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Quick Question as "Trenitalia 101" not enough

Quick Question as "Trenitalia 101" not enough

Aug 18th, 2007, 11:05 AM
  #1  
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Quick Question as "Trenitalia 101" not enough

Hi all Trenitalia Wise-Ones,

(First trip abroad and never gone by bus or train even in the US before--have been reading and studying...but need some help pleeeease.)

We are traveling from Siena to Venice on Sunday, Sept 30... I understand the more crowded conditions on Sundays, and that we absolutely want to arrive at Venezia S. Lucia (not Mestre), and we want to get in around noon or so.

1. That said, The only train-options include an "R" (regional train--no online reservations (?), as I understand, and therefore, cannot do "ticketless" on Trenitalia--CORRECT?) and a transfer to a second train (ES*) in Florence, SMN.

2. I'm a bit nervous about taking an "R" bus after some things I have read here (maybe not A/C, crowded, maybe not enough seats, room for bags, etc. Are my concerns valid??)

NOTE: We want to make this as easy as possible--ie, schlepping bags distances, etc. We do not gain any better timing or better train connections by trying to combine the SITA bus from Siena to Florenc--we would still take the ES* #9464 from SMN to VE SL.

3. This question is concerning the difference between the way the arrivals are listed, in regards to black and red print for the words "Mestre" and VE SL" which are listed one above and one below the other!!!

If I am reading the website correctly:
The 8:18 "R" #11758 train departs fm Siena, where we transfer in Fl SMN to #9464 and arrive in "Mestre" @ 13:10.

The 8:47 "R" #3028 departs fm Siena/change to #9464 in Fl SMN and arrive in "VE SL" @ 13:22.---for sure--Santa Lucia!?

4. WHY isn't there a deparure time from "Mestre" listed in "Details" for #9464??

5. Last, I promise, Ques.: What do the little boxes in the "Accomodations" column with "1-2", "2" and "R" mean?

Thank you so very much, in advance, for answering my many questions so patiently. You are all sincerely appreciated! gt;


lovesroses is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 12:08 PM
  #2  
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OK, just read my heading, and my one "quick question" very quickly became 5 and I am sorry for the misleading title (which does not show up when you are editing), or I would have changed it! I apologize! LOL I SOOO want this train-planning to be finished!
lovesroses is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 12:37 PM
  #3  
J62
 
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1. Yes, you CANNOT use ticketless travel on a regional (R) train. I would not bother pre-purchasing the Siena/Florence ticket online, as you'll still need to go to a ticket machine to get your actual ticket.

Simply purchase a ticket at the Siena train station when you get there. It'll take as little as 2min at an automatic ticket machine, with instructions in English.

IMPORTANT!! Be sure to VALIDATE your ticket (get it stamped) in one of the yellow machines located around the station BEFORE your board!!!!

You'll arrive at Florence Santa Maria Novella (SMN) station, find the track for the ES Train to Venice.

The trenitalia website gives you two options, the 8:18 and 8:47 departure. The 8:47 gives you nearly 30min layover. No need to take the 8:18 and wait around Florence for an hour. With a regional train your ticket is good for any train on that route - when you arrive at siena train station simply validate your ticket and hop on the next train to Florence - simple 90min ride.

2. The train will have ac, but you won't need it. Late september, early morning the temps will be in the 50s anyway.

There is plenty of room on the train, and it won't be full anyway. Don't worry at all. Florence SMN train station is a terminal station, meaning that all trains come in to a dead end track, then head back out on their way in the other direction. There are no stairs to navigate, and it's no more than 5min from one side of the station to the other on level ground. YOu can get a free baggage cart if you need one.

THe ES train will be arriving from Rome, and will only be parked in Florence for about 8-10min. Watch the arrival board to see if it is on time or running late, then wait alongside the track and wait for it come in. If you can, figure out by looking at some of the sign boards next to the track where your coach # will be, otherwise just walk down the platform looking for your coach. It's easier to walk outside the train with bags than it is down the aisles going from coach to coach.

3. See my answer above regarding the 8:18 vs 8:47. BOth regional trains connect to the same #9464 ES to venice.

All trains to Venice SL pass through Mestre. You will not get off and change at Mestre. Just stay put until the end of the ride.

4. These trains don't list a departure from Mestre, as they merely stop for a min or 2 till anyone getting off there is done, then they proceed to SL.

5. last answer, I promise. The little box tells you that the regional train only offers 2nd class seating, no seat reservation available. YOu just get on the train and grab an empty seat, of which there will be plenty.

the 1,2 and R on the ES indicate there is also 1st class seats, and all seats on the train are reserved. 2nd class on ES is very spacious, comfortable. No need for 1st class unless you are super sized and need the extra seat width.
J62 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 02:33 PM
  #4  
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J62, thank you so much for the great information you provided. You have put me at ease about the "R" train and the transfer at SMN and all.

I believe we know which mode of transportation we are using and which trains for each leg of our journey!

One last question, as I was checking on prices and looking at the different trains on my "run" I could identify the
"R" and the ES*, but what is the one whose symbol looks like a slightly open "scissors", and can you compare the ES* and the "scissors"? I know some trains are newer than others, I know the ES* are non-smoking...

lovesroses is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 06:52 PM
  #5  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I don't see anything like a scissors.

All trains in Italy are non-smoking, as are all indoor restaurants. Very nice, and leading edge for Europe.

From Florence to Venice you should definitely take the ES trains. Can't be beat.
J62 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 07:43 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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HI L,

I suggest that you take the SITA bus from Siena to Florence - about 1:30 hr 7E. The bus station is about 3 blks from Florence SMN on Via Santa Caeterina da Siena.

Then train to Venice.

SITA bus schedules are at http://tinyurl.com/ybe6xk

"1-2", "2" and "R"
1st class, 2nd class, reservations

The station is black is the terminus. The one in red is intermediate.



ira is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #7  
 
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A good source of detailed information about train travel in Italy is on the Slow Travel site: www.slowtrav.com/italy/trains/index.htm

And I agree with Ira. The bus leaves from the middle of Siena; the train station is outside the walls. The bus we took arrived in Florence across the street (and around the corner) from the train station.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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The "scissors" stand for AV = Alta Velocita = high speed. There are only a few routes with AV trains, and Florence-Venice is not one of them.
Zerlina is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 11:31 AM
  #9  
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Hi Zerlina, thank you for deciphering the "scissors" symbol!

ira and mimar, thank you for further info. Just curious "why" you chose to take the SITA and then drag everything over to the train station...for a better 'mode' of transportation than the "R" train, or for more comfort, or what? (it's cheaper I know)......

I will pass all this info along to the others in our group and we can now make an enlightened decision! mimar, thanks for the slow travel link. ira, thank you for the SITA link. I will check it out!

I know I've said this before, but I SO appreciate all of you taking the time to help me out with my various questions! gt; Thank you, one and all!
lovesroses is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 01:29 PM
  #10  
 
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About SITA bus vs. train to Florence

SITA bus starts from the centre of Siena where you can probably walk to from your hotel. Train station is on the outskirts of the town, needing a bus or taxi ride. The SITA bus station in Florence is only about 150 metres from SMN station, and no steps or anything to the platforms.
Alec is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:02 PM
  #11  
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Zerlina,
Interestingly enough, one of our options from Venice to Florence was with a change in Bologna and that train into Florence is an AV.

We have the choice of taking an ES* or an AV from Florence to Rome the last day of our trip and the ES* does it in 1:36 and the AV does it in 1:37...

lovesroses is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:31 PM
  #12  
 
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lovesroses,

I wrote "Florence-Venice". Yes, if you want to change trains at Bologna instead of taking a direct train, you can travel on AV equipment from Bologna to Florence. The AV originates in Milan and goes to Naples, but the only part of the trip that takes place on a dedicated high-speed track is between Rome and Naples. Which is why Florence-Rome on AV is no faster than on ES.

Maybe you should confine your research to translating "stazione" to "station".
Zerlina is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 04:36 PM
  #13  
 
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Sometimes there are special rates for the AV trains - dueperuno (2for1). Check under rate selection to see if any are available.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:20 PM
  #14  
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Thank you Alec and kybourbon!
lovesroses is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 10:02 PM
  #15  
 
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You may be able to get discounts on the R train (and all other trains) since you are traveling with a group. This link is for a group of 10 or more.
http://www.trenitalia.com/en/servizi...ola/index.html

I've been given a discount for a group of 6 when I purchased R tickets at the station. At that time, there was a discount for 5+ in a group. I'm not sure if that is still in effect.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 20th, 2007, 07:31 AM
  #16  
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kybourbon,
We are only a party of 4, so we do not qualify, but thank you very much for the
"heads up" about the group discount--I have made a note of that.
lovesroses is offline  

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