The "Museo Nazionale Ferroviario di Pietrarsa"
After centuries of reliance on the skills of individual craftsmen, Italy's first industrial
complex was created in Portici, near Naples by King Ferdinand II - for the assembly, servicing
and manufacture of locomotives and rolling stock for the first railways.
In the late 20th century, those premises - at Pietrarsa, conveniently only a mile or two from
the city's main harbour - were chosen as the home of a national collection of historic steam
engines, diesel railcars and lots of other memorabilia.
After major restoration works, the museum reopened in December 2007, and it's an ideal visit
- but be sure to check the opening times! When we went, Monday to Friday, 8.30 to 13.30 -
although it might be best to phone before setting off... on 081 472003
They offer a PDF leaflet in English, that's available from
Otherwise, for more details, but only in Italian, try...
The view inside Pavilion A
Without realising it, early October proved to be a good time to visit - all the holiday
groups have been and gone, and it's too soon in the academic year for school outings!
:: Steam locomotives ::
The pride of the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa - a collection of steam
locomotives - is housed in the largest of the pavilions, Padiglione A.
Spelling out the history of steam in Italy, there's a reproduction of the first
Italian train - drawn by an English loco, the "Bayard" - and other unusual exhibits.
:: Railcars, carriages and electric locos ::
When Pietrarsa was a working factory, Pavilions B & C contained the boiler workshop and furnaces.
The smaller area today shelters three heavy duty electric locos and various items of railyway memorabilia, whilst the Museum's collection of railcars
and carriages - including the official dining car from the Royal Train - are on display in Pavilion C.
:: Diesels, shunters and tools ::
Pavilions D, E and F - diesel engines, shunting locos, naval models and machine tools
:: Models, and model railways ::
:: The museum ::
The Pietrarsa railway museum, housed in the buildings of Italy's first industrial complex,
stands on a site that sticks out into the sea, in the comune of Portici near Naples.
The workshops continued to manufacture steam locomotives and rolling stock until 1975, when
electrification of the railways finally rendered them obsolete.
The Museo Nationale Ferroviario di Pietrarsa is part of the Ferrovia del Stato, the Italian
state railway. A leaflet about the museum (in English) can be downloaded as a PDF
Most appropriately, you can go by train!
Except for one or two gaps in the timetable, services in both directions on the Metropolitana
line between Naples and Salerno stop at the museum's station. Check first, using the English
pages of the Trenitalia website, where the station's name (Pietrarsa-S. Giorgio A Cremano)
can be shortened to Pietrarsa.
From the main station in Naples you'd leave from the Metropolitana's platforms... which are
one level below ground.
From the station, behind this stopped train, a small underpass brings you directly into the
36,000m2 grounds, next to the ticket office - on the left - opposite the entrance to the display
of steam locomotives in "Pavilion A".
Otherwise, buses 254 and 255, which pass through Piazza Garibaldi in central Naples, run round the
bay southwards. The first stop on Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi in Portici is almost opposite the small
sidestreet (Via Pietrarsa) that leads down to the railway station and the entrance to the museum,
as described above.
To see exactly where the museum is, a search on Google Maps for the two words pietrarsa portici
will bring up "Ferroviario di Pietrarsa" - zoom in, and you'll find it on a piece of land that
sticks out into the sea, next to the railway line!
Typical train times from Naples
Not one of the city Metropolitana's most frequent services!