Italy train strike - high speed trains?

Old Jun 23rd, 2016, 12:53 PM
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Italy train strike - high speed trains?

Hi everyone,

We are in Sulzano now, leaving tomorrow to Venice from Brescia. Unsurprisingly, there is a train strike.

Our wonderful hotel reception was unable to find specific information online about high speed trains (fresciarossi specifically) and no answer when they called to ask. They feel with 80% certainty that the train will run.

I thought I'd ask the experts here if they had more information based on past experience to add. Worst case we are in Brescia and then scramble to find a driver.

Thanks! And the Floating Piers are wonderful but oh, so crowded! This little town is really doing a wonderful job to support the thousands of people visiting
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Old Jun 23rd, 2016, 01:17 PM
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Have you considered renting a car for the day?
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 03:14 AM
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>>>Our wonderful hotel reception was unable to find specific information online about high speed trains (fresciarossi specifically)
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 05:12 AM
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I know you were waiting to hear but our train was not cancelled. I emailed [email protected] last night and shockingly, received a response within hours. There is also a U.S. Number you could call on the website, which might get a faster answer than the Italian one.

In the train now and it's nice!
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 05:15 AM
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Great because that link page is only in Italian
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 06:02 AM
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"that link page is only in Italian"

If you open the link in the Google Chrome browser, you'll have Google's option to translate it. This is true for every page written in a foreign language. No traveler doing travel research on the internet should be without the option to search using Google Chrome. Without it, you're research will be far more limited.
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 03:08 PM
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Trenitalia makes every effort to keep the Frecciarossa trains running during strikes, and are usually very successful. The people who really suffer are commuters, students, and people who live in towns not served by high-speed trains. The regional trains are keep running during rush hours, but are extremely crowded with people who would have traveled at a different time of day.

On KYbourbon's link, there are two links in the page to PDF files showing guaranteed trains. The first one is the one that 99% of people need. The second one shows additional trains that are guaranteed during strikes that occur on Sundays or public holidays, but begin at 9PM on the day preceding the holiday. This doesn't happen often, because Italian workers prefer to strike on the day before or after a day they'd have off anyway.

Once you click on the link, you'll see the guaranteed trains in order by train number. The beginning and ending cities are not very useful, because you'll usually be boarding in an intermediate city. You need to find your train on the Trenitalia schedules. Make a note of the train numbers of that and other trains earlier and later. Then look up the train numbers on the list.

http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

Even if the train isn't on the list, if it's a Frecciarossa train, there's a very good chance it won't be affected. The same is true, maybe to a lesser extent, of Frecciargento trains. The Frecciabianca trains are more likely to be affected.
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Old Jun 24th, 2016, 09:49 PM
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I am coming to the Floating Piers over the last weekend (next weekend). Since you've already been, can you give me any advice? Is it best to go at night? Any suggestion on enjoying he experience despite the crowds?

All guidance gratefully accepted.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 05:13 AM
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- Unsurprisingly, there is a train strike.

- I know you were waiting to hear but our train was not cancelled. I emailed [email protected] last night and shockingly, received a response within hours.

coolbluewater - you will not be missed when you return home.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 06:22 AM
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Thanks everyone -

Nochblad - I'm sorry if I offended you. From my reading, and from what I heard, train strikes are not unusual. I was shocked to get a quick response because typically one does not always hear back so quickly with such a specific question. I'd be just as surprised in any other country, including the U.S. Tone is difficult to read in posts and I believe you misread mine.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 06:31 AM
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coolbluewater - you set the tone with your initial posting. The train services - especially long distance - have been transformed in Italy with the introduction of the Frecciarossa service as well as with competition from Italo.

There are still strikes but the situation is way better than it was a number of years ago.

As far as third world countries are concerned how about the TSA in America?
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 06:36 AM
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Gilthoniel - you need to monitor the commune di sulzano and the floating piers Facebook pages as the hours for the piers have been cut since it began. Initially it was supposed to be 24 hours, when we left they were closing from 10pm (last entry, everyone off by midnight) and reopening at 6am. I think attendance has been almost double what they were expecting and they need the time for maintenance. If this changes then yes, the best time would be late at night or early morning around 5am just as it begins to be light out.

My advice would be to get there as early as humanly possible. The last day, there was a wait of an hour at 6:30am - and they do close if they are at capacity. Be prepared for long lines and heat.

The piers around the private island have plenty of space for sitting and relaxing. If you sit near the pointy parts, you'll really feel the piers moving. I saw plenty of people eating a small snack there and resting. Look out for the stewards with the orange swatches of material they are giving away.

Finally - if you can swing dinner at the hotel rivalago, it has a great view of the piers and we saw Christo many times boarding his special barge with guests. The dinner is a fixed menu but expensive at 90€. I'd also call to see if you could have drinks on the terrace if it is not limited to hotel guests. They have an outdoor restaurant called rivalago dehors - but I'm referring to the actual hotel itself. To get there turn left off the exit to the piers and just keep going straight until the end (you'll be on the Orange fabric). Call ahead for reservations!

If that doesn't work, head up to trattoria cacciatore - walk up to the train tracks, around the church, turn right and then left on via molini. Fine food at decent prices and terrific views. Beautiful service as well.

http://www.iseolake.info/tfp/en/

This site is also supposed to have up to the minute information.

Good luck! we felt lucky to be able to enjoy the piers for as long as we could. I'll check back if you have any more questions.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 06:38 AM
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Nochblad - I have no interest in an online fight with you. I've already apologized for any misunderstanding.

Trains in Italy are worlds better than in the U.S. and yes, the tsa is highly inefficient. We had a lovely ride on the freciarossa.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 07:12 AM
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coolbluewater - good

In 2014 rather than fly from LA to SD I thought of travelling by train. Everyone I knew in the US thought I was crazy. I found the journey fascinating but was amazed at how slow it was due in part to crossings where the bars had to come down and circuitous routes especially near SD.

On the Frecciarossa there is a link to a real time indication as to where you are and the speed you are travelling. I have a number of screen grabs travelling at 300 km/h or roughly 186 mph.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 08:17 AM
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Oops - to get to rivalago, turn RIGHT off exit from piers, sorry!
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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I'll just add that all transportation strikes in Italy must be announced well in advance, and never last more than 24 hours. They usually cause a bit of confusion and inconvenience, but never total chaos.
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