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Getting around Italy by train - pass or individual tickets?

Getting around Italy by train - pass or individual tickets?

Old Sep 19th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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Thanks for these helpful replies!

A couple other questions about advance reservations: must we buy tickets in the U.S. or can we not buy them in Italy? I already added up the fares for planned trains, and we don't benefit by a railpass, so I don't plan to buy one of those. However, almost all the advice about trains says something about reserving seats. Is that required? And must we buy in advance? For example, we plan to travel from Milano to Padova on a Wed., probably about noon. Would all the seats be taken if we wait to book the same day? The following day we plan to go to Venezia from Padova. It's only about 30 min., and I'm wondering if we need ADVANCE reservations.

And one other perhaps silly question -- even if you are riding 2nd class, can you still eat in the dining car?

Thanks a lot for any advice.
MaryB29 is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2010, 07:28 PM
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You can try and book on the Italian train website where you see discounted advance fares quite often.


Some folks have reported that whatever they tried, certain credit cards didn't work. But if you first let your credit-card issuing company know about your plan (so that they don't block the "unusual" overseas transaction) and patiently go about it, you may be able to snare some tickets.

All tickets on fast city-to-city trains come with seat reservations, that's a part of the ticket. So you have to book a train that you know you'll be able to make.

But you can certainly buy tickets in Italy, on the day of travel even - trains rarely fill up entirely and if they do, there's always another one leaving soon after.

But if you already know when you wish to travel, do it a day or two in advance of course, just tell the agent the date and the train so he issues the ticket for the correct train on the correct date.

From Padua to Venice there are lots of trains, but not all go down to Venezia Santa Lucia (the station by the canals) since many zip through Venice Mestre (the station up on the mainland) and keep on going east on the big train route.

If you find yourselves on a train where the conductor tells you it doesn't go to Venice Santa Lucia, get off in Mestre and take the little local train that goes several times an hour down to S.L. - no problem.

You can buy that ticket for Padua - Venezia S.L. in Padua at the last minute. If it's a regional train you won't need the seat reservation, if it's a fast EC or IC train, you will have to have a seat and stick to that.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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Most trains in Italy (AV,ES,ESCity,ICPlus, IC) require reserved seats and it's included when you purchase on/from Trenitalia. Only the slower R trains don't have/allow reserved seats. You will find both types of trains on the routes you mentioned.

There are more R trains than other types between Padova/Venice and some take 30 minutes with a cost of 2.90€ while others take 45 minutes (also 2.90€). You can take an ESCity train that takes 15 minutes and costs 12€ or an ES/AV train that takes 26 minutes and costs 14€. There are more R trains on this particular route than ES trains. Around noon there are about 4-5 trains per hour. When riding an R train, you must validate your ticket in the yellow machine trackside before boarding (sometimes they are in the station). Other tickets (with a seat number) do not need to be validated.

>>>Try it. On the far right click a button of a train on display, then hit DETTAGLI PER SELEZIONE or whatever the English equivalent is.>>>>

You should be able to just click English on Trenitalia at the top of the webpage.

Here's an explanation of trains. The only difference between the three fast trains (Frecciarossa,Frecciargento,Frecciabianca) are their speeds.

Here's pictures showing the inside differences between the types of trains.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Sep 20th, 2010, 07:10 PM
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You are just great! Thanks a lot.
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