Upon my arrival in Italy, at the Venice Marco Polo Airport, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the lack of cars in the streets. I come from sunny South Florida, where traffic congestion and road rage are parts of any typical day in Miami. Roads are wide, infrastructure for biking is limited, and walking to work is not ideal. In Italy, public transportation is the one of, if not the most commonly used methods of travel.
The railroad infrastructure in particular, has been one of the most notable aspects of my first week in Italy. It is fast, easy, relatively affordable, and to my surprise, very comfortable! A single ticket for a one-hour ride on the Trenitalia train between Venice and Vicenza is just 6 euros. The trains are quiet, spacious, clean, and there are even USB ports between every seat.
The railroad infrastructure provides services across the whole country, reaching from Udine all the way to the southern tip of Italy in Syracuse. It amazes me how advanced and efficient public transportation is in Italy, especially when you consider the lack of such developed systems in the U.S.
Fun fact: Italy’s railroad infrastructure utilizes Maglev technology, which uses sets of magnets to elevate and move/stop the train. In other words, the trains are actually FLOATING and do not use friction brakes.