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Question About Dining On Italian Trains, Please Help

Question About Dining On Italian Trains, Please Help

Feb 11th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Question About Dining On Italian Trains, Please Help

I heard from a woman today who is diabetic and needs to eat meals often to keep her blood sugar stable. She will be taking a train from Venice to Milan in May. She needs to have access to a dining car, not a snack cart. It has to have something more substantial then sandwiches. Does every train passenger have access to the dining car or do you have to be in 1st class? And are there dining cars on every train or only on some of them? Please don't send me to the Trentalia web site. I can't read it. Please help with this one. Thanks in advance.
zwho is offline  
Feb 11th, 2005, 08:30 PM
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EuroStar (ES) trains have dining cars for all passenger classes. I've never taken the locals. The ride is only 2 hours/40 minutes on an ES train. Your friend should be fine.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Feb 11th, 2005, 08:33 PM
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She can also take her own food and drink onto the train. That's what the Italians do.
cmt is offline  
Feb 11th, 2005, 08:35 PM
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While I have only experienced the dining cars on the Eurostar route from Venice-Rome (the dining service ocurs during the Venice-Florence segment since it is an hour longer) - - I am actually rather skeptical about how her requirements should be "dependent" on services offered on the train. The (Eurostar) train is only 2 hours and 30 or 40 minutes long. The need to eat "something substantial" couldn't possibly be something she requires every 3 or 4 hours (if that were true, she would be consuming 5000 calories a day) - - and a well balanced snack (300-600 calories, which is not far from a "light meal") of proteins, (mostly) complex (and some simple) carbohydrates, plus moderate fat content (if desired) is both easy to purchase and carry in a large pocket or small purse.

I'm sorry that I don't know the actual answer to your question, but it seems wise to assume that the answer is no, or that they will not offer a choice suitable - - and plan accordingly.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 05:55 AM
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Hi Z,

>Please don't send me to the Trentalia web site. I can't read it.<

This link is in English

ira is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 09:57 PM
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Hi Ira, Yes I can read english! Infact I just took an IQ test offered by NYTimes on line and I'm rather smart! Problem is those timetables screw me up, and its easier and more fun to ask you guys questions. But anyway, thank you for all your answers. I'm going to email her the responses. I don't know her nutritional requirements, but I think when you are diabetic you always want to be thinking ahead so you don't get into trouble. Thats been my experience with my friends who have diabetes.
zwho is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 10:38 PM
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The others are right. Generally, only the Eurostars have dining cars on that trip, but not even them at all times. I agree with those who have said she should bring food with her. The train may be out of food she can eat; there may be a problem with not getting sufficient food, and there's several stands that serve food, fruit and drinks both outside the station in Venice as well as inside the station. She should always come prepared, so she should bring something to tide her over at the train sation.
Surfergirl is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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zwho, don't be fooled by on-line IQ tests; they are neither reliable nor valid.
Betsy is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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As a diabetic I understand your friend's concern. It seems like all of our train trips are in the morning or late afternoon and I certainly have to plan ahead to make sure I bring something with me to eat since I will be on the train at lunch or dinnertime and I cannot trust what the train has to offer that particulary contains enough protein since I do have to watch the carbs closely. The same goes for air flights. A few times I was told a meal would be served and it wasn't (only a high carb snack) and I paid the consequences with serious low blood sugar. I now always carry food with me at all times.
PBH is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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As a diabetic myself, let me assure you that the smartest thing to do if the train trip is during a meal time is to take her own food on the train. It will be infinitely cheaper and better than what they offer anyway. Years ago, I found dining on Italian trains kind of a wonderful experience, but I've done so a couple of times in recent years on even the Eurostar trains and it wasn't worth writing home about!
Patrick is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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BEWARE that Trenitalia has been pulling its dining cars off of the hourly intercity trains between Milan and Venice. The Eurostars still have diners, but they don't serve meals much outside of regular hours. So, the best advice has been previously stated: bring your own meal on the train. You'll also save a bunch of money.
GAC is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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The dining cars on Eurostar trains usually serve a set lunch or dinner at a specified time. A steward will walk through the train taking bookings so, if the steward starts at one end of the train, that meal sitting may be fully booked by the time he gets to your carriage. There is very little choice for these meals so it's quite possible there'll be nothing suitable for a diabetic. There is also a bar which does snacks, but anyone with specific needs should take their own food. By the nature of trains, the food on offer can be erratic - you wouldn't expect them to delay the train if the coffee machine isn't working or the food delivery is late.
GeoffHamer is offline  

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