Italy Train Travel Questions-Please Help

Old Jan 17th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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Italy Train Travel Questions-Please Help

I will be going to Italy this May. We will be going from Venice to Florence to Rome. Being the busy season should I reserve the train before I go there or should I just show up in hopes of getting on a train?
Also-If I buy them here-who should I go through? trentitalia? rail europe? scnf?
Lastly, when should I book these by? Being only jan, i feel it is too early-but is it?
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 10:31 AM
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You may not be able to book this early since train schedules seem to change often in Italy. Look into Eurostar - faster & more deluxe. Get reserved seats - slightly more but well worth it -like traveling on a plane! Met wonderful people on the train & went to dinner with 1 couple! We booked from home.
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 10:59 AM
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I've always bought my train tickets once I'm there --- in May you shouldn't have much difficulty doing that for your routes. That being said, you may want to purchase the first leg of your travels (the Venice to Florence trip) a few days ahead; it is a heavily traveled route & for popular times (the 8:30-ish/9 am departure), the Eurostar may get fully booked. As Bonnie suggests, do opt for the Eurostar trains. Fastest & most comfortable way to go between big cities. And you will need to get reserved seats (as well as a ticket itself). As for the second versus first class option --- not a significant different on the ES. If $$$ are a big issue, then 2nd class is fine (although it's not a big price difference). You may find 1st class less crowded as the Italians (or those who live there) usually go 2nd class. ALSO, if it's your preference, there are non-smoking cars (non-fumato).
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 11:21 AM
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Here are the major differences between first and second classes on a Eurostar:

1. Fewer travelers in First
2. More hip and leg room in First
(3 versus 4 across)
3. Fewer seats per rail car in First
4. More room for luggage in First
5. Complimentary beverage and newspaper in First
6. Less noise in First because fewer people in rail car
7. Rest room more accessible because fewer people in rail car
8. Less scrambling to board rail car in first because fewer people
9. Seats in First a bit more comfortable
10. Rail cars usually a little cleaner (Second class is NOT bad either)

Is Eurostar First Class worth the extra cost? If the alternative is a RESERVED seat in Eurostar Second Class, this is a strictly personal decision.

On an InterCity train (NOT Eurostar) between major cities such as Milan and Venice or Venice and Florence, unreserved second class is not recommended during heavy travel periods or times of day.
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 12:47 PM
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This discussion is great, just subject I needed. Hope this is acceptable for me to ask questions under someone else -or start my own (my first time posting): What is the best source to use in order to buy tickets b/4 leaving the US if I want to take the Eurostar? and which station, Venice or Milan, is easier to get to from the airport?
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 12:59 PM
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You really don't need to purchase tickets in the USA. Generally, you will be paying a premium for this service. Once in Italy, you can buy them at most travel agencies and of course at the rail stations. If you plan to travel on a peak day or at a peak time, in either case between heavily traveled routes such as Venice to Florence or Milan to Venice, you can try to buy the ticket two or three days in advance, if this is convenient. The Central Station in Milan is distant one hour by airporter bus from Malpensa and 20 minutes by airporter bus from Linate airports. The City of Venice mail bus station is about 20 minutes distant by airporter bus from the Marco Polo airport. There is also a water bus service to Piazza San Marco which takes one hour.

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