Manditory Train Reservations in ItalY???

Old Jun 15th, 2009, 06:15 PM
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Manditory Train Reservations in ItalY???

Today my husband spoke with a Rail Europe representative about trains through Switzerland and Italy. Trying to determine most cost effective way to travel in 2 weeks, he was told that in Italy almost all the legs of our trip required reservations and some in CH. Zermatt to Cinque Terra to Lake Como to Venice to Zurich via Bernina Express. I was under the impression that it was best to purchase train tickets in Europe rather than here.
Rail Europe has us purchasing a Eurail Select Pass 3 countries with in 2 months in addition to the many special Swiss passes. Needless to say ridiculously expensive for a family of 4. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 06:51 PM
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It will always cost more if you buy from Rail Europe because they mark up the prices and charge other extra fees. go to Railsaver.com and input you full itinerary. Be sure to click "only if it saves me money" and see what is recommended.

Yes, faster trains in Italy require reservayions which will add another 15 euros or so onto each trip for each person in Italy if you buy a pass.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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A 3 country pass when you are only visiting two countries? Perhaps you would be better off with the Swiss Half Fare card and no passes for Italy. Tickets in Italy aren't very expensive. You can price your Italy tickets on Trenitalia which will include your reservation in the price. Enter a date within the next week to get prices. For some Italy/Swizerland routes there are Smart fares, but require advance purchase and ticket must be picked up in Italy if purchased online.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...003f16f90aRCRD

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

You can read about the various Swiss passes here:
http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/
kybourbon is online now  
Old Jun 15th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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The trains that require a reserved seat in Italy are:
AV 20€
ES 15€
ICPlus 5€
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 07:19 PM
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The prices Kybourbon quoted are the additional fees you would have to pay to reserve a seat if you had a pass for Italy.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 08:32 PM
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Thank you for the great suggestions. Sorry I'm still a bit confused. I am wondering if I can purchase everything in Europe? Trenitalia rates are similar to rates at station?? This point to point is much cheaper than we were quoted.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 08:49 PM
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Yes, Trenitalia is the Italian rail company and rates will be the same. RailEurope marks up tickets plus charges a mailing fee. Online booking on Trenitalia usually doesn't work with US credit cards although a few people have had success. If you do manage to book online with Trenitalia, you don't need tickets mailed (they won't mail to US), you just print the code they send you.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 08:53 PM
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Of course you can buy in Europe. For Italy just look in Trenitalia to see the schedule, but buy the tickets when you arrive in Italy. You know, you can buy at one train station in Italy all your tickets that you need. Just made a list with dates, time, destinations, type of train and give it at tickets office there.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 09:16 PM
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Sorry, I do realize that you can purchase at the train station, I meant is advance purchase necessary on same prices as Trenitalia (thank you Kybourbon, I see rates are same) as well as Swiss Rail Passes?
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 09:47 PM
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There are some discounts available for buying early, but as Kybourbon said, the website for buying tickets is very finicky with U.S. customers and often won't allow a purchase after hours of trying. Here's a link to the schedule of discounts:

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...003f16f90aRCRD

In the right column you can click on descriptions of each offering. Many of these same discounts are still available to you when you purchase in Italy. Read the descriptions to verify availability of each one.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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Hi T,

You can buy all of your Italy tix when you get to Italy, for about the same cost as shown online (with the exception of discounts that might be sold out).

The prices for the ES*, AV and IC+ include the cost of reservations.

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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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I need to take a train from Turin to Milan. Can I just buy the ticket at the station or do I need to get it online in advance? The thing is I don't want to pigeon hole myself into a specific time frame.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 11:14 AM
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op - you going only to switzerland and italy? or other countries - if not forget any notion of a 3-country eurail select pass. A Swiss Pass however is often IMO a great deal. Though you can buy Swiss Passes at stations in Switzerland currently the exact same pass is significantly cheaper if bought in the U.S. before leaving - why i do not know but you can compare pass prices at www.sbb.ch and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html or www.ricksteves.com - two sites that also have tons of info on Swiss trains as well.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Amy - You can just buy it at the station.
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 11:39 AM
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Ditto ky.

Schedules and prices are at http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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If I buy tickets in Italy, I generally prefer to buy them from a travel agency. They do not charge a fee.
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