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Buying Train Tickets on line in advance of Trip to Italy

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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:17 AM
  #1
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Buying Train Tickets on line in advance of Trip to Italy

Can someone please assist me? What is the best way (and what is the site) I need to book a train ticket from Rome to Florence? I heard it is best to do so in advance of leaving for our trip. Also, I was told that I should go premiere clase. Please and thanks everyone. You are always so helpful on this site.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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Here, up to 120 days in advance [Roma-Firenze]:

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

Choose the non-registration option. At the station, refer to the train number.

Second class is fine for the 1.5 hour ride.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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www.trenitalia.com is the Italian Railways site to book your own ticket IF you can get it to work - many novices report here that they cannot but there are always Fodorites who will come to your help if you post your travails, as so many have!

As for 1st and 2nd class you will here wild differences in what folks think - some say there is nearly no difference but folks like me, after zillions of Italian train rides, will say there is a significant difference and that is why some Italians pay more for these bigger seats, fewer seats in the same-size train car and importantly for those carrying around perhaps too much luggage - a lot easier IME to stow bags - I often can put mine on an adjoining empty seat - 2nd class is often chock full. And in 1st you also get a complimentary beverage and small snack and Italian newspaper.

For the trip of a lifetime IMO go first class - that said this is a very short train of just over an hour - the benefits of first class are more important on longer train trips. When checking discounted tickets check also for first-class discounted ones - sometimes for only a few euros extra you could go first class.

For lots on the difference in classes, Italian trains check out these IMO superb sites: www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:36 AM
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Thank you both. Much appreciate your help.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:38 AM
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I forgot to ask.........what train station from Rome do I take as 3 are listed when I go on line? We want the high speed train too.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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Termini
There are fast trains every hour or more.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:46 AM
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And the station in Florence would be? Please and thanks as I see a few listed. Also, when I go in the site, it shows Base, economy and super economy for 2nd and 1st class. If we want to go 1st, the super economy is just the best rate for the same seat in that class correct? Also, when I select and process my request, how do I get my train ticket? Will it allow me to just print off or do I have to pick it up there at the station. Thanks for your understanding everyone as we have never taken the train in Italy and want to be sure.

We also are then taking the train from Florence to Bologna. Is there a particular station in Bologna for arrival?

Thanks so much......
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Florence S M N for Santa Maria Novella - the main dead-end near the town center station.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:55 AM
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They will e-mail you the ticket, but I also print out the confirmation on the screen in case of filter problems. Both are accepted.

It's Bologna Centrale.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 08:59 AM
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Thank you very much everyone. In 1st class, is your luggage nearby or do you just put it in a carriage at one end?
Have a good day!!!!
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Jul 13th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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>>>Also, I was told that I should go premiere clase. <<<

I think you are confused with another country as that is not a class for Italy.

>>>Also, when I go in the site, it shows Base, economy and super economy for 2nd and 1st class. If we want to go 1st, the super economy is just the best rate for the same seat in that class correct?<<<

Yes, economy and super economy are advance purchase discount tickets. If discounts aren't available (those fares can sell out), you might not want to spend extra for 1st class on such a short ride (90 minutes). Firenze/Bologna (you want Centrale) is only about 30 minutes. This is 2nd class on the fast trains. 1st will only have 3 seats across, but there are some other classes (depends on train) that have more luxurious classes (private compartments or set up for meetings).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ssainterno.jpg

Make sure you use a .com email address. People have trouble getting their email ticket confirmation if they use .net addresses. You will probably need to notify your credit card company so they don't block the purchase.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Sorry, I forgot they do list premier on a few trains, but it is not 1st class. It's the same seating layout as standard 2nd class (four across). The only difference between standard/premium is the fabric on the seats (fabric vs leather) and you get a beverage. The seats are the same width with the same space between them and the same recline. If you want 1st class on the trains the have premium listed, you must select business class (wider seats - three across). IMO paying 9€ (the base fare difference) more for premium over standard equals on overpriced cup of coffee. Check the discount fares (economy/super economy). If available, you can often get business for the same discount price as the lower class.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 02:55 PM
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RailEurope USA is now selling Trenitalia tickets at the same discounted prices as on trenitalia.com but with a $7 fee per order of however many tickets - take the foreign exchange fees on credit cards into account and you may well find that you can now order the same discounted tickets at similar prices - for an extra fee you can get a printed ticket sent to you - for those Nervous Nellies worried about retrieving tickets in Italy or having some code to give to the conductor who would rather have the secdurity of a printed ticket.

So if trenitalia.com is flummoxing you try Rail Europe or their agents and often now get about the same price with little of the typical hassle novice users encounter with trenitalia.com on line.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 04:40 PM
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>>>RailEurope USA is now selling Trenitalia tickets at the same discounted prices as on trenitalia.com but with a $7 fee per order of however many tickets <<<<

Actually not. Looking at a random date in Oct on both sites, RailEurope shows no discounts tickets for the very same trains that Trenitalia has plenty of them available. For the exact same train, RailEurope is charging $44 + $7.95 fee (total $51.95). The same train/ticket on Trenitalia is 19€ or $25.84 at today's exchange rate. I would pay a 1% for using my credit card for a total of $26.10 (even a card charging 3% would only make the ticket $26.62). Additionally, RailEurope is not mailing you a ticket. You are printing the ticket info yourself just like you would if you bought from Trenitalia. You pay almost double with RailEurope. Oddly, Trenitalia shows more Italo trains than Trenitalia trains. While some people have trouble purchasing Trenitalia tickets, I haven't heard of anyone having a problem purchasing Italo tickets on the Italo website. I would not use a reseller like RailEurope for either one unless I had a problem with those sites first and absolutely must be on a certain train.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 05:36 AM
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You pay almost double with RailEurope.>

this is not always the case and I say just check with RailEurope because they do at times at least match those trenitalia.com deals and italo train as well (of which I think RailEurope is some kind of stake holder) - remember not long ago when someone booked a RailEurope ticket at just a few bucks all told over trenitalia.com?

After figuring exchange fees it came out about the same.
No the mantra that RailEurope is always much more expensive is simply misinformation - not are they always - no as boubron showed above with a selective comparison - if she looked much around she may find that many fares are matched - there is a $7 handling fee per order and if you wanted a paper ticket then that would yes be $18 extra unless the total order was over $399 then there would be no charge.

Always these days check RailEurope too - much easier to work with and no problems with credit cards, etc - not saying every ticket is as cheap but more and more now are.

Again the sample a few weeks back when someone here reported buying tickets thru RE at a few bucks over the trenitalia.com discounted prices - and figuring in exchange rates when buying in euros it was nearly equal.

check both sites and see which is best but do not believe the mantra 'that RE is always a ripoff' - that may have been true not long ago but no longer true IME.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 05:51 AM
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Byron1, you asked about luggage storage. It will depend, in Italy as elsewhere, on the rolling stock in use. Yesterday, for example I took a Frecciargento service (that's high speed) between Verona and Rome Termini.

I was in First. There were racks above the seats which would accommodate most moderately-sized suitcases. I do not remember if there were any luggage storage areas at the end of the coach and I think there were not.

For your shorter ride from Rome to Florence I agree that 2nd Class should be adequate.

You have received good advice for the most part from above. For all our train tickets in Italy for this trip we actually used the Trenitalia.com website and for once we had no problems with it. In the past I have had to resort to using Italiarail.com which gives the same prices as Trenitalia but charges a service fee.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 06:02 AM
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My wife and I have recently used the train in Italy. You have received great advice but it should be 1st Class definitely. Luggage storage is above the seats. Ask a conductor where your car is located since we found ours at the rear on one and at the opposite on another.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 06:14 AM
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Actually, you can find out in advance where your train will leave from, i.e., from which platform as well as the make-up or so-called "consist" of the train IF you know where to look in the station.

Yes, your train will appear on the electronic board listing the platform number but there are also yellow posters in glass cases near, and sometimes on, the platforms which list every train departure over a 24-hour period by time and train number.

The platform will also be listed and although the platform can change at the last minute that is somewhat unusual.

Also on the platforms you will sometime find diagrams of the trains which show where the First and Second Class coaches will be located.

If you cannot find any of those sources, when the train is shown on the electronic board on the platform there will either be a diagram of where the 1st and 2nd Class coaches are or there will be an electronic message telling you if the 1st Class coaches are in the front of the train or the rear. "Testa" means at the head and "coda" means at the tail end.

Sometimes the coach number will be on an electronic sign on the side of the coach next to the doorway; you'll need to know this because your assigned seat(s) will be listed by coach number and then seat number.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 06:15 AM
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Also, the term "binario" means the platform or track number.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Actually not. Looking at a random date in Oct on both sites, RailEurope shows no discounts tickets for the very same trains that Trenitalia has plenty of them available>

I too picked a randon date - July 29 for Florence to Rome

RailEurope had some $38 tickets on Italo trains - the cheapest on trenitalia.com was 29 euros or about $40 - RE was actually cheaper all told than trenitalia.com (perhaps italo site was cheaper) - but the fallacy that RE is always much more expensive just is not true, especially for Italo trains - you could find cheaper fares even on RE than on trenitalia.com and have no exchange fees or problems with credit cards being accepted, etc.
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