Find a map of rail destinations....
It is very helpful to carry a map of the towns the trains pass through. Often, you are questioning if you are on the right train. You should ask fellow travellers, but if they don't understand you, they often smile and nod. (just like I do). You're not much further ahead unless you strike gold and they speak your language., but who says they know anymore than you. Finding a conductor is difficult, so you are on your own.
Consult your map as you pass through stations. If you find yourself in unknown territory not shown on your map...start to worry, but just a little. Sit in the centre of the train if possible, so you can see the station signs which indicate the town you are arriving at. If you are near the end, you won't see the signs until you are leaving, which doesn't do you much good.
Don't despair, if you are on the wrong train, just get off at the next station, and return the way you came. Trains are so frequent, that isn't a big deal. If you've screwed up, so what, you've had an ADVENTURE. Another story to tell when you've returned home.
Validate your train ticket...or pay a fine !!
Once you have gone through the stressful process of buying a train ticket, remember, you must validate it, or chance getting fined by the conductor.
If you purchase your ticket through a machine, there is a slot to insert your ticket into. Often, they do not work properly, so listen for the stamping mechanism in action, then check to see if an imprint was made on the end of the ticket.
If not, there are numerous validation machines spotted throughout the station. Look for yellow boxes situated before the doors on either side of the entrance leading to the platform. Failing that, don't despair, there is a machine located at the entrance to every binario along the underground tunnel.
Often the yellow boxes are on the platforms themselves, but not always. Don't count on it. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
If you board the train, and realize you have forgotten to validate, search for the conductor. Find him, before he finds (and fines) you.
Train travel in Italy...
The best site I have run across to date describing train travel in Italy, is the one I have indicated below. It will show you everything you need to know, from buying tickets, to chosing your mode of travel, to figuring out which car is 'second class', or how to deal with a person occupying your reserved seat. This site really is a gold mine.
I take no credit for this information. The author of that site (Alice Twain) has devoted great time and effort in collecting the tips as indicated. Many thanks Alice from our VT readers..., you will save us all a lot of confusion.
If you have found this tip to be of assistance to you, please send me an e-mail so I in turn may notify the author. She really deserves a lot of credit for compiling this wealth of information. ....Pa (mapakettle)
- Budget Travel
Quick train ticket purchases to Venice
If you want to travel to Venice, Verona, or any other close destination (within 40 km's), go to the baggage storage area, and buy a ticket from the clerk who also can store your luggage for you. You miss the long lines, and tickets cost the same as from ticket agents or from the machines (and usually one or more are down for maintenance), and if you're returning the same day, buy a return ticket, it'll save you having to line up later. I believe this service is available at other train stations, and tickets could be purchased for their local area also. If in doubt, ask.
The customer service representative in Padova is very helpful....I can't remember his name, but will update when I can. (he speaks English)
As a point of interest, a pair of 'return' tickets to Verona from Padova cost 9.80 euro. These tickets are for the Regionale trains. If you have need to upgrade to Eurostar due to scheduling difficulties as Ma Kettle and I did last night (we missed our cheapy train), buying a suppliment from the conductor will cost an 'additional' 11.98 euro. Quite a difference in price.
The return trip was fast, and extremely comfortable, and this was only second class. First Class on Eurostar is an unnecessary expense, even for longer distances.
Automated Ticket Vending Machines...learn how
These machines are great...when they are functional. First thing to look for, are signs taped to the machine advising of a malfunction. Second, not all machines accept credit cards, or conversely, will accept cash (often will not accept 50 euro bill, so carry smaller denominations). Look for the permanently attached notice affixed to the face of the machine. We have stood patiently in many lines, only to find the machine would not accept our payment method. LOOK FIRST.
All machines display flags of origin, just like ATM machines do, select your language on the touch screen. Just follow the directions given, but be advised if you must 'spell' your destination, the touch screen is not very accurate. Check to see if the letter you touched actually was displayed. Speed does not work here. Take your time, and don't hesitate to look over your shoulder at a fellow traveller, and shrug, with a questioned look on your face. They are very willing to assist. (...they want you out of the way so they can purchase their own ticket)
I suggest you practice on a machine while waiting for your connection. You can do all the functions, up to the point of inserting payment, just to see how they work. Will save you time and anxiety the next time you need to make a last minute connection.
After your purchase, remember to validate your ticket. Also, check for change if you used cash. The machine is slow on giving it.
Did another bus tour today...
Ma Kettle and I had gone down to Prato to wander the huge open air market, bought two pair of pants for twelve euro, a 100% cotton table cloth for six euro, and found ourselves with only a 100 euro bill, plus coinage, and no one 'would' change it. We looked for an ATM, but couldn't find any around the square.
We had no choice but to go in search of this ellusive money minder, but, to no avail. We found ourselves in unfamiliar territory, and having walked many miles already today, we decided to treat ourselves to a bus ride home. Well, we hopped on the first bus that came along. It was a #8, and knew it would take us back to the train station, and we could walk home from there. Problem was, we went the wrong way. Too confident, to tired to check. We just 'assumed'.
Another adventure begins. Ok, this isn't club hopping, but for our age, it is exciting. We travelled for miles, going the wrong way, and discovered neighbourhoods we didn't know existed. We saw restaurants we'd heard about, found portable beds (for our summer visitors) and spotted an English bookstore (we think, we're still discussing who is right in this matter), and the list goes on. We found the area we got lost in last November, late at night (another story), and saw 'why' we got lost. (I was right...)
All in all, a productive day for the 'kettles'.
As I said, not 'clubbing', but for us, almost like a trek through the Amazon Rain Forest. Remember, we were tired....
- Budget Travel
Automated ticket machines 'speak' English...
The automated ticket machines found at the train station take a bit of getting used to, however the task is easier than you think.
The opening screen allows you to chose the language you will do the transaction in. Just 'touch' the flag of your choice. Follow the steps, but be aware that you will be offered various 'classes' of travel, one more expensive than the next. It is interesting to compare the prices, often there isn't too much of a difference.
You can play with the machine, and can go all the way with various transactions to get used to how it works, and you can 'escape' at the very end once it indicates the price.
Suggest you check the departures board prior to purchasing a ticket to find out when each train 'class' to your destination leaves. You may wish to purchase a more expensive ticket in order to depart earlier. Remember, if you decide to wait for a cheaper train, and then spend your idle time in the restaurant, then you may have defeated your purpose.
Don't let it deter you, take your time, and don't be intimidated by the long lines of people behind you.
- Budget Travel
Check the Departure board....
Departure times, and departure platforms tend to change, so check the 'arrivals/departures' board before heading out with luggage in tow. If you miss a connection due to a change in platforms, and even if the change occurred at the very last moment, tough tooty. The administration consider it your responsibility to keep yourself apprised of any and all changes.
The locals may hear announcements over the loudspeaker, but if you are Italian 'challenged', then announcements don't help much. On the lighter side, most announcements sound like Darth Vader anyway...
The binario is the 'gate' or 'platform' that the train is departing from. The boards are located overhead, both in the station itself, and on every platform.
When you arrive on the binario (platform), note that they are numbered, but each side (left/right) is different. Don't be careless. Also, as the train is arriving, check the other lit box indicating which train it is. Be aware that it may indicate the final destination of the train, rather than your destination. A map of train stations is invaluable to have.
getting there by train
Padova is on the main train line between Milano and Venezia. from Milano it takes about 2.30 hours and trains leave more or less every hour. From Venezia Mestre to Padova it's only 30 minutes - so maybe it's a good idea to stay overnight in Padova (it's much cheaper) and then commute to Venezia to sightsee
A good idea if you want to...
A good idea if you want to visit Padua is to buy a 'Biglietto Unico' (one Ticket), valid at most of the museums in Padua and good for one year. There’s also a ticket for the monuments and museums in the province. You can buy both of them at all the monuments and museums that they give access to and at the tourist offices.
The best way to get to Padova...
The best way to get to Padova is either by Train from Venice, Verona or Milan (best using the intercity IC) or else by bus.
The best way to see Padova is definately on foot. In one or two days one can certainly see the most important monuments and piazzas and basilicas in the city. Also, by walking one always tends to savour the atmosphere of a place better.
To arrive to the city, u can...
To arrive to the city, u can use any kind of transport it has good accesses.
The best way to get around is by public transport or on foot to prebent the environement and enjoy more with the atmosphere of Padova
Driving our car in old town...
Driving our car in old town Padova wasn't the easiest
because of their narrow streets. However, from our
Hotel we could walk a couple miles and be at the train
station. From there you can take a nice 40 minute train
ride to Venice and not have to worry about the driving.
I would suggest anyone wanting to go to Venice, to stay
in Padova. More reasonable rates, not so touristy and
Padova is a beautiful city.
Train to mestre
There are very frequent trains to Venice Santa Lucia station, 3 Euro and 40 minutea by regional train, up to 20 Euros and 20 minutes by fast trains
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