Travelling in Italy: practical advice
Compared to the rest of the world, travelling in Italy has never been very simple. The road infrastructures are not of the highest level and very often trying to reach a destination can become a difficulty just by the misunderstandings of the traveller. More so, there is a certain diffused malpractice that the tourist (especially the foreigner who doesn’t speak Italian) always gets “ripped off” or “taken for a ride”. To avoid this, it is better that you arrive prepared and follow certain valid, general rules which apply more or less everywhere.
If you are already in Italy the most comfortable way to reach Venice is by train. From almost all the main Italian cities it is possible to get a high-speed train and reach Venice getting off at the Venice S. Lucia Station located in the centre of Venice old town. If you don’t have heavy luggage, coming out of the station you can proceed directly on foot or catch a ferry boat. The ferry station is located exactly in front of the train station and the same goes for the ticket office.
If you are planning on not walking too much but rather getting around by ferry it is better to purchase a day ticket or even a 2/3 day pass to save a bit of money. Calculate that a one-way ticket costs 7 euros!
On the Venice transport website http://actv.avmspa.it/it you will find the hours and the routes of the ferries. Getting around on the ferries is comfortable but slow, especially if taking the one which stops at each station. If you arrive in Venice by aeroplane, from the airport you should take the N.5 Bus which takes you to the S. Lucia Station.
There are combined tickets which include return fare to and from the airport (for details visit http://www.veneziaunica.it/it/e-commerce/services).
Ferries operate 24 hours a day (of course the number of operating routes is slightly more limited at night) If it is not necessary, avoid getting the taxi boats (very often also illegally run) which can cost up to 50/60 euros a trip.
If you arrive by plane in Milan there are various connections depending on the airport of arrival. Linate Airport is the only airport in the city, if you arrive here you can catch the Express Bus 73 which leaves you in San Babila Square (500mt in front of the Duomo) taking about 20 minutes. If you arrive at Malpensa, from terminal 1 you have two options: the “Malpensa Express” train arriving at Milan Cadorna or Milan Central Station (45’ – 50’) or the bus (1hr) arriving at Central Station. From Terminal 2 (only Easyjet flights) there is only the option of the bus which arrives at Central Station. Finally, even if you arrive at the Orio al Serio (Bergamo) Airport there is a bus for Central Station (45’) .
Getting around Milan, compared to other Italian cities, is actually very simple. There are 5 metro lines which cover the breadth of the city, many buses and trams which pass by regularly (download the app “MuoviMi” or “ATM” to calculate your routes) An ecological alternative is that of hiring a bicycle with the bike-sharing system (www.bikemi.com) – daily pass 4,5 euros, weekly 9 euros; there are many stations all over the city and there are a good number of bike lanes (sadly not all are continuous though)
Unlike Milan, Rome is much more disorganised and chaotic. The public transport is insufficient and there is an abundance of traffic. If you arrive by aeroplane, from Fuimicino Airport you can catch the train to Termini Station or Tiburtina Station (which also does intermediate stops at Rome Ostiense and Nomentana Station, about 1hr) Alternatively there is a bus which arrives at Termini Station (1hr) If you arrive at Ciampino Airport however, there is only the bus which takes you to Termini Station.
Rome has 2 metro lines (Line A and Line B), for the rest you are better off going by foot if you don’t want to have to wait for up to 30 minutes for buses and even risk being pick pocketed. Having said that, avoid the N.64 bus which goes from Termini Station to San Pietro, or be sure to be very vigilant! Most passengers are pick-pocketers who steal from the tourists who are intent on seeing the beauty of Rome from the window. Regarding the subject of taxis, please refer to the section dedicated to this subject (see below), even more so because in Rome you could wait half an hour or more to find a taxi.