Milan to Venice: Train Tips

Old Jun 1st, 2004, 12:37 PM
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GAC
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Milan to Venice: Train Tips

Eurostar Italia trains usually cost more than Intercity trains within Italy. However, there are some noteworthy exceptions.

Between Milan and Venice, you're better off traveling on one of the Eurostar Italia trains (every two hours), rather than on one of the hourly Intercity trains. The cost of a RESERVED seat on the Intercity train is actually higher than on the Eurostar.

And it is risky to go unreserved on the Intercity, especially during peak travel periods and on Intercity trains which originate in or are headed toward, Turin (they can get crowded like sardines).

The Eurostar is also faster (by 21 minutes) and quieter than the Intercity. All seats on the Eurostar are sold only on a reserved basis.

Eurostar trains on this route do NOT stop at Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda. If you need to stop at either city at the base of Lake Garda, take either an Intercity train or a cheaper and slower Interregionale train. The Eurostar does, however, stop at Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, Padova and Mestre.

In Milan, you can connect to Turin, Genoa, Como and Lake Maggiore (Stresa-Domodossola). In Venice, you can connect to Trieste.
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Old Jun 1st, 2004, 02:52 PM
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I just returned from Milan/Venice and took an IC from Milan to Venince and Eurostar from Venice to Milan.

The IC was adequate. It was a Wednesday early afternoon and we had to walk almost to the last few rail cars to find a compartment with room. The air conditioning was not working well and I was not happy. Finally opened the window and it helped.

Going to the Eurostar was very pleasant and comfortable. A/C and free snacks! The price was double but worth it to me. We took the IC because it was the first available train to Venice. We would have had to wait two hours for the next Eurostar. The price was double for the Eurostar.

Gail
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Old Jun 1st, 2004, 03:32 PM
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GAC - thanks for the tip. What about from Milan to Florence and from Florence to Venice, those are the two routes I'll be taking next month. Anything I should know about them? Thanks
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Isabel: from Milan to Florence I also recommend the Eurostar, which will cost you only Euro 4.23 more than a reserved seat on the Intercity train (second class fares). The Eurostar is also 50 minutes faster, and is much more frequent than the Intercity on this route.

From Florence to Venice, I again recommend the Eurostar, which departs every 2 hours, and costs Euro 4.85 more than reserved Intercity. The Eurostar is only 15 minutes faster.

I would consider taking the Intercity only if the schedule were particularly appealing to my needs, as compared to the Eurostar. Otherwise, you're better off on the Eurostar (assuming the small difference in price is not an issue).

Also, between these cities, you don't really need to travel in first class on Eurostar trains, unless you're very tall and need extra leg room, or have tons of luggage. However, second class does tend to "fill up", and the seat density is pleasantly "chummy". So, if you don't care to occasionally rub shoulders with your neighbor, you also might consider first class.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:49 AM
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Thanks GAC. I went to the trentalia site and got the times. I'll definitly try to take the ES for both those trips. And second class is fine for me(tall and lots of luggage is definitly not an issue for me). I was not planning on getting my Milan to Florence ticket ahead of time as you never know when your flight will be delayed and I'll be coming straight from the airport. Do you think it's safe to wait till I get there? There is a ES train just about hourly, and it wouldn't kill me to have to wait an hour but I'd hate to spend the entire day in the train station. What do you think? For Florence to Venice I would get my ticket when I get to Florence which is 6 days before I leave for Venice. That should be enough time don't you think? Thanks for all your great information.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:39 PM
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Isabel:

1. Don't buy your Eurostar ticket from Milan to Florence in advance, as you have no idea whether your flight will be delayedm, and by how much! Before boarding the coach at Malpensa for Milano Centrale Station (departures every 20 minutes), you could purchase the train ticket at the Malpensa ticket office/travel agency (arrivals level), or wait until arrival of the coach ,at Milano Centrale, where you may have to wait in line at the regular ticket windows.

2. If the first departing Eurostar train is full (likely only in second class, if at all), you could travel in first class, or wait one hour for the next Eurostar train. I really doubt that you would need to wait more than one hour.

3. From Florence to Venice, purchasing the Eurostar ticket two or three days in advance should be sufficient; 6 days is certaintly sufficient.

I would recommend that you print out the Trenitalia schedules (and relative fares) for these itineraries, for easy reference once you arrive in Italy. Buon viaggio!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:48 PM
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GAC, you give the best train advice! I wanted to print out a train schedule on trenitalia, but I can't figure out the correct code for Malpensa. All I can find is Milano Centrale. Is there a listing for Malpensa? Thanks very much!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 01:05 PM
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From Malpensa Airport, take the airport coach "Malpensa Shuttle" (Euro 4.50) or "Malpensa Express" (Euro 5.50) to Milano Centrale Train Station. Board the bus from outside of the arrivals level. You can purchase the ticket from the driver, and store luggage in the baggage compartment. Both companies provide excellent bus service to Milano Centrale.

DO NOT take the Malpensa Express Train, which goes to Milano Cadorna Station, rather than Milano Centrale. THESE ARE DIFFERENT TRAIN STATIONS IN MILAN!!! This is a source of great confusion for many travelers unfamiliar with Malpensa Airport connections.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 01:48 PM
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Thanks so much. Is that Express train from Malpensa the one that you take to connect to the train to Lake Como?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:10 PM
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italyss

Yes, it is, although you must get off the Malpensa Express Train at the SARONNO train station (20 minutes southeast of Malpensa), and then connect to another northbound commuter train headed to Como Nord Lago. There is absolutely no reason to go all the way south to Milano Cadorna, only to have to backtrack up to Como via Saronno. My previous postings explain the process in detail.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:21 PM
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The website posting train schedules from Milano Malpensa is found at:

www.ferrovienord.it

This is NOT part of the Italian National Rail System, whose web site is www.trenitalia.it
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Thanks so much for all the detailed information. I have also noted your earlier postings on the Lake Como trains. I was confused because I did not realize that the train out of Malpensa was not on trenitalia.it. Thanks for clearing that up!
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