Luggage and trains in Italy?

Old Nov 19th, 2003, 04:11 AM
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Luggage and trains in Italy?

Hello. Does one check luggage on trains in Italy?

I'm assuming not but thought I'd check, since we've cleverly managed to arrange our itinerary so that we have to make connections between each city (Venice to Ravenna, Ravenna to Florence, Siena to Verona).
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 04:38 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Lauren,

Nope. You have to bring your luggage wth you.

The IC trains with compartments have luggage racks above the seats that will hold suitcases larger than carryons.

Cars that do not have compartments have a luggage area.

The ES* trains have a luggage area in each car for large cases and overhead racks for carry ons. There is space between the seats for small suitcases.

In general, the luggage area is at the end of the car opposite to where you entered.

It is not a bad idea to watch your luggage, if it is in the compartment area, when the trains stop. I have been told that sometimes people do sneak on with the intent of snatching suitcases, although I did not see it happen and might just be spreading an urban myth.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 05:44 AM
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Definitely watch your luggage. On our trip, I tried to get on first and get our bags on the bottom of the stack. That obviously doesn't ensure their safety, but if anyone wants to take them during the trip they've got to move a bunch of them to get to them. And I would keep my eye on them either from my seat or get up every now and then to check them out. Upon arrival, my wife would get off the train first both to watch in case they got boosted or to help me when I handed them down to her.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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Unless the luggage is very large, it is possible (on Eurostar Italia (ES) trains) to wedge suitcases between the seat rows. That way, it remains in easy sight for the duration of the trip.
On Intercity (IC) trains, the luggage racks above the seats are quite large and can accommodate just about anything you would ever want to drag along with you.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 07:16 AM
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If you are really concerned about leaving your luggage unattended in one of those end-of-car luggage areas (and in my experience the only time you'll see that is on Eurostar or ICE (in Germany) types of equipment...you can invest in a flexible locking bicycle security device that has a combination lock to ease your mind a bit.
In my many years of riding trains throughout Europe the only time I have seen theft happening during the day was on the train from Amsterdam Schiphol to the city itself..people were leaving luggage in the vestiblue areas..the train would stop at an intervening station and someone would reach in and grab, or try to grab, any unattended luggage. Otherwise, not an issue. have a great trip.
 
Old Nov 19th, 2003, 09:20 AM
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I at first thought ira's post said suitcases larger than "crayons"! Had myself a good laugh as I thought about how airlines keep cutting down on luggage allowance and how you expert travel tell us to travel light!

Seriously, I am planning to travel Italian train on my next trip and appreciate the info!
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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You can check the Italy train schedule online. If you have a choice between IC (Inter city train) or ES (EuroStar train), pay the extra and take the ES train. The ES trains are much nicer and faster. Plus they assign seats for all ES trains. And the passangers on the ES trains are nicer people (no offense to other trains). The IC trains are local trains that make frequent stops, older train and not nicely equipt as the ES train. Plus you buy a ticket but no assigned seat. You get on the train and find your own seats. If you're traveling in the peak season, trains are packed and you'll stand for the journey if you don't have a seat. IC train is like commuter rail/above ground subway train and ES train as Amtrak. So take the ES train whenever possible. We took it severl times and love it. The extra money was worth it.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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I've traveled on the Eurostar trains; my 22-inch rolling luggage fits snugly between the seat rows. Then I can put my smaller carry-on piece (an over the shoulder bag) above my seat or next to me if no one's seated there.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 10:21 AM
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i just came back from italy and took some es trains and even a regional and i never had any problem with storing my luggage. there were overhead racks with plenty of space right above our seats.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 10:59 AM
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If you do use the luggage storage areas at the end of the car, 2 additional points:

1. On some trains the luggage space is much larger at one end of the car than the other.

2. NEVER leave a small, easily portable bag in that area. If it will fit in the rack above your seat, use that.
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 11:31 AM
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Hi
also consider the width of your bag, vertical is better than horizontal because train aisles can be quite narrow
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 03:04 PM
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Great info, thanks muchly.

We're probably bringing two carry-on size pieces, nothing really big. I may carry a large tote bag as well. We'll try to find a way to keep the luggage with us, since they'd be pretty easy to lift.

We're also thinking of taking the bus from Florence to Siena because it runs more often. I assume we can stash luggage in a compartment under the bus, same as we do here, but we'll see!
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 05:50 PM
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Definately take the bus from Florence to Sienna. The railway station in Sienna is quite a way from the center of town. The Florence bus station (SITA) is located just around the corner from the train station. There are two types of buses-express or milk run. The buses run very frequently.
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