Riding the Trains in Italy

…..I love travelling by train but I’m not so sure I would buy a rail pass again

Travelling by train can be very relaxing and is less stressful than driving a car throughout Italy. Our travel agent booked first class rail passes for six days for us ahead of time. Our first trip from Venice to Florence in first class was wonderful but half of our trips didn’t even have first class compartments. We probably could have saved a lot of money buying tickets as we needed them.

One of the things we learned about travelling by train is that you have to have your tickets validated at the station and you must fill in the dates you travel on the passes. My husband had been filling in the wrong portion of our passes and one kind conductor handed him a pen and instructed him to fill it in properly. He could have fined us each a 100 euro. On our last trip to Rome our son, his new bride and her parents didn’t know that the tickets that they purchased from a machine in Assisi had to be validated in another machine. Unfortunately the conductor on this train was not so forgiving and charged them. They tried to explain that they didn’t read Italian and no one told them about this extra step when purchasing tickets. He thought he was being generous when he reduced the fine to 33 euro but when my daughter-in-law was not happy with the compromise he became quite angry. In the end they paid the fine but we couldn’t help but think that the money was being pocketed by the conductor.

 

Traffic Jam in Venice

…there are no cars in Venice

You can get to Venice by bus, train, boat and car but the only transportation in Venice proper is by water. So how can Venice have a traffic jam you ask? It’s all on the water, in the canals and around the perimeter of the island.

The photo of the gondolas is courtesy of my brother-in-law.