Eurocity train from Venice Italy to Bern Switzerland.
Day 407 – April 13th, 2015.
First up a spot of breakfast with a view of the Ponte degli Scalzi bridge.
My memories of train travel in Europe are good ones having made a couple of Interail trips back in the 90’s with Moni. Today they are called Eurail trips and the rules and areas in Europe are slightly different nevertheless if I was 26 and under I know we would be doing it again and again.
Today we are catching the train from Venice to Bern via Milan We need to change stations in Milan and continue on to Switzerland.
Having found out how to get the cheapest train tickets for travel in Europe I made sure to follow this advice and sure enough I managed to buy really cheap train tickets for both legs of our trip, Venice to Milan and Milan to Bern, here is proof of my receipt.
Cheap train ticket from Venice to Bern 2015
Venezia St Lucia station
Once we checked out of the Adua Hotel and I managed to get the last of the bags to the station which is only just down the road, a reason why I booked the hotel close to the St Lucia train station.
The station is very clean and open, with a few eateries and shops. As you can see we were at the station with plenty of time before our train.
Our first train is the TrenItalia Frecciabianca 9732 from Venice to Milan departing at 3.20pm In Milan we will change trains and board the EuroCity 56 towards Berne. We only have a few minutes (28) in Milan to change trains by negotiating platforms and masses of people with our luggage in hand.
PNR Self-service tickets validation
The photo above show are seat locations that you get at the moment of purchase and you need to print out your tickets. The first part of the trip from Venice to Milan our self printed tickets were fine, however the second leg from Milan to Bern was a PNR ticket. With PNR tickets you need to have them validated at the station, read below the terms.
Below are the various ticket machines that can be found in Venezia St Lucia. I did try to use the machine on the left to validate my ticket but it wasn’t successful. They do warn you about that on the print out you get which you can clearly see written above on mine.
The next option was to visit the ticket service area, which is easy to find. Here a lady came to my aid and took my print out and returned with two tickets for the Milan to Bern journey, all very painless… I think I’d not even bother with the machine and instead go direct to the ticket service area.
TrenItalia Frecciabianca 9732 to Milan
Our seats on the TrenItalia Frecciabianca 9732 were facing each other along the window and as our carriage was full we both had passengers beside us, not a problem apart from the man next to Moni was on his phone the entire journey speaking French, African, or a mix of both. The man opposite was rather annoyed with it and said something at the end of the trip. Some people just don’t have any etiquette.
The train journey was fine and we passed some nice places, even the Fincantieri shipyard where a new Holland America ship was being built.
Even though we left on time the train was running a little late coming into Milan Centrale station. Milan station is end station, by that I mean the trains do not pass through and out, they must stop and go back out the way they came in.
I struggled along with the bags
We made sure that we are one of the first to get off the train and have our big rucksacks at the door well before entering the station. Finally we get off and make our way as quickly as possible to the end of the platform. I wait with the bags as Moni checks the displays to negotiate which platform is our next chariot.
This reasonably simple task of changing platforms is made very painful by having to lug the bags around by hand. The lack of trollys to use for your bags is very dissapointing, Bern station was the same, if not for Stefano knowing where to find one.
Anyway I struggled along with the bags, even though not very heavy, having to carry them with haste they feel like lead weights.
We made it to the platform and the train making our way along to the right carriage for our seats.
EuroCity 56 train to Bern
The train was full and naturally with us being part of the last passengers with our luggage it was fun trying to find a space for them. They really don’t make it easy for people traveling with luggage, smaller overhead spaces, hardly any space between seats and a luggage rack that might hold 4 bags.
I guess we had pure luxury when we took the Amtrak train from Vancouver to Portland, with that journey our bags had their own carriage, and we had space for our carry on.
Very little space for the bags
Whinging apart, we departed on time from Milan and made our way towards Bern. This journey we had seats next to each other in another packed carriage again with little to no space for the bags. We stuffed them in to a couple of places along the car and relaxed for the trip.
We were seated facing backwards which is ok, but not my favourite by choice so when after a few stops a group of four around a table got off we quickly moved in before the next passengers got on. Even though our seats we had were reserved, (small signs above the seats tell if a seat is reserved for parts of the trip) it was interesting to see that people paid no attention to the reserved sign and took any free space.
We enjoyed the rest of the trip into Switzerland. We shared a cheese plate and had a coffee each, before arriving in Bern where our good friend Stefano was on the platform waiting for our arrival.