Italy train travel/Eurail passes

Old Jun 17th, 2002, 11:35 AM
  #1  
Wendy
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Italy train travel/Eurail passes

We will be honeymooning in Italy October 6 - 15, staying in Santa Margherita, Liguria, Florence and Rome and using the train system to get around.

I'm looking at buying 8 days of first-class train travel (for me and my soon to be husband) for $284 per under the Italy Flexi Rail Card Saver pass.

I don't think we'll use the trains every day, especially once we get back to Rome (we fly in and out of there) for the last three days of our honeymoon, so I think 8 days is enough.

Just a couple o' questions:
Does this seem like a good deal?
How far in advance should we book?

Thanks,
Wendy

P.S. We're booked at Hotel Nuovo Riviera in SML, Residenza del Proconsolo in Florence and Villa San Pio in Rome. Feedback welcome.
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 07:42 PM
  #2  
Rex
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Try www.railsaver.com - - my guess is that you are spending $284 for tickets that would cost you under $250 (maybe under $200) if purchased individually (when you get there).

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 08:18 PM
  #3  
Kay
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Wendy,
we used the trains quite a bit while in Italy this year and were going to buy a pass but I was told in Rome that it wasn't the most cost effective option as we would have had to pay supplements on quite a few of the trains. This adds to the cost of the pass. In the end, we bought point-to-point tickets (that is, a ticket for each sector) and that worked out well. The costs can all be found on www.trenitalia.com
We bought our tickets about a week in advance of travel (for March) and had no difficulty getting seats. Most travel agents sell tickets as well as the train stations. It helps if you have it written down, unless your Italian is very good!
Kay
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 09:13 PM
  #4  
Francis Chan
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Wendy,
My wife and I spent a week in Liguira and Florence during end May.

Train travel in Italy is cheap, and it is probably cheaper to buy point-to-point tickets. From Liguria to Florence, many of the local trains do not even have first class. You can opt for the Intercity, but there are not more than two services each day, and still involve changes at Pisa Centrale station.

However, if buying a pass will make you feel better, $284 is not much more than the point-to-point tickets.

If you use point-to-point tickets without seat reservations, try to start your travel after 9.00 am, when it is off-peak.

I cannot comment on the Florence to Rome sector as I did not go to Rome.
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 09:31 PM
  #5  
Marcia
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Wendy
We used the Flexi Pass when we were in Italy in May. railsaver.com will help you decide if you can save money with the pass - check out the website. If you order the railpass from the ricksteves web site, you will get some free guide books. We found train travel in Italy very easy and comfortable.
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 10:44 PM
  #6  
Maurice
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We bought the "kilometric" pass. A 1500k book let 2 of us go from Rome to Naples, up to Venice, and back to Florence. I forget the exact cost for 2nd class, but I think it was $200. They put your passport name on it so it's only for the people it was bought for; there is a small extra charge for things like seat reservations on each leg if you want.
I would suggest 1st class (from experience) and also reserve seats for any longer trips, especially if you are non-smokers.
Basically, you buy a book that says "1500Km" and as you take a trip, they stamp your book and subtract the distance. 1 book will serve a group of people, so you may not need to over-buy. Also, the time limit is very open - you have a month or something.
See the details, I think they are also on the tren-italia web? I forgt the exact rules off hand. Or do a google.com search for kilometric pass or the italian wording.
 
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 07:21 AM
  #7  
dawn
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Hey Wendy -

Just to give you an idea of how cheap the train tickets are in Italy...I bought two tickets one from Milan to the SML area and another from SML to Florence for 31 Euro. I bought first class tickets and reservations when they were available and still it was extremely cheap. In addition, short distance, day trip tickets are even more amazingly cheap, sometimes only 3 Euros or so. You will not save money with the Saver Pass. In addition, you will not be able to use the saver pass on the high speed train service between Florence and Rome. You will have to stand in line and buy the supplement for about 8 Euro.
 
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 12:57 PM
  #8  
Barb
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We bought 1st class flexi-pass last year and travelled for 3 weeks from Milan, Varenna, Venice, Rome, Sorrento, Orvieto, Florence, Cinque Terre and back to Milan, so we did a lot of train travel. We decided that next time we would just do point to point. On the Euro we had to buy supplement and opted for reservations, so we didn't save any money there. The one good thing about it is, we had our passes when we arrived in Milan, tired, and it was convenient just to hop on and not worry about standing in lines and stamping our tickets. We went to travel agents to get our supplements. For convenience great, as a money-saver, no.
 
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 01:36 PM
  #9  
Wendy
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Thanks so much, everyone --truly appreciate the feedback! I never would have guessed we could save some Euros via point-to-point tickets.

Grazie!
 
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 01:39 PM
  #10  
ellen
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Stayed at the Villa San Pio last year (same time-1st week in Oct.) Great place; nice rooms, rooftop garden, lovely garden & breakfast room. People were very nice. It's in a residential neighborhood. Couple blocks walk to some real Italian neighborhood restaurants. Would go back in a heartbeat. Have a great time!
 
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 01:47 PM
  #11  
Wendy
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Sheesh, after spending some time on this site, you'd think I would know there's no such animal as "euros" -- only "euro". My apologies. And thanks for the VSP input, Ellen. I found out about the hotel via these boards. I can't wait to get there.
 
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 08:55 PM
  #12  
Rex
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Actually, the plural of euro has been debated a bit here recently. The "official" word seems to be that in ENGLISH, the plural of euro is euro - - but not in several other languages, where it is euros.

No need for lecturing or apologizing on this silly little point.
 
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 09:50 AM
  #13  
ttt.
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ttt
 
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 02:18 PM
  #14  
Tina
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Wendy,

As you'll be traveling in October (the BEST time to visit, in my opinion) you can easily purchase your train tickets once you arrive in Italy. As already cited, point to point is the way to go. If you're anxious and would feel more comfortable having your tickets ahead, I'd only suggest you buy online or thru a travel agent for the first leg of your journey. Also, can be helpful to print out train schedules for when you think you'll be traveling --- much easier to hand the clerk in train station a printed or written timetable, asking for two a Firenze.
 
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