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Are Italian trains cheaper if you book ahead?

Are Italian trains cheaper if you book ahead?

Old Jun 8th, 2008, 02:11 AM
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Are Italian trains cheaper if you book ahead?

Hi,

It seems that the long distance trains in France are considerably cheaper if you book well ahead. Can the same be said of Italy? My observation is that tickets are cheaper in Italy but perhaps that's a misconception.

Our plan is to prebook train tickets in France but book only a day ahead (at most) in Italy. We will be travelling on a budget - will tickets be more expensive this way (or difficult to obtain)?

Thanks for any advice!

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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 03:03 AM
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There is a 20% discount called "Amica" fare available for advance purchase. These must be purchased I believe 24hrs before departure, and the # of tickets offered at a discount is limited.

You can check schedules and prices at www.trenitalia.com.

If you wish to purchase night train tickets those may sell out. Since there is very frequent service on all major routes in Italy I would not be concerned about tickets being difficult to obtain.
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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 03:08 AM
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Train travel is much much cheaper in Italy, I know Amica fare, but from my experiences, it seems hard to get, I usually end up buy tickets upon arrival.
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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 03:13 AM
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There is no advantage to booking trains in Italy well in advance (and most people report difficulties using North American credit cards on the Trenitalia Web site).

The Amica fare offers a 20% discount; it is, in theory, available until midnight of the day preceding the trip, but the number of seats available on the Amica fare is limited.

If you know which trains you want to take, it might be worth your while to buy all your tickets at the same time on arrival in Italy. But be aware that changing an ES booking can be a hassle.

You can buy tickets at a counter, at ticket machines in major train stations or at any travel agency displaying the Trenitalia/FS logo, which should not charge a commission. You have to ask for the Amica fare.
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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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Hi D,

For some routes, there are SmartPrice fares that offer significant discounts.

There are also the Amica fares (20% off) that might not be available the day before.

Train travel in Italy is much cheaper than in France, which is cheaper than Germany, which is cheaper than Switzerland.

Enjoy your visit.


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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for your help!

Dreamer55
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Old Jun 8th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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My experience was this....

Going to the train station and trying to figure out the machines, asking for help and getting it from a sweetheart who helped us buy RT tickets to Naples and back. She found a deal and saved us over 200.00 Euros. She explained to us that some specials will just pop up through out the day so it's better to check it out.
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