Italy- Eurail or Interail?

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Mar 29th, 2009, 09:19 AM
  #1
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Italy- Eurail or Interail?

I am interested in getting a 6 day flexible pass for Italy, and I have come across Interail and Eurail...Interail is less expensive- but how do I know the difference? Which one should I use?
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Mar 29th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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Interail is for European citizens while Eurail is for non-European citizens.

Most people won't recommend Eurail for Italy because all the fast trains require a 15-25 euro reservation fee.
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Mar 29th, 2009, 09:53 AM
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ira
 
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Hi std,

Italian trains are rather inexpensive.

Before buying a railpass, check the Amica prices for your proposed journeys at
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

Also, the Green Card discounts for youth might be good for you.

As noted, if you have a railpass, you have to pay extra for seat reservations for ES* and AV trains. They are reserved seating only.

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Mar 29th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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You really need to have a general idea of where you are going, how many train trips, etc. to compare the (possible) value of any kind of a pass compared to 2nd class point-to-point tickets simply purchased at the train stations as you go along.
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Mar 29th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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In terms of the trips we are doing, I am entering Italy through Milan. From Milan I am going to Venice, from Venice to Florence, Florence to Rome, Rome to Bologna, Bologna back to Milan...after doing the math the Interail youth pass (since im only 21) seems like the best deal...and technically I am a resident of Switzerland so I would be eligible. Would this be the way to go?
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Mar 29th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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No, it will not be cheaper. A pass is rarely (almost never)cost effective for Italy. If you price each leg on Trenitalia as suggested above, you will see a pass is not cheaper. Even using the standard fare prices on Trenitalia and not even attempting to get the Amica discount, point-to-point tickets are still cheaper than your interrail pass + purchasing seat reservations. Trenitalia's prices include the seat reservations for AV/ES/ICplus trains.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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ira
 
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Hey ST,

>after doing the math.....<

Did you look up the fares at the Trenitalia site?

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Mar 30th, 2009, 11:54 AM
  #8
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I did, as far as I can tell my total ticket costs in Italy alone (not counting from Switzerland into Milan) will be about 147 Euro...sound right?
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Mar 30th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Then how did you think a pass would be better? If the pass is 125€ and you have to add a seat supplement for each leg of 15-20€ (5 x 15 = 75€) then your cost with a pass would total 200€.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 11:19 PM
  #10
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so i have to add a seat supplement for each leg as well? i didnt know which pass included the reservation or if it did not...trains in Switzerland seem to be much simpler than this!
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Mar 31st, 2009, 06:24 AM
  #11
ira
 
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Hi stdy,

The Amica fares using only ES* 2cl for your itinerary come to 130E. Seat rservation is included in the cost.

ItaliaRail, the NA agent for Trenitalia, charges $20 for each seat reservation + $15 handling fee. The agent said that seat reservations would be "slightly less" in Italy.

So, you do save money buying point-to-point.

You might be able to find IC trains for your route, seat reservations not required - about 5E for a reservation - where a railpass will be cheaper.

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Mar 31st, 2009, 09:19 AM
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The fast trains(AV, ES, ICPLUS) in Italy are reserved seat only. Railpasses never include the seat reservations so you will have to pay extra for each trip (15E each). You cannot get on one of these trains unless you have a reserved seat. The slow trains (R, IR, D) don't require seat reservations and the tickets are much cheaper, but can double your travel time.
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Mar 31st, 2009, 09:56 AM
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Hi,

I am planning on taking the Artesia train from Rome to Paris on May 3rd. What's the cheapest way to book the ticket while here in the USA (the EuroRail.com rates are pretty high)? How can I either get the tickets mailed to my address in USA or have it to be picked up at the station in Rome (or Venice/Florence/Pisa)? Also do these prices vary much (i.e., can I get there and buy the tickets or are they likely to go up as the travel date nears)?

Thanks.
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Mar 31st, 2009, 11:39 AM
  #14
ira
 
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Hi CS,

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD
will deliver your tickets to your hotel, or you can pick them up at the station.

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Apr 10th, 2009, 07:52 AM
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Thanks Ira. Actually I called the French ticket office, booked the tickets and they mailed it to my address in USA (though on earlier occasions they said they cannot mail it to USA, was lucky to find an accomodating agent!).
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Apr 10th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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A pass can indeed be worthwhile for that itinerary IF you avoid the ES trains that demand a steep 15 euro supplement for passes.

And you can - i have a Eurailpass and last time in Italy i never paid a supplement and just hopped on the trains ( a key aspect of passes in most countries) by using trains like IC that do not require reservations or supplements - and i went from Rome to Florence to Venice and other places.

But if you look at the Florence to Venice schedule you will see only ES trains - but there are trains leaving Florence Rifredi station going to Venice Mestre station that you can just hop on - which i did - i took a shuttle train from Florence's main station to Rifredi, two miles away and a shuttle train from Mestre to Venice's main Santa Lucia station.

Between Rome and Florence i took a regional train - it took an hour more but i just hopped on - and i liked taking the old route that goes thru cities and stops at places like Orvieto - i like to stop at stations actually and watch the boarding process - the new high-speed route goes non-stop and thru rather boring countryside.

Rome to Naples you can take similar IC trains or ICplus trains that charge only 5 euros.

So for your itinerary the pass can be nice - no need to go to ticket windows and buy the sometimes elusive discounted fares - but literally just hop on.

Too often people only think there are only ES trains that charge ridiculous supplements but this is not the case - esp if you are not in a huge rush.
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Apr 10th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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PQ - A pass still will not make any difference. If you price the slow trains, you will see. Some of his routes on slow trains will only cost 14-16E.
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Apr 10th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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that is true - the IC Refredi to Mestre may be more - but a good point

the OP may want to consider the 2-month Youth Eurailpass - either Select or Global if he is going to be in Switzerland a long time - then he can use it to go to Paris, Germany, Prague, Vienna, etc as well as Italy and even in Switzerland, of course.

By kybourbon is right about regional trains being dirt cheap - but there are many IC and IC+ trains that are free or just 5 euros. Price the trains exactly on trenitalia.com is my advice - he did not mention what the Inter-Rail pass costs or i missed it so don't know the base.

For info on the Eurailpass Youth versions and lots on using European trains i always mention: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com - lots of great info and not just a listing of passes and prices and an add to cart button. Technically the OP is NOT entitled to use a Eurailpass if he is a current resident of Switzerland - but i would think he could without problem unless his Swiss residency visa is prominent in his passport - then as a resident of Europe he is not technically qualified to use a Eurailpass.

Also www.swisstravelsystem.com has lots on Swiss trains, lake boats, etc.

Also scour www.cisalpino.com for fares on trains between Switzerland and Italy. sbb.ch for online specials if any.
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