I'm going from the UK to Merate, Italy next month. I'll be flying into MXP and really don't fancy driving, so I booked an advance train ticket to get me from Malpensa Aeroporto to Cernusco-Merate. So far, so good! EDIT: I'm taking the Malpensa Express into Milano and then a Regionale train out to Merate. I booked through Italiarail.com.
However, when I received the information on how to pick up my tickets, it included a note which seems to imply that all the self-service ticket pickup kiosks in Italy are out of order and that I have to visit a larger Trenitalia station before I travel, where an assistant will print out the ticket for me:
Your departure station is a small station and does not have a ticket window that can print your ticket. You must print this ticket in advance at any larger train station (click here for list) in Italy. At larger stations, you can collect this ticket at a Trenitalia ticket window. You will need your PNR number and the Lead Passenger Name (above). If you will not be able to print this ticket in advance at a larger station in Italy, then please immediately contact customer service at 8773757245 and reference order #######.
Because I won't be in Italy at all before I want to travel, I may have an interesting time trying to get my tickets. For information, a page of ticket pickup advice from the train booking website.
Has anyone here experienced this Italian train ticket pickup problem first hand? Can someone who has first-hand experience explain to me what is going on with the kiosks, how long you'd expect to wait, and why there's no warning before you book that you can't easily collect these tickets?
I'd like to know exactly what the situation is so that I can alter my plans accordingly. If it becomes too much hassle, I will probably just attempt to get a refund and buy a ticket on the day.
EDIT 2: I may have found out what the problem with the kiosks is: Trenitalia kiosks now require an additional CP code (as well as the PNR) which is not supplied by Italiarail for non-refundable or regional tickets. This comes from this staff comment from Italiarail support forum. So now we all know!