TRAINS IN ITALY: What an experience!

We are real train lovers! Having been around the world a few times, together we  have fun stories about train adventures (especially riding the East African Railway in Kenya ) and when we are in a country which has trains we can't seem to get enough of riding them!

We learned how to buy tickets on line at certain dates to get better fares, and taking a slower "regionale" train which costed most of the time only 9 Euros. We also learned to make a reservation on line which lasts for 3 days, and when we arrive at the train station, we could input the reservation number and pay for our tickets, as many times our international debit/ credit cards wouldn't work on the Italian train website.

The "premium" trains we took were modern, clean and quite comfortable. We were also offered tea or coffee and a small snack. Bringing our own wine and plastic glasses made our journey even more enjoyable!

We had a real learning encounter with the ticket control man. We were not aware of the rule where we had to validate the train tickets in a green validation machine prior to boarding the train. The ticket control man tried explaining the rule to us in broken English, and charged us only a  5 Euro fine instead of 50!

To this day we are still unsure of the exact time we should stamp our tickets in the validating machine. Do we validate it moments before boarding the train, approaching the platform, or upon arriving at the station with some moments to wait before the train?

I wish we had the opportunities and financial ability to travel almost carefree on the trains with a Inter rail / Eurail pass like when we were kids again!  Speaking of carefree, we spied all kinds of  clandestine "guy to guy activities" happening in the toilets when riding the train this last trip! This topic could be saved for another  opportunity- ask us and we will write, upon request!

Another fun thing we did as Vagaybonds was instead of searching around for a toilet whilst in the train station, we would look for a long distance train which would be standing at the station for a long time and we would board that train and use the toilets and get off the train refreshed!


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