Lost and Found? Not on Italian Trains

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Just in time for summer vacation traffic, Trenitalia launched a one-line announcement likely to make it the butt of more jokes: the lost and found offices have been “temporarily suspended.”

With more Italians staying closer to home in belt-tightening measures this year — 73% will not leave the country, according to one poll — trains are likely to be more crowded and chaotic than usual.

No word on when the service will pick back up again — or if it will. Trenitalia suspended the service citing budget reasons, according to daily Corriere della Sera. In 2008, it held 3,800 lost items — ranging from umbrellas to dentures, surfboards to cell phones — and returned about half to their rightful owners.

Now what? It’s up to local governments.

So If you leave your camera on the Florence-Venice train or want to be a good samaritan with that found iPod, you’ll have to go to the lost and found office (ufficio oggetti smarriti) of the city you land in.
And cross your fingers.

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