The cost of forgetting to validate your train ticket

I already mentioned in a previous post the requirement for all train passengers to punch their tickets before they get on board. The reason why I’m reposting this important detail is that TreniItalia, the organization that runs all trains in Italy, just raised their fines if you forget to validate your ticket.

The increase is significant, from €25 to €200 (which translates in $300 these days). If you pay the fine within 15 days then the amount is going to be reduced to €100, if you pay on the spot or at the final destination it is reduced to €50.

Should you forget to punch your ticket, a best practice is to inform the ticket conductor right away. While there is no guarantee that you’ll avoid the fine (multa), it might help demonstrate your overall good faith.

N.B. First time in Italy? Check out our eBook with hundreds of time and money saving tips collected for you by real Italians.

Strikes in Italy

When you plan internal transfers from various Italian locations, it’s always a good idea to budget some buffer time for unforeseen circumstances. Strikes (scioperi) and delays (ritardi) are normal everyday events.
In my last trip home, the Venice airport personnel announced a couple of hours strike on the spot because some union negotiations weren’t going as they hoped. After traveling for 14 hours from Seattle, that wasn’t necessary the best ‘Welcome home’ news I was expecting. I was lucky to see my luggage showing up on the belt right at the announcement, but I bet the next load of passengers weren’t that happy.
Sometimes friends ask me to review their itineraries. When I see their Italian vacation scheduled by the hour and packed with various transportation from city to city, I warn them that is a recipe for frustration. Trains have gotten better in recent years, but strikes are very common. Be flexible and prepared to cope with some delays and you’ll enjoy your trip even more.

Podcast #1 – Practical tips to travel in Italy with trains

We’re happy to announce our first episode of the Italy From The Inside podcast series. In this show we cover:
– Introduction of this podcast series and your host (Paolo)
A few practical tips to travel in Italy with trains
– Overview of a market research by the Italian Trade Commission
– A two-minute Italian lesson on purchasing a train ticket

Listen / Download this episode in MP3 format
(6Mb -12 mins)

We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future shows. Please write to [email protected]