Italy is a country where you don’t mind taking slow trains in order to catch views of crumbling ruined castles or rolling Tuscan hills out the window. Train travel is one of the most appealing ways for visitors to get around the boot shaped country in the Mediterranean, but it can also be one of the most confusing for first timers to the Italian train system. If you want to avoid a few fines or missed train connections, follow these tips to ensure you can enjoy those Italians views out the window without incident.
Know Key Train Station Italian Vocabulary: If you are traveling to smaller towns in Italy, you will want to study up on some train station vocabulary. Sometimes there will no be clear English translations telling you which board lists trains departing and which lists trains arriving. Binario denotes the platform. This is often a vital word to know as many trains are merely listed as leaving from “binario” and the number. Arrivi notes the trains arriving, while partenze notes the trains departing.
Arrive Early For Last Minute, Italian Style Changes: I would often arrive to the train station early while living in Italy for the sole reason that just as Italians can be unpredictable, so too can their train systems. Many times I would find my set platform to wait near, only to watch it change with just 4 minutes to departure. You need to allow enough time for these last minute changes. While smaller towns will just have one or two platforms, the bigger city stations can often make it a running game between catching one train from the next. You may have to head underground, up stairs or clear across the station to reach your platform. It is always best to have plenty of time for Italian unpredictability.
Know Your Stop Especially on Regional Trains: In true Italian fashion, train stops can occur with the blink of an eye. Next thing you know, you have missed your stop. Even if you are headed for Pisa and your ticket says Pisa, you train will probably make several stops in between. If you don’t know when you are getting off, you can find yourself in Genoa instead of Pisa. While announcements are made on occasion, they are either muffled or non-existent. Pay attention to the time of your arrival or score a good seat to see the signs at each stop so that you know where you are and when to get off.
Save money by going regional: If you want to save a lot of money and you have the time, consider buying regional tickets. You will often know these are regional as they take longer and they are always priced lower than the faster trains. If you are on a budget, this is one of the easiest ways to save. A journey between Florence and Rome might take double the time compared to the speedy trains, but your wallet won’t be so empty after the journey.
Always Validate Your Ticket: Train travel in Italy can be a nightmare if you don’t validate your ticket. You will find these validating machines, usually yellow, across station platforms. Sometimes they are not always down the tracks so you will need to validate when you see a machine. If you just jump on the train without validating your ticket, the conductor will come through and give you a mouthful. He might even demand you pay a fine if the clueless tourist card doesn’t work. In all of my times riding Italian trains, I never boarded a train where the conductor did not come by to check. Italians are on top of catching free riders.
Pack Light and Bring Snacks: Hauling a giant suitcase onto a train in Italy might be one of life’s hardest tasks. I once watched a woman attempt to do so with cigarette still in her mouth. If you are traveling at busy times, Italians might make a mad dash off and on trains. They don’t mind pushing and shoving to get to the front. If you have a giant bag, you will have trouble getting on the train and scoring a place for it. Also the food on board many Italian trains is generally mediocre and overpriced. If you are making a longer train trip, pack your own snacks.
Don't forget to follow us on Pinterest!
Get new posts delivered by email:
Top Travel Deals on RSS
5 Private Hideaways Where You Can Escape the WorldComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0
As fun as a city break or a vacation at some all-inclusive resort can be, sometimes the best destinations are those private hideaways off the beaten path. Here’s a look at five travel options – four islands and one boat – for avoiding the maddening crowd....read more
7 'Parks and Recreation' Locations You Can Visit in Real LifeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Fans of the hit NBC show Parks and Recreation have been eagerly awaiting the final season since last April. With season 6 ending in a surprising (no spoilers) flash forward, every one wants to know - What will happen to Leslie Knope?! Unfortunately, there still well over a month until any of us can find out. If the anticipation is too much for you, and you have some vacation days to use up anyway, why not take a trip to Southern California to tour the real life locations of the fictional, Pawnee, Indiana?...read more
How To Say 'Merry Christmas' Around The WorldComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Just in time for Christmas, here’s how to say Merry Christmas in 16 different languages spanning all around the globe....read more
Travel Footwear for Women: 3 Tried & True FavoritesComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Choosing footwear for trips can be challenging. Of course, bringing the right gear to keep your feet comfortable depends on what you plan on doing during the trip and the climate of the place you’ll be staying. In addition to any “specialty” shoe I might need (hiking boots, for example), I always bring comfortable and versatile footwear that won’t slow me down. One suggestion I always give is to wear your travel shoes a lot before you leave to make sure that they are broken in and comfortable for your trip. Here are three types of shoes that have served me well over my years of traveling....read more
The World’s 6 Most Christmassy DestinationsComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Here are six destinations where it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Each would make an excellent place to find yourself during the holiday season and would yield so many rich experiences along with a lifetime of memories....read more
California: CST #2090295-40, Nevada: SOT #2007-0081, Iowa: SOT #883, Washington: SOT #6027859380010001
Some of the content posted herein are the views and opinions of the individual blogger's and do not represent the views and opinions of OneTravel. It may be the case that OneTravel is partnering with a particular travel supplier mentioned in a blog post, however, all views and opinions expressed herein by parties other then OneTravel are by the respective bloggers.
© 2014 W K Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright for all material appearing on this website is owned by W K Travel, Inc. Persons accessing this website are authorized to view and print material from this website for information purposes only. Any other use of this material is restricted to non-commercial purposes and must include this copyright notice.
W K Travel Inc. owns the following Trademarks and Servicemarks appearing on this website:
OneTravel, OneTravel.com, and 1Travel. Trademarks and servicemarks for all other products and services appearing on this website are the trademarks and servicemarks of their respective owners.