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What it feels like to work for RhB in Italy

Ivan Del Dot, Head of Tirano station, talks about life and work across the border.

Tanja Thaler, Communications expert, 10. May 2022

Tirano is a town in the province of Sondrio in the Lombardy region of Italy with 9,011 inhabitants and the starting and ending point of the Bernina Express. It is located very close to the Swiss border, in the upper Valtellina. In the past, fruit and wine growing was the dominant activity. Today, small industrial companies have settled here, but they have to hold their own against the competition in Milan. That’s why many Tiranesi work as daily or weekly commuters in and around Milan or the Upper Engadin. This does not apply to Ivan Del Dot, Head of Tirano station. Here, he talks about his work for RhB abroad and the advantages and disadvantages this has for him. 

Ivan Del Dot at Tirano station

Ivan lives in Tirano and grew up there. He particularly likes the old town, the various churches and palaces, and the mountains and vineyards in the area. He also loves the colours, fragrances and smells of Tirano, which are simply part of the Italian mentality. 

We feel absolutely part of RhB and are proud of it!
Ivan Del Dot

Although Ivan and his team represent RhB in Italy, he does not feel excluded at all – in fact, quite the opposite: the team in Tirano is absolutely proud to be part of RhB, yet he is aware that this is a special situation. Ivan sometimes feels a little different, mainly for two reasons: because of the language and the different mentality. 

If everyone spoke the same language, everything would be much simpler and clearer.
Ivan Del Dot

Sometimes Ivan wishes that the whole of Switzerland just spoke Italian because it is sometimes quite challenging to attend German meetings or courses in Chur. Even the nearby border and customs sometimes cause problems. Ivan is also often visited by friends at home who want to find out about timetables or line disruptions. Of course, he’s always happy to tell you about RhB in his free time, but sometimes he just wants to leave the office behind.

Each station has its own special features, but Tirano is really different.
Ivan Del Dot

Ivan trained in Chur and has also worked in Davos, Thusis, Untervaz-Trimmis and Scuol-Tarasp. Each station has its own special features, but Tirano is really different: the number of travellers, you mainly work with Italian guests, the way you work, the mentality... You’re almost too far away from the management in Chur, which means more independence, but that’s not always an advantage. 

Ivan thinks that passengers are very aware of the fact that they are crossing the border on a trip on the Bernina Express. As soon as you travel through customs at Piattamala, when the valley becomes wider, the vineyards are within sight and the houses look different, when you see the churches and, at the latest, when the typical Swiss order is missing, you know that you have arrived in Italy.

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