A Travel Nightmare

*Ignore the quality of the photos, they were taken with a phone


For our three day weekend, four of us decided to take a quick trip to London. With bags packed and our tickets bought, we set off at 9pm Wednesday night. We took an hour train from Certaldo to Florence, where we were supposed to board another train to Rome. WELL, we get to Florence, and our train isn’t supposed to be there for another 20 minutes, and it isn’t showing up on the departures board. We ask a Trenitalia staff, and are informed it’s probably because it’s delayed, as were most of the other Trenitalia trains that night. We decided to grab some food to go, while keeping an eye on the track and time-board. When the platform for our train FINALLY shows up on the board we bolt across the station, just to find our train isn’t there. It’s the exact time for the train, so if we had missed it, we would have seen it pulling away, but we didn’t! We asked some more staff and they kept telling us it was delayed. We eventually went to a ticket booth and a (very rude) woman told us that her computer said it was there, but it wasn’t! (We later found out it left 20 minutes early, aka we were still on our first train when it left!) At this point we admitted defeat and decided to just take the next train to Rome. HA! Turns out that was the last train for the night and the next train wouldn’t be until the next morning. This wasn’t an option as we would miss our plane!

After sitting around debating what to do, we bought a bus ticket to another train station. When you buy a bus ticket in Italy, it usually has a color and/or number so you know where to wait for your bus at the station. Our ticket literally just said “BUS”.  For 2 hours we walked around Florence trying to find the stop, until we finally found a nice Trenitalia member who helped us. We then took the 2 hour drive to Arezzo. I’m still not fully sure where that is honestly! On the bus we met other Americans who were supposed to be on our train and missed it as well (this is how we found out it left 20 minutes early)!

Freezing and Panicking about the Delayed Train

We get to the station around 2 am, and we are the only ones there! We now have a 2.5 hour wait until our long distance train comes to get us. At this rate we’ll make our plane with time to spare! 2.5 hours in the cold station goes by when it’s announced our train is delayed 5 minutes. Not bad, we’ll just have less time in between switching trains. Every five minutes the station would add more time on to the delay. Overall the train was delayed 50 minutes! Once on the train, we fall asleep for the 2 hour and 20 minute ride. We wake up at Rome Termini, and run to our next train! Our long distance train caught up on some lost time so we’re going to make the plane!

Finally on the Long Distance Train
Once at the airport we run as fast as we possibly can to the check in desk. We wait in line 5 minutes and get to the desk. The check in lady thought this was a good time to talk on the phone for what seemed like forever. At this point we are just happy we made it after a long night of travel. NOPE! The lady informs us that check in closes 40 minutes to take off. It was 39 minutes. We missed the check in by ONE MINUTE! At this point all of us are ready to admit defeat, give up and go back home to Certaldo. We all sat down and talked about options. In the end we all booked ANOTHER flight for later that evening. So at 4:25pm, after 20 hours of traveling, we finally boarded our plane to LONDON!

Trying to not cry over the fact we missed our plane.

Looking back, there was probably a reason we were not supposed to be on that plane. For whatever reason, everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

Time Frame of Travel:

  • 8:58 pm: Leave Certaldo

  • 10:20 pm Train is supposed to leave for Rome

  • 10:20 pm: Realize we don’t have a train

  • 12:25 am: Board bus to Arezzo

  • 2:25 am: Arrive at Arezzo

  • 4:25 am: Train is supposed to arrive

  • 5:15 am: Train actually arrives

  • 7:00 am: Arrive in Rome Termini

  • 7:02 am: Take train to airport

  • :7:51 am: Arrive at check in desk, just to be told we can’t board

  • 4:25 pm: Board new flight and go to London!

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