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Miki2621 May 9th, 2017 03:55 PM

Rail Service in Italy
Is there a difference between the train "companies" in Italy. I am making the final arrangements for a trip next month and booking rail service between Venice and Florence and then Florence and Rome.

Is there any reason to pick either Trenitalia or Italiarail over one another?

I already booked Napoli to Venezia S. Lucia and used Trenitalia for the earlier part of our trip.

I have yet to book Rome to Napoli but since we are traveling that leg on the day we arrive in Rome, I will book it when I get there (in case our flight runs late or customs is swamped) - someone told me I can book that in station at the airport before I take the Leonardo Express to Rome to catch the train to Napoli.

I appreciate any train insights. - M

Burrata May 9th, 2017 04:42 PM

You can book your airport to Rome to Naples at the airport.

Italiarail is a re-seller, maybe you were thinking of Italo? They also run the Rome to Naples route. I have not used Italo yet but I will in July this year for the same route. The cost was much less than Trenitalia.

have a great trip!

Man_in_seat_61 May 9th, 2017 06:50 PM

State-owned Trenitalia ( runs high-speed trains in competition with privately-owned Italo, is a US-based agency which resells Trenitalia tickets, perhaps in an easier way than Trenitalia themselves, but with a small fee added.

I'd try both Trenitalia and Italo and see what you think.

I have written a summary of Italy and how it compares with Trenitalia's Frecciarossa trains here:

Miki2621 May 10th, 2017 05:37 PM

THANK YOU! Man_in_seat_61 - very helpful.

One more question... being that one company is state-owned and another is privately-owned, is the either less prone to strikes?

I've been very fortunate in my travel and when I've been to Europe and there have been rail strikes my travel hasn't been disrupted.

Thanks, M

kybourbon May 10th, 2017 08:15 PM

Strikes in Italy are scheduled in advance and quite a few of the fast trains are strike proof anyway. Trenitalia only has the details on the Italian version of their website.

flanneruk May 10th, 2017 11:29 PM

"being that one company is state-owned and another is privately-owned, is the either less prone to strikes?"

Italotreno isn't privately owned in the conventional sense. 20% of shares are owned by the French government, and much of its other shareholdings are ultimately controlled by the Italian state or regional authorities.

The single rail company most affected in Europe by industrial unrest (Britain's Govia Thameslink) is also a joint venture between the French government and local private enterprise.

What really triggers strikes and general union disruption isn't ownership: it's when a business once owned by a state monopoly starts trying to get rid of inefficient business practices. Contrary to American beliefs, strikes are a bigger risk on Europe's privatised railways - especially those controlled by insensitive foreign governments - than on those where the state monopoly goes unchallenged.

Trenitalia simply hasn't got the balls for that (though it might if it ever gets privatised), and Italotreno hasn't inherited Trenitalia's inefficiencies.

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