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Italo Trains - good news

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Good news from Italo - http://www.italotreno.it/?sc_lang=en

From December 13 their trains will leave from Milano Centrale and no longer Milano Porta Garibaldi. Although Porta Garibaldi connects with Malpensa airport with the Malpensa Express the station is badly signed and difficult to navigate. Also many tracks can only be reached by a flight of stairs which is not convenient for those travelling with luggage – this is not an issue at Milano Centrale especially since the extensive renovation.
- From December 13 they operate out of Torino Porta Nuova (as well as their existing destination of Porta Susa)
- From December 13 Verona Porta Nuova is a new destination. From Verona you can travel to Naples (via Bologna, Florence and Rome)
- Non stop trains from Milano Centrale to Roma Termini will take only 2 hours 55 minutes.

Plus points of Italo over Trenitalia -

- Their prices are generally quite a bit cheaper
- No problem getting Senior Discount (over 60) whereas on Trenitalia you need a special card which is a nightmare to obtain for someone not resident in Italy.
- Their fast trains operate across the network whereas Trenitalia operates Frecciabianca on certain routes (e.g. from Venice)
- Excellent wifi and fewer downloading restrictions compare to Trenitalia

Plus points of Trenitalia -

- Their first/business class seats are more comfortable in my opinion. Italo seats are by Poltrona Frau a great Italian name but I don't quite think they have yet acquired the expertise in designing seats for trains.
- I think that the Business Area Silenzio is the best class on the Frecciarossa trains – hushed conversation and no interruption from mobile phones (nothing comparable on Italo)
- The Frecciarossa trains seem cleaner. Perhaps Italo is trying to save money here. Also on my latest trip on Italo (to Rome) many of the tv/film monitors did not work.
- The Frecciarossa on board website which shows your actual position and train speed is fantastic. I have a screen shot showing my train travelling at 300 km/h (186 mph)
- Frecciarossa (as part of the group which owns many of the main stations) has the best position in the stations for their Frecciarossa club etc. Italo does not yet have a lounge at Roma Termini so far.
- Only Trenitalia with the Frecciabianca trains operates directly out of Rome Fiumacino airport

One thing is certain. Italo by providing direct competition on certain main routes has upped the overall quality of service and has made pricing very competitive. Long may this continue.

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