earliest I can buy train tickets?

Old Jan 12th, 2015, 11:08 AM
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earliest I can buy train tickets?

I'm going to Italy late June/July.

When is the absolute earliest I can buy one way train tickets (I realize earlier= better deals).

Also, can I use an American credit card when purchasing tickets on trenitalia or italo sites?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Seat61.com is a great site to learn about trains in Europe.

90 days I beleive and yes, Visa and MasterCard work, but you can have issues. Read the site.
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 11:14 AM
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120 days
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 11:16 AM
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Actually, per seat61, it's 90 or 120, depending on trains.
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 11:36 AM
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For all the Freccia trains, which are the fastest and most expensive, you can buy tickets 120 days in advance, either online or in the station. For regional trains, you can buy tickets at the station up to 90 days in advance, but you can buy them online only 7 days in advance. I don't advise buying regional tickets online ever, because the online versions of regional tickets are much more restricted than the regional tickets you buy in the station, and there are never any discounts or reserved seats on regional trains anyway. I think InterCity (IC) trains have the same time frames as the Freccia trains, but they are a minority of trains.

One major exception to these general rules is that in early Decemeber and early June, there is a schedule change, and there is usually a delay in getting the schedules posted. This means that the tickets for late June and early July may not be available 120 days in advance. The regional schedules are always the last to be posted, and may still be unavailable a few weeks before the travel date. The regional tickets may still be bought in a station even if the schedules aren't posted, because they're not for a specific train, but a specific route. However, when you buy them online, they're for a specific train and are totally unrefundable or changeable. (This is the main reason I wouldn't buy them online.)
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 12:50 PM
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Are they refundable/changeable in the event of a strike?
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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>>>Actually, per seat61, it's 90 or 120, depending on trains>>I think InterCity (IC) trains have the same time frames as the Freccia trains, >>>Also, can I use an American credit card when purchasing tickets on trenitalia or italo sites?
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 06:05 AM
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Thanks Kybourbon, I'll update that - it used just to be the Frecce that were 120 days.

Though at the timetable change in December, they uploaded Frecce high-speed trains first, with IC trains following weeks late.
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 01:25 PM
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Holly, I assume you're talking about the regional train tickets. If they are bought at a train station, they can always be refunded, exchanged, or turned in when applied to the cost of a different ticket.

I can't be 100% sure, but I don't think that regional tickets bought online could be exchanged even for a strike. I recently bought a regional ticket online, which is something I would usually never do, but it was just one segment on a trip that included also Frecce trains, so I made an exception. When I got to the station, I saw that the regional train I was supposed to catch was running an hour late, which would have meant missing my connection to a reserved Frecce train at the next station. There was an IC train leaving however, which would have allowed me to make my connection. I asked at the ticket window if I could apply the cost of the unusable regional ticket to the cost of the IC train, and was told that regional tickets bought online cannot be modified in any way for any reason. So I just bought a new IC ticket at full price and will never again buy a regional ticket online for any reason.
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 01:28 PM
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I'm not surprised that the IC schedules were loaded late, but that isn't because you can buy then only 90 days in advance. The Frecce schedules are also not always uploaded 120 days in advance, either.
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for the response, bv. No, I'm talking about the Freccia trains. I was so enticed by the lure of the really really low prices, that I bought my tickets about 10-12 weeks out, and now I'm sweating bullets hoping there are no strikes on those dates. I won't do this again; I'll at least wait until the strike schedule is announced. But if there are strikes on my travel dates, I'd like to know if those tickets that are affected (if any) will be refundable.
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Old Jan 13th, 2015, 04:25 PM
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For regional tickets purchased online, you can get a refund in case of strike. If you are purchasing online, you can click the fare details when you are choosing the fare.

***ORDINARY

Ticket changes
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE to change the departure
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE to replace the ticket or change the class

Refunds
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE to refund the ticket bough on line, except in case of strike
.
RESTRICTIONS
On Regional trains, it's possible to make only one trip on the required route, provided that the same is among the travel solutions offered by Trenitalia.
Tickets for Leonardo Express connections (RATE 1/TER A series) and 14/RM fare tickets purchased online, the expiry of the validity is 90 ', for all other ticket expiration of the shelf life is 4 hours from the departure time of the train indicated on the receipt/ticket. Tickets can be purchased 7 days before the date of departure.
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