How do you leave Rome as fast as possible? Take the Frecciarossa.
It has yet to be graced with air conditioning, but Italy has high-speed rail.
Serviced by Trenitalia, there are three lines that traverse the country. Each of the lines are denoted by color.
The Frecciarossa (red) line happens to be the fastest route from Rome to Venice, so we booked our tickets through Trenitalia’s website. It is utter shit. Once you reserve a seat, you can’t change it so choose wisely.
They may still be using broken CGI scripts for their booking interface, but Italy has a high-speed rail system.
We paid for Executive class because Diplomat class just wasn’t prestigious enough for us.
Pulling out of Termini Station, there isn’t much to see. Lots of countryside.
In Executive class, breakfast is complimentary. It’s a pile of fruit with a side of fruit juice. But good luck actually getting the attention of the stewardess.
The cabin attendant would disappear for long stretches of time. It was impossible to make any sort of real requests. When we needed service we had to walk half a dozen cars back to the cafe car just to get a Coke.
The Nigerian guy manning the cafe was pretty chill.
Unlike the Shinkansen the cabin was not pressurized. It was quite painful. About halfway through the entire ride the stewardess flipped a lever in the back and stabilized the cabin pressure but it still took half the goddamn trip to make this happen.
Adding to the fun was when a toilet overflowed in coach.
After sidestepping that, I returned to my seat only to find it didn’t recline.
Much of the view was of flat, flat countryside. She slept for quite a bit of the ride. I stayed awake hoping to see something interesting.
The only interesting thing I saw was sitting across from me.
The next most interesting thing was seeing a large body of water open up before us. Thank Christ. This had to be the bay. That meant this ear-popping, sump-pumping experience was nearly over.
We had reached Venice! The total time elapsed from Rome was 3 hours and 45 minutes. Not bad.
When you ride with Trenitalia, you won’t get air conditioning, food service, pressurized cabins, functional plumbing or reclining seats that fulfill the single purpose they’re designed for, but at least you’ll get to your destination on time.