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Training Italy, Switzerland, Austria

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I'm new at this forum. Have been reading on this site for a short time and learning so much.
I really wish to travel Italy (Rome and north) and on to Switzerland and Austria in May or September 2012.
Would love to travel about by train but wonder if I can. I was always adventurous.
But now I have some problems with arthritis and wonder if train travel is possible for me. My condition does slow my walking and limit my lifting.
Will I need to handle luggage up and down stairs at railway stations and accommodations?
I saw a service on the internet whereby it seemed possible to forward luggage on (I've forgotten the site but I will find it again). This could mean that my small carry/wheel-on luggage could travel with me whilst the rest moved on. Would this be an option for me?
I would prefer to travel about by train etc rather than a group bus tour situation.
Also would 4 wheel luggage be suitable/manageable on sloping surfaces? What do you do - stand in front of it?!

Thanks for any advice you can offer. My plans are on hold for the present.

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