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Hurry Up and Wait

I have often said, the Italy of my dreams is the Centro Storico.  Not necessarily the real Italy. Here I am smack dab in the middle of the train station in Milan. Just one of the Great Unwashed. Oh yeah: fair Italy — where is the goddam romance now. 

The plan seemed pretty solid. To fly into Milan at a significantly lower price. Grab the rapid train at the station. And get to Rome. The plan worked but with some miscalculations. My plane arrived early. I got to Milano Centrale at 11am. My ticket — purchased weeks before the vacay — was for a 3pm train. 
What would you do?  Try to swap the ticket for an earlier train to Rome?  Think again. I went to the Ticket Office.  Hundreds of people were milling about. I did some investigatin’ and some translatin’ and figured I needed to get a number. 
There were no numbers — just an information booth next to the empty number machine. I waited in line several minutes, asked the woman if she could exchange my ticket. She said yes, punched a machine and number B-573 popped out. 
The counter was at B-460. I calculated about a minute per customer. Two hours!
I grabbed lunch, had a coffee, tried to find free wi-fi, hunted down a restroom and returned — by then – an hour later  – we were about 8 numbers away. Tic 565. Tic 566. 572. Finally: B-573. 
The trip to the ticket desk was a bust! In the 30 seconds the clerk deigned to spare, I was told it was impossible.  Every train from Milano to Roma was sold out. 

Mosaic at Milano Centrale

Leaving me to “swim” around the termini like a shark and wait out the four hours.
It wasn’t a total wash. The entire Lazio JV Soccer team was in my car. They were frisky. And, adorable. 

About Janet

The author of Ruling Woman is a television journalist, based in Manhattan who spends her workdays at 30 Rock, her nights on Broadway, and her weekends at the Farmers Market. Likes to knit, commune with the angels, and travel.

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