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About transportation (trains)

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Jan 25th, 2014, 01:38 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 60
About transportation (trains)

Dear All,

Good Day!

I am really confused about which rail pass to purchase for the following destinations. I am enlisting them serial wise.

Rome
Florence
Venice
Innsbruck
Munich
Prague
Berlin (optional from prague)

We will be 2 adults and a kid (2.25 years)

Thanks in advance
mrali is offline  
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Jan 25th, 2014, 02:08 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,055
I can tell you with certainty that no rail pass is useful for the travel in Italy. Almost all of the trains connecting those cities are high-speed trains with mandatory reservations. You would have to make the reservations separately, at 10 euros apiece. If you buy the tickets well in advance, you can get advance purchase tickets for these routes for prices as low as 29 euros, or sometimes even less. There are also other bargains available, such as two tickets for the price of one on weekends. Even the full-price last-minute fares would cost you less than the price of a rail pass day.

On Italian trains, your child will ride free, but would not be guaranteed a seat. If the train is full, you might have to hold the child on your lap. There are also special family fares, which would give the child a seat, and include a discounted fare for the adults. You can decide which would be more convenient for you.

There are two rail companies in Italy that operate on the Rome-Florence-Venice route:

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...005817f90aRCRD

http://www.italotreno.it/EN/Pages/default.aspx

Both have similar prices and discounts, so it's worth pricing your itinerary with both companies. In Rome, Italo doesn't use the most central station, Termini, so, depending on where your hotel is, that might influence your choice of company.

You need to use the Italian names of these cities. The names of the most central stations are in parentheses following the city name: Roma (Termini); Firenze (Santa Maria Novella); Venezia (Santa Lucia). If you begin typing the name, the menu will provide you with choices of city and station.

For the trip to Innsbruck, only Trenitalia can be used. You have to change trains in Verona, but you can enter Innsbruck as your destination, and it will indicate the connection.

I can't speak with authority about the other countries, but I believe that any rail pass will be a waste of money in those countries as well. Here is an excellent site for general information about rail travel in Europe, including sections for specific countries, and advice about rail passes:

http://www.seat61.com/
bvlenci is offline  
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Jan 25th, 2014, 02:08 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,507
I imagine point-to-point tickets will be cheaper than a rail pass. Passes are rarely economical for Italy (especially with your itinerary). Passes also don't include the mandatory seat reservations for all the faster trains in Italy (10€ each).Many cross-border trains also require a supplement in addition to the pass.

If you haven't booked your flights yet, you should check flying one of the many European budget airlines. They can often be cheaper than trains to get between countries so it might make sense to fly from Venice or Rome to Prague or Berlin and then take a few more trains.

For Italy, Trenitalia is the rail company. You can get discounts for booking in advance. Current schedules run through the second weekend in June and you can book the faster trains 120 days in advance. Schedules change in June and Dec., but summer schedules won't be loaded until late spring.

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...005817f90aRCRD
kybourbon is online now  
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Jan 25th, 2014, 02:10 AM
  #4
 
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Posts: 30,507
For budget airlines:

www.whichbudget.com
www.skyscanner.com
kybourbon is online now  
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Jan 25th, 2014, 03:52 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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I see we posted simultaneously, KY!

I just wanted to add that the reservation fee both of us mentioned as required for the fast trains is already automatically included in any point-to-point train tickets you buy.

Also, it's worth while checking for fares on the new Italo Treno web site, which now competes with Trenitalia on many routes, including the Roma-Firenze-Venezia route.

You can buy tickets online on either site, well in advance in order to get the deep discounts, but remember that the discounted tickets cannot be refunded and there are large penalties for any changes. Sometimes it's cheaper to throw away a discounted ticket and buy a new one rather than change it.
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Jan 25th, 2014, 05:15 AM
  #6
 
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The Verona-Innsbruck leg is on http://www.obb-italia.com/ (Austrian/German railway company running trains in Italy); there are also a couple of direct Venice-Innsbruck trains.

A lot of persons ask about rail passes; I do not think it is a money question, it looks more like keeping it simple and not having to deal with multiple tickets. But the era of rail passes in Europe is ended, rail travel is beginning to look like air travel, with multiple companies running the same itineraries, discounts if you buy well in advance non-refundable ticktes, different types of tickets being offered for the same service. So rail passes are no more an option, but for a few cases (for example weekly tickets in same regions), and for long range travel you almost always have to deal with point-to-point tickets.
asps is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2014, 04:13 AM
  #7
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thank you all for the insightful posts.

I have checked all the website mentioned and now I understand all the routes and also now I am in proper position to forecast my transport budget.
mrali is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2014, 05:13 AM
  #8
 
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>>>The Verona-Innsbruck leg is on http://www.obb-italia.com/ (Austrian/German railway company running trains in Italy); there are also a couple of direct Venice-Innsbruck trains. <<<

It used to be you needed to purchase from the departing country's website. I'm not sure if that is still the case with e-tickets these days that you can print at home. The prices for Verona/Innsbruck appear to be cheaper on the Oebb website than on Trenitalia.
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Jan 27th, 2014, 05:55 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Re: flying. The Venice-Innsbruck leg is very scenic, I wouldn't fly it even if it were cheaper.
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