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Train Tips (20)

Beware Trenord When In Italy

I took a train on Oct 8, 2015 from Cental Station Milan to Bergamo Italy. I was met at the ticketing machine by a local who took over when I went to buy a ticket and expected some money at the end of the transaction. Most times you buy a ticket for a train in Italy you will pass through a gate where the ticket is validated. When you travel on a regional train out of Milan Central this is not the case.

As the train approached Bergamo I was asked by a an official looking man to produce my ticket, once I gave it to him he started carrying on in Italian calling me stupid ( I don't think he knew I could speak basic Italian) I asked what the problem was and he told me I did not validate my ticket, I apologised and said I was not aware I had to do this as there are no signs that I could find indicating this needed to be done. He then turned the ticket over and pointed to some small English text on the back of the ticket that says if you do not validate your ticket you may receive a fine. I told him I did not see this as there is nothing to say you must read the terms and conditions when buying the ticket. He then told me that if he came to my country we would do the same. I told him that if he came to Australia and this happened he would be asked politely to ensure that when he traveled again by train to beware to validate his ticket and that would be the end of it. He then called over two large looking chaps in what most would identify as security which I think was an attempt to intimidate me. I asked him what needed to be done to sort it and he told me to pay a fine. I told him ok as I was late for a meeting I was attending. The fine was 18 euros which I thought was a bit rich but as I was late I paid it and left.

When I returned to Milan Central I thought I would go and ask Trenord customer service what the breakdown was for my fine. I was told that due to me not validating my ticket in a yellow machine at the station ( not so easy to find I can assure you) I incurred a fine for 8 euros, I then asked what the balance was for and was told it was for 2 more tickets. I asked why was I charged for two more tickets if I has already purchased a ticket in the morning before I left. He told me that I must have been travelling with another person. I insisted I was on my own but he told me how can you prove this. In the end he told me that I was entitled to have my original ticket refunded and that was it.

The message here is beware when travelling in Italy by any method of transport, be sure you understand the terms and conditions of travel and don't be afraid to ask for an explination if you feel you are being taken for a ride. Most importantly make sure you validate your train tickets.

Oct 18, 2015

Cisalpino tilting train

I arrived at Milan Central Station on a Cisalpino tilting train from Spiez, Switzerland.

These trains go under the Swiss Alps through the new Lötschberg Basis-Tunnel, which was built from 1998 to 2006 and was opened for full-scale scheduled rail traffic in December 2007.

This new tunnel is about four hundred meters lower than the original Lötschberg tunnel from the year 1913, and it shortens the distance from Spiez to Brig by about ten kilometers.

The tilting train is the one on the left in the photo, and on the right is a conventional (non-tilting) Cisalpino train.

The advantage of the tilting trains is that they can lean into the curves and thus go faster through mountainous routes than conventional trains. But the downside is that some people start feeling queasy if the leaning is too severe.

Update: The Cisalpino company ceased operations in December 2009 because of numerous problems with maintenance and punctuality, and because people complained about feeling nauseous on the tilting trains. (I didn't have any of these problems, but a lot of other travelers did.)

Now the trains between Switzerland and Italy are again operated directly by the Swiss and Italian railways, mainly under the name "EuroCity", so in the timetable they are called EC instead of CIS. I haven't traveled this route since the change took place, so I can't say what effect it has had, if any, on punctuality and comfort.

Nemorino's Profile Photo
Jun 25, 2014

traveling by train

Milano Centrale, situated in Piazza Duca d'Aosta, is the train railway station inaugurated in 1931. It is also one of the main railway stations in Europe. The station was designed by architect Ulisse Stacchini, in 1912, but the construction proceeded very slowly, due to a big economic crisis in Italy. Rather simple design, at the the beginning, became more and more complex, especially when Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister in 1922. His general idea was that the Milano Centrale represent the power of the fascist regime. The great steel canopies, 341 m long, was designed by Alberto Fava.
Regular daily international destinations connecting Milan with Bern, Lugano, Geneve, Zurich, Paris, Vienna, Barcelona and Munich. Besides great number of local trains to surrounding places, there are number of domestic destinations to Bologna, Venice, Turin, Rome and Neaples.

croisbeauty's Profile Photo
Jan 30, 2014

To and from Milan by train

We did two day trips by train during our trip: One to Lugano and one to Stresa.

When we went to Lugano we just went to Stazione Centrale and bought a ticket at a ticket machine. This was an EC train and the ticket was around 20€ per person. This was more expensive than the regional train, but the journey was very comfortable. The EC train is very fast and has very nice compartments.
On our way back, we bought tickets at the ticket machine in Lugano and this time took the regional train, the cost was only about 12 or 13CHF (unfortunately I forgot to write down the exact price). The journey was not as convenient, though. Although the regional train was very comfortable and clean as well, it was much slower and did a lot more stops, and moreover, we had to change trains in Chiasso. This train does not go to Stazione Centrale, but to Milano Porta Garibaldi.

One day later, we took a regional train to Stresa and the same one back in the evening, a single ticket for this journey is 7,40€. Again, we bought the first ticket at the ticket machine in Stazione Centrale, and the ticket back at the ticket office in Stresa.

While the ticket of the EC train comes with seat reservations, we did not encounter any seat reservations on any regional trains. On the EC train, we were a little confused at first - the seats in the train do not indicate at all if the seat is reserved or not. You need to have a look at your ticket and just go to your seat, but contrary to Germany or the UK, there are no indications on the seat itself.

The ticket machines in Centrale are very easy to use. The instructions are displayed in several languages (you can choose one), and are easy to follow. You can either pay cash or by credit card. There are plenty of machines in the basement of the train station. There is also an information centre, but the queues there were so immensely long that I would avoid it if possible.
When you get to the platforms, there are two huge electronically information boards displaying the departing trains, the time, platform and destination, and all the stops the train will have on the way to the destination. Again, very easy to understand and very useful!

ettiewyn's Profile Photo
Aug 20, 2012
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Milano P.G., Cadorna & public art

Apart from Milano Centrale, there are several smaller train stations which you might to have to go through. One we encountered was Milano Porta Garibaldi (Milano G.P.) The first time was when we went back from Lugano and just bought a ticket for the regional train from Lugano to Milan. We had to change trains in Chiasso and only then found out that the regional train was not going to Centrale, but only to Porta Garibaldi. This was not a problem, though, as P.G. is also on the Metro network, and is only two stops from Centrale, so we just bought a single journey ticket for 1,50€ when we arrived and took the next Metro train to Centrale.
We also liked Porta Garibaldi because it has a big SPAR supermarket - as we did not find any other supermarket close to our accommodation, we were happy to find this one and stocked up on water and a few groceries both times we came through this train station.

Cadorna is another train station close to Castello Sforzesco and in the past was the main stop of the Malpensa Express, however, in the meantime this train service has been extended to Centrale, but it still stops here. Of course Cadorna is also on the Metro network, and we came through here several times, when we went to Santa Maria delle Grazie, and to Corso Magenta and the Castello on our last day.
In front of Cadorna there is a big public artwork which is very prominent with its colourful appearance. It is called "Needle, thread and knot" and was constructed by Claes Oldenburg, a Swedish pop art artist who also designed the dropped cone at the Neumarkt in Cologne, as I was surprised to learn! Isn't it wonderful when traveling teaches you more about your own home? :-)

Picture 1 shows the artwork, while Picture 2 shows a view of Cadorna station.

ettiewyn's Profile Photo
Aug 20, 2012

Italian International Train Hub

Milan is a significant train hub in the north of Italy. It receives international trains from Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland as well as trains from Austria, Germany and France.

From Milan, there are high speed lines to Bologna (and on to Rome) and Turin. In addition, conventional railways connect to Bologna, Turin, Venice, Genoa, Domodossola (for the Simplon and Bern), Chiasso (for the Gotthard and Zürich Hauptbahnhof) and Lecco.

The train from Geneva to Milan is a great alternative to flying, taking your through The Alps and past the Italian lakes. Ticket prices vary but the further out you book, the better the bargain! Read my Travelogue on my own journey from Geneva to Milan.

When purchasing train tickets at Italian stations, it is important to validate your tickets at the machines. These are usually yellow and located at the start of each platform or within the walkways through to the platforms. If your platform's machine is out of service, it is important to locate a functioning machine, if ALL machines are non-functional, it is important to contact the conductor of the train as soon as you board. Italy operates few station-based ticket checks but does perform train-based ticket checks and there are no options to purchase on board; hefty fines are imposed for those found on trains without validated tickets.

Gillybob's Profile Photo
Jul 15, 2012

By train

We arrived in Milano Centrale by train from Zurich (Switzerland). After I had left home I realised that I had forgotten to bring my hairbrush and my comb. So we arrived just around 10 pm on a Saturday evening and someone in our train compartment told me the Italian words for comb (petine) and brush (spazzola).

There was still a kind of souvenir etc. shop open and I went to the counter and asked for a petine and sure enough they helpful people opened a drawer and asked whether I needed a petine or a spazzola and even gave me the choice for 2 brushes at around Euro 3.50 a piece. The essence of the story don't give up and just ask! I would never have guessed that this type of shop would carry such items.

Travelling back home 2 weeks later, I arrived in Milano Centrale again and had to buy a ticket to Switzerland. Basically you can do this at the ticket machines but since I have a half-fare card for Siwtzerland I needed the ticket office.

If you intend to use the ticket office, be prepared to line up for half an hour or thereabouts! This is after you searched for it for 10 minutes or so! Well you will find it downstairs hidden away.

Same goes for the toilets. There are signs that send you all over the place and when you finally find the well hidden toilets you need to have the right coins to pass the turnstile. It costs Euro 1.00, so don't bring anything bigger than a 1 Euro coin. Good luck!

Another thing that sent me into despair was the sandwich/drink shop. You cannot just point to want you want and pay for it. They will send you to the cashier to the other end first. Pressed for time and not having an idea of the name of the thing I wanted, I gave up.

If you need a bus to the airport, then leave the station to your left. There is a bus to Malpensa for Euro 10.00 and other buses.

So have fun in the Milano Centrale station :-)

yumyum's Profile Photo
Jun 11, 2012

To Milan on the train

While I do not have practical information here for the train system in the Milan area, I do have two important points to share.
First of all is that the trains we experienced arrived according to schedules posted. The coaches were clean and comfortable.
Secondly the plans for the main stations, directions and tickets, were relativly simple and easy to understand, even if not in English. Sometimes it took a few minutes to figure out, but it was possible, unlike others that we have experienced over the years of travel.
The photo with Itzik,Tal,Nissiem,Ziv and Zohara was taken at the Garibaldi Station where we transfered from train to metro.

Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
Jul 20, 2011
Diana75's Profile Photo


"MILAN - As I've always wanted to visit"
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draguza's Profile Photo


"Home sweet home!"
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Krystynn's Profile Photo


"La Dolce Vita In Milano ;-)"
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ettiewyn's Profile Photo


"Milan - surprising and fascinating"
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Train and Bus from Milan to Bellaggio

Hello the easier is take the train from STAZIONE CADORNA in Milan (there is a metro line 1 and 2) to Como 1 h, after that you can take the bus leave from near the station in Como to Bellaggio 1h 20 min and cost more or less 2,60 Euro.
oaiC oaiC

Viajero_Milano's Profile Photo
May 25, 2011

High-speed railroad countdown

At the moment I took this photo we were just 263 days, 7 hours, 2 minutes and 48 seconds away from the opening of the new high-speed railway line between Milan and Bologna.

The construction of this new stretch of track began in November 2000 and is scheduled to be completed by December 15, 2008.

The new line will be 182 kilometers long, and for part of this distance the trains will be able to travel at up to 300 kilometers per hour.

A train trip from Milan to Bologna will then take exactly an hour, instead of the one hour and 42 minutes that it takes now.

Second photo: Milan's Central Station (Milano Centrale) with the high-speed (Alta Velocità) railroad countdown clock. Now it's only 261 days, 13 hours, 33 minutes and 2 seconds till the opening of the new line.

Nemorino's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011

Milan Trains

I used the sleeper train to travel to Milan from Paris and back again after a visit to Venice and also to reach the city centre from the airport. I was very impressed by the central station's size and grand appearance. Despite the size, it was not difficult to find the right platform or connection with the metro as it is very well laid out with clear signs.

We enjoyed the sleeper train journey very much, although having left on a warm summer's day, we kept the window open and woke up shivering in the mountains in the middle of the night. The bedlinen provided was made of a bonded fibre material with some stuffing inside, rather like a giant disposable nappy, but was very comfortable nonetheless and we were amused by the English translation of one of the signs in the train, which informed us that "it is dangerous to put oneself out of the window."

We found the train journey between Venice and Milan very comfortable and our train kept good time, however it turned out that we should have paid a supplement on our pre purchased ticket to use the train that we did and we were charged accordingly when the ticket inspector arrived in our carriage. I'm still not sure if we were charged just the supplementary cost or if we were fined for not purchasing the ticket in advance.

The airport to city service I used on a later visit was extremely convenient and efficient, with regular trains leaving Malpensa airport’s station, which I found well signposted from the arrivals area, for Cadorna station in the city centre, a journey of around three quarters of an hour. Cadorna station has connections with the green and yellow metro lines. The cost for this journey was a little under ten Euros, I think and the carriages were comfortable, with plenty of room for passengers and their luggage.

Janani's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011

By Train

Milan has the major railway system in Northern Italy, at the center of important national and international lines. The main station is Milano Centrale, which is very near to the center of the city. From here trains leave for all parts of Italy and so do international connections to France, Switzerland, and Germany.
The station of Milano Cadorna serves the Malpensa Express for the airport and the FNM regional direct trains to the north of Milan.For times please consult the Trenitalia site or call the green number 89 20 21

paoseo's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011

Things To Do Near Milan

Things to Do

Basilica San Babila

One of the oldest churches in Milan, originally dating from the 4th century, San Babila was once regarded as one of the most important churches in the city after the Duomo and Sant'Ambrogio. But...
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Things to Do

Piazza San Babila

The Piazza San Babila is a pleasant little square at the heart of Milan's fashion and shopping district. Its most striking building is its namesake church the Basilica of San Babila. This was...
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Things to Do

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Starting on the right side of the Dome and ending in Piazza San Babila, Corso Vittorio Emanuele is a famous shopping area in Milan. Important Italian and international brands, such as H&M, Zara,...
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Things to Do

Chiesa San Pietro in Gessate - Church

There is the statue of Virgin Mary and many vow gifts in the altar. Ambrogio Bergognone (Burgundian) also known as Ambrogio di Stephano da Fossano painted the fresco showing the scene of the Funeral...
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Things to Do

Palazzo Castiglioni

Sommaruga is the most well known Art Nouveau architect of Milano. His first important work is the Palazzo Castiglioni in the corso Venezia, 47 built between 1901 and 1904 as a total work of art .The...
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Things to Do

Chiesa San Bernardino alle Ossa - Church

The little chapel near the big church on Piazza Sato Stefano is a real find. Thousands of skulls and bones from different Milanese graveyards are collected and displayed here. Some crazy man even made...
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Getting to Milan


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