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buying train tickets in italy - discounts?

buying train tickets in italy - discounts?

Aug 29th, 2011, 03:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 152
buying train tickets in italy - discounts?

We are going to be travelling by train from Milan to Bologna and then on from Bologna to Florence. I hear there are discount tickets the Mini ticket and Sabado Italiano but I can't find them anywhere on the train booking sites. Can anyone give me advice about how I would go about booking at these prices, or do I have to do it there closer to the time of departure.
Excuse my ignorance but is Trenitalia the only train company or are there more?
yeshekathy is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Hi YK congrats on your trip have trained over there a couple
of times a year did your route in fact last May.www.seat61.com
great tips for you on discounts etc.I get best deals from the
very small machines the locals use at station.From there for
example in May trained from Rome to Florence with "Sconto"
(Italian for discount) Cambio Class senior for 4.5 euro
had a compartment all to myself it was awesome.Be sure and
convalidate(stamp) small ticket if you do this.Many other options but even just hopping regional trains without discounts is VERY cheap like 2 euro per hour so if all else fails do that.Pass always bad value these days tickets/shipping costly difficult from abroad so I just do it boots on the ground.So for me hop on train like a local for cheapest experience.Fast trains will be nicer and quicker though.

There are some smaller local companies that train in Italy

but on your route there are none www.eurolines.it possible

not great I prefer training.

Happy Travels!
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 04:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,692
You book Italian trains at www.trenitalia.com, the official Italian railways website. It now accepts most overseas credit cards without a problem.

On the first results page, only full-price fares appear.

Select a train, hit 'continue' and discounted 'Mini' fares appear on the next page.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 33,032
Do not follow qwovadis's advice as those discounts are for Italian residents only and you can be fined if caught using them. There are no trains charging per hour, nor do you probably want to take the very slow R trains.

Trenitalia is the Italian train company. There are a few private train lines in certain areas.

To get the mini-fares or Saturday fares, you need to purchase on Trenitalia in advance. The Saturday fares are only good through Sept. 24.

If you only want to book the fast trains between major cities, use this Trenitalia link as it only searches the fast trains and shows the discounts for about 5 trains at once.

You must use the Italian names on this link. It will start to autofill when you start typing. You will want Milano Centrale, Bologna Centrale and Firenze SM Novella. You can't book more than four months in advance.

To register on Trenitalia, pay attention to browsers it says you need to use. The tickets for any of the fast trains purchased from Trenitalia will include your seat reservations and do not need to be validated. Only slow R train tickets (no reserved seats) need to be validated. Tickets are not mailed, you are e-mailed a code.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 29th, 2011, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
why does qwovadis keep posting such garbage after being corrected zillions of time that the info on Italian trains being like 2 euros an hour is simply misinformation.

what is up with this cat?

Ignore everything he says about trains as he/she repeatedly posts misinformation that folks in the know like kybourbon constantly point out?

??? why ???
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 278

These three links may supplement the information you have already received. One is a step-by-step outline on how to buy tickets online through the trenitalia website, the second explains the "ticketless option"... and the last talks about the MINI discount. Good Luck!

rineurope is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 541
What is the situation when you cannot accurately predict when you will be at the station? E.g...When arriving by plane at 13.30 say,needing to catch a bus to the Central Station, what can you do to book when the time is uncertain?
Tommmo is offline  
Aug 29th, 2011, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,387
what can you do to book when the time is uncertain?

You can buy a ticket once your arrive.
J62 is online now  
Aug 30th, 2011, 03:48 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 152
whoo hoo,

Thanks to great advice we are now booked Bologna to Florence on a Sabado Italiano discount special (two for the price of one)... The other leg (Milan to Bologna) is just too difficult to plan because we are flying in and we don't know when we'll land, get through customs/immigration, get the bus and finally get to Milan... we'll just have to buy tickets at the time but it looks like there are plenty of trains. I just hope the Friday afternoon trains don't get booked out.
We booked directly through the Trenitalia website, bought a ticketless ticket and had the confirmation email within seconds - it was actually very easy and smooth. Great!
Thanks to everyone!
yeshekathy is offline  
Aug 30th, 2011, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
. I just hope the Friday afternoon trains don't get booked out.>

well that IME would be rare - so so many trains - the worst I could imagine would having to buy a first class ticket and IMO that is the way the average traveler, especially with luggage in tow should go - seats significantly bigger - more room for easy luggage storage (I often put my bags on an adjoining empty seat - IME empty seats often in first class - on the trip of a lifetime don't scrimp - apply the same value to train travel as you do to a hotel, restaurant, etc. You can eat perfectly well at McDonalds but the experience in a proper restaurant is more enjoyable - ditto for train travel IME of years of riding Italian trains.

Everytime discounted tickets are talked about it seems it is only about 2nd class - do not discounts also exist in first class?

Anyway there is some reason zillions of Italians pay more to ride first class!
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 30th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 152
My husband are both seniors, but when I check the senior prices compared to the normal adult prices on the train booking sites there doesn't seem to be any difference?
Any ideas about this?
We won't be doing a lot of train travel - the only longish trips not already booked are Milan to Bologna and Orvieto to Rome but we'll also do a bit of day tripping out of Florence to Siena and Lucca etc... any discounts we can get are always welcome.
yeshekathy is offline  
Aug 30th, 2011, 10:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,195
My friend in Italy is a senior, and in the past to get discount on trains she had to pay to purchase a senior discount card. As a visitor, you would probably not make up the cost of the initial investment, and I'm not sure that a non-EU person can use it.
ellenem is offline  
Aug 31st, 2011, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
options but even just hopping regional trains without discounts is VERY cheap like 2 euro per hour so if all else fails do that>

2 euro an hour my xxx - qwovadis keeps repeating this misinformation and is contantly corrected that this is in no way true nor has it been for years now - he obviously don't read the retorts and keeps posting the same garbage - ignore anything qwovaid has to say about trains, including using the discount for Italians only that he advises to use in post above.

That said his/her other info can be quite good IMO.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 31st, 2011, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 541
Nice to add the last positive note. Looks like Seniors discounts are only for old Italians - must be one of the only countries without them (discounts not old Italians....but then....)
Personally I have still to get my head around the "ticketless ticket" Is it like a foodless dinner?
Tommmo is offline  
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