The train from Nice to Rome was a pleasure. The nine and a half hours passed quickly with changes at Ventimiglia and Genoa. It was a clear sunny day and the panorama unfolding outside my window was relaxing.
I had placed my suitcase in the designated baggage compartment at the end of the train car, not far from my seat, and checked on it frequently.
And yet. . .when we arrived in Rome and I went to fetch it, the compartment was empty! My stomach did a flip-flop. Yes, I had all documents, money and electronics with me but only the clothes on my back. Suddenly I was no longer tired or hungry but angry and apprehensive. I immediately notified the nearest conductor who called over the shift supervisor. She took detailed information, including passport number, address and email, and then directed me to the polizia in the train station.
The cop who opened the door seemed furious that I was there and informed me that the “system was blocked” and no reports could be taken. He couldn’t wait to get rid of me and could not have been more unpleasant. He acted as though I was interrupting an important activity which I probably was and I’m almost certain that the activity had nothing to do with legitimate police work. I resolved to file a report the following day.
Naturally at 9pm all stores were closed so finding a toothbrush was impossible. I headed directly to my hotel the Casa S. Giuseppe di Cluny,a former convent.
The serene atmosphere calmed my mind and I began to think. How could I get compensated?
Travel insurance with my credit card? Not covered. Travel insurance with my apartment insurance? Nope. How about Trenitalia? Bingo.
Turns out that the EU common carrier law mandates compensation up to €300 for lost or stolen luggage. In other words, Trenitalia can’t direct you to put your baggage in an authorized spot and then if it’s stolen say “Too bad”! I slept in my clothes and resolved to extract the money from them somehow.
Before falling asleep I remembered how I was just throwing clothes into my suitcase that morning, unsure of what to take and what to leave. I haven’t traveled in a while and forgot how to pack. It was as though the Universe said “Now, you’ll learn to pack light. And, by the way, you need new stuff”.