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Question on train fares from Rome to Florence

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Jan 8th, 2012, 09:11 AM
  #1
dac
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Question on train fares from Rome to Florence

I've seen the mini fares thanks to info from this forum. My question is that I understand that the mini is totally non refundable. Is the fare that shows as Base refundable with a 20% discount?
There is about a 20Euro diff in 1st class between mini and base fare and I'm not sure if I want to chance buying it now for May 6th trip. Will the base fares remain as shown now or do they go up in price as train fills? Any advantage to buying a base fare ticket before I depart US or just get it when I arrive in Rome? I'm assuming the information will be the same for trip on May 10th Florence to Venice.

Thanks for any help
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Jan 8th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Jan 8th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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Base fares stay the same. Minis change and disappear as the travel date approaches.

The only benefit to buying a base fare ahead of time is if you are traveling on a holiday when demand may be higher, but even then a purchase a few days ahead should be adequate.

There are hourly trains between Rome and Florence, and frequent trains between Florence and Venice, so I personally would not worry too much about buying this ticket until I arrived in Italy.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 02:36 PM
  #4
GAC
 
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There is a great deal of misinformation about the Trenitalia "MINI" fare on this and other travel sites (because people don't take the time to careful read the tariff rules).

1. MINI fares ARE refundable, with a 50% forfeiture of the fare actually paid, IF the refund request is made no later than 23:59 (Italy time) of the day PRIOR to scheduled travel.

2. MINI fares ARE changeable, with a surcharge to the "base" fare, IF the change is requested no later than 23:59 (Italy time) of the day PRIOR to scheduled travel. The new reservaton must be for a LATER-departing train (not an earlier-departing train).

3. MINI fares must be purchased no later than 23:59 (Italy time) of the day which is TWO DAYS prior to desired travel. After such time, the MINI fare is no longer available.

4. MINI fares give a discount between 10% and 60% off the "base" fare. Discounts tend to get SMALLER the closer the travel date approaches. There is usually no advantage to wait to purchase the MINI fare (as long as one's travel fares are fixed).

5. MINI fares are often lower for trains departing as less popular hours (outside of peak commute times)

6. MINI fares are available in both first and second class. Sometimes, the percentage discount in first class is greater than for the same train in second class (because MINI fares are all-capacity controlled)

7. MINI fares vary according to travel date, specific train, and class of service.

8. Once schedules and fares have been uploaded to the Trenitalia website, MINI fares can be purchased up to FOUR MONTHS in advance.

9. You forfeit your MINI fare ticket if you MISS your scheduled train, even by one second. For that reason, it's risky to book the MINI fare on the same day as arrival by plane (unless the fare is so low that you're prepared to forfeit the ticket if you miss the train).

10. Outside of a couple of days each year, it's usually not necessary to book Trenitalia tickets in advance if one is not interested in saving money with a MINI or other promotional fare.

11. MINI fares are the same for adults as for children. There is a separate child's fare, but it's not cumulable with the MINI discount. Sometimes, the regular child's fare is lower than the MINI fare for the same train.

12. MINI fares are available on all Trenitalia trains EXCEPT the unreserved regionale trains (which are non-discountable aside from children's fares).

13. As contrasted to the MINI fares, "Base" fares do NOT increase as the travel date approaches (UNLESS there is a system-wide tariff change).

14. As contrasted to the FAST trains, it's usually a very bad idea to purchase an electronic ticket for the unreserved regionale trains. Electronic tickets have significant restrictions which traditional paper tickets (purchased in Italy) don't have, and advanced purchases for the regionale trains don't generate any real benefits (aside for the convenience of not having to buy them in Italy).

15. People purchasing Trenitalia tickets through the Trenitalia website should read carefully the tariff rules for the ticket purchased ("base", MINI, etc.), as well as the rules on Electronic tickets:

http://www.fsitaliane.it/cms/v/index...003f16f90aRCRD

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

http://www.fsitaliane.it/cms/v/index...003f16f90aRCRD

www.lefrecce.it (bookings)
www.fsitaliane.it
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Jan 8th, 2012, 05:02 PM
  #5
dac
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GAC
Thank you so much for all of that information. I really appreciate it.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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dac, you mention first-class tickets.

With all other useful data provided above, I firmly believe you should not waste the extra money for a first class fare on any of the bullet trains (Freccia...). Ninety minutes from Rome to Florence, and just over 2 hours from Florence to Venice. I've ridden 2nd class every time and found it wonderful, not just adequate. To each his own...

(This is not the same case for Regional trains,fyi.)

Have a great trip!
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Jan 8th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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>>5. MINI fares are often lower for trains departing as less popular hours (outside of peak commute times)<<<

Sometimes you will find two trains per hour and it seems the second train has the cheaper mini fare. Sometimes there will be a much cheaper mini fare. Double check the final destination/station when you see this. For example, Rome/Florence mini fares typically run 32-36€ for second class. This is to Florence SM Novella. If you see a 19€ fare it's likely to one of the smaller stations in Florence, not the main station.

>>>Is the fare that shows as Base refundable with a 20% discount?<<<

When looking at fares on Trenitalia, after you enter cities/date and the fare choices appear, click on more info next to the fare you are interested in. The fare rules will appear in a pop up box.

>>>Will the base fares remain as shown now or do they go up in price as train fills? <<<

Base fares remain the same.

>>>Any advantage to buying a base fare ticket before I depart US or just get it when I arrive in Rome?<<<

Not unless it's a holiday or you have to arrive somewhere at a specific time and don't want to risk that particular train selling out.

>>>I'm assuming the information will be the same for trip on May 10th Florence to Venice.<<<

Advice for arrival day is usually not to book in advance as your flight may be delayed causing you to miss your train. For later in your trip, if you are sure of your travel, then you can book mini fares in advance or upon arrival in Italy if not sold out.

>>>With all other useful data provided above, I firmly believe you should not waste the extra money for a first class fare on any of the bullet trains (Freccia...). Ninety minutes from Rome to Florence, and just over 2 hours from Florence to Venice.<<<

Agree unless you just want to pay an extra 25%. Here's a picture of 2nd class on the fast train.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fr...ssainterno.jpg

Assuming you are training from the airport in Rome, be sure to validate your ticket track side before boarding as that is an R train.
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