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EurRail Trenitalia Pass questions, please...

EurRail Trenitalia Pass questions, please...

Mar 20th, 2010, 10:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,734
EurRail Trenitalia Pass questions, please...

Here is the website to which I am referring in this post, fyi:

http://eurorailways.com/products/tra...ntry/italy.htm

First of all, let me say that I only came to this site because, alas, I am one of the poor souls whose credit cards (tried all three) are not being accepted on the Trenitalia site. (Does anyone think they know/care??? The money they could be losing!)

So, my best choice now is EurRail. What I am reading here is that because two of us are traveling together, we can use the "Saverpass". We plan on going 2nd class. We will have four days of train travel during our 14-day stay.

What I'm trying to figure out is:

1) Does this pass include "locals"? I mean, if the train can be found on the Trenitalia website, we can use our pass?

2) And those "locals" would be the only ones we DON'T need reservations for? (We are planning on taking a local, round-trip Florence to Siena.) I believe the rest of our plans (high speed Rome-Venice/Venice-Verona/Verona-Venice/Venice-Florence/Florence-Rome) we just need to make the reservations on this site, after purchasing the pass? Or can we make those reservations with Trenitalia?

3) Any way to figure out what seat numbers face which way and which are window/aisle?

4) I see that they charge a fee from $15-32 for making my reservations on the Italy trains, after I've bought the pass. Does anyone know if this is a one-time flat fee? Or is it per reservation? Per person per reservation?

Thanks, all! Sure do appreciate it!
sarge56 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 12:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 69
We used this last year and made all the reservations at Termin station where they were very helpful, considering we don't speak Italian. I think that I only needed to pay the reservation fee then. It's worth doing that and they will let you know exactly which legs of your journey you definitely need to reserve a seat. eg Rome to Salerno ( Amalfi).
The seat numbers don't make sense but there are 6 people to a carozza and ask when you reserve to have window seats as we did. Don't get caught by the young guy at Termini who kindly takes your luggage and wheels it to your carozza, then expects a payment of 5euros( thankfully we had no spare cash on us!!)
Just a tip the numbers of the carriages can be different on each train, thus one station No 1 can be one end and the next one it's the opposite end.
skibunnyjan is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 04:49 AM
  #3  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,865
The seat reservation fee is for each leg of your trip, per person. This is why purchasing a pass is often not a good idea for Italy. You may be better off just buying point to point tickets. Have you checked out the cost of buying separate point to point tickets, which includes the seat reservation fee? The 4 day pass is $231 = 170 Euro. For the routes you describe, I get a total cost, 2nd class, no discounts of 179 Euro.

The routes you are taking are all served by hourly service, so there is no risk of the trains being full. There are also some discounts available. If you buy all your tickets when you first arrive in Italy you may be able to get some discounts.

I don't understand your comment about the $ they are losing. If you can't buy tickets in advance you just buy them when you are in Italy.

For Florence to Siena the bus is actually a better option, as it lets you off closer to the center of Siena.

Here are seating plans for the various types of trains in Italy.

http://www.seat61.com/train-seat-plans.htm#Italy
J62 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:19 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,404
Your best choice is not Eurail and Trenitalia is not losing money because you are buying a pass. You will be paying more than if you bought the discounted tickets so Trenitlia is making more money, not less.

You've listed more than four trips so I don't know how you figured you only need a 4 day pass. You've actually listed 6 trips. Are some round trips in the same day? If so, Trenitalia sometimes discounts R/T on certain trains/routes if you buy from Trenitalia. If not, you would need a 6 day pass.

You would have to buy a reservation for each trip. The real cost of a seat reservation (if purchased from Trenitlia) is 10€ per person per train ride. The Siena train ride is 6€ each way and won't require a reservation because it's an R train.

If you must buy a railpass (not sure you should), buy it from RailEurope as currently they are not charging the mailing fee that Eurail is charging ($18).

It used to be that RailEurope did not sell the discounted tickets, but find the exact dates/trains (get the train number too)and look at point-to-point tickets on their website. See if you can buy the discounted point-to-point first before considering the railpass.
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html

Remember that discounts can still be purchased from Trenitlia once you are in Italy. The 15% discount is only a 24 hour advance purchase and the 30% is 7 day advance purchase although they can be subject to sell out. The touch screen ticket machines are simple to use.
kybourbon is online now  
Mar 21st, 2010, 08:19 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
And between Siena and Florence the bus is best. The bus stop is in the middle of historic Siena. The train station is outside the walls; you'll have to take a bus or a taxi.

The bus leaves Florence from a station across from Florence SMN, the main Florence train station.

For the reasons above, don't buy a pass. Wait until you get to Italy to buy your train tickets. You can buy all of them at Fiumicino airport or at the Stazione Termini in Rome. Or you can buy them from a travel agency that shows the Trenitalia symbol in the window. All the Italian travel agents I have met speak good English.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 08:57 AM
  #6  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,145
Hey Sarge,

It is highly unlikely that you will save money in Italy with a railpass.

It is highly unlikely that you will not be able to buy tickets at good prices when you hit Italy. If you come into FCO, there is a train station there where you can buy all of your tickets at once.

As noted, with a railpass you pay a reservation fee for each seat on each required train. If you buy the ticket in Italy, the reservation fee is included in the price.

ira is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:04 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 36
this Trenitalia Passes seems to be a really popular topic, so I will repeat my post of 3/19--"Hey guys, before you re-invent the wheel, just dig a little deeper in this blog and you will find a Paypal solution to your problem already posted =
"I have found a loophole for buying Trenitalia tickets on their website!" Posted by: acswift on Mar 17, 09 at 6:15pm.......

if you learn to use the Search function at the top of this page you will really be able to profit from accumulated wisdom......and advice that tells you to buy your tix in Italy forgets to mention the loooong lines at ticket windows.....
scotty09 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:10 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,157
"and advice that tells you to buy your tix in Italy forgets to mention the loooong lines at ticket windows"

Because virtually all the advice recommends buying the tickets from one of the many ticket machines at the train stations or at a local travel agency where there are few lines if any--which totally avoids long lines at ticket windows.
ellenem is online now  
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:32 AM
  #9  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,865
And if dig just a little deeper and read the rest of the post "I found a loophole..." you will see that someone posts that Paypal is no longer accepted....
J62 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:35 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,533
I buy at FCO, taking printouts with the trains I want. If I'm not at FCO, I just use a local agency in Italy. No lines, simple.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 11:47 AM
  #11  
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Posts: 5,734
Thank you all for your input.

We're not taking the bus to Siena, because I get sick on bus rides and we are not going there to "see" Siena. We are meeting our Tuscany tour guide there; he is picking us up at the train station.

The purpose of attempting to buy the tickets early was to get the discounted price. Not for convenience. We have decided to just purchase them all when we arrive in Rome.

ky- yes, two of the trips (R/T Florence/Siena and R/T Venice/Verona) are same day trips.

Thanks, again, for the input!
sarge56 is offline  

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