confused with train system

Old May 12th, 2013, 04:23 PM
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confused with train system

I am going to Italy for the first time this fall and plan on starting in Rome and going to Venice, Milan, Florence and Milan..not necessarily in that order. We would like to travel by trains but I am so confused with all the train systems. I did see there is a speed train but don't see a passage to Milan. I noticed Italy has their own trains and there is also an Eurotrain system..is that correct?? Are there anymore services I should be looking at? Please forgive my ignorance and confusion on this..I know I came to the right place for help with this.

Thanks in advance,
Angela
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:59 PM
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No matter what trains you ride, you will almost certainly buy your train tickets via Trenitalia (the national passenger rail company) anyway, so there's no point in wondering about the different trains systems. Simply think of them as faster and more expensive vs. slower and cheaper.

Most likely, you'll probably book Eurostar trains between Rome, Florence, and Venice because they're fast, and unless you are on a super tight budget, you won't want to waste a few extra hours on slower trains. Probably the same to Milan - but again, you can choose a faster train and pay a little more or slower and cheaper. You can check train schedules and prices (in English) via Trenitalia's website, though prices won't be given a long way in advance. If you want to know what a train costs on a Wednesday in September, check the prices for a Wednesday in May to get the price range (probably about the same).
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:02 PM
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Yes, you are confused. What you are seeing is a lot of different people selling tickets on the same trains.

There is no such thing as Eurotrain - this is just a company that sells tickets on the Italian railroad system. There are different trains on some routes - high spped with fewer stops and high cost and locals with many more stops, longer time and lower cost.

You dind;t give your dates and how soon after your arrival you plan on traveling. the simplest thing is to wait until you get to Italy and buy tickets for the routes and trains you want at the station. However, there are discount fares if you buy earlier - which may or may not be avialable by the time you get on the Italian train web site - trenitalia.com - to look for them. Also, these discount tickets are usually non-changeable and non-refundable - and you may prefer to have more flexiibility than that.

Unless you are traveling on a major holiday or looking for compartments on overnight trains you should have no trobule getting tickets there.

If trenitalia is too confusing go to the german rail site - bahn.de - which will allow you to find any train in europe. You can;t buy tickets there, except for travel starting in Germany - but you can see the routes, times and type of train there. Just click on the US flag on the dropdown box on top of the site.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:21 PM
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thanks guys..I think I have it figured out now. What about luggage..will I have a problem finding storage for a regular size luggage and a carry on?
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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"Regular size" luggage for me is carryon size. Don't know what you consider regular. I travel and have no trouble stowing a 22-inch rolling bag. I think moving and storing a bag bigger than 24 inches would become challenging, though not necessarily impossible.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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There is luggage storage at the end of each car as I recall on the Eurostar trains (which are nicer than average Italian trains). I think there's overhead rack storage space too, perhaps for smaller bags. You might want to keep the smaller bag close to you and only put big, heavier bags at the end of the car.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:49 PM
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The encyclopedia of rail travel, www.seat61.com has plenty of advice about Trenitalia including alternative ordering strategies.
By the way, the reference to Eurostar above shows the possibilities for confusion. Eurostar uses the Channel Tunnel to connect the UK to France and Belgium, and although further destinations have been proposed, they currently involve changing to other rail services.
The next perplexing question is whether you should buy a pass. No, probably, and certainly not yet. You need to dig out point-to-point ticket prices before you can judge whether the assortment of passes on sale will actually save you money. Also watch for the extra hassles when certain trains require seat reservations which have to be arranged and purchased separately from the pass.
Maybe I have just made the picture even foggier. Trust The Man in Seat 61 to make it crystal clear.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:08 PM
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Southam: By the way, the reference to Eurostar above shows the possibilities for confusion. Eurostar uses the Channel Tunnel to connect the UK to France and Belgium, and although further destinations have been proposed, they currently involve changing to other rail services.

Forgive me, but for years the fast trains between Rome and Venice were called "Eurostar Italia." (Never affiliated with the Eurostar train between London-Paris-Brussels). It seems that only last year this name was dispensed with:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurostar_Italia
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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If you haven't booked flights yet, you need to look at booking into one city (Milan?) and home from another (Rome?) which is called open jaw (use the multi-city selection on the search sites, not one way tickets). No point in wasting a day of vacation backtracking by train. If you've already booked flights, post your itinerary and we can help you figure the best rail option.

Trenitalia is Italy's train rail site as others have pointed out and you can book directly with them. There is also a new train company, Italorail which operates between the major cities. They often have discount tickets still available when Trenitalia's discount tickets are sold out.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 07:27 PM
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>>>Forgive me, but for years the fast trains between Rome and Venice were called "Eurostar Italia."
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Old May 12th, 2013, 10:22 PM
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Trenitalia is just ONE, though the biggest, Italian train operating company (TOC). The TOCS providing regional services around Milan and Naples aren't too important for most visitors' overall itinerary planning

But Italotreno offers high-speed services between Turin, Venice, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples at roughly the same frequency as Trenitalia's high speed trains, on marginally newer and sometimes funkier rolling stock and often (not always, but often enough that you really have to shop around for all major intercity travelling on this Y-shaped trunk) lower prices than Trentialia.

It uses the same stations except at Milan and Rome, where it uses newly extended, less crowded places that are actually better located for the city-region's local transport, and with better interconnections, than the famous old stagers many tourists mistakenly believe are more "central" stations.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:13 AM
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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Italo uses Tiburtina station in Rome, but it's not better located than Termini. Termini is much more central (Tiburtina is further out from the center), but Tiburtina is on the metro (as is Termini) an is a major bus hub (as is Termini).

In Milan, Italo uses two stations. One central and one not.
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