- First, locate one of the validating machines (there’s usually more than one, even in the tiny stations).
- Next, insert your ticket into the slot and then slide the ticket to the far left (that’s the trick that I’ve helped travelers with a gazillion times when I’m at the station).
- Once you’ve done that, you should hear the machine stamping your ticket. When you pull your ticket out you should see the station name as well as the date and time printed on the ticket.
You should see a green light on the validating machine, which means it’s working properly. If you see a red light the machine is out of order and you’ll need to find another one. Sometimes you’ll hear the sound of the machine validating your ticket but when you pull it out you won’t see anything printed on your ticket (which means the machine has run out of ink). In this case, find another machine and try validating again. If all of the validating machines are out of order (not a common occurence but it can happen), go ahead and board the train but immediately look to find the controller (it’s actually easiest to spot them outside of the train at the stop, as they wait to make sure everyone is on board before getting back on the train themselves). Once you’ve found the controller, explain that the machines weren’t working (“Le macchinette sono guaste!”) so that they can manually validate your ticket for you. BEWARE: If you don’t actively seek out the controller and they find you (instead of vice versa) chances are they are going to fine you anyway (as they’ve heard the excuse a million times, kind of like teachers hearing that a dog ate a student’s homework). Lastly, I hate that I have to say this but I feel it’s my duty… If you are fined for not having validated your ticket and you pay the controller be sure to receive some sort of receipt in return (showing proof of the amount paid, etc.). Also, according to the official TrenItalia website, you should pay no more than a €50 fine per person if you pay the controller immediately. If the controller takes more than that amount per person, something is very, very fishy (chances are part of the fine is being pocketed). In the event that that happens, get details so you can report them accordingly.