Author – Robert Cannizzaro
Italian trains are infamously famous for a number of things, some good and some not so good. The primary operator of trains in Italy is Trenitalia and offers national rail transport as well as international connections for many neighboring European nations including France, Germany and Austria. As most know pick pocketing is a real and dangerous issue within all of Europe but on your long train journeys this is where it can be very deceiving and most passengers leave belongings and baggage unattended leaving pickpockets to run crazy. My tips are –
- Make sure you are one of the first to board the train to ensure your bags are stowed away in the luggage compartments at the bottom where they are hard to reach.
- Keep them in distance of your seat so you can keep a watchful eye on them as well as regular checkups on them.
- Be mindful of who’s in your carriage and be wary of suspicious characters.
Trenitalia is notoriously a target for gypsies, the homeless and pickpocketers. One encounter was on my trip from Rome to Venice, when we first boarded a train gypsies were allowed to roam free within the carriage to beg for money. One gypsy even tried to steal an American women’s bag right in front of her face. The use of child gypsies is also very common, beware of them too they will steal your passport and leave you stranded. Take no prisoners and leave the gypsies alone, they wont stop until you give them something so ignore them until they move onto the next passenger. The Trenitalia staff seem to do nothing about it. Also another less annoying trait of these trains is that in the hot summers there is no air-conditioning, this is more prevalent on the older trains. When you complain to staff members they say they have it on already or it doesn’t work, so take a fan or a little portable fan to keep you cool as you will be enduring a very sweaty journey.