How to get around Italy

How to get around Italy

How to get around Italy

Italy is famous for its trains. I lived by them when I worked in Florence back in 2009. Yes, the trains aren’t always reliable but neither is life. There was an occasional strike that halted the train system every so often. But they always publicized it before it happened. That’s when it helps when you know Italian. But nowadays the Trenitalia website can be changed to English that excuse of not knowing the language doesn’t work. 

That being said, I also used the bus system in Florence. The buses seemed to always be on time as opposed to what others would say. I used the buses almost every single day towards the end of my residency in Florence. I enjoyed the buses actually. Sometimes I would run into a friend on it, end up talking to the kind bus driver. The summers are where it was hard to get used to. Tourists getting on and off popular bus routes but in the end, it worked out. I knew the quickest way to get on and off a bus by then. When you are trying to get on or off the bus you have to say loudly either “scusi” (excuse me)or “permesso” (you need to pass through). Now when you see that the bus is overcrowded I wouldn’t get on and just wait until the next one comes. 

I never used a car until my now-husband was kind enough to pick me up from work and sometimes take me to work. Driving in Italy is both a convenience and pain in the ass. Parking in big cities can be a pain in the neck. But if the countryside is your destination, it is perfect. You can drive up into the hills of Tuscany and stop along the way to take pictures. Perhaps there is a vineyard you see coming up, you can easily stop and explore. That is probably the best thing about having a car, each day can be a flexible experience through Italy. 

If you are traveling to Italy for the first time, my vote is to use public transportation. Buses, trains, taxis, etc, will save you money and time. Also, it will be a great experience to see the cities you are visiting through the eyes of the locals. Perhaps you meet a nice Italian nonna on the bus, connecting to another person in another language is amazing! 

Walking is great in Rome/Florence but by the time you got to the main attractions in Rome on a hot day in July, you will need a taxi/bus to get you back home. Walking is extremely tiring especially if you are conditioned for it. 

What is more important is that you are safe and are always aware of your surroundings when you are on a bus, train, or metro. If you feel unsafe change cars or get off at the next stop. 

In my experience, I have only felt unsafe on a bus once. The bus was so crowded and I felt a man up against my seat. I just moved and then got off the bus. There is nothing to be alarmed about when traveling with public transit. All I ask is that you stay aware of who is sitting next to you or around you and if you feel unsafe, move or get off.

Hope this helps! 

Want to try more delicious dishes in Tuscany? Come with me to Tuscany in June 6-13th for our Tuscany Yoga Retreat.  There is only one spot left! Special last minute pricing available! We will indulge ourselves in all the typical and authentic dishes of the region.

Christmas in Florence Retreat about Art and Culture will be December 14-19 2020. There will be yoga, meditation and exploring the wonderful city of Florence.

Our Seaside Retreat is almost full, we will be in Ostuni, Italy (the heel of the boot). September 4-11 2021. There are early-bird discounts for both Florence and Ostuni. Check out the links to get more info.

A presto,

Kate

How to Purchase Tickets Online

How to Purchase Tickets Online

How to Purchase Tickets Online
September 23, 2019

Train tickets can be purchased in advance of your travel date and most of the time they are cheaper than purchasing the day of. For example, the Frecciarossa between Florence and Rome might cost €80 ($88) if bought the day of or day before travel, but that price drops to €60 ($66) if you buy it just two days in advance. Something to think about when planning other trips by train.

The Trenitalia site has three options for searching trains “Frecce, Regionali, and Principali Soluzioni”. The booking widget on the main page has a choice of radio buttons above it: “Principali Soluzioni” or “Frecce” or “Regionali.” You want that first one: “All Trains.” Make sure that, on the results page, you look at the choices along the top bar above the results for “You are displaying” and, if it says “Frecce” click on it to select “Main Solutions” instead, so you will get a mix of both the regional trains and the Frecce.

When you purchase a train ticket off of Trenitalia site you DO NOT have to validate the ticket before boarding. You only have to validate the ticket when you purchase from the automatic machines or at a booth with a ticket agent.

I hope this helps on how to purchase a ticket online. Any questions, feel free to leave below.

a presto, Kate

When you confirm your spot on our Self Love Yoga Retreat, be sure to check out all the blog posts that will give you some insight on how to get around Italy.

Basic Train Travel Information

Basic Train Travel Information

Basic Train Travel Information
September 3, 2019

We recommend you to fly to Rome as it is cheaper and also easier to get to Camporsevoli. From Fiumicino Airport, there is a train called the Leonardo Express that goes straight to Rome’s main train station, Termini. How to Get from Roma Fiumicino Airport to Chiusi Train Station

Once you retrieve your luggage from the baggage claim (ritiro bagagli), you can head toward the airport train station and buy your ticket. Another option is buying it online which I will be explaining how in my next post. 

Reidsitaly.com

How to Get from Roma Fiumicino Airport to Chiusi Train Station

Pictured above are automatic train ticket machines that you will find at the entrance to the train tracks at the airport.  The screen can be changed into English. Also, they DO accept credit cards. This is probably the easiest way to get your ticket unless you want to wait in line and speak to an Italian. If you would like to practice your Italian, feel free, although most ticket sellers do speak English. 

NOTE:

If you purchase your ticket online you DO NOT HAVE TO VALIDATE THE TICKET before boarding

If you purchase your ticket at the automatic machine you DO HAVE TO VALIDATE THE TICKET before boarding. 

The ticket that comes out of the machine is shown below:

The validation machines in the Airport train station are shown below:

On the Leonardo Express trains, you can sit anywhere, there are no assigned seats. There are luggage racks on the train to store luggage for the 30-minute train ride.

How to take the train From Roma Termini Train Station to Chiusi Train Station

Once you arrive at Roma Termini(the only stop), you can head to another automatic machine and purchase your ticket to Chiusi-Chianciano Terme. 

Depending on the time of day you arrive in Rome there will be a few options for trains. Let me explain the different types of trains in Italy.

Regionale: This is the slowest train. It stops at every small station.

Intercity: This train stops in medium-sized cities, not as slow as Regionale.

Frecciarossa: The fastest trains in Italy. They go to big cities like: Rome to Florence and Florence to Milan.

In the next post, you will learn how to purchase your ticket online on Trenitalia. 

When you confirm your spot on our Self Love Yoga Retreat, be sure to check out all the blog posts that will give you some insight on how to get around Italy.

A presto, Kate

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