Italy Trip Planner – The Realities

 

 

Disclaimer: be aware that the larger and heavier your luggage are, the more difficult they are going to be to manage in Italy. Many hotels do not have lifts, and you will need to be able to get them in and out of the trains quickly. There is no one to help you with your luggage on and off the train, or up and down stairs at the stations.

Stairs are going to be unavoidable, here and there, and walking surfaces can be rough (e.g. cobblestones), narrow and/or uneven more so uphill.

Your best bet to travel around Italy is by train. Train travel in Italy is the most convenient and the best option if you are planning to hop from one city to the other. The most unsurpassed way to avoid driving the nerve-wracking roads & traffics, to add the stress of scarce and expensive parking. Take note: most of the cities, the train station is usually located in the heart of the city. If not, the station connects to the city bus central, the METRO- the local train, or even the funicular for the higher elevation cities.

The types of trains in Italy:

  • Eurostar Italia (ES): operates two fastest trains which is the Frecciarossa (marked with a red arrow on Eurostar map) and Frecciargento (marked with a silver arrow on the Eurostar map). The trains show up in timetables as “ES” or “ES AV,” which stands for “alta velocita,” or high speed.

https://www.italiarail.com/trains/eurostar

  • Eurostar City (Frecciabianca train): reservation is required. The train offers first and second class service.

https://www.italiarail.com/frecciabianca

  • InterCity (IC): These trains are marked on timetables and routes as (IC). First and second class are available. Reservation is required.

https://www.italiarail.com/intercity

  • Local or Regional Trains (Espresso and Regionale): The trains are marked on timetables as “E” and “R.” Tickets available at the stations. These are the trains for smaller cities.

http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en/Purchase/Regional-online-ticket-and-passes

  • Sleeper Trains (Trenitalia): the routes cover all of Italy. These trains have various sleeping arrangements, including six-berth couchettes, four-berth couchettes, and first-, second- and third-class private sleepers with one to three beds per berth. Some routes have trains with compartments that include showers and private toilets, but not all.

https://www.italiarail.com/trenitalia-network

Luggage: Yes my struggles with the luggage. I’m working on my travel light issues, but to my dismay – I just Can’t! So here’s the deal:

Yes, there is room for luggage on any carriage of any train at all in Italy. If your luggage doesn’t fit above your seat or the spaces between the seats, you may have to store your luggage in a space at the front or back of the carriage. Store your luggage as close to your seats as possible, beware of luggage thieves around.

TIPS:

  • carry a bike lock with you and lock your luggage handle at the bars of the storage.
  • book your train tickets at least 2 months in advance in order to avail the discounted rates.
  • Since delays are unavoidable, the ferry tickets can be purchased at the station

Route to Amalfi Coast:

US > London > Rome >  Roma Termini > Salerno > Ferry > Amalfi

Roma Termini: Check the timetables for departure times & location of the train.Check your car/coach number and your tickets for the assigned seat numbers.

Salerno: To get to the ferry: Check the directions or signage to the PORT of Salerno, which is about 15-20 minutes walk from the train station.

Amalfi:  if your destination is Atrani or nearby towns, the taxis would not agree to drive you. The best way is to ask for the luggage handlers that would deliver your luggage for 20 euros, and if there is space ask if you can hitch a ride.

Italiana luggage dispatcher rocking the wedge sandals!

Naples: we purchased the Campania ArteCard:

http://www.campaniartecard.it/artecard/en/card/napoli-3-days

You will get free access to the first three sites of your choice including Pompei. You can use the card for three days after activation, and use the card travelling on public transportation Consorzio UNICOCAMPANIA of the city of Naples. Just a note, if you buy it online, you still have to get your booking validated at the Campania information center, which is located at the main lobby by the Mango store. The information center opens at 9 am. You can also purchase the card at museums and archeological parks.

Rome: METRO is the most reliable transportation to get around the city. The METRO of Rome only has three lines. Tickets can be purchase at the station.

Types of passes:

Day pass (BIG) 6 euros:  unlimited public transportation from the validation time until midnight of the same day

3 Day Tourist Pass (BTI) 16,50 euros: unlimited public transportation from the validation time and for the following 2 days.

Week Pass (CIS) 24 euros: valid for 7 days.

 

Photos By: Sheila Despi #xiangishoots

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