Rail Trails

original title:

Sentieri di ferro

directed by:


Rocco Papaleo, Aaron Durogati



Gianluca Sanza





film run:





Ready (01/06/2022)

festivals & awards:

  • Ischia Film Festival 2022: Oltre

Sentieri di ferro is a slow and emotional journey along a former Southern Italian railroad which, after being abandoned and falling into disuse at the end of 1980s, was partially converted into a greenway. Along this over 60-mile journey you will discover the hinterland of Basilicata and Calabria, across protected areas and many landscape, cultural and historical beauties.
Past, present, and future combine with each other throughout narration, giving dynamism to the historical events related to the territorial context and infrastructure. The railroad comes back to life in a play of contrasts and absences: cars without passengers, tracks without trains, ticket offices without tickets to buy, stations without station managers.
Ruined, peeled walls and wrecked windows are the physical and narrative space that hosts the poetic monologues written by a character who really feels attached to this land and has transformed “slow walking” into a tourist brand. The leading character of the story is the Italian actor and director of the movie “Basilicata coast to coast”, Rocco Papaleo, who casts his mind back to tell the memories linked to the “railroad of his town”.
The documentary starts from an Italian experience to tell a phenomenon with a global scope. Many governments, associations, and citizens from all over the world are working with the aim of building sustainable transport networks by redeveloping old and disused paths, which become key to enhance the environment and the quality of life, promote sustainable and responsible tourism, as well as local development forms with a zero environmental footprint.
The documentary aims to encourage the use of bicycles and other sustainable transport means (such as walking or riding a horse), to discover and explore places and, at the same time, help preserve the landscape and the natural environment.