Alla Stazione: Helpful Italian words for train travelers

Italy2012 094

Roma Termini

“Roma Termini (in Italian, Stazione Termini) is the main railway station of Rome, Italy. It is named after the district of the same name, which in turn took its name from the ancient Baths of Diocletian (in Latin, thermae) which lie across the street from the main entrance.”


Train stations in Italy can be very intimidating. From my memory, the orario (timetable) like the one above, is updated not too long before departure. So if you are an anxious American traveler like me, who arrives at the station with a reasonable amount of time prior to her train departure (say, 30 minutes), said traveler will not find her train listed on the orario. But stai tranquilla (keep calm, a phrase I’ve heard several times in Italy), it will eventually appear.

In locating one’s train, it is imperative to know the binaro (platform) from which the train departs, and the carrozza (carriage — train car) onto which you should board to find your seat. Debra Kolkka who blogs at Bagni di Lucca and Beyond has outlined it nicely in her post Reading a Train Ticket. I suggest it as quick but required reading for all train travelers in Italy this summer!

Helpful Italian words for train travelers

stazione ferroviaria               train station

il treno                                      train

il biglietto                                 ticket

la biglietteria                           ticket office

le informazioni                       information office

l’orario                                      timetable or schedule

il binario                                   platform

la carrozza                                carriage/train car


arrivi/partenze                        arrivals/departures

cambiar treno                          change trains

la coincidenza                          connection

dov’è…                                       where is….

Click on the Italian words to hear them pronounced at Google Translate. Find more helpful words and phrases for train travelers at the following resources: Italia Rail,

File:Tende viaduct and Italian train I.JPG

Image Credit

This post first appeared on Prayers and Piazzas.  Join me on Facebook or Twitter for more Italian-themed posts.




16 Comments Add yours

  1. Bea dM says:

    This made me smile! I take a rushed shortcut through Termini most days to get from a bus to a client’s office. It’s definitely noisy, confusing and bustling, but the schedule “eventually” appearing is a nice way to put it: when I travel, it’s usually a last 10 minute free for all to the “carrozze”.

    1. Indeed, the last 10 minutes are a free for all! Traveling with kids, I really try to avoid that but it’s just something I now accept in Italian train travel. 🙂

  2. Well done! I have two more: “il controllore” (del treno) and “obliterare” (il biglietto), or “timbrare” 🙂

    1. grazie, Stefania!

  3. I’ll be taking the train from Roma to Foggia in 2 weeks, so I have one more parola for the list….sciopero, meaning a strike. So if you hear ‘domani c’è il sciopera dei treni’, take the bus😎

    1. Oops, autocorrect strikes again. It is sciopero with an ‘o’..scusi, Cristina

      1. grazie, Cristina! In bocca al lupo per noi! I hope to not hear the word sciopero at all while in Italia!

  4. Debra Kolkka says:

    Thanks for the reference to my blog. Train travel can be a little confusing for beginners.

    1. My pleasure, Debra, I think your post is especially helpful!

    1. Thank you, hope it’s helpful!

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