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Confirming..."Buy train tickets the day of departure" advice....M/V/Rome

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Dec 8th, 2013, 01:22 PM
  #1
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Confirming..."Buy train tickets the day of departure" advice....M/V/Rome

I am trying to complete reservations for this trip:

Family of four (two teen sons) arriving Milan Malpensa December 22 at 9:30am, taking cab with luggage from airport to Milano Central. Schedule says trains available at 13:05 (and earlier), 14:05, 15:05 (and more)...to Venezia S. L.

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TAKE shuttle bus 'Azienda Transporti Veneto Oreintale' (every thirty minutes) from train stain in Venice to Piazzale Roma where I can buy the 72 hour transportation pass to the board the vaporetto to our stop on the Grand Canal.

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Then, out of Venezia S. L. on December 27 am to Roma Termini. Don't see the schedule in front of me but I recall hourly trains to Rome.

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??? Overall I am asking if I should schedule these now, it seems I have read to just buy when I get there, but what do you think. Arriving from the US, our flight could be late, so a prepurchased ticket would be useless if we miss it. You know what I mean!! Even leaving Venice, we will have a bit more control on things, but sweating your arrival to meet the train...IDK, just would love the ease of buying there, but AT HOLIDAY SEASON, is this wise??

TOO, any tips on any of these connections would be appreciated!!!

Many thanks!!
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Dec 8th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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I would wait until reaching Milano Centrale to buy the train tickets to Venezia SL (Santa Lucia), just in case your flight is delayed or some other unforeseen occurence.

"TAKE shuttle bus 'Azienda Transporti Veneto Oreintale'..." Totally wacky--this is the bus you might take from the Venice AIRPORT to Piazzale Roma, the bus station. Your train from Milano Centrale will arrive at Venezia SL train station. From there you walk out the front door and all the vaporetto ticket booths and landings will be right in front of you. You need to purchase Rolling Venice from a Hello Venezia booth rather than a vaporetto ticket booth. (NO need to go to Piazzale Roma, which you could walk to on foot in any case--no land buses at the train station, only water buses.)

For your ticket from Venice to Rome, if you know exactly the train you would like to take, and airline flight complications will have no influence, you could buy those ahead of time. Or take the chance on the day of travel or a day or two ahead while in Venice--there will probably be more first class seats available than second class so close to travel time.
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Dec 8th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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I agree with ellenem, but would add that there are so many trains a day from Venice to Rome, and now there are two different companies on the route, that the chance of all of them being sold out is close to nil. I've been riding trains in Italy for almost twenty years now, and usually I buy on the day of travel or a few days before. I know I could save money buying four months in advance, but my life doesn't work that way. Only once have I encountered a completely sold out train, and that was on New Year's Eve heading into Rome. The next train of the evening wasn't sold out, so it was no big problem. One other time, I had to buy a 2nd class ticket because 1st was sold out, and one time a friend and I upgraded our 2nd-class tickets to 1st class to get seats together.
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Dec 8th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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Make sure your train from Milan to Venice goes all the way to Venezia Santa Lucia ( Venezia S.L.) NOT Venice Mestre.

As element explained, you do not go to Piazalle Roma to,buy the Rolling Venice cards and vaporetto passes. There is a Hellp Venezia kiosk just outside the gain station--look to the left as you walk down the stairs. Once you have your 3- day passes for the vaporetto, you can use the pass holders entrance to the boarding dock. You will tap your card on an impb device (thus validating it) to open the gates to get into the boarding area.

These gates went up while we were in Venice in October. At that time, on
Ynthe train station vaporetto stop had them. For all other vaporetto stops, you have free access to the boarding area, but you still must validate your pass before boarding, each time you use it.
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Dec 8th, 2013, 02:36 PM
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You can always IME buy train tickets once there - even just before the train often and there are so so many trains - the only reason to buy early is that you can get discounted tickets - if available and they may not be this close to the time as though tickets are sold in limited numbers and can sell out way before the train.

But you once you get to Milan Malpensa Airport will be able IME to buy train tickets at the rail desk in the arrivals hall (was there last time I went through Malpensa) for a thru ticket Malpensa - changing at Milano Centrale for Venice.

ditto for Venice to Rome - but you can buy that ticket in Milan too.

Anyway do not worry about buying tickets once there - the worst thing would be you'd have to go first class - I've rarely seen any first class cars without empty seats and with a family of 4 I would pay the relatively little extra and go first class - easier to stow lugage, bigger seats, fewer seats in same size train car, etc. and even free beverages and snacks last I knew.

For lots of good stuff on Italian trains check out these IMO superb sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Check www.trenitalia.com for schedules and pricing.
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Dec 8th, 2013, 03:21 PM
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One small tip: If you arrive at the Venice train station during a busy part of the day, the newsagent in the outer lobby sells single tickets for the vaporetto, which could avoid a line-up at the small ticket booth where the boat docks. I don't know about passes but you could ask the newspaper vendor.
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Dec 8th, 2013, 04:56 PM
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palen, ah, so i don't have to transfer on my own from Malpensa to Milano Centrale, I can take the train, buying the ticket at the airport as you described. that makes sense, thanks!! we will be dazed and confused after that flight in the sardine can seats, so all that I can figure out ahead of time will be appreciated. thanks, too, for the links. seat 61 is one I have never seen!

southam, thanks for the tip.

enzian, thanks for the tip avoiding P Roma. "look to your left as you walk down the stairs"...that is exactly how I need this!! Thanks. I appreciate it!!

Thanks all! Looking forward to it. I see there is not that big a difference between 1st and 2nd. Rome80/109, milan to venice 37/51...suppose we will do 1st, as palen mentions with more space, etc.

thanks!
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Dec 8th, 2013, 05:21 PM
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From Milan airport there is a shuttle bus (Malpensa Shuttle) to Milan Centrale (about 10€ per person) or train (Malpensa Express). Train may be faster depending on traffic.

http://www.malpensaexpress.it/en/

http://www.malpensashuttle.it/
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Dec 9th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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Wondering how one books the train out of Malpensa to Venice S.L. I looked on line and only saw out of Milano :Milano Centrale, Milano Porta Garibaldi, Milano Rogoredo, Milano ( Tutte le stazioni ).

We are fine to do the shuttle, just thought might as well take it out of Malpensa if it was offered, with a change at Centrale.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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On Trenitalia, the station name is Malpensa Aeroporto. (It you're using the Italian language option, search "Tutti I treni".) The Malpensa-Milan Centrale segment is not bookable in advance.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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Note that there are two trains from Malpensa to Milan - you want to take the fairly new service to Milano Centrale to connect with trains to Venice - though there are I believe a few direct Malpensa to place beyond Milan I believe - perhaps to Venice but generally plan on changing at Milan Centrale, which can be a daunting experience for novices - a huge huge station with zillions of platforms so leave plenty of time when booking the onward train at the airport.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Noted, Palen...please come with me!! yes, add that to a cramped 10 hour (or whatever) flight in AA''s smallest cabin, and we may end up in Prague!! Ok, tips helpful!!...two trains, huh. I will check on this possibility of Malpensa direct to Venice...without that, it might be easier to just do the shuttle mentioned and start fresh with the train at Centrale.

oedipamaas...interesting name, btw! thanks, tutti i treni. got it.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 01:37 PM
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>>>The Malpensa-Milan Centrale segment is not bookable in advance.<<<

The Malpensa/Milan C is normally bookable in advance. Currently, the switch over to winter schedules (runs through mid-June)is this coming weekend so it's not (except for dates before 12/15). By Sunday, it should be bookable again on TreNord. I think you can book 4-6 months in advance.

http://www.trenord.it/en/timetable/timetable.aspx

While you can book tickets on TreNord from Malpensa to Venice, it puts on regional trains instead of the fast trains on the Milan/Venice leg. It's better to book the faster train on Trenitalia.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 02:48 PM
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I don't find the difference between 1st and 2nd class to be worth the additional cost. I buy first class tickets only in two circumstances: 1) there are no more seats in 2nd class; 2) there is a discount in 1st class, but not in 2nd class, so that the prices are nearly identical. Even the "more room" is minimal, and involves the width of the seats, not the leg room. The snacks are a beverage and some pretzel-os or something of the sort, and that's a lot of money to pay for the snack! The snacks are not available on all routes.

The "classes" have been replaced on the Frecciarossa trains with four service categories, at least on major routes. I still go for the cheapest, because the other categories are just plain overpriced.
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Dec 9th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Still many Italians, perhaps on business accounts, gladly pay more for first class and that is why about 25% of the train cars are first class - either that or they are crazy to pay more for about the same. There is a definite difference between first and second class on Italian trains and that is why many Italians pay more. That is my opinion and experience and bvienci has an experience very different and just as valid in what he/she wants and is satisfied with.
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Dec 10th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Even the "more room" is minimal, and involves the width of the seats, not the leg room.>

No there are rows of just one seat in first class but not I believe in 2nd class - a seat with an aisle and a window and thus infinitely more leg room than if sitting next to someone and this is one reason I like first class - a window and aisle seat all in one - no bothering anyone to get up and walk about, etc.
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