Italy Train Reservation Question

May 12th, 2003, 10:20 AM
  #1  
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Italy Train Reservation Question

Hi all!

I've done lots and lots of research for our trip to Italy this fall, but need help from some you knowledgeable Fororites! We (6 ladies) will fly into Rome on Thursday morning, October 2nd and go straight to Termini Station to take a train to La Spezia for our five day stay in the Cinque Terre. Will we have any problem getting tickets and reservations for immediate departure that day, or should we make train reservations before leaving the U.S.?

I haven't looked at the schedules on Trenitalia yet, but figure we'll be looking at an early afternoon train.

TravelerGina is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Hi Gina,

You should have no problem getting on a train to Laspezia Thursday morning in October. It runs on a regular basis and takes about 4 hours to reach it's distination. Have a good trip.

Greg
GregPCM is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 12:50 PM
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Traveler Gina,
I am going also to Cinque Terre from Rome..I imagine that you already have researched trenitalia.com for the schedules and prices.I dont think that you will have too much problem finding seats in October, I am going in C.Terre june 23, by then the trains are going to be full of vacationers and therefore reservations are necessary...
Buon Viaggio,
kismet
kismetchimera is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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Greg and Kismet:

Thank you so much for your responses. I figured that traveling on a week day that late in the season would not present any problems, but wanted confirmation.

Kismet, you're going to the Cinque Terre on my birthday! Wish I was going then too - a chilled glass of the local white wine would be such a great birthday drink, especially while watching the sun set over the Ligurian Sea! Have a great trip!
TravelerGina is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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Thanks Gina, I promise that I will have a good glass of wine in your honor,..I have rented an apt. with a balcony facing the sea .. cant wait to be there...
By the way there is a train leaving Rome at 11:46 arrive 15:55 and another at 12:46, arrive at 16:52.. and of course there are others...
Ciao,
kismetchimera is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 01:16 PM
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If you really, really wanted to make seat reservations, you can do so at the Fiumicino Airport Trenitalia ticket window office, for a reservation fee of 3 Euros per seat, no later than 2 hours prior to scheduled train departure. I would not bother to do so, however, in view of your departure date. Furthermore, you would have to wait 90 minutes at Termini Station (since the train from the airport arrives at Termini in 30 minutes), and would have to pass up an earlier departing train to La Spezia simply to take advantage of the seat reservation. However, since there are six in your travel party, you would need to act quickly, once on the train, to find an unreserved compartment with six empty seats, so as not to split up in more than one compartment.
GAC is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 03:16 AM
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Reservations, on the majority of trains, clkose 3 hours prior to the train's departure from its starting point. You are six and will probably want to seat in one compartment. Unlike what most people say and despite it will cost you a lot more, reserve the seats from the Usa!!!
Alice_Twain is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 05:03 AM
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Trains will not be busy on a Thursday afternoon in October. Trains are busier in the morning and early evening with people travelling on business, and around weekends when people are travelling to see relatives and friends.
GeoffHamer is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 08:16 AM
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Geoff, they are SIX! They might find seats, if they are luck, but I am willing to bet that they will be scattered all over the train if they do not book in advance.
Alice_Twain is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 02:20 PM
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In all likelihood, you'll be traveling on an InterCity train up to La Spezia. And therefore, you'll have the option of sitting in a compartment that seats six people. You'll be traveling during the week, in October, and therefore, reservations are less important. However Alice has pointed out the critical issue here; six people traveling together are less likely to find one empty compartment. Not that it's out of the question --- let's say you may need to act the 'pushy American'. I'd designate one or two of your group (others take their luggage) to quickly get on the train and scout out an empty compartment. Frankly, I don't think it's a big deal if you do end up having to split up between a couple compartments. Just make sure that everybody knows what station to get off at (La Spezia has a couple stations); and the other fyi, is that most people get up and head towards the door as the train slows down and enters the station. If you wait until it comes to a full stop, then you may get stuck working your way off as new riders are boarding the train.
Tess_Durberville is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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RAR
 
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Rome to La Spezia requires a change in Florence, and most Rome-Florence trains are Eurostar (which require reservations). From Florence to La Spezia are a lot of interregionals, which you can take and find spots without reserving anything (easy to find spaces near eachother on those).
RAR is offline  
May 13th, 2003, 02:37 PM
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RAR
 
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Actually cancel what I just wrote. I looked at the trenitalia site and there are a lot of Roma-La Spezia trains that require no changes.
RAR is offline  
May 14th, 2003, 05:18 AM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and input! I knew I would get good information from the people on this board.

I can't wait to post my first trip report after our time in Italy. Just hope I will be able to furnish information that will be helpful to others!
TravelerGina is offline  
May 15th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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I booked all my train tickets from the United States (DER Travel). I don't have the patience to stand in line for tickets when I am excited and/or tired I want to get to my destination without delay. The first part of our train travel on May 4th was from the Rome Airport to the Rome Termini. That part worked out fine. Once in the Termini, we had to catch the train to La Spezia BUT the train was late getting into the Termini. Our original plan was to get to La Spezia with 5 mintes to catch our connection to Santa Margherita. It didn't work out. The train coming into the Rome Termini late threw everything off, and we ended up on a slowwwwwww,smelly local train which took double the time to arrive at our final destination, SML. Things like this happen even with the best laid plans. You have six people trying to navigate train travel in a foreign country. I would give this a lot of thought.

As an aside, when we were leaving Menton, France on May 13th to go to Milano, Italy the French decided to have a train strike. Thanks to a post prior to our leaving, the strike didn't entirely come as a surprise to us, and we were able to get to Ventimigilia's train station in Italy and onto Milano. If you travel in these countries, expect the unexpected.
i_am_kane is offline  
May 16th, 2003, 06:52 AM
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Allow at least 30 minutes connection time at Rome Termini Station if arriving from Fiumicino Airport on the Leonardo da Vinci non-stop airport train. This is because the incoming airport train stops very far from the main pedestrian platform at the station. You need to walk nearly one kilometer to reach the main platform from which to connect to other outbound trains. You will need to walk nearly ten minutes to connect, plus additional time to allow for potential delays.
GAC is offline  
May 17th, 2003, 07:20 AM
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TravelerGina,

If you haven't seen this recent thread, look at GAC's topic about train travel in Italy. Addresses frequently asked questions regarding the Eurostar Italia.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34419647
Tess_Durberville is offline  

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