In the case of the disappearing train station.

I like the Italian rail service.

I don’t use it much but I like to travel on Italian trains. I find them punctual and a good service. Of course, I don’t normally travel on the regional trains but, rather, the inter-city trains. And, always first class :-)

I usually buy tickets from their website, in advance. It always works fine for me.

So, my colleague asked me to look up trains for her daughter who will be travelling on Saturday from Diano Marina (on the Ligurian coast) to Milan.

Yesterday, I did it. However, today the timing had changed. So I went to the site and typed in the station name. Unlike yesterday, the drop-down menu of the stations did not appear, which was strange.

I told her that the station did not seem to exist. She explained that it was precisely this problem she had yesterday. Of course, yesterday, I thought she was just having a “blonde moment”. It seems not.

In my hunt for the elusive station, I changed the site to English. It sent me back to the front page. I typed in the station name again and, this time, the name appeared in the drop-down menu and suddenly the station existed! It would seem that yesterday I was using the English version of the site.

I tried it in Italian again – no such station. English again – the station exists!!

I feel sorry for the Italians using the Trenitalia website – it seems it’s much more difficult to buy train tickets in Italy if you don’t read English.

Who’d have thought it?

There are many advantages to being English in Milan and this is another :-)