Florence to Rome

Staff member: Shariah // Trip date: Nov 2017

Florence, a city full of talented musicians, artists and gelato making geniuses! If you are ever in Italy, make sure you stop in and experience the "cradle of the Renaissance" in all its modern glory - it really is a site to see!

 

I spent a few days in Florence and after gaining a few kilos from all the amazing food, it was time to move on to the bustling capital, Rome.
I used a Frecciarossa service From Florence SMN station, which reached Rome Termini in about an hour and a half.

 

Within Florence SMN station, there are electronic information boards which let you know details on train arrivals and departures. When you are departing, the board should read the train number, the terminating destination (which may not necessarily be your destination), whether there is a delay and the platform the train will arrive on.

 

I found that a lot of services did not advise the platform number until roughly 10 minutes prior to departure - this was most likely due to current trains being delayed and sitting on the platforms that the arriving trains needed to be on.
So do not worry, your platform will be advised and if your anxiety starts to kick in, you can always speak to a ticketing officer for reassurance.

 

So far, Trenitalia's Frecciarossa service has been my favourite train to date! The stairs to board were not as steep as the Trenitalia Intercity trains so I was off to a good start already. I was sat in Business class where the chairs are leather and reclined just a little bit more than my TGV, TGV Lyria and Trenitalia Intercity trains did. I did notice, however, less legroom when compared to the TGV service - But I'm 5 foot 3, so it didn't bother me.

 

I found that my Frecciarossa service had more luggage storage, more room to store your bags in the overhead racks and you had space behind your chair to store some bags as well. My carriage also had 3 little TV's (one at each end of the carriage and one in the middle which was double sided) so I could track my journey and see how fast I was going.

 

This train also had a restaurant car on board where you could purchase meals and be seated in that car - this is only if you are travelling in Business class like myself. If you're travelling in Economy, you will usually purchase your meals from the Cafe car and return to your seat or you can choose to sit on one of the stools within the Cafe car.

 

One thing I have picked up on is that the Italian's are not very punctual and it is common to have delays. My train was delayed by 10 minutes, which didn't affect me in the slightest, but may have affected those who were continuing their travels by a regional train service, bus or plane.

 

When the delay was announced through the overhead PA system, the conductor advised that all Intercity and Freccia trains connecting at our via points would wait for us (hence why there are so many delays!) - but that didn't extend to regional services.

 

If you ever travel by train, I would highly advise you not to book a bus journey or flight on the same day as your train service in case of delays. Using a Eurail pass adds flexibility too! It allows you to travel on regional services free of charge, so if you ever miss your regional service, you can always take the following one without being out of pocket.

 

When arriving in Rome Termini, I found the station to be like a mini airport. It was filled with many busy travellers, stores like you would see in duty-free and a taxi bay outside. Once you have walked out from the platform area, there are three exits from the station. If you'd like a taxi, you will want to walk straight ahead - you'll most likely pass McDonald's and a big Nike store. If you make a left or right turn you'll end up on one of the busy streets where taxis aren't able to stop - but don't worry, you'll most likely see them turn into the taxi bay out front.

 

Also, it will be common for you to encounter beggars and scammers throughout Europe - It's kind of unavoidable and a great market for them. What I did to combat this was speaking Maori when they approached me - this language is completely foreign to them and they'll stop asking for money if there's a language barrier. A lot of Europeans have no idea where or what New Zealand is unless you mention the All Blacks or the Haka! I find this to be sweet and a little funny.

 

I also found that Europeans struggle with Kiwi and Australian accents, especially if you speak fast and use slang - which is what we commonly do! So if you don't know any Maori yourself, try to speak fast, use some slang and kind of mumble your words a little so they can't tell where a word starts and ends. This should help keep you moving and your money where it should be, in your pocket or wallet!

 

Europe can be quite cheap, but if you go around giving everyone loose change, you'll soon find that you've given 20-50 euros away, which could be used for a nice meal or an activity that you find while wandering around.

 

I hope these little tips help for your future travels and you enjoy the scenery that rolls past when choosing to travel by train. And definitely make sure you give Trenitalia's Frecciarossa service a try when you're in Italy - you won't regret it!

 

Ciao Bella!

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