Italy Train Travel

Old Jul 13th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Italy Train Travel

Hi all,

Quick question: We are planning a trip to Italy this October, with the Rome-Florence-Venice-Rome itinary. We are flying in and out of Rome and are planning on doing the rest of the travelling by train.

Is it better to buy the train tickets ahead of time (i.e. now, from here) than on-site when we need them? As well, is there an advantage in buying a multi-travel pass for the 15 days duration?

Thanks
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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Ah, but there are no quick answers...

If you take a fast long-distance train and you have deadlines that make travel times important, you might want to buy early to be sure of getting a reservation.

But I've _never_ had a problem just buying tickets on-site, even at the height of tourist season (sometimes stopping by the station the day before a trip). Many (most?) trains do not require reservations.

To tell whether the 15 day pass works, you'll have to do the cost comparison at the websites.

But in my experience, the passes are usually not worth the cost unless you are spending _A LOT_ of your time on trains (like every other day or so). Your destinations are just a few hours apart, so likely you're not travelling enough to make the travel pass worthwhile.
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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The Italian Railpass doesn't pass for you plans - much cheaper to buy point-point tickets even at walk-up station prices. Can save by locking yourself in weeks in advance by getting online the very limited in number discounted fares - 29 euros for 5% of seats on Eurostar Italia (hi-speed) trains and 39 euros for 10% of the seats on many routes. Non-changeable non-refundable you won't lose out much just by buying tickets at Rome airport on arrival - buy all at once. But pass doesn't pay off nearly for your plans.
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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ira
 
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Hi B,

Is there a reason that you aren't flying into Rome and out of Venice, or VV?

The prices should be about the same and it saves returning to Rome.

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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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When I went in March before tourist season, I never had any trouble getting tickets. The only disadvantage of buying then now is you are stuck to a schedule. If you decide to leave later in the day, too bad.

I find that the passes are not worth it. They are only good for a certain number of travel days in a time period. When I went, a pass for 3-4 days was near $200. I spent only $99 on the 6 trips I made and they were mostley on the Rapido or EuroStar, which takes a suppliment ontop of the pass.

I would recoomed that you take the Rapido or EuroStar (ES) whenever possible. They are faster and there is less chance of meeting unsavory types.
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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The only "crunch" time we have ever encountered in Italy was Easter week and weekend. That being said, buy your tickets a bit in advance if you are travelling on weekends but you shouldn't have a problem. The machines in the terminals make it sooo easy to buy tickets. Also, during business hours, the info office folks are very helpful. The Eurostar is great and you must reserve seats on it (machine will do this). Remember to validate your tickets in the yellow machine! I'm with Ira-if you can plan to fly into Rome and out of Venice, your life will be simpler. And you can stay longer in Venice!
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 11:08 AM
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we bought the day of or day b4 we wanted to travel in last June (busy tourist season) and had no probs! Just buy point to point and have the flexibility!
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Thanks everyone for the input. Much appreciated.

Ira, I'm flying on Air Canada FF miles, so options were very limited. We will lose a day to return to Rome on the train. (But I made up the day by postponing our return one day as well, so we're still OK!).

I will look into it to see if there are savings to be made by booking ahead of time.

Thanks everyone



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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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My husband and I are also doing Rome, Florence then Venice in October. Thanks to these great people, they advised me to do open jaw. We are flying to Rome and home from Venice for $648. Such a relief!! I am so greatful for the suggestion.

milliebest
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