Hi we will be travelling to Italy(8days) and Switzerland(3days). We are planning to buy 5days of italy pass and 3days of swiss pass for our trip. I am unclear on how to validate the Swiss pass, if we leave from Milan? Do we need to get off the train and get our passes validated once we cross the italian border? Is it any different if we buy a Eurorail pass?
Vikram, I'm not sure about this one. We bought our 1/2-fare card when we got to Spiez. It was good for 30 days and the active days were printed on the face of the card. You do sign the card. You do not have to validate further while in Switzerland. However, you can be assured that unlike Italy, there will be a conductor coming through on every train run. They will check and punch your ticket. If you have a signed pass, they will usually ask for your passport to check it against the person's name on the pass.
What I may suggest is buying a ticket from Milan to Brig. Brig has a large train station where you can go in and buy whatever kind of pass you need. Look for an ATM to get some Swiss Francs although you can buy your pass with a credit card. Then, catch the next train for Lauterbrunnen. They will do everything right there at the ticket window. In reality, you will change trains in Spiez and Interlaken Ost and the ticket agent will give you a ticket for each leg of the journey.