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September 2010

How to buy train tickets in Italy

Trenitalia ticket machines at Termini Station in Rome

ABOVE: A row of Trenitalia ticket-vending machines at Termini Station in Rome.

One obvious way to buy train tickets in Italy is stand in line at the railroad station's biglietteria, or ticket office. Unfortunately, queues in large stations are often horrendous, especially on weekends and during high season. The situation can be so bad that, at the Stazione Termini in Rome, there's a sign near the ticket windows with a list of other ticket vendors (such as newsstands, tobacconists, and travel agencies) in or near the station.

Fortunately, you don't need to stand in line if you just want a point-to-point ticket (either one-way or roundtrip) rather than a complicated routing. Just go to a Trenitalia ticket-vending machine and use the touch-sensitive display to buy your ticket. You can pay with cash, a debit card, or a credit card.

The machines are multilingual (for the most part) and aren't difficult to use. For illustrated step-by-step instructions, see the Trenitalia ticket machines article at Rome for Visitors

bmibaby brings the Prague State Opera to its passengers

In a post on on our Venice Travel Blog, we described how bmibaby--a UK budget airline--entertained passengers on its East Midlands-Venice route with live theatre and a Vivaldi-playing violinist. 

But even before that, bmibaby's airline impresarios were delilghting passengers (and, not coincidentally, whipping up publicity) with inflilght "enterplanement." Here's a YouTube video clip of a Prague State Opera singer performing during a flight from Britain to the Czech Republic:

Video: bmibaby