Another (sorry) Italy train question

Apr 4th, 2015, 09:14 AM
  #1  
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Another (sorry) Italy train question

I'm booking train tickets from Florence S.M.N. to Venice S. Lucia and, Venice S. Lucia to Milan CLE. I have looked at both Trenitalia and Rail Europe and Rail Europe is quite a bit cheaper, even including the $7.95 shipping (for an e-ticket!) Also, on the Florence to Venice portion, there are trains that Trenitalia does not offer., specifically, in addition to Trenitalia, there is an Italo, which is cheaper and offers free wifi. Difference between the two? Is there any reason to book with Trenitalia over Rail Europe?
laurieco is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 09:38 AM
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Italo trains would not be offered on the trenitalia website because they are competitors. Have you checked italotreno.it pricing with rail europe for that segment? I always buy from the source if possible; it is usually cheaper and may give you more options to change things.

I believe the trenitalia fast trains also offer free WIFI.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 09:40 AM
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Also, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples on the other segment to Milan. Are you looking at the same trains, or is one a slower train than the other?
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Apr 4th, 2015, 09:59 AM
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Actually, the Italo train is faster than the Trenitalia. The Trenitalia website is the most expensive. I would book with Italo for the Venice-Milan but they don't have trains into Milan Centrale so I'll stick with the Trenitalia train for that one. I'll go through Rail Europe though for both since they are cheaper.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 10:30 AM
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Without your dates and times of travel it is hard to respond. It is rare for Rail Europe to be cheaper or to offer all of the discounts that may be available from trenitalia. I am not sure you doing a true apple to apple comparison.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 11:18 AM
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I assure you, I did a true apples to apples comparison. Rail Europe was cheaper on one train and about the same on the other. I checked the times for the trains. The Florence to Venice is Italo, which, of course, Trenitalia does not offer and it was considerably cheaper than what Trenitalia did offer, and the Italo train is faster. I basically wanted to know if Italo was a safe bet. I did some research and it seems it is.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 11:35 AM
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Italo does seem to have lower prices generally, but fewer trains, esp in the middle of the day. The faster part-- I think it's just minutes faster than trenitalia according to the schedules for routes I checked.

trenitalia, from the few trains I checked, seems to have fewer discounted tickets than Italo so close to the travel date (which is where you appear to be) what you are finding out also makes sense, that Italo is much cheaper for your trains.

Rail Europe is one of those websites (like bahn.com) that won't check more than 90 days out for tickets, so tickets will have been on sale at trenitalia and italotreno long before they show up on raileurope. Therefore I suspect most of the discounted tickets on trenitalia are sold before raileurope offers those days for sale.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 12:15 PM
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I'm leaving for Italy on May 5. I probably should have reserved trains two months ago, when I first booked my plane tickets and put the itinerary together. I also need train tickets from Milan to Florence but since we are taking the train from the airport in Milan to Central and then Florence the day we fly in, I don't want to buy those in advance since the flight can be delayed. We'll have to pay full price for those. I wonder if it is worth it to rent a car at the airport and drive to Florence and dump the car once there.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 12:35 PM
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The roads from Milan are Florence are not fun to drive, especially if it is raining.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 12:37 PM
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Sorry -- roads from Milan TO Florence is what I meant to type.

Sorry too that I can't help you with your other questions because I am a Freccia club member so i seldom look elsewhere at prices (especially since Italo doesn't run on most of the lines I use)
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Apr 4th, 2015, 12:49 PM
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I just checked for the random date of May 10th.

Trenitalia site: 16 fast trains, journey time 2 hrs 05 min for each
Economy tickets for 29 EUR available for 10 trains
Super economy tickets fro 19 EUR available for 5 trains.

Italo site: 5 fast trains, journey time 2 hrs 05 min for each
Migliorprezzo ticket for 15 EUR available for 1 (afternoon) train
ticket for 25 EUR available for the 2 morning trains
ticket for 28 EUR available for the 2 evening trains
neckervd is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 01:03 PM
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The train pricing is an unexpected wrinkle in traveling to Europe. It can less than half the price if you buy early.

It would be great if someone set up a Europe rail price WIKI to itemize all the train systems stating when tickets go on sale and how many tickets are discounted per train, etcetera.

It sounds like you are still doing ok with pricing anyway despite the late start. Do check italotreno.it before buying from raileurope.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 01:46 PM
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I didn't get all of those trains and prices when I was on the trenitalia site. I wonder if the inventory changes from hour to hour, like with airfares. Also, on trenitalia, the cheaper tickets were leaving from and/or going to train stations that I did not want to go to/from. I am looking at convenience as well. In any case, I did book with Rail Europe. It cost about $110.00 for four tickets: two tickets from Florence to Venice and two tickets from Venice to Milan. That includes the ridiculous shipping fee. I don't think I did too badly.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 01:48 PM
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Also, the Rail Europe prices were in US dollars, so I don't have to wonder what the exchange rate would be and I know exactly what I paid. And, I booked all morning trains, which seem to be a bit more money.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 03:23 PM
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I just checked a random date in May (the 12th) and I don't see anything cheaper on the Raileurope site, although the price difference is not very great. The trains that have a €19 super-economy fare available on the Trenitalia site cost $23 on the Raileurope site. The trains that have a €29 economy fare on Trenitalia cost €35 on Raileurope. This is an exchange rate of 1.21. The rate today is 1.09.

I didn't see any case where Raileurope was cheaper. You may have had a lucky stroke where a super-economy ticket showed as being available when it had already sold out. They wouldn't be able to force you to pay the extra money.

The number of tickets offered in each price category varies by route, by train, by time of day, day of the week, and by time of year. On popular routes, very few super-economy tickets are offered and they sell out very quickly. On less popular times of day, you can still get them when they've sold out at the more popular times. On less-traveled routes, there may still be good discounts the day before travel date.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 03:34 PM
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Another reseller of Trenitalia (but not Italo) tickets is www.italiarail.com . I just checked their prices, and the economy tickets there (Florence to Venice) are $34, against Raileurope's $35; the super-economy tickets are $22 rather than $23. The last I heard, Italiarail had an "electronic processing fee" of $5, but no delivery fee. So Italiarail is a little cheaper.
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Apr 4th, 2015, 06:41 PM
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>>> I have looked at both Trenitalia and Rail Europe and Rail Europe is quite a bit cheaper, even including the $7.95 shipping (for an e-ticket!)<<<
>>>I assure you, I did a true apples to apples comparison. Rail Europe was cheaper on one train and about the same on the other.<<<

There is no way RE is selling Trenitalia tickets cheaper than Trenitalia. I've priced them dozens of times (when someone says that) and RE marks up the exchange plus tacks on a fee. They have never been cheaper. Are you comparing Italo trains/prices to Trenitalia trains/prices?

Italo is a different rail company from Trenitlaia. If you want their trains and their tickets, buy on their website. RE will mark up in the exchange and tack on their fee.

>>> Italo for the Venice-Milan but they don't have trains into Milan Centrale<<

That's right. Italo uses some of the lesser stations more out of the way. It will require extra transport within some cities (metro/bus).

Without your dates and times of travel it is hard to respond.

>>>Also, the Rail Europe prices were in US dollars, so I don't have to wonder what the exchange rate would be and I know exactly what I paid.<<<

Yes, it's called DCC and always to their advantage.

>>>I wonder if the inventory changes from hour to hour, like with airfares. Also, on trenitalia, the cheaper tickets were leaving from and/or going to train stations that I did not want to go to/from.<<<

I'm wondering what link you might have used because RE is the one that doesn't show all trains. They are simply a reseller like Italiarail.
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 4th, 2015, 07:00 PM
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>>>Also, on trenitalia, the cheaper tickets were leaving from and/or going to train stations that I did not want to go to/from.<<<

I'm really wondering how this could possibly be. It's not like Trenitalia is some reseller. They are the Italian state rail company and they go to all the stations unless it's private lines (like the Circumvesuviana in Sorrento). Italo uses Trenitalia's stations.
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Apr 5th, 2015, 12:10 AM
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"Also, on trenitalia, the cheaper tickets were leaving from and/or going to train stations that I did not want to go to/from."

Very odd. Most people are unfamiliar with the stations used for some Italotreno services in Milan and Rome. Everywhere else, both operators use the same stations - and the alleged inconvenience of Porta Garibaldi (Milan) and Tiburtina (Rome) says more about the limited perspective of guide writers than the excellent public transport networks linking these stations to the rest of their conurbation.
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Apr 5th, 2015, 12:44 AM
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laurieco,

I think you did quite well on your purchase.

Trentialia fast trains use Venice Mestre station in addition to Santa Lucia station, whereas Italo does not. Porta Garibaldi in Milan is not a convenient station for people needing to get to the airport or make connections other than urban destinations inside Milan.
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