Linda and I have been riding on trains since we arrived in Italy. We have ridden everything from the regional commuter train to what we are now on called the Frecchiarosso (Red Arrow).
Our first train was from Milan to Ventemiglia via Genova. It was a compartment car with 6 seats. You never know who you will sit with so it makes it interesting when some strangers sit with you. Fortunately we have been blessed with great people. The seats are fabric and lay down so two across from each other could make a bed. It is air conditioned and has doors to close off the compartment. The bathrooms are no frills, no water in the tap, no paper to use and it rocks with the tracks. I had to laugh about the experience it was so different. The ride was comfortable as you never heard much from the rails.
Yesterday we rode a regional commuter to Genova and back to see a friend I have known for several years but never met in person. The regional is just that…a no frills ride. Air conditioning was awesome, just drop as many windows as you want! Going through tunnels was really interesting with the windows down! The seats are plastic coated vinyl and the ride was noisy. However, the train left 20 minutes late and the engineer must have been trying to make up time as I swear we were doing over 100 mph!
Today is the Frecchiarossa. A higher class of train that has comfortable seats, tables or drop down trays so you can work. As I look out the window I see a blur of countryside sa we head to Milan Centrale Station. The overhead display has a map that shows you where you are at on the route, the speed (250 kmh = 150 mph approx) and a camera that shows you where you have been.
After our first completed week of our trip here are things we have observed:
1. Must pack light at all times! 🙂
2. Wear the most comfortable walking shoes you own.
3. Make sure you are in shape to walk all the miles you are putting on your feet.
4. Be ready to negotiate a lot of stairs.
5. Eating pizza and gelato is a daily occurance and will make you wonder if you can find it again when you get home.
6. People are people are everywhere and treat them with respect. They will do the same.
7. Knowing a few Italian phrases goes a long way.
8. Most Italian are on the thin side which is an interesting contrast to where we live.
9. Smokers are everywhere and it surprised us.
10. When in a taxi be prepared to gasp as they drive close!
11. Travel socks do not dry as fast as they claim.
12. Italian women wear the best shoes and look well dressed when they go in public.
13. Siesta time comes in the afternoon can be habit forming.
14. There are phamacies on every corner.
15. All the stores are small and sell all kinds of items.
16. Time is going by faster than we thought and to do takes longer than we thought.
17. Well it is a week and christopher and I are so sore we can hardly move but we are saving on transportation costs.