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Lat word on trains

Old Oct 5th, 2003, 09:50 AM
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Lat word on trains

We are going Rome to Sienna to Florence to Venice to Cinque Terra back to Rome over a 12 day period. Do you all think it would be cheaper to buy tickets as we go or buy Italian rail pass? Do you need to buy an Italian rail pass before you go or can you buy it for the same price in Italy? Also if we buy as we go, is it better to buy all your tickets in Rome and make reservations there? Is it better to travel in the morning after checking out or try to travel later in the day? I don't want to lose a lot of sightseeing to travel time but our hops aren't long enough for sleepers I don't think. I tried the website for schedules but found it difficult.
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Old Oct 5th, 2003, 10:26 AM
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OK, so I'm answering my own post. I went back further to some previous threads. I had not taken the good advice from back there but just now went to the excellent www.railsaver.com. I guess I found it hard to believe that individual tickets could indeed be so cheap. The itinerary I mentioned above is only $176 (yes dollars) per person in 1st class. Cool! I still would wonder what advice people have about reservations though. In Oct. going 1st class can we expect to just go to the train station and pretty much get on the trains we want?
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Old Oct 5th, 2003, 06:03 PM
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Yes, train tickets purchased in Italy are really inexpensive. You could buy all tickets one shot in Rome.

From your itinerary,you will be travelling on quite a few regional trains,you won't be able to make any reservation on regional trains. However, in October,except weekends, you shouldn't have problem with seat in first class. I travelled by train all over northern and central Italy this Easter Holiday(one of the busiest seasons),it wasn't too hard to find a seat in second class.

I prefer travel in the morning,rest in the train, check-in the hotel in the early afternoon, still have more than enough time to explore the new destination.

Since you mentioned you don't want to lose a lot of sightseeing to travel time, If I may make some suggestion: Perhaps instead of Rome to Siena(3 1/2 hours) and Siena to Florence(1 1/2 hours),You could try Rome to Florence(ES train 1 1/2 hours). Florence to Siena bus (express 1 1/2 hour).
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Old Oct 6th, 2003, 09:46 AM
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Just got back (3 days ago) from "training" in Italy. We bought all our tickets, the day after we arrived in Rome, from Am.Express near the Spanish Steps. Rome-Venice-Cinque Terre (via Milano), returning to Rome via La Spezia. Good to have it all taken care of in one "swell foop". Allow plenty of time to find the right "binario" and especially when leaving Cinque Terre to continue some place else, as the milk trains from 5 Terre are not always punctual.We went 1st cl. with seat reservations. You are in for a real treat.Enjoy
L & D
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Old Oct 6th, 2003, 10:53 AM
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Just to confirm what others have said - we compared the price of the Italian Rail Pass to individual tickets and found the individual tickets to be much cheaper. Guess it depends on how many days of travel you really do. We just returned from 15 days traveling from Pisa to Florence to Varenna to Manrola to Siena. Lots of miles, but only 4 real train travel days. I think the total cost for our train tickets was around $250 for two of us (mostly 1st class with seat reservations.) Unlike others we didn't purchase all the tickets at once, but instead bought them as we needed them. It was easy to do either at the smaller train stations or from local travel agencies. Once I figured out the Trenitlia site (http://www.fs-on-line.com/) it was easy to get schedules to plan our trip.
Of course there were the inevitable missed connections, but that was just a good excuse for another gelato! There was always another train.
Enjoy!
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Old Oct 6th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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So if you make a reservation and miss the train, what happens? Can you still take the next train? If you buy all your tickets at once, can you use them any day you like? We have hotel reservations so I guess it's too late to change and go to Florence first. Is it worth a six hour trip by train to get to the Cinque Terra? And if we get there early evening, will we have a hard time finding a room?
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Old Oct 6th, 2003, 07:11 PM
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You can take any train you want ,even if you miss your train,the only thing that you will lose is your seat reservation. Unless of course , the train that you missed is the ES, then you must change your ticket for a different time.
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