Toro! Treno! Milano!

Yes, that’s me spinning around like an idiot. This is the famous “Galleria” in Milan. The idea is that you place your heel into the bull’s balls and spin around for good luck. Let’s hope it works!

Yesterday I took the train to Milan to meet up with a new friend. This was a new experience for me and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I made a new friend on the Internet and we agreed to meet half way in Milan for lunch. Although my husband was a bit concerned I was about to be kidnapped and forced into working in a prostitution ring, I was pretty confident that my connection with this new friend was real (but for safety’s sake I still gave him her photo, phone number and email address just in case).

I have ventured out alone on a few trains, but this was my first trip to Milan. I started off by investigating train tickets online. Like everything else in life, it seemed like an easy enough task until I tried to actually purchase the ticket. After creating a user account with “trenitalia” I tried to buy my ticket online with no such luck (it wouldn’t accept my debit card).

Plan B: Print itinerary and go to train station to buy ticket with cash. Seems simple enough, but as I have learned from past experience here in Italy, no one sweats the details and customer service is not a well-known mantra here. No sooner did I walk away from the ticket booth and check my ticket to make sure she wasn’t sending me to Timbuktu, did I realize that I was arriving in Milan Friday and going there Saturday. Huh? How is that possible when I am still here in Genoa? Back I go, ask her to change my ticket and viola I was all set!

So, if I can tag on a travel tip just for the heck of it, it would be this: Always check the details on your ticket before leaving the ticket desk. Especially in Italy. Even with an exact print out of the train times and dates highlighted they still managed to screw it up. (Sadly, it seems to me that nobody gives a flying fart about their job or accountability in the world) If I had just boarded the train the next day someone would have been in my reserved seat and I would have missed out on meeting a new friend and having a new adventure.

About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
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2 Responses to Toro! Treno! Milano!

  1. Lisa says:

    We bought tickets in many Italian train stations using the automated ticket machines (after checking the yellow departure sheets posted around the stations.) We would arrive in a city by train and immediately book our ticket for the next trip. Never a problem.
    You can indicate which type of train (Inter-city, etc.) and which class you wish to travel…and do it all in the language of your choice. We avoided a lot of hassles and waiting lines dealing with the machines.
    (And we also got out of Venice during a train strike by booking ahead on the machines. We arrived in Venice and stopped at a machine to book our tickets for our departure three days later. We notied that the machine offerings were very limited and the times remaining were less than ideal. So at that point we did check with a ticket seller who advised us that there was going to be a strike. We went back to the machine and booked what was available anyway.
    On the day before our departure the strike was announced and a list of the trains that would actually run was circulated. Lo and behold! Our train was one of the few leaving. And we were off to Florence!

    • Thx for the tip! I’ve never used those machines before and didn’t know they were also in English, but can you put cash in them? I was worried my Flash debit card would also not work in it! I went on Friday midday and there was no line at all at the counter. The next morning I was glad I went the day before because the line was 20 deep! and 5 deep at the machines.

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