In order to get to Savona, we had to take one train to Genova and then catch a commuter the rest of the way. I'd reserved tickets online and we could just show our printout to board in Rome, but the instructions stated that we had to print out our passes at the terminal in Genova and get them validated before boarding train #2. No problem, right?
But first, we caught train #1 at Termini Station. By now, third time, it was old hat. Well, except this time we were hauling all our luggage! When we took the train to Florence and to Naples, we were able to buy food and drinks on board. On those trips, a staff person came around with a cart and we got some water, snacks, etc., so I wasn't too worried about rushing out of the apartment without eating much. We got onto the train without any trouble and got our luggage situated. We were cruising along when I began to wonder when the food cart was going to come by. Well, you've figured that out--there wasn't one. It was five hours to Genova and I was parched and hungry by the time we arrived but I was sure we'd have time to get something in the terminal before boarding the next train. Wrong again! We had to wait in a very long line to get our tickets printed out and at first the clerk tried to charge us again because he wasn't sure about the online purchase. This was finally worked out with our limited Italian and his limited English and some smiling, pleading, pointing and gesturing with only a couple of minutes to spare before the train was due to leave. I asked him if we were going to make it and he acted very casual about it, sure, no problem. We still had to stop at a machine and stamp our tickets to validate them, then find the proper platform for our train. Hurriedly, we put some euros into a vending machine and got a bottle of water. Lugged our bags onto the train, where they had to perch in front of us. Luckily, this ride was only another hour. Unluckily, I had managed to buy mineral water instead of plain water and I really can't stand the taste of it. I made myself swallow some of it just to quench my thirst but I was so disappointed after wanting a drink of water so badly!
We had assigned seats on the first train, with a rotating cast of characters sitting across from us as people got off and on at various stops. There was a young man who looked very fidgety and kept getting up, walking to other cars and coming back. At one point we thought he had disembarked altogether because he was gone so long, but then he showed up again and sat back down. I was trying very hard not to be paranoid but I have to admit I kept wondering what he was up to. You know there are so many "incidents" any more. I know that's a terrible commentary on myself and the way of the world and I really do not want to travel scared, but it was a little disconcerting. We also sat next to a pleasant young woman who was busy reading and an elderly man who just wanted to talk in a loud voice, mostly to the pleasant young woman because Rich and I couldn't communicate in Italian. :) The second train was open seating and I was a little worried it would be super crowded and we wouldn't be able to find seats or cram our luggage in, but we were fine. It actually was not all that full. One thing I noticed on both trains was that young people and young adults were super kindhearted to their elders. It was very heartwarming to see someone jump up without being asked and help an elderly person push a bag onto the overhead rack or get something down for someone or give up a seat. And it was all done with such a sweet attitude, no resentment or rolling of the eyes or judgement.
We had a brief moment of panic thinking they were going to deny us boarding. We explained we'd come in on another cruise ship and that no one was there to stamp passports. We got the feeling that she kinda knew what we were talking about; we could just imagine her thinking "Oh, those dolts in Rome just don't do their jobs!" She said she had to go talk to Security and left us standing there for a bit, while other people behind us were obviously wondering what was going on and getting a little annoyed with the delay. Fortunately, another crew member started waving them over to a second podium while we stood there sheepishly. We didn't do anything wrong, we promise!
Eventually she came back, gave us a pink boarding card and told us to hand our passports over to Security at the next station. We weren't really sure why we had to hand over our passports but we realized later that they had confiscated everyone's who wasn't European. Whew. Dodged a bullet and we were off on cruise #2 on board the Costa Luminosa, bound for Stockholm with lots of port stops along the way.