TrenItalia - The Italian Railway System


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The World's Smallest Theatre in Vetriano


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Casa Marginetta  The symbol of Italy!

What our guests think ...

2. Chris & Marion (May 2004)

Following an enthusiastic recommendation, we 'followed in the footsteps' of Dave and Joan and stayed at Casa Marginetta for a week as part of a two week holiday which also started in Venice and ended in Rome!

To save a little money, we opted not to have a car whilst in Venice and instead travelled by train from Venice to Pisa and picked one up there, mainly because Dave had said that you can see much more of Tuscany by car.

He was probably right, but I have to say that we were well impressed with the Italian railways. Very comfortable, clean and punctual as well as extremely good value! 

They do have a bit of a weird pricing structure though, based - I think - on the type of trains involved in the journey.

For example the lowest fare from Venice to Pisa we could find was only 15.44 - just over a tenner - in second class. 

Via the faster Intercity service we chose it would have been 23.60 in second class!?!

Anyway, we saw that first class was only an extra 8.38, so we travelled over 200 miles 'in style' for about 20!

We booked and paid for our tickets online by credit card in England and picked them up with no fuss from a machine at Santa Lucia station in the heart of Venice - isn't technology wonderful? 

See for yourself on the "Trenitalia" web-site! 

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We loved Casa Marginetta and were especially surprised at the warm welcome we received from the locals! No English was spoken, but there were plenty of smiles!

We were even given a basket of home-grown fresh vegetables by a neighbour. Wow, what a taste! We've completely lost that experience in 'pre-packaged' England.

We did cook a few meals ourselves and had a couple of cosy nights 'in' with a good DVD or two and a few bottles of our favourite sparkler 'Pinot Chardonnay'. 15 a bottle in restaurants at home, but only a couple of quid in Italy! Who can resist?

The peace and tranquility of the place was amazing and it was truly a picture postcard view as far as the eye could see! It would have been good to get out a canvas and start painting, but I had to make do with the camera!

We could still see some snow on the mountain tops but, alas, we were too late to go skiing ... maybe next time!

Our favourite restaurant was 'Il Guerriero' - 'The warrior' - in Vetriano. Although it's a bit of a twisty drive to get there, for us it offered everything! A lovely ambiance, friendly staff and, of course, excellent food!

By the way, while you're in Vetriano, don't miss the chance to see 'The World's Smallest Theatre' as certified by the 'Guinness Book of Records'.

Anyway, having splashed out once on the most expensive item on the menu - prime fresh fillet steak in a creamy peppercorn sauce - we are now completely 'sold'. The fact that it cost only 12 Euros was a bonus - it would still be good value at twice the price - but don't tell the owner!

The chance to taste that steak again is one of the reasons we have booked Casa Marginetta again for 2005! 

However, this time we're going to stay there the whole time as there's still so much more to see and do in Tuscany.

Chris.