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Florence to Naples - NTV's Italo versus Trenitalia's Frecciarossa: Which to take?

Florence to Naples - NTV's Italo versus Trenitalia's Frecciarossa: Which to take?

Aug 23rd, 2013, 05:46 AM
  #1  
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Florence to Naples - NTV's Italo versus Trenitalia's Frecciarossa: Which to take?

While researching the Florence to Naples part of our trip in June of 2014, thanks to kybourbon I just discovered that Italo offers a high speed train for that route. I probably should have heard about it sooner because I think the company has been in existence since about April of 2012 - but I just hadn’t heard of it until now. The man in seat 61 offers his opinion at the web link below.

http://www.seat61.com/italo.htm#.UhdiLajD9hF

I was wondering if anyone has experience with Italo and would recommend it or not? I checked a few random dates a few weeks out and Italo seems a bit more expensive than Frecciarossa but is it worth it for the newer trains and separate lounge area? We have always been very satisfied with our experiences using Trenitalia but thought I would check out what you think of NTV.
john183 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 06:05 AM
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After some more experimenting with some different dates, it looks like the fares are actually very similar (only about 1 Euro different). Maybe in my original test, I picked a date too far out to do accurate comparisons. Are the fares really about the same? If so, NTV looks like it could be a nice option.
john183 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 07:16 AM
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I think the secondary stations are a plus at times - Tiburtina is much much more relaxed than Termini in Rome - taxis a few steps away - metro as quick to many hotels than from Termini - so stations may factor into your choice of the two competing train companies - plus give the upstart who had to battle long and hard in courts to get to compete - give them the business rather than the state-run railway that tried to block competition for so so long.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 07:50 AM
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go to www.seat61.com for an actual comparison as to the rolling stock, etc. and be very aware of the station in Florence from which you will be leaving.
Dukey1 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 07:52 AM
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Florence to Naples: NTV (Italo Treno) or Trenitalia Frecciarossa???

Choose the best schedule and fare. The train stations are identical both in Florence and in Naples.

Otherwise, there is VERY little difference between the two operators where the Frecciarossa is involved. While Italo trains are a bit more "spiffy" and Italo personnel are generally younger and somewhat more customer-friendly and talkative, some people on this site have commented that the SMART class (economy class) on Italo is not quite as comfortable as STANDARD class (economy class) on Trenitalia Frecciarossa.
GAC is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 08:26 AM
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>>>john183 on Aug 23, 13 at 10:05am
After some more experimenting with some different dates, it looks like the fares are actually very similar (only about 1 Euro different).<<<

You can't price anything that far out. Current prices run through mid-Dec. When schedules/fares change in mid-Dec they will only be valid until the 2nd weekend in June when schedules change again.

Here's some reviews, but from the ones I've read, Italo has nicer trains and better wifi.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...ome_Lazio.html

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...l-newest-train

http://www.fodors.com/news/review-it...rain-5959.html
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 08:55 AM
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One plus for Italo is their better web updating of schedules when they change from winter/summer and allowing to book for their entire schedule (Trenitalia only lets you book 120 days out on the fast trains). I haven't heard anyone complain about booking on Italo's website. Trenitalia has gotten better in the last year or two, but still has some snags.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 09:11 AM
  #8  
 
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John, I used Italo Treno last October from Florence (SMN station) to Naples and was very happy with the experience.
The website was easy to use, I booked and paid in advance, First class.

In the station there were uniformed staff members on the platform to assist you if needed, all the staff I encountered were very friendly and pleasant. One young man even used his mobile number to connect me to the free wi-fi. ( you had to enter an Italian phone number)

I had a very comfortable seat; First class included a glass of Prosecco, coffee and snacks, there was room for my luggage. (admittedly, not huge suitcases, one carry-on, plus a 21 inch suitcase) I looked at the diagram on their website and chose the seat that suited me.

The restroom was clean, something I haven't always had on other trains.

One word of advice, be very aware in the station in Florence, it is crawling with pickpockets, I had an interesting experience with a team of three creeps who at first glance you would never think had anything to do with the other.
raincitygirl is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 12:00 PM
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Ilalotreno and Trenitalia use the same stations at Naples and Florence. Why the trainspotters are dragging in irrelevancies about stations elsewhere is beyond me.

By and large, the rolling stock differences are relevant only to obsessive train spotters, and the journey times on direct trains differ only by a few minutes.

Since far too many neo-Communists (including most people in this board talking about Italian trains) still persist in ignoring Italotreno, or peddling inaccuracies about it, it's quite common for fares on Italotreno to be slightly lower than the, overall more likely to be fully booked, Trenitalia travelling at more or less the same time.

As in any free market, though that's not 100% predictable. The crucial difference between the two on any given journey will be the prices the revenue maximisation algorithms will be demanding the day a potential traveller compares fares.

No-one here can possibly predict what that comparison will throw up the day YOU search for the time YOU want to travel.

The only useful comparison between the two isn't what you're told here: it's what fares are available. For which you need to look at the two different sites - Italy's slender grasp of modern technology being incapable of producing a website which compares the two side by side.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 12:41 PM
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My experience with the Italo was this past March from Venice to Florence. I didn’t notice any difference in comfort level compared to the trenitalia fast trains. (I was in the second from cheapest fare car, as the cheapest were sold out.) I do recall the bathroom being nicer, cleaner, stocked, etc. The only thing that really stood out to me was the flashing kph sign above the doors - it read 300 as we were going through a tunnel somewhere south of Bologna. Maybe the trenitalia trains go that fast, and I just blissfully never knew it.

My comparison of the schedules for my dates has always shown the Italo to be considerably cheaper than trenitalia, BUT I’ve never bought either online, so have not taken advantage of the trenitalia sales in the past.

BTW, it’s pronounced Eat-A-Low, in case you're wondering.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 12:56 PM
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I have used Italo from Venice to Bologna and later for a day trip between Florence and Bologna. Chose it because schedule was slightly better and fares about the same (I was booking about a month out).

I was really pleased with the service and thought the trains were very nice. WIFI worked fine. My traveling companion gave the bathroom high marks.
mama_mia is online now  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 01:01 PM
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I should have added that I have used Trenitalia for other journeys (Milan-Bologna, Florence-Cinque Terre, Florence-Rome, plus other routes). I thought the Italo experience was slightly better.
mama_mia is online now  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 06:13 PM
  #13  
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Thanks everyone for all the responses. I think we might give Italo a try if we can get a reasonable price on the 10:33 train from Florence to Naples next June. But if it doesn't work out, I know we will be happy with Trenitalia like we always have been in the past.
john183 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2013, 08:20 AM
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And maybe a key factor could be the aggravating strikes that pop up all too often it seems with Trenitalia trains - like those pesky six-hour strikes - perhaps Italo is immune from those work stoppages - being a private company - a factor I would consider.
PalenQ is offline  

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