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Travel – Bloganuary Prompt 14

I prefer to travel by train, especially since here in Italy it is the easiest mode of travel. The experience has changed since I moved here though, years ago all trains would wind through the countryside, sometimes slowing near small towns, speeding past open fields and mountains. The modern trains mostly run through underground tunnels, mostly without the scenery. These modern trains have wi-fi, usb charging ports, clean seats and a/c, and are much faster than their predecessors from the 1980’s and ’90’s. Some of the old trains had the six-seat compartments, a bit like the Hogwarts Express, with a fold-down table under the window (and a built-in ashtray, one could smoke just about anywhere at the time) and seats that would slide forward slightly to allow the passengers to lay back a bit. They were probably from the 1950’s or ’60’s, considering the decorative artwork in them, and were charming for a young girl from the wilds of New Mexico.

I prefer trains because, once on board, I have less to worry about, I can read a book or listen to music or have a chat with whoever I’m travelling with. These days, you don’t even need to stamp your ticket because they’re all e-tickets with a bar code or a serial number that the train conductors check on their pads.

I can get on a train and be in Firenze in an hour, tour the city, have lunch and maybe an aperitivo and hop on a train and be home for dinner time. The newer stations are sleek and look a lot like airports too. The old trains used to have the café carriage, where you could get an espresso or a sandwich. Coming back from a day at the seaside, we would stand next to the open corridor windows to try to cool off, there were stickers warning passengers in four languages to not lean out the windows and to not throw anything out the windows.

There is a famous scene from an old Italian film called “Amici Miei” where the people on the platform leapt up to slap the faces of the passengers leaning out the windows of the departing train.


Published by 30yearsinitaly

American born, transplanted in Italy at the age of 19 in 1987. Been living here ever since. Italian husband, Italian son and Italian cat.

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