Italy Train Travel with luggage

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Jun 26th, 2012, 10:16 PM
  #1
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Italy Train Travel with luggage

I am traveling from Milan Malpensa airport to Florence on July 1st and have one suitcase and overnight bag since my trip to Italy is over a month. I want to ask others with prior experience as train travelers on Italian trains, how convenient is train travel with luggage? I read on some forums that the Premier seats compartments allow more room for luggage?Would highly appreciate some feedback.
Also, if somebody could help me regarding the train timetable. Apparently, there were 2 trains departing from Milan Malpensa airport train station to Florence without a change of trains, one at approx 12: 22 and one later in the evening departing around 19:00 hours. When i tried to book a seat on July 1st on a direct train from Milan Malpensa to Florence S.M.Novella i could not get any direct trains in the train schedule. Is this unusual online? or will i be able to get a direct train on arrival since my flight lands in Milan at 7 am on July 1st.
Would be great if somebody who is traveling on same dates or close could offer some guidelines.Thanks in advance.
Faryal
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Jun 26th, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Not sure about the train but July 1 is a Sunday so maybe the schedule is different...or they could be doing works on the line...?

Luggage is no problem if you can carry it all yourself. There are overhead luggage racks for smaller items and spaces usually between the seats or just inside the doorways for bigger suitcases.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 01:14 AM
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Ok.. thank you very much
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Jun 27th, 2012, 02:22 AM
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Hi

We recently took the train from Florence to Venice in 2nd class. We had one suitcase and a cabin bag each. If your suitcase is large enough to have to check it in at the airport then it won't fit in the overhead compartment on the train. It was very ackward getting on and off the train and the luggage storage bay was small. Luckily there was a couple of empty seats so we stored our luggage there. So my advice is if travelling by train keep luggage size to a minimum. If Premium or First Class does provide more room for your luggage in hindsight it would have been worthwhile me paying the extra.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 03:57 AM
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I checked trainitaila.com for July 1 (Sunday) and also for June 27 (Thursday). I do not see (for both days) any direct trains from Malpensa to Firenze. All of them have one stop in Milano Centrale or Milano Cadorna.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 04:03 AM
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From our experience last October:

Big bags have to go into the end of the car, whatever the class. You may have to lift them onto a shelf, and you should expect to have other people put their bags on top of yours.

You will have to lift your own bags into the car up three (including the ground) fairly steep steps. You will have to lift your carry on into the luggage racks over the seats. In many train segments, I never saw a passenger offer to help another passenger, though at Roma Termini, there were young people illegally coming on the train to assist passengers for tips.

It is still a great way to travel.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 04:36 AM
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I answered your airport/Florence question on your other post.

Here's a picture of 2nd class on the fast train. Depending on the size of your luggage, you can store it behind your seat on most of the AV/ES trains. The space behind the seat is large enough for a 24-25" placed flat or a 30" duffle will slide in. If it's too big for there or the overhead, you will have to store it at the end of the car in the luggage bin. Some trains will have another luggage storage mid car. I would exchange your carry on for a backpack.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ssainterno.jpg
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Jun 27th, 2012, 06:30 AM
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How big is your "one suitcase?"
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Jun 27th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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Thanks everybody for your responses...since my trip to Italy is a month long i am carrying one suitcase weighing at least 25 kg...and i have a back problem so i guess the details on lugging the suitcases on and off trains has given me a clear perspective. I wish i was traveling lighter n will try to weigh less, but if i work out the first class ticket and if i am taking a cab from the airport to the station it works out the same as a flight..
appreciate your help..
am loving the helpful forums on Fodors!!
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Jun 27th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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I think 25kg is one heavy suitcase. It must be at least 26"? Whether one month trip requires more luggage than a week trip depends on how you configured your luggage. I carry fast dry clothes and do laundry every night to eliminate weight/space used by dirty laundries. For me, the amount of luggage for one month trip and one week trip are the same.

Here is a typical picture of what you have to deal with getting on/off Italian trains: http://rides.webshots.com/photo/1347...70087755FLFzpK On top of this, you have to deal with stairs/out of order escalators/elevators to the platform level.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Unless you are taking books and things for some work situation, consider packing for a week with the plan to do laundry once a week, just as you probably would at home. Example: one pajama or night gown - not four, 4 or 5 pairs of underwear, not 15 or twenty, four or five pairs of pants, not 10 or 15, etc. would sure make your life easier on the train.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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A four week trip to Italy is four one week trips. Carry enough of everything for one week, and wear it four times.

I am a big person (see my packing post elsewhere), and my bag has never weighed more than 32 pounds, even with eight pounds of shoes.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 01:51 PM
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.since my trip to Italy is a month long i am carrying one suitcase weighing at least 25 kg...and i have a back problem so i guess the details on lugging the suitcases on and off trains has given me a clear perspective>>

that's about 55lbs - and with a back problem??? poor you.

unless you are travelling for business, honestly you will not need all those clothes for a trip to Italy in summer. i went to tuscany for about 10 days last year, and travelled with a case weighing about 20 kgs, and wore only 2/3 of what I took. if I'd thought about it more carefully, i could have lost at least 5 kgs if not more of what I took. you do only need 3-4 pairs of trousers and t-shirts, a couple or shirts/blouses, one jumper, and underwear for 5 days or so. 2 pairs of shoes. a kindle instead of books.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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I was in Italy in 2009 and took a train from Florence to Venice and then from Venice to Milan. I took WAY TOO MUCH luggage since I was gone for 7 weeks and thought I needed clothes for 3 seasons. Take half of what you think you need and probably you won't even wear that much. Plus, you can always buy whatever you need there. I also worried a lot about getting my luggage on the train (I was traveling alone and am a 60+ woman). I had no problems in fact. Before I boarded my car, I looked around for a young guy passenger and just asked him for help (in one case a young woman helped me who was sitting next to me). Nobody ever turned me down. As I recall, I found seats at the end of the aisle next to my luggage, so I didn't lift it onto the luggage rack. I think I could keep my hand on it to keep it from sliding. In any case, it was never a problem. I was on at least 3 different trains and the only bag thing was not paying attention getting my bag off the train and banging my ankle with it. You will be fine. Buon viaggio!
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Jun 27th, 2012, 02:43 PM
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>>>As I recall, I found seats at the end of the aisle next to my luggage, <<<

You can't just find seats as they are assigned unless you are on a slow R train.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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My wife and I go to Italy once a year and never check bags. We have 22" suitcases, and we each carry some variation of a cabin bag. The secret is pack light. As noted above, quick drying clothes are the key, and if you get "gamy" from the heat (which is likely in July), there are laundry services available (either at your hotel, or someone can direct you to one in your area.) I agree with the other posters that we tend to take to much. For our trip in the fall of 2011 and the one in May of this year, I only took one pair of shoes, thinking that that proved to be a problem, I would simply buy another pair there. I will admit that I got awfully tired of the one pair, but I never saw the need to buy a new pair. I did get tired of the jeans I was wearing and bought another pair there. My wife gets by with a couple of pairs of pants and tee shirts, although she doesn't limit herself to one pair of shoes.

IMHO, you will need fewer clothes than you think.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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You have mentioned at least twice that the trip is a month to explain why the large/heavy suitcase.

Length of trip should not determine the amount of luggage/'stuff' you drag around. A 25kg/55lb suitcase will be a HUGE pain (in more ways than one). Don't think of it as a 30day trip . . . packfor5to7 days max. You will have to do laundry, but your back won't break schlepping 55lbs around.

(I just returned from 3.5 weeks in the UK w/ temps from 45F to 85F, sleet to bright sunshine, very casual to quite dressy . . . all w/ just a 21 inch rollaboard weighing less than 12 kg. No backpack or other bag. Just a medium sized handbag. And only did hand washing now and then.)

Oh -- and I took three pairs of shoes . . .
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Jun 27th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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wow..you all have put me to shame! yes I have a habit of over packing, the thing is I am going to lean handbag design + making which requires buying tools+ buying leather and making the bags, so going i may be lighter (my mistake for putting 25 kg for train trip getting into Italy!), returning i will be heavier, but then I am taking a flight..
the One week packing list makes sense, the laundry may end cheaper and more convenient in the end. Or i could buy a bigger case in Florence for the tools and surplus i have to get and send back to Milan via BagExpress that Alitalia uses (for door-to-door baggage service) costing about 25 Euros for a medium 22 kg suitcase..does anyone have any knowledge of that service?
I tried emailing them but have not received any reply so intend to call them.
Apparently you can book your luggage piece(s) through them, they pick it up from your adderss anywhere is Italy and deliver to your destination. End of my course I am doing a few days in Venice since I have never been there. So I thought it best to send my heavy suitcase ahead to Milan for the return flight and just take a roller bag for the Venice segment..
I would appreciate of somebody has used or knows somebody who used this Alitalia affiliated Bag Service and recommend them in terms of reliability.. they also deliver your bags all over Europe.
Thanks for the extremely helpful suggestions..I am going to go through my stuff and dump at least half now!!
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Jun 27th, 2012, 07:18 PM
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The problem is not just lifting the suitcase up a few steps into the train. Many train stations have a bridge or a tunnel connecting the tracks. You have to carry your suitcases up and/or down staircases to get to or from the track. If you change trains, you'll probably need to change tracks, up and down another set of stairs. Occasionally there's an elevator or an escalator.

Milano Centrale, IIRC, is a terminus station so all the tracks are on ground level, ending there. To change tracks just walk to the head of the track and find the right track for your next train.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 07:54 PM
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Venice train station (Santa Lucia) TIP: When you are getting off the train and heading towards the vaporetto stop you will note to your right a set of exit stairs - a real pain with luggage! But take a turn left instead for a ramp that exits the station too. It means you can roll your luggage out rather than have to carry it.
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