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travsgirls Sep 7th, 2007 02:57 PM

We leave for Italy in October. Our plan is to visit Rome, Florence, and Italy since it is our first time. After visiting each city we have planned on taking the train to the next and have been told you can book them easily when you are there. I have decided I would like to take the Italian Eurorail since it is the quickest. I've just read w/ the Eurorail it is recommended you book early. Does this mean early as in right now from home, or w/ my hotel when I arrive to each city? Any tips or thoughts out there with train travel? Thanks so much!!!

ira Sep 7th, 2007 03:03 PM

Hi T,

The Italian train system is Trenitalia, not Eurorail.

>Our plan is to visit Rome, Florence, and Italy ...<

Rome and Florence are in Italy. :)

>it is recommended you book early. Does this mean early as in right now from home, or w/ my hotel when I arrive to each city? <

What is the rest of your itinerary?


NeoPatrick Sep 7th, 2007 03:06 PM

I think you mean Eurostar???

You can book it when you get there. Or you can book in advance on line. We have generally waited and gone to a travel agency with a Trenitalia (Italian trains) sticker in the window. They will book your tickets and make the seat reservations for you at no extra charge. It's a lot easier than waiting in lines at train stations in my opinion. Might as well book all your trips at one time though.

I have yet to hear of people unable to book a ticket a couple days before they wanted to go.

I'm also GUESSING that in your first sentence, you meant to say "Rome, Florence, and VENICE (not Italy)"?

jtrandolph Sep 7th, 2007 04:42 PM

I find the Trenitalia website absolutely impossible.

(err...I think that fastest trains are called Eurostar and Eurorail is the name given for passes you can buy. These can save money but it is complicated to figure them out based on your times of travel and the total time you will need them. I spent several hours and ended up saving money simply by buying individual tickets.)

We went by train from Desanzano to Venice to Florence to Naples to Rome. We bought our tickets a couple of days ahead of time at the stations. Second class is just fine but be sure to get seat reservations (If you are on a Eurostar train they are required).

The reason for the seat reservations if you go second class is that your seat (marked with your reservation) may be empty for the leg before you board and those without seat reservations will sit in it when they notice nobody has claimed it. If this happens, just politely show the guilty party your reservation and they will smile and move to stand in the corridor, where you may have been without seat reservations.

Do not forget to validate your ticket before boarding the train. This is done by having it stamped (or punched, I don't remember) in a machine which is on the train platform for that purpose.

NeoPatrick's idea of booking through a travel agent is a great idea. While we didn't have to stand in many lines I wish I had thought of it.

travsgirls Sep 7th, 2007 11:50 PM

Yes, Venice will be the last stop on our trip, and...YES, I meant EuroSTAR.
Thank you so much jtrandolph and NeoPatrick for your very helpful information and ability to see through my typing errors. If you're a parent you'll understand typing quickly between naps and meals allows little time for editing. I'm not and idiot, I'm a busy mother. Again, thanks so much for your help. You answered my question!

hopscotch Sep 8th, 2007 05:11 AM

Being as how this is your first time travsgirls, a visit to would be worthwhile in getting you up to speed on European trains.

Good practical advice jtrandolph. The high speed train on Italy's rail system is the Eurostar Italia. A couple of them run daily between Rome and Venice, stopping in Florence. Reservations are required and a supplement is charged.

hopscotch Sep 8th, 2007 05:34 AM

Here is the website for the Eurostar Italia, I haven't tried to use it so good luck.

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