Traveling from City to City in Italy by train:
Exploring the cities of Italy by train was an extremely pleasantly surprising experience for me. There are two very good high speed train services – the Euro Italo and the Freece which is part of Trenitalia. The service was impeccable for both companies and was very timely and clean. The conductors and train attendants were friendly and approachable. A snack was served about 20 minutes into the trip (airline style). The cost from city to city was under 40Euros. The difference between the two services was about 3- 4 euros. I highly recommend either of the two. The train stations are centrally located and very easy to get to in the major cities. The architecture is beautiful and consists of shops and eateries with a lot of seating. The station is very clean and the tracks can be easily located. When buying your tickets, it is advisable to do so online. You can either print the ticket by PDF or save on your phone so that the conductor can see. Most times, the seats are sold out and so it is advisable to purchase on line, ahead of your travel schedule. Tickets when purchased has the train number, the time and seats assigned. Tickets can also be bought at ticket windows and ticket machines but it should only be a last minute option. When buying your ticket you have a few options, the smart, first or business class and economy.
If you are using the regional trains, the options and expectations are different. You are not guaranteed a seat on the train and you may have to stand. However, you can also upgrade your ticket by talking to a conductor if there is availability.
Boarding your train:
There are boards called Binari where the train number, times and tracks are listed. Look for your train and proceed to boarding. If you do not have a pdf copy or a mobile ticket, you will need to validate your ticket before boarding. Look for the green and white machine and hold your ticket so that the bar code
can be read, or the older machines, you will need to insert your ticket. If you don’t validate your ticket before you enter the train, and the conductor inspects your ticket and find that it is not validated, you will be fined. The penalties are steep. Validation applies mostly on regional trains and for any ticket that does not bear a specific time, date or seat number.
At your destination:
Be extremely careful with your hand bags and wallets. Do not accept help or transportation. If you need a taxi or help wait until you get off the platform and enters the station where there are specific signs that directs you. Additional help and guidance are available from help desks. Beware of the pick pockets!!!
If you are traveling to Italy and need more information, please feel free to email me.