You might think this would be easy, but every time I get on a Freccia Rossa, Freccia Bianca or Freccia Argento (Red Arrow, White Arrow or Silver Arrow) there is confusion over the seating arrangements.
These fast trains, which can travel at speeds of 250 kilometres per hour, are run by Trenitalia. They were previously called Eurostar Italia, but the name changed in 2012.
The whole thing can be very confusing for a first timer. You are in a bit of a rush, you have too much luggage and everything is unfamiliar. You can buy a ticket from the sales counter (expect a long wait) or from the automatic machines, a much speedier way to do it.
Here is the ticket you will most likely receive.
The circled and numbered items on the ticket are what you need to look for.
- This is the train number. Look for this on the departures notice board to see which platform (binario) your train leaves from. Your destination may not be the final destination of the train.
- Carozza is your carriage number, most important. If you get in the wrong carriage you will probably find someone sitting in your seat.
- Posti is your seat number. It will also tell you if you have a window seat, in this case, or an aisle seat.
There is no need to validate these tickets as they have a time and date.
You do need to validate tickets for regional trains as they are not dated and you can use them any time or date. The tickets will look similar, but there won’t be a carriage or seat number.
The validation machines should be near the entrance to the platforms. If you don’t validate your ticket you risk a fine.
I have a funny train story I’m sure my friend won’t mind me sharing. My friend’s son was due to arrive in Bagni di Lucca from Rome. His time of arrival came and went. I bit later there was a phone call. She said “Where are you?” He replied “I’m still in Rome. I wanted to catch the train to Florence. The bastards have changed the name to Firenze and I’m still here.” He did eventually arrive.