My recent trip to Europe was a true “trains, planes, and automobiles” trip. Besides flying multiple airlines and renting a terrific Audi, we rode multiple trains. The most exciting experience was riding the Ferrari-red bullet train from Milan to Florence.
- No security (with rare exceptions). Thus, no hassles or frisking.
- Trains are rarely cancelled.
- Trains are almost always on time.
- You can take as much luggage as you can handle.
- Trains tend to connect city centers versus airports which are a long way away, involving expensive rides into town.
- Trains are usually faster, cheaper and more comfortable than air.
So when it makes sense, train it.
Even if it doesn’t make sense, riding the Ferrari train will bring a smile to your face. It’s called Italo , and is a privately owned train line in competition with the state owned train line Trenitalia (Italian Train). Everybody calls it the Ferrari train because it is fast, sleek, and candy apple red. It can go up to 223 mph and the head of the train company is Luca di Montezemolo, who is also the chairman of Ferrari.
When you arrive at the train station, this stunningly beautiful piece of machinery is a show stopper. We traveled in Club class, similar to First on a plane, sitting on comfortable leather seats whizzing from Milan to Florence. A monitor at the front of the cab tells you how fast you are going, and it’s fun to watch the acceleration. We had free WIFI, in-seat smart TV’s and light, complimentary food. The biggest problem with it, as far as I was concerned, is that the trip was too short. We also went through a ton of mountain tunnels, so views of the Italian countryside were fleeting.
I also rode trains throughout Switzerland on this trip. They were easy, punctual, and comfortable. You typically see views you can’t see any other way. I had a SwissPass which is an excellent value. There are other passes for different needs that may greatly improve your travel experience. Trains, in general, are often faster, cheaper, and more comfortable than air. Check it out.