Though seemingly located on Europe's opposite ends, the Baltic Sea region and the Italian Peninsula have a few meeting points, including Finnlines being part of the Neapolitan Grimaldi Group.
Talking 'bout Naples, exactly 180 years ago King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies inaugurated the 7.15 km-long Naples-Portici line, the first-ever set of tracks laid on the Italian soil.
Interestingly, the contractor, Bayard Company, built the line with wrought iron rails mounted on large cubic stones sunk into the ground (as the system of using wooden sleepers to distribute weights had yet to be invented), and the 1,435 mm gauge was maintained with transverse bars.
The service was operated with the use of three Longridge and Co of England locomotives: two for the passenger (Bayard and Vesuvio) and one for goods traffic (the rolling stock was manufactured locally).
From the launch on 3 October 1839 to end-year, a total of 131,116 passengers took the 10-minute ride.