Not that I'm planning on heading off there right away but I've just found a fantastic website called The Man in Seat Sixty One , which helps you plan your travels around the world using public transport and avoiding flying.
We have family and friends in Italy and we tend to pop out there quite often, usually courtesy (odd word in this context but I can't think of another one that isn't extremely rude) of Ryanair. Wanting to reduce the environmental impact of our trip we did consider driving there last time, but were deterred by the prospect of all being confined in a car for so long and the fact that I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to driving abroad. So I'm now very excited at the prospect of travelling there door-to-door by train. It will take exactly 24 hours, (we live in the semi-wilds of Yorkshire not next door to St Pancras, so that's pretty impressive) inc an overnight sleeper train - very Agatha Christie - and if we book it early enough it will cost less than flying (financially as well as planet-wise). So hurrah for trains.
Of course once I'd found the website I didn't stop at Italy - I have planned dream trips all over the world now - including travelling to America by Freighter.
A bit of a non-writing post this one but that's cos I've been so busy following the train lines that I haven't done any writing - oops.