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Trenitalia's Busiest Summer Weekends: Some Train Travel Tips

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In a press release, Trenitalia informs customers and prospective customers that this weekend, together with those of August 3 and 10, will be the BUSIEST of the summer: over 1 MILLION passengers per weekend!!!

Trenitalia also advises BOOKING in time so as not to be disappointed.

(The following are my comments, not those of Trenitalia):

Consequently, it's a good idea, where possible, to book more than one or two days beforehand if travelling on these busy weekends.

Where impractical to do so (e.g. taking the train immediately upon arrival by plane, and unsure of the plane's actual arrival time), travellers should be prepared for the possibility of not being able to book one's first choice of train, but instead having to wait for the second or even third choice.

Nevertheless, travellers should know that the FREQUENCY of trains between major tourist cities is HOURLY OR BETTER. In particular, between ROME AND FLORENCE, trains leave every 5-30 minutes on average, between ROME AND NAPLES every 10-40 minutes or so, and between ROME AND VENICE, hourly or better. The slow and cheap "regionale" trains between Rome/Florence and Rome/Naples are all UNRESERVED, so you can always get on, even if it means having to stand for part of the journey.

Travellers with ECONOMY AND SUPER ECONOMY fares (for the reserved trains) are also reminded that there is NO GRACE PERIOD in case you MISS your reserved train (unless owing to a delay of at least 15 minutes from a connecting TRENITALIA train, and with approval of the Stationmaster). This is particularly significant when taking the train immediately after arrival by train or boat.

By contrast, travellers with BASE (unrestricted) fares do have a ONE HOUR GRACE PERIOD to re-book (free of charge) to a later-departing train in case they MISS their reserved train. However, even a one-hour grace period could be inadequate in the case of a late-arriving plane.

Finally, travellers are reminded that the weather at the moment is HOT AND HUMID, and consequently, taking an early morning train (when an option) can be preferable to one leaving later during the day. This becomes particularly true if the air conditioning on the train malfunctions or is too feeble.

A few more tips from Trenitalia:

1. Never leave luggage unattended (except when in the luggage rack on the train, but preferably always within sight)

2. Pay attention to announcements at the train station (there might be a last-moment change of assigned platform)

3. NEVER cross the yellow line at the platform until the train comes to a complete stop.

A few more tips from GAC:

1. Give yourself more time during the busy summer months to arrive at the train station, and especially to purchase a ticket

2. Don't forget to bring bottled water with you on the train, as you may get thirsty during the trip (beverages and snacks can also be purchased on board most of the Freccia and some Intercity trains)

3. TRAVEL LIGHT

http://www.fsnews.it/cms-file/allegati/fsnews/CS_ESODO_25072012.pdf

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