After navigating customs and collecting our luggage, which kind of took for ever (and there was NO WHERE to sit while we waited for them to load one blessed piece of luggage on the carrosel at a time) we decided that rather than dropping the Euros for a taxi from the Rome airport to the Termini to catch our train to Florence, we'd take the Leonardo Express as detailed in our Rick Steves guidebook (note that this is not a free plug for Rick Steves, this is a critical detail because later in our trip we actually run into the Steves himself. Also, he may or may not be called "The Steves" henceforth in this blog since that's what we called him and his book the whole trip). We were briefed on how to appropriately use train tickets in Italy by Christine who spent time living in Rome. While we got lots of useful advice while planning this trip, Christine and Rick Steves were the two bulletproof resources that were never wrong. So we validated our tickets and with the first heave of my suitcase onto the train I immediately regretted packing so much. If I could do it again, I'd bring half as much stuff. Lesson learned.
|Successfully navigated to the Rome Termini|
|Trying to figure out how to read a train schedule|
Then we noticed our tickets were different than the ones everyone around us had. We got ours through our travel agent. Then it occured to us that we didn't in fact have tickets but just a restervation or a voucher. So we frantically ran to the ticket kiosk and tried to enter our number in order to print our our real tickets, meanwhile our train leaves in 10 minutes. We are a litte hysterical. Kind Italian strangers attempt to show us how to use the machine but we assume that they are either scam artists or pickpockets (a fair assumption at most train stations in Italy). In retrospect, they were probably just kind strangers tired of watching us stare at it, and then our ticket, and then the machine, and then cram it in there and then walk away defeated. No joke, this went of for 30 minutes.
Finally we corner a TrenItalia representative and tell him about our problem. He looks at our ticket and says, "You don't need to validate that type of ticket". What? This was never mentioned by The Steves?! I kind of don't believe him but I am tired, I just get on the dang train knowing full and well that at my level of exhaustion I could easily create a histerical crying-fit scene* that would surely cause a conductor to take pity on a couple of American Idiots fresh off the plane.
*Don't judge. I will never see anyone on that train again except for my husband. And I think he wouldn't complain if it got us out of a fine.
We end up passing off our tickets without any question (though I still feel like some kind of fugitive) and riding in relative peace to Florence. I say relative peace because the couple of teenagers across from us made out during half the ride. Full on making out, with tounge flapping around. You know what also didn't help? They were gross. Not just inappropriate-PDA-gross, but God-hit-them-with-an-ugly-stick gross.
|Adjusting my scarf in our hotel room in Florence|