Wednesday 1 January 2020

Porter service for Italian trains - Frecciarossa and Frecciargento trains

Most Italian railway stations no longer provide baggage trolleys. If your bags have some kind of wheels on them, it's usually no problem to get to your carriage. If you're evidently having difficulty lifting the bag into the train or, once inside, up onto the baggage rack, usually someone nearby will offer to help. If no one offers spontaneously, just ask the nearest strong-looking man - I've never known this request to be refused.

Porter service for Italian trains
Luggage trolleys are no longer available in most Italian railway stations.

Nevertheless, there is a porter service for Italian trains - Frecciarossa and Frecciargento trains. Passengers who are concerned about carrying heavy baggage to and into their carriage and vice versa might be interested to know that Trenitalia offers limited porter service on an advance booking basis, as follows:

1. The service is available ONLY at Roma Termini, Firenze SMN, Bologna Centrale, Milano Centrale and Venezia SL stations.

2. The service is available ONLY for Frecciarossa and Frecciargento trains arriving or departing between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., daily.

3. You must BOOK the service by calling 892021 in Italy, NO LATER THAN 8 p.m. of the evening PRIOR to your date of travel. You will be asked to provide the details of your ticket, including the PNR reservation code.

4. For departing passengers, the meeting point with the porter is agreed upon with the operator at the time of the booking call (e.g. at the head of a numbered platform). For arriving passengers, the meeting point is directly in front of the carriage in which the passenger is seated, at the time the train actually arrives in the station.

5. The cost of the service is a flat 5 Euros, payable directly to the porter: Official porter service

Separate and apart from the porter service described above, Trenitalia also offers a door-to-door luggage transportation service through a third party company, for people who prefer not to take luggage on the train: Official baggage service

Moving luggage and baggage in Italian railway stations
Those bags are not all hers!

In many large stations there are independent and also organised groups individuals who offer to transport passengers' bags. They are mostly Indians and Arabs. This activity is illegal and the authorities discourage passengers from availing themselves of this service, but no vigorous efforts are made to put a stop to it. I would guess that as long as you fix your price beforehand, there would be no problem letting them move your luggage.

An additional note - there are no baggage lockers in any Italian railway station (none in Europe, in fact), due to the possibility of bombs being left in them. There are manned baggage storage locations which should not be assumed to be open 24 hours a day - most are not. Usually your passport will be photocopied when you deposit your gear. These deposits are not cheap so you should condense your baggage a far as practical.

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