks and the surrounding area are covered with snow. Overhead, electric lines span above the train, and a hill with some buildings is visible in the background under a light snowfall.

A person wearing a hooded jacket and smiling while taking a selfie in a snowy setting. Behind them, there is a red and white Bernina Express train. Snow is visibly falling and accumulating on the person’s clothing and beard.

When we got underway again and slowly began our decent, the snow turned to rain and the forests became more dense and green.

A scenic landscape featuring lush green fields, winding paths, and a few scattered houses, all set against a backdrop of forested hills partially obscured by fog and mist.

Looking at the weather radar, it the snow really seemed to be isolated just to the area around St. Moritz.

A weather map showing temperature gradients in a region that includes cities like Davos, St. Moritz, and Livigno. The map uses color coding to indicate different temperature zones. Snow is indicated in a ring around St. Moritz.

As we traveled along, one of the notable sights was this 360 degree spiral viaduct. I always enjoy when the curve is tight enough to see the cars ahead of us.

A red train traveling over a stone viaduct surrounded by lush, green landscape and hills. The foreground features a rail, and the image is slightly blurred and streaked, possibly due to raindrops on the camera lens.

Shortly after the viaduct, we arrived in Tirano, Italy! The Bernina Express describes itself as “from glaciers to palms” and sure enough I did see palm trees in Tirano! What a ride to go from the snow to palm trees in about 2 hours.

I thought it was interesting that the Bernina Express basically runs right through the heart of this small town, almost operating as a street car. When you exit, you are in a small square. Here’s the building that serves as the entrance to the railway to Switzerland.

A person in an orange jacket standing at the entrance of a building adorned with Italian and European Union flags. The building has a white facade with red vertical accents and multiple windows. The ground is paved with cobblestones.

And here’s the building for the Italian train service, operating under the name Trenord.

A yellow-painted train station building with a clock at the top center. The station has a tiled roof, several windows with closed shutters, and arched doorways at the ground level. There are signs and a poster board in front of the building.

I had lunch in Tirano, cacio e pepe from a restaurant right next to the station. Not bad! Certainly better than what I was expecting to eat near the station.

The view waiting for the train in Tirano. Not a bad view with the Alps in the background. But I couldn’t help but notice that things were no longer as pristine as they were in Switzerland.

A railway station platform with a bench and a view of train cars covered in graffiti. In the background are residential buildings and snow-capped mountains under a cloudy sky.

My original ticket from Tirano to Milan was for 3pm. I’m not sure why I left myself so much time (almost 4 hours) in Tirano. I guess I thought I’d have a leisurely lunch? Well, I was ready to head out around 12:30, so I bought a ticket for the 1:00 train to Milan.

As the train neared Milan, it got pretty crowded. At least in my car, it seemed every seat was taken.

After about 2 and a half hours, we pulled into Milan and wow it’s crowded. I’ve to see a train station so bustling. I guess a lot of people are taking the train in Milan.

Crowded train station with passengers waiting on the platform. An electric train with green and blue coloring is parked. The station features a high, arched glass roof and intricate architectural details on the wall.

Interior of a grand train station with high arched ceilings, ornate architectural details, and large windows providing natural light. Several people are walking, standing, and using escalators in the busy concourse. Signs with information and advertisements are visible throughout the scene.

And that brings us to the present moment, here in my hotel room in Milan. Tomorrow I’ll sightsee, then on Sunday I head to Rome, which will mark the end of my solo train adventure. (Don’t worry, my wife and I will still be using trains to get around Italy. But the motives change to practicality over train travel for the sake of train travel.)

Reflecting now on my time in Switzerland, wow was it incredible. Not just because of the trains (which were great), but all the natural beauty is what stands out. Seeing the Alps was amazing. The views from the Glacier Express were great, but honestly, being in Zermatt, seeing the Matterhorn, then taking the gondola up to 12,700 feet for even more insane views really takes the cake. What an amazing place. I’m already thinking about when I can return, haha!

That’s all for now. I’ll have another update tomorrow with what I saw in Milan. Goodnight!