|Subject: Re: Train travel from Rome to Monterosso|
Unless one of our Italian contributors says differently, I recommend buying your tix there. I wouldn't even go to the station til trip day--unless you just want to. September 10 is a Wednesday at the start of shoulder season--I can't imagine there being much crowding? Further, based on the schedules, I see trains headed to the Cinque Terre throughout the day. That is reassuring--you should be able to catch a train without a problem--plus, the number of options gives you some flexibility in deciding what part of your day you want to devote to the trip, as the transfer will take 5+ hours. (I prefer the German search engine for user friendliness -- http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en Then, I go to the railway of the country of choice, here http://www.trenitalia.com and duplicate the search. I would take the printout of the schedule with me to show the ticket agent my choice in the event of a communication problem. Of course, you will be able to pick up a written schedule at the station, too.)
Non-smoking cars are marked on the exterior with the universal no symbol over a cigarette.
There is little distinction between 1st and 2nd class--especially for a day train. I, personally, wouldn't spend the money if it meant my travel budget was impacted by it.
Have fun! Monterroso is a lovely place. Here are a few shots from our 1998 foray to the Cinque Terre. http://www.ballpoint.org/Italy.html
Diana Ball near Houston, TX