What do I need to know about Italian train stations?

Cities and towns of all sizes in Italy have train stations. The layout may seem different in each one, but there are enough similarities between them that it's easy to figure out where you need to go in any Italian train station—even if you've never been there before.

Train stations come in two basic formats—a terminus station where trains arrive nose-in and depart in the reverse direction, and a pass-through station where trains continue moving in the same direction after a brief stop. With the former, you'll simply need to walk down the long platform at the nose of all the trains to find your platform number. With the latter, you'll typically need to use an underground walkway (called a "sottopassagio") to get to other platforms without crossing the tracks themselves.