How to Travel by Train in Tuscany

How to Travel by Train in Tuscany
The verdant hillsides of Tuscany and its glimmering lakes make for an ideal outdoor adventure. There's nothing like falling asleep outside, wondering if Leonardo da Vinci had been there, too. One of the cheapest and most effective ways to move around Tuscany is by using the surprisingly well-developed train system. Serving not only tourist hot spots such as Florence and Siena, the train will take you to countryside villages that feel ripped from the Renaissance. Luckily, the ease of use for the rail system has improved over the last few decades, enabling anyone to ride the train. Just follow our simple guide to know how to do it.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Determine your trip. There are two ways you can go through Tuscany: planning ahead, or flying by the seat of your pants. Planning ahead takes care of a few headaches once in the country, but improvising along the way makes for great stories. Know when you're going, and where you're going.
Step 2
Get tickets. If planning ahead, the easiest way to do this is going to the Trenitalia (the national train service) website at trenitalia.com (which luckily has an English page). Here, you can enter your destination and your departure in a box on the front page, choose which remarkably cheap train you want to take and then pay with an accepted major credit card. Then you can choose to pick up the ticket when you get to the station. If not planning ahead, go to the station, where the best option is to use a ticket machine, which has an English language mode. If that's not possible, simply go to the ticket office ("biglietteria" in Italian) and buy your ticket there. Most clerks there speak basic enough English to help you.
Step 3
Find your train. If at a larger station, there will be multiple tracks for arriving and departing trains. Your ticket will list which one you need under "binario" ("track" in Italian). Make sure to validate your ticket in one of the bright yellow validation stations before you get on board. It's best to arrive 20 minutes early, but also prepare to wait longer than that, as trains tend to be late in Italy.
Step 4
Ride the train. Keep your ticket on you at all times, along with keeping your luggage in view. Trains in Italy, and especially in Tuscany, are known to have pickpockets. Keep an eye out for your stop, as the last thing anyone wants to do is get lost in a foreign country.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Brief Italian phrasebook: Track = binario Ticket office = biglietteria I want to go to = Voglio andare a Thank you = Grazie
 
Brief Italian phrasebook:
 
Track = binario
 
Ticket office = biglietteria
 
I want to go to = Voglio andare a
 
Thank you = Grazie
 
Keep your luggage in sight: Tuscan trains are full of pickpockets.

Article Written By Vincent Runyon

Vincent Runyon is a writer working out of Portland, Ore. His work has been featured in "The Oregon Voice" and "Portland Monthly." Runyon received two bachelor's degrees from the University of Oregon. His greatest passions are traveling to new and different places and enjoying a good basketball game. Usually the two are mutually exclusive.

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