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Best train from Florence to Venice?

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Oct 6th, 2013, 06:35 PM
  #1
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Best train from Florence to Venice?

There seem to be several different trains going from Florence to Venice. Can you please share your advise as to what might be a good choice. Thanks again!
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Oct 6th, 2013, 06:42 PM
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Most people would take the FRECCIARGENTO high speed direct train (takes about two hours) that runs several times a day. If you want to save money, you could try to take an Intercity train which would take longer.
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Oct 6th, 2013, 07:05 PM
  #3
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Thank you for the advice. Should I purchase these tickets ahead of time or can I buy them at the station on the day I go?
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Oct 6th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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I haven't bought Treitalia tickets in a long time myself. Once upon a time even Americans could buy advanced tickets on the Trenitalia website with a US credit card to save money, which I did a few years ago, but I'm not sure if you can anymore. In 2011 I bought a ticket from Venice to Pisa (via Florence) the morning that I got to the train station in Trieste, Italy. No issue even on a busy Sunday getting the train I wanted.

All of these trains are reserved seating. If you're traveling on a very busy day, because this train is reserved, I suppose some trains could sell out, but at least there are a lot of trains running every day, so it seems unlikely you'd be unable to get a train that day if you waited til the last minute. I'm not sure how much, if any, you save buying in advance anymore.
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Oct 6th, 2013, 09:05 PM
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See: http://www.seat61.com/Europe-train-tickets.htm#Italy

Tickets will be cheaper if bought ahead, except for short trips or slow regional trains.
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Oct 6th, 2013, 09:57 PM
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Option 1: Trenitalia's high-speed Frecciargento trains leave every hour. Trenitalia = Italian State Railways.

Book these at http://www.trenitalia.com, with prices from €19 (€29 in 1st class) if you pre-book.

On the day you'll pay the 'base' price, €45 (€63 in 1st class).

I've posted some photos of Frecciargentos at http://www.seat61.com/Italy-trains.htm (both main types, but it's mainly the newer ETR600 that operates the Venice-Florence-Rome route)

Option 2: Competing privately-run high-speed Italo trains also leave regularly, book at http://www.italotreno.it with similar pricing. I've posted photos and review at http://www.seat61.com/italo.htm

Both Italo and Frecciargento are good. I'd say Italo is the brighter and more modern train, but it only has vending machines whereas Frecciargentos have a proper bar-bistro car so win on catering. I'd try one company on this leg and the other on another trip and make up your own mind!

Option 3: There's the very occasional and cheaper Trenitalia InterCity train, these use the classic normal-speed line, so they're hardly worth bothering with unless you're on a very tight budget and can't find any cheapies for either of the high-speed options.
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Oct 7th, 2013, 07:22 AM
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Well yes there are a lot of regional and IC trains, many involving a change or two of trains on that route that take twice as long - 4 hours vs 2 but are dirt cheap and need no advance purchase as they have a flat fare - so saving could be immense and with a regional ticket you just board any regional train.

But regional trains are also not nearly as nice as high-speed trains.

For lots of goodies on Italian trains check out Man in Seat 61's commercial site - www.seat61`.com as well as www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Oct 12th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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I have taken regional trains between Rome and Florence and loved them - partly because I am a rail nut who likes stopping at sleepy stations a lot - slower for me is better than the newer high-speed train route avoiding major cities and having wind blocks, tunnels etc so you often see little.

For example the regional train stopped right under Orvieto, the ancient hill town capping a volcanic plug - the high-speed route avoids Orvieto and all towns.

slower travel at times I do enjoy more than speeding between mega tourist cities - I find things in between often as nice or nicer for me at least.
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Oct 12th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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Indeed PalenQ.
The same can be said for Florence - Bologna. The high speed line is tunnel all the way (very fast of course) and in fact the new platforms at Bologna Centrale for these trains are underground.
On the other hand if you take the Intercity or Regional trains from Florence to Bologna you'll weave your way through the Appenines. It takes longer but costs less.
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Oct 12th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Sorry...I should have completed that last sentence:

"It takes longer but costs less and is prettier".
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Oct 12th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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poppetraveler didn't say if a direct train is what's desired? If yes, then the above answers cover it all. But consider making a memorable trip out of a simple A-to-B journey.

Bologna is on the route, worth a visit in anyone's book.

Maybe change to a regional train from Rovigo to Chioggia, also a very worthwhile target, and take the lagoon boat from there to Venice to arrive in style on the water?

Or keep going by train from Bologna but stop in Padua for a look around?

That's just three - there are others along that route that are worthy of consideration while you're zipping through.
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Oct 12th, 2013, 01:04 PM
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It's not easy to stop in many small towns and look around because those stations don't have luggage storage.

Current train schedules run though 2nd week of Dec. so it would depend on when you are traveling. Winter schedules (mid-Dec through mid-June should be loaded soon). Trenitalia allows purchase 120 days in advance for the fast trains. Italo allows you to purchase all the way through the end of the schedule. If you are not traveling until next summer, you will have to wait until spring for summer schedules to be loaded.
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Oct 12th, 2013, 03:17 PM
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Oct 13th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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ttt
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