"La Faentina", a relic of an older Italy, still connects Florence with Faenza and reveals lesser known places to those, who like to travel in a less - conventional way. It was established way back in 1839 by Grand Duke Leopold from Tuscany to connect Italy´s east and west coasts Romagna and Tuscany. Sure, the Bologna-Florence line is faster and more comfortable, but riding through the Valle de Lamone you can enjoy a new side of Italy: see students travelling from their small towns to Florence, or old women with bunches of flowers in their hand, getting off the train at the next station, probably to leave the flowers at a relative`s grave in the neighboring village.
You should take the time to get off the train in Marradi, a village right at the heighest point of the pass (573 m), surrounded by forests, rivers and mountains - here the ancient, rural way of life lives on. If you happen to be there in October, don´t miss the chestnut festival - Marradi is famous for it´s chestnut cake Torta Marroni di Marradi!
Descending towards Faenza, the valley opens and you look at a beautiful landscape, cultivated with love by families who have lived here for countless generations. Ideally you leave the train in Brisighella and meet your guide from "Culinary factory tours", who takes you to Bologna after a culinary wine/olive oil tour. If you decide for some reason not to, go to Faenza and grab the next train to Bologna.