Italy Train Questions

Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 12:20 PM
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Italy Train Questions

I have a few detail questions that I am still unclear on after searching here and at slowtrav.com

1) Will point to point tickets be cheaper then a trenitalia pass for 2 adults, first class:
- Milan to Venice Feb 8th 19:05 train 635 IC
- Venice to Florence Feb 11th 16:32 ES*
- Florence to Rome Feb 15th 10:10 ES*

We might also do some day trips, Tuscany area, Pisa, etc

2) I understand seat reservations are required on ES* trains, and included in the ticket price, is that correct?

3) Should we get seat reservations on IC trains, or any trains?

4) Should we buy all our tickets now online, what happens if our travel plans change ( we want to stay longer or leave eailer?)

Thanks!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 12:28 PM
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Pass is out, not enough travel. Online can get cheapest prices but trains are so cheap in Italy you won't lose much by retaining your flexibility and buying there. Reservations are suggested for long distance trains in Italy, ES Italia trains require them and charge a supplement over other trains.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 12:30 PM
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1) You should compute the cost savings, if any, with the pass for two adults. I doubt there's much to save, if anything.

2) You are correct.

3) The IC train departing Milan for Venice at 19:05 is one of those "terrible" IC trains which originate in Turin (I've written about these trains elsewhere on this site). Just to be safe, I recommend a seat reservation, even though you're travelling on a Tuesday and during the "slowest" month of the calendar year. Book the day beforehand.

4) Don't buy the tickets now. You're not aiming for any limited-availability promotional fares, and you're travelling during the slowest month of the year. Book your travel locally the day beforehand. That way, you retain maximum flexibility.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 12:32 PM
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GAC, tell me more about the terrible IC train from Turin. Should we take a different train? We need to get to Venice that night for our hotel
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 12:38 PM
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All I mean to say about that IC train is that it's often full by the time it reaches Milan, so it's a good idea to have seat reservations. Otherwise, you don't need to avoid the train.

HOWEVER, why not take the ES train at 18:55? It's 20 minutes faster, and will cost you 1.50 Euros LESS in second class, and this includes the mandatory seat reservation which costs extra on the IC. I would strongly recommend the ES train over the IC train originating in Turin. Why travel IC when you can go ES for less money and nearly at the same time?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 12:55 PM
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Thanks a lot GAC!

One last quesiton, I think, I see you can pick your seats or request certian seats. Is there any way of knowing which seats face the direction the train is going? My wife gets motion sick and facing the same way as the train helps her.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:15 PM
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areinert:

You actually can select seat POSITION (window or corridor) rather than actual seat or railcar number.

I've never been able to figure out direction of travel from the seat diagram, other than to GUESS that the bottom seat reflects forward train direction. Even so, train direction usually is INVERTED when trains transit through Florence and Rome.

My recommendation is that you select two seats facing each other. That way you're certain to get one seat in the direction of train travel.

Once on the train, you can always ask fellow travellers to switch seats. If the train is mostly empty (which happens often), you could claim any apparently empty seat (until someone else claims it at an intermediate stop).

BTW, between Milan and Venice, the ES train stops at Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, Padova and Mestre. This is two stops less than the IC train.

Between Venice and Florence, the ES train stops at Mestre, Padova, Rovigo, Ferrara and Bologna.

Between Florence and Rome the ES train is non-stop.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 02:21 PM
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Regarding seat direction, no there is absolutely NO WAY to tell. First of all whichever direction a seat is going into some cities (like Florence) it is guaranteed that same seat is facing the other way going out. A number of stations are "dead end" meaning the train goes out "backwards" from the way it came in.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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Hi are,

> Will point to point tickets be cheaper then a trenitalia pass for 2 adults, first class:.....
We might also do some day trips, Tuscany area, Pisa, etc

Enter your itinerary at www.railsaver.com.
Click "only if it saves me money".

You will have to pay about 10E for reservations on the ES* if you have a pass.

2) I understand seat reservations are required on ES* trains, and included in the ticket price, is that correct?

Yes

3) Should we get seat reservations on IC trains, or any trains?

If you are in the slow season, in 1cl, not really needed.

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