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Validating Swiss Card or Swiss Pass in Italy

Hi there - there's been plenty of discussions, but can someone tell me for sure if I can validate the following in an Italian Station, travelling from Venice to Sion Switzerland?

(1) A Swiss Card
(2) A Swiss Pass
(3) A Swiss Half Fare Card

Thanks!

Posted by
16883 posts

If you are stopping at a ticket window or travel agency in Venice to buy the Italian portion of the ticket, then you can ask them to validate the pass. However, they'll probably say, "no." Onboard the international train departing from Milan, show both your ticket and pass to the conductor and tell him you need the pass validated. He will tell the Swiss conductor who boards later, and that person will handle it.

Posted by
7205 posts

We ran into this, too. No, an Italian Station cannot validate it. We were rather worried, too. But we just wrote in the first day of our journey into the start date field, and when we boarded the Swiss train portion we found a Swiss Personnel Ticket Checker, showed him our Swiss Pass and told him our destination. He smiled and said no problem, just validate it when you arrive at your final destination. I was sweating bullets up until that time, but now I realize it must be something that happens frequently. I've also found the Swiss Train people to be the most laid back (but still no nonsense) of all train personnel.

We arrived so late to our destination...Mürren, Switzerland, that the ticket window was closed so I ended up validating the pass next morning. No problem whatsoever.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for the responses!

I read somewhere that I can only validate swiss pass, but not swiss card.

Also, the train that I intend to take will only have one change between Venice and SIon, at Milan Centrale.

From Milan Centrale, it's all the way into Sion. The first Swiss stop is Brig.

So I am presuming when I purchase my ticket at the counter, I'll show them my Swiss pass or Swiss Card (most probably Card!) and pay only for the Italian leg of the trip? Will the Italians allow that?

Assuming they do, then when I get checked by the conductor on the Swiss parts, they'd validate my Swiss pass or Swiss Card while on the train.

Does that make sense?

I'm travelling on 29 April.

Posted by
16789 posts

Swiss Card specifies certain border railway stations, although the list they give may not be comprehensive.
http://www.sbb.ch/en/infos/grenzbahnhof.html
They show Brig as the border station, so you could just buy the ticket to Brig and stay on the train to Sion after showing your card to the conductor. Swiss Pass validity starts at Domodossola. You'll save a bit of money if you only have to buy a ticket as far as Domodossola.
I would encourage you to make a direct inquiry to SBB via their website contact form on the FAQ page:
http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/en/support/Frequently-Asked-Questions.html
You will get an authoritative answer the next day (if it is a week day, otherwise on Monday).

Posted by
7205 posts

Just show them your card at the ticket counter in Italy when you purchase your Italian tickets.

Posted by
10 posts

Hi all, I'm writing this form Wengen. I promised I'd come back and update you how it all went.

So I purchased a Swiss Card before heading to Venice. We planned to travel from Venice (via Milan) into Sion, Switzerland.

TrenItalia would not validate a Swiss pass. What they did was only charge me the fair to the last Italian station (Domodossola).

The train I boarded in Milan would take me straight into Sion, Switzerland. So there was no way of validating my Swiss Card at a SBB train stop.

When the conductor came on board I was a little nervous to be honest. I told him that the Italians didn't want to validate the card and I had no other choice but to wait for you (the conductor) to come on board.

He told me it could have been a $100 CHF fine per passenger. But he watched me fill up my Swiss Card and validated it on the spot.

I didn't argue!

Seems like it's not preferred, but also seems like he has seen enough of these scenarios not to surprise him.

So, there you have it. You can do it on the train. Just pray you get a nice conductor :P

Lastly - a funny thing happened in Domodossola (Italian border station). When we stopped, I thought maybe I'd be proactive and look for an SBB conductor. So I took my white envelope containing my Swiss cards and moved to the back of the cabin. For some strange reason I decided also to take a leak first in the cabin toilet. At this very moment, the Italian border guard was coming up the train - he saw me carry a white envelope and head straight into the toilet. Talk about awkward.

I didn't manage to find an SBB conductor. What happened next was the Italian border guard walked over to me and asked me a whole load of question, with a suspicious glare. He had obviously caught me walking into a toilet with a white envelope just as they were about to do inspections - so I don't blame him. He asked if I had anything to declare and what was in my white envelope, where I was going, etc.

LOL - it was kind of nerve wracking to say the least. Lesson learnt - don't move around at a border station, and definitely not when the border guards are coming onboard the train!!