A Semester in Italy – Transportation – by Sara Desrocher. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
Ciao ragazzi! I have been in Italy for two weeks now and after a couple of trips within the country, I finally feel that I am learning the tricks of how to travel in the country and I would love to share with all of you! I’ll start with bus transportation. The bus schedule is online and posted at bus stops, but I usually struggle with knowing which stop the bus comes to on which day. Last week a group and students and I stood at a bus stop for 20 minutes before a very nice man who didn’t speak English tried to communicate to us that the bus wouldn’t be coming that day. I find it best to stick to the main bus stop because the buses all visit this one and may not stop at the others. Make sure to go a coffee bar near the bus stop to buy your ticket before heading to the stop. It is cheaper and you will need exact change to buy it on the bus, that is if they do allow you to buy it on the bus. There is a ticket validating machine right beside or behind the driver’s seat, place your ticket into it to have it stamped as verified. When the stop is close, people tend to stand up and move to the front of the bus while it is still moving so that they can get off right away, the bus won’t be stopped for very long. Believe in your bus driver! The roads are windy and sometimes only big enough for one car but the drivers know what they are doing.
Traveling by train is very similar to the bus system. Try your best to buy tickets online beforehand, I have saved as much as 5 euro. If you do this, make sure that you will have your ticket accessible on a phone or tablet to be checked on the train. Due to the lack of wifi, I screenshot my ticket before leaving my house so I can bring it up easily on the train. You can also buy a ticket at the train station; use a machine inside that allows you to buy them with a card or cash. You will receive a paper ticket, do not forget to validate the ticket before leaving the station building. I have found that sometimes they do not have validation machines out by the trains. I have only had my ticket checked on the train once, they either scan your screen for an electronic ticket, which is automatically validated, or they poke holes in the paper ticket. If your paper ticket was not validated at the station, you face a hefty fine. Also, if the doors don’t open at your stop, press the button on the door to be let out.
I have yet to travel by taxi because it is so expensive and Uber has recently been deemed illegal in the country, although I have heard that you can still find one if you try. Overall, it’s very easy to use public transportation in Italy but it might take a few tries to figure everything out!
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The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.
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