Italy train travel in July

May 16th, 2006, 07:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 91
Italy train travel in July

We (family of 5 includes 3 teenagers)are travelling from Menaggio to Venice to Lucca to Rome by train in July. There are options for ES & IC trains and none of the routes are neat A-B, so what do experienced travellers recommend with respect to:
1st & 2nd class,
booking 2 months in advance versus 2 days in advance,
discounts available on these shorter trips?
Also when I trial booking tickets over the internet I get a discount on entering my children as 'youth' but I don't really know if they qualify-ages 13, 15, 18. I would have expected some sort of discount for youth, other rail lines do so.
One last question. What is the quickest way to get from Menaggio to Venice. I assumed: a boat to Varenna, and train to meet the Milan-Venice train somewhere en route, but almost all Varenna to Venice options take me back west to Milan to catch an express to Venice.
JoMark is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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If you take a train south from Varenna the connection point for Venice will be Milano Centrale. And, I suspect any connection out of that area to Venice is going to take you through Milan. I suppose you could get some sort of road transfer out of Menaggio but you'll eventually end up in Milan.

You COULD go via Tirano and then south through Brescia but that would be like going around your elbow to your a**.
Intrepid1 is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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Hi Jo,

For trips under 4 hr, I go 2cl.

ES* trains are more reliable than IC.

If you book 60 days out you can find 29E and 39E ES* fares that won't be there a few days out.

persons 11 - 25 are considered "youth'. However, after Jan, 2006, the youth fare cards are no longer being sold.

As noted, you have to go through Milan Centrale to get to Venice.

ira is online now  
May 16th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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For a train trip with five people, you might want to consider first class, as you will be more likely to find seats together.

We always get first class tickets when we travel with friends, but with just the two of us, second class is fine.

Byrd is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 11:10 PM
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Thank you wveryone for the tips on train travel. I noticed that if we catch an IR train (takes 35 min longer than the ES) we can buy first class tickets for less than 2nd class on the ES train!which would allow us to take up your suggestion Byrd, without being too expensive. However perhaps the only airconditioning will be drop down windows.
Intrepid, I find it rather odd that when I put in Varenna to Venice I am not offered the option to go via Brescia, yet when I seek to travel from Varenna to Brescia (via Lecco) and then Brescia to Venice- no problems and this route saves about an hour. Does anyone know why this is so?
Ira, all of the segments we need to travel actually come in under the E39/29 ceiling, so there isn't any saving to be had there, but perhaps I should book for our exit from Venice as I've found out we'll be there for the 'Feast of the Redentore', and need to leave Venice on a Sunday.
JoMark is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 11:55 PM
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Forgot to clarify this Ira, anyone over 12 needs to pay adult fare?
JoMark is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 01:43 AM
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There is certainly no reason to get First Class seats on the train out of Varenna...those trains are almost exclusively 2nd Class although there may be one small section in one of the cars which are First and it is very hard to tell the difference between those and the seats in Second.

I have yet to be on a train out of there which has air conditioning other than the open windows...and the trip to Lecco isn't all that long.

Does the connection via Brescia also require a change in Bergamo? If you have found a route which saves you both time and money I would go for it. Changing in other places than Milan would probably be a bit easier, too. The Lecco station, for example, doesn't have nearly as many platforms (other than Rome Termini there probably aren't many stations as big as Centrale) why not?

Have a great trip.
Intrepid1 is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Did some hiking in the mountains around Menaggio last July and it was magic! Ate in lovely little restaurant in Varenna called Il Mole on the waterfront (took ferry across). Cant help with Venice query, sorry. Ferry and train to Milan was grand in second class.
May 23rd, 2006, 03:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,111
Hi J,

>..anyone over 12 needs to pay adult fare?

I believe so.

If you go to purchase tickets at you will see that it only has "Adulti" and "Ragazzi"(child)

A child is over 4 and under 12.

There used to be "youth fare" cards (12-25), but the website says that they don't have them anymore.

ira is online now  

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