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Any tips for travelling on Italian trains?

(8 Posts)
ComaToes Sun 22-May-16 15:36:03

We're flying to Milan Malpensa at half term, and will take the train from the airport to Como. I was assuming we could figure it out, with help from google translate if necessary, but if anyone has any tips that would be brilliant.

I'm thinking things like what age for a child ticket (we have a 5yo and a7yo)? Will we need cash or will cards be OK? Anything else that might catch us out when we've got two tired kids, no knowledge of Italian and a variety of luggage?

Pollaidh Sun 22-May-16 15:39:11

It's a while since I've done this, but make sure you buy the right kind of ticket as some trains are express, and cost more than other trains going to the same place. You will be stopped from getting on an express if you have the wrong type of ticket, and it is not very obvious.

The Man in Seat Sixty One website is a wonderful source of information on train travel across Europe.

franke Sun 22-May-16 15:40:06

www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

When we travelled from the airport in Rome, the lady in the ticket office spoke enough English - may well be the case at Milan airport.

misspym Sun 22-May-16 15:40:49

Validate your ticket on the platform!

The first time I travelled by train in Italy we didn't know we needed to do this and a group of us boarded the train. A very surly looking inspector came and asked for our tickets and when we showed them he took them all and stormed off!

We were quite worried til he came back having sorted the tickets and handed them back with a smile.

AverysillyoldHector Sun 22-May-16 15:41:25

We used the trains in Italy a lot last year. We managed fine using the ticket machines (which had an English option), but discovered a couple of useful things. At smaller stations, the train may be at a different platform to the one advertised, and if the ticket machine broke, you could go up to the driver's cab and pay there when you got on.

The man in seat 61 is a brilliant website, am sure there will be loads of useful stuff there.

LIZS Sun 22-May-16 15:42:49

You need to stamp the tickets before you get on.

domesticslattern Sun 22-May-16 15:52:33

Make sure you sit in the right class.

ComaToes Sun 22-May-16 16:33:20

Brilliant, thanks! I've had a good look at Man in Seat 61 and trenitalia, and they're both very helpful. Especially about stamping your ticket before you get on.

The tip about small stations and possibly a different platform is very helpful, too, I can imagine being very confused by that.

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