Nov. 8, 2005: Day 4 in the Old Country

Nov. 8, 2005: Day 4 in the Old Country magnify
With Tuesday came the first trip on an Italian railroad — Trenitalia. For me, it was one of the moments I was looking forward to on this trip.Several years ago, I rode on a train in Germany. What strikes me about European train travel, when compared to that in America, is how well-used trains are, The train station in Florence was bustling — trains headed in a bevy of directions. A train pulled into the station and hundreds of people scurried about, either disembarking or boarding. The train was how they traveled.

Only in Washington’s Union Station or New York’s Penn Station might you find a scene like that in America.

On board, the ride was smooth and fast as the train traversed the Italian countryside. Houses passed — a blur outside the window. Sheep grazed. Cars sped along roads to unknown destinations (at least from my perspective). The couple across from me slept, waking up every so often to check on their baby.

Passengers conversed. Some slept. Occasionally, a woman made announcements on the train’s loudspeaker. About half way through the trip, the conductor checked our tickets without saying a word.

Every so often the train went dark as we passed through a tunnel. The car lit up again as we exited.

And so it went — the scene playing itself out over and over for 90 minutes.

Eventually, the train began to slow down. Increasingly, roads began to appear outside the train’s windows. More roads. More cars. It all signaled that we were approaching Rome.

Within minutes, we had arrived. We disembarked and headed toward the sights.

About Todd DeFeo 823 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.