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Luggage on Trains in Italy

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Nov 24th, 2012, 07:10 PM
  #1
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Luggage on Trains in Italy

I have been to Italy before but that time my friend lived there and i traveled in his car everywhere. Now, i will be taking intercity trains and local trains within cities. I believe you can store your big bags at the end of the car in intercity trains but how about the local trains? Do trains that run within cities have luggage racks at the end of the car for storing big bags? If not, what are my options for carrying my big bag which will not fit in overhead compartment? should i take a cab from airport/train station to the hotel and vice versa? Also, how safe is it to leave your luggage at those luggage racks at the end of the car in intercity trains and local trains ( if they have these luggage racks)?


Thanks in Advance
Alex
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Nov 24th, 2012, 10:25 PM
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There aren't really local trains within cities unless you mean subways. There are only a few cities in Italy that have subways.

Intercity trains (IC trains), you keep your luggage in your car with you. The racks are above your head. Faster trains (AV, ES, ESCity), luggage is stored at the ends of the cars or there are also racks above. Often there is space to slide in luggage behind your seat.

Without knowing your itinerary, it's hard to advise, but you should plan on a smaller bag that you can easily lift when full. You need to be able to get your luggage up the train steps (narrow and steep) pretty fast. For smaller towns, trains often stop only one minute and there will be people getting off while you are trying to board. A big bag is a hindrance. I would not use luggage locks. I can't imagine trying to get a lock undone when you only have a minute or so.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 12:23 AM
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I've taken 26 inch suitcases and a couple of smaller bags on all kinds of trains.

If there is luggage space at end of cars, I'd leave the big one there and keep the smaller ones with the laptops, photo and electronics with me.

Sometimes there would be spaces between seats that face each other.

The toughest situation would be when you board in between two big cities so the train is likely full. In those cases, I'd stand at the end of cars with all the luggage. Never ran into train personnel so can't say if this is within the rules. But when trains are full they may be less likely to accost you.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 12:43 AM
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How big is your "big bag?" 26inch, 28inch, 32inch, 35inch...?
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Nov 25th, 2012, 01:54 AM
  #5
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I will have a 28inch bag and My itinerary is:
Arrive via flight in Rome at 6:30PM ON 1st- Catch a train/metro/subway to Rome central station and from there leave for Florence
3rd -Florence to Vincenz
5th - Vicenza to Milan
8th - Milan to Florence and from there to a small town by car(Company people will pick me at Florence station)
9th - From this small town to Rome Airport in Car and fly back from FCO

In each town i will be staying near the central station and so i guess all my journeys with luggage will be intercity except when i will have to get to Rome central Station from Rome Aiport
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Nov 25th, 2012, 03:28 AM
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This is not a hard journey with a big suitcase except perhaps the initial train into Rome where you have to lift your big bag up several steps into the car at a time when _everyone_ is rushing to get onto the train with their bags.

There may be young people at Fiumicino and Termini who offer to help for tips (completely illegally) but you have to have euros for the tips. You generally have to lift your bag up steps onto other trains, too, but the atmosphere is less frenetic and you will be more familiar with the process. IIRC, some of the local trains have flatter access, but you won't be using them on this itinerary.

We have always had to leave my 26" and my wife's 24" on the rack at the end of the car. It is pretty safe there, but anything of value goes into our carryons and goes to the seat.

The exception might be a train originating where you board (say, Termini for Florence) but most of my trains to and from Florence seem to have begun at Naples, Milan, or somewhere else so there isn't likely to be any space behind the seats by the time you get on.

The hardest thing for many Americans to get used to is that the track for your train is unlikely to be announced more than 15 minutes before departure. You will also have a ticket for a specific car. You will make it, but don't make any plans for a stop in the toilet around the time the train is due to be announced.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:09 AM
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A 28" bag is a BIG bag - I doubt whether that will fit overhead or between the seats. On the new Leonardo Express trains (from FCO to Roma Termini) there are plenty of storage areas and NOW easy access into the trains. Depending on when you arrive, these could get quite crowded. See this article on the LE for more pictures and info: http://tinyurl.com/FCO-LE

On the Regioanle trains - if you end up on one of those - often there is NO luggage area (or a very little space depending on the type and age of the train) so you may have to keep your luggage "with you." I've seen luggage spread all through the aisles on these trains and again, a 28" inch bag is far larger than most locals would carry.

On an Intercity, there would be storage at the end of the car. Generally these are safe. Perhaps the size of the bag may work in your favor as it would be cumbersome to try and covertly move it! For some pictures of the inside of the these trains, you might read this: http://tinyurl.com/riding-trains

Probably not an option, but I think most travelers would suggest trying to take a smaller bag. 15+ years ago, when I was a Delta Platinum and allowed 3 bags up to 70 lbs. each (those were the days, weren't they), my wife took three bags at 50+ lbs. each. After out first train ride out of Rome, I swore that would never happen again! Since we moved to Europe, she now travels carry-on-size only and it's made all the difference in our experiences.

If you can carry it, you can take it on the train. We once "carried home" a crated 42" TV on the local trains, buses, and metro in Rome - that was any experience! All went well until we got to our apartment and the TV would not fit in the elevator... we had to carry it up three flights of stairs...

So if you can carry, you can take it - but that's probably not always the best advice on trains! Good Luck!
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:26 AM
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1st class cars have IME have lots more room for easily stowing luggage - not only IME are there often many empty seats - I usually can put my bags on an adjoining seat and never worry about having to keep an eye on it either at racks at ends of cars or in overhead luggage racks.

There are also many other benefits to first class - bigger seats, fewer seats in each train car, etc. and you also get often some gratis snack and beverage and newspapers served at your seat. So if on the trip of a lifetime consider the extra cost of first class as being a great investment IMO

Great sites for learning about Italian trains IMO - www.seat61.com; www.bdugeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

beware that online discounted tickets can be very problematic to change from the specific train - sometimes paying a bit extra is well worth it for a fully flexible ticket that can be easily changed to another train or refunded.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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There is only train from airport into Rome. Metro (subway) runs only within the city and there is no way I would contemplate taking luggage on it.

28" is a very large bag. Before you decide to take it I would be sure you can easily pick up the bag and carry it upstairs when it is fully loaded - since you may well have to carry it up 3 steep, narrow steps onto the train. If you are going to use a bag this big I would get first class tickets where available - so you have a better chance to find a place to put a bag this big.

(I have done trips up to 3 weeks with a 24 or 25" suitcase and a carry=on this fits on my shoulder (remember it is extremely difficult to pull 2 separate wheeled bags behind you - since they tend not to move at the same speed and at least one may have a tendency to twist sideways unless both are perfectly balanced. And getting both up the stairs at the same time will be very difficult.)
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Nov 25th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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>>>Arrive via flight in Rome at 6:30PM ON 1st<<<

I'm surprised a flight from the states would arrive this late. Most arrive in the morning. Are you sure of the times?

I would take a smaller bag. A 25" or smaller will fit behind the seats of the AV and ES trains which is likely what you will be taking on most of your route.

From Fiumicino to Rome, you can take the Leonardo Express (14€) to Rome Termini or you can take one of the shuttle bus services (bags go underneath the bus).

http://www.sitbusshuttle.com/
6€

http://www.terravision.eu/rome_fiumicino.html
4€ if booked online.

http://www.atral-lazio.com/index.php...id=212&lang=en
5€

Taxis from Fiumicino to Rome are a set fee of 48€. You can book a limo shuttle for a similar price.
http://www.romeshuttlelimousine.com/...t-transfer.php

It appears most of your travel can be managed on the fast AV trains. The only route you may have issues will Florence/Vicenza where you have to change trains in Padova. You may have a slow R train from there to Vicenza or it's possible to book a fast connection.

I would not book IC trains on your routes as they are much slower than the fast trains.

>>>Also, how safe is it to leave your luggage at those luggage racks at the end of the car in intercity trains and local trains <<<

I've never had a problem leaving luggage at the end of the car. The fast trains make very few stops so it's not likely someone could steal your luggage unless the train is stopped.

The fast trains are also in the station longer so you have about 10-15 minutes to board (exceptions: Padova - 2-3 minutes, Vicenza 2-3 minutes).
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Nov 25th, 2012, 08:09 AM
  #11
 
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You will probably have to carry that bag up or down a set of stairs when you arrive at non-terminus stations. And when changing trains, you likely will have to go up one set of stairs and down another to get to the track for your connecting train.

I gather at least part of your trip is business. Do you need that big a bag? For such a short time, just carrying clothes, you could make do with a roll-aboard size or slightly larger.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 12:06 PM
  #12
 
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I too have never heard of luggage disappearing from racks by doors but nefvertheless I always keep an eye on it as the train car is ejaculating its passengers and new ones stream aboard.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 02:57 PM
  #13
 
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If your 28" bag is super heavy, then the thief might have a hernia or a dislocated shoulder trying to take it away in a hurry
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Sorry to hijack, but I have a question about the trains through italy and into switzerland. We have one day where we will be traveling from rome to zurich. I am assuming there are dining cars on the train. Do you take the luggage with you? Thanks!
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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gotg, you should start your own thread.

I'm sure there are dining cars or at least snack bars on the train, given how long that train ride is.

I would fly.

Don't understand the question about luggage - what else would you do but take your luggage with you? Could you possibly mean do you take your luggage with you to the dining car? If that's what you mean, no, I wouldn't.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:29 PM
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>>>We have one day where we will be traveling from rome to zurich.<<<

Since you will have to change trains in Milan, I would allow enough time to get something to eat in the Milan station or something to take with you on the Milan/Zurich leg which is 4 hours long.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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If you are going to the dining car on the train I would take a carry-on with you and put it under the table. Naturally you don't take any larger luggage with you.

(I know some people leave their luggage - but I wouldn't do this unless there are no stops while you are dining.)
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:51 PM
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Caveat: Our carry-ons are - large, soft shoulder totes - not full sized wheelies.
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Nov 25th, 2012, 05:51 PM
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Ok, when booking, I will plan time inbetween in Milan to eat. Much easier! Thanks all!
Back to OP's thread.
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Nov 26th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Since you will have to change trains in Milan, I would allow enough time to get something to eat in the Milan station or something to take with you on the Milan/Zurich leg which is 4 hours long.>

You should allow ample time to change trains not so much for getting grub but in case a train is running late and to also navigate a humungous Milano Centrale station that can flummox some folks - IME trains may stack up on the same platform with one farther down being your train or may come in a platforms they are not listed on, etc.

For food simply take with you from your city you originate and have it already - much cheaper going to a supermarket then depending on station kiosks with much higher prices. But you may want to sip a cappuccino or whatever yeh whilst waiting trains - but leave at least IMO 45 minutes between your two trains.
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