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Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

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Dorset
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Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

you must get your ticket validated (ie. stamped at a little machine) before boarding a train else you may be liable to a fine of up to 40 euros per person. Wish I'd known that before I travelled last week!!!!

Saint Marys, Ohio
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1. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

It gets discussed at regular intervals on this forum. It is also written about in virtually every guide book I've looked at.

UK
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2. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

Even I got fined TWICE last week and I am used to the trains out there - once because I was rushing to catch a delayed train (to get there a bit quicker) and selected myself as a child without realising (after buying my children's tickets). I then stamped it in a hurry but did it accidentally upside down.

The second time I got fined the machine took my notes but wouldnt take my coins to finish the transaction. The machine then gave me a credit note for the notes which I then had to join a very long queue (line) to get my money back the correct ticket - which I eventually did in excessive heat - then I rushed to catch the train (as I was now cutting it fine to catch the train I wanted) and FORGOT to stamp the ticket.

I've never been fined before so was gutted that this happened to me.

So, allow plenty of time to buy your tickets, have machine problems, join a long queue, remember to stamp the ticket on the UNDERSIDE (if its a regional train and not one that gives you a seat number that is) and catch the correct train.

Sigh.

Southwestern Ontario
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3. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

It is so easy to forget to stamp your ticket. Even though we well knew we needed to, we simply forgot until we saw the conductor checking tickets while enroute to Pisa. Lucky for us he wrote something on the back of each of our tickets--looked like date and time--and handed them back to us with a smile.

Southwestern Ontario
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4. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

It is so easy to forget to stamp your ticket. Even though we well knew we needed to, we simply forgot until we saw the conductor checking tickets while enroute to Pisa. Lucky for us he wrote something on the back of each of our tickets--looked like date and time--and handed them back to us with a smile.

Norwich, United...
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5. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

Kai, at least you remembered which to use between "look left, look right, look left again" and "look right, look left, look right again" ?

Peter

UK
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6. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

This also applies to bus tickets, stamp them in the machine on the bus as soon as you get on. Although bus ticket inspectors are not as conspicuous as they are on trains, they do exist and they do issue fines, both to locals and tourists.

Florence, Italy
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7. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

This is talked about all the time on the forum, I'm surprised that people are still unaware of the stamping issue!

So - here' a big tip to make future train travelers lives easier:

If you're running late and don't have time - or you've forgotten to stamp your ticket and you're already on the train (it happens!) - OR if the ticket stamping machine is broken, you can write in PEN the date and exact time on your ticket, and the ticket inspector will accept this.

Train inspectors are not tolerant of a tourist's excuse that they didn't know about stamping the ticket - I've watched this scene so many times on the trains on before, and seen travelers get so upset that it wasn't written anywhere, etc, but it's just that it's been tried so many times on them, so they really don't accept any sort of excuses (even the one that the ticket stamping machine is broken!!).

other things to know about:

- you only need to stamp regional train tickets as they don't have a time/date on them. Eurostar/frecciarossa tickets have the exact train, time and date so there's no need to stamp those. Though of course, if you're unsure and you just stamp all your tickets, there's no harm in that!

- splott's comment is right on. Bus inspectors are often "plain clothes" so less easy to spot. Both train and bus/tram inspectors come through very regularly, so do always be prepared if you don't want a fine!

Greater London...
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8. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

Actually, I think it's a good idea to validate your ticket whether it's essential to do so or not, that way you can establish an entrenched habit which hopefully might become second nature to you. Right, after imparting that precious little gem of advice, guess who will probably forget and therefore be fined the next time she takes a train in Italy :-)

UK
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9. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

The point I was making was I am used to the trains in Italy and this trip due to circumstances listed above, I just forgot (or stamped the wrong way up).

You are right, the fact you don't always need to stamp the tickets makes it so easy to forget. Personally I find it a frustrating system.

Florence, Italy
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10. Re: Top tip for train travel in Italy - get your ticket stamped

You're right, ladybracknell, in fact my Tuscan husband still always stamps every single and any ticket he gets, even the Eurostar ones (no matter how many times I remind him they don't need to be stamped!), simply out of habit. Well, it doesn't hurt does it?

MrsTeapot, stamping the wrong way up shouldn't be an issue, I don't know how many times I've stamped tickets in the strangest ways possible due to running for the trains (we spent a year living outside of Florence so I had to commute every day and this was a daily occurance for me!). Well, at least now you know that next time you forget you can always save yourself by hand writing the date and time on the ticket. Don't worry, it happens!