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When it comes to public transportation in the region, trains are better than buses—they're fairly efficient, quite frequent, and most stations aren't too far from the center of town. The railroad track follows the Via Emilia (SS9). In Emilia it's generally 30 to 45 minutes from one major city to the next. To reach Ferrara or Ravenna, you typically have to change to a local train at the Bologna station. Trains run often, and connections are easy. Ferrara is a half hour north of Bologna on the train, and Ravenna is just over an hour.
Bologna is an important rail hub for northern Italy and has frequent, fast service to Milan, Florence, Rome, and Venice. The routes from Bologna to the south usually go through Florence, which is an hour away. The high-speed train service Alta Velocità cuts the time from Milan to Bologna to only one hour. On the northeastern edge of the region, Venice is 1½ hours east of Ferrara by train. Check the website of the state railway, the Ferrovie dello Stato (www.trenitalia.com), for information, or stop in a travel agency, as many sell train tickets (without a markup) and agents often speak English. The Italo (www.italotreno.it), another (privately owned) high-speed train line, now offers competition for the state-sponsored service. The Turin-Salerno line makes stops in Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Salerno; the Venice-Napoli line stops in Padova, Bologna, Florence, and Rome. Some of these also stop in secondary stations.
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