......used to start in London, ran through Europe, TRIESTE, Yugoslavia and on to Istanbul. We could go to Lubliana on it- and did. The Queen's messenger delivered the diplomatic "bag" to the Polad (Political Advisor) - or at least to the Stazione Centrale, where it was picked up by a member of TSO who escorted it to the Polad's office. (This was a hated duty because it fell on a Sunday and there was a requirement that the escort would be armed.) These days it's just a posh trip to Venice with fain daining.
I mention the train because tonight Chris T, in his "extreme railway" journeys is following the route from Slovenia onwards.
When I was travelling in Italy during the eighties, I often used to overnight in Milan where I would go to dinner in the BIFFI restuarant in the Gallerie Emanuale by the cathedral. The head-waiter by name of Terenzi became quite a good friend. He used to work on the Wagons Lits trains (i.e., Simplon-Orient), as a waiter.