Public transportation in other countries is usually simple and wonderful. After that first ride.
The complication usually only comes in understanding the bus schedule and figuring out how to buy tickets. It’s not always the same in each country.
However, once you know the system, it’s friggin’ awesome.
Buying Bus Tickets
In Italy, you typically buy bus tickets at the Tabaccheria (tobacco shop), or you can pay cash on the bus. Paying cash slows the bus driver down especially if he/she has to make change, so getting tickets in advance is always a better idea.
In Rovigo, one bus ticket costs 1.30 euro. From the time you get on the bus, it’s good for unlimited rides for 75 minutes. Which means, if I can do my shopping and hop on a bus, I don’t pay for the return trip. Though this requires a certain degree of planning and efficiency, as the bus only stops at my store every 45 minutes or so.
The first time I braved the bus in Italy was with Kamea, as Greg had to stay home.
Through all our travels, I rely on Greg for logistics and navigation (my job is keeping my eye on Kamea). However, with his hip hurting he’s been staying home while I go out to explore either alone or with Kamea. Therefore, on my first bus outing, I had Greg figure out where I would pick up the bus and how I would get home. He studied the bus time tables online, hoping they were accurate.
Time to Try Our First Italian Bus
I bought a bunch of tickets, and armed with a notepad detailing the times for the bus, as well as the names of the stops I needed, we headed out.
Our goal? Lidl grocery store. We needed beef, yogurt, olive oil, and much more.
We went to the bus stop and looked for bus #10 and it arrived – on time! Wow… this is all working out!
We stepped onto the bus, and I asked if the stop I was looking for was indeed on this route. In other words, am I on the right bus?