reserving seats on first class trains

Old Jul 16th, 2002, 08:05 PM
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reserving seats on first class trains

we will be traveling to sorrento via private car from rome for the first leg of our italian trip. the rest of the trip we will be travelling via first class trains.

we know the schedules and have the following questions. we want first class nonsmoking trains and could book them from the states or once we arrive in italy.

my concern is that if we are locked into a specific train schedule it will limit our flexibility.

if we simply get to the train station an hour prior to departure would we be able to secure a first class seat?

another option is if we have reservations for a 10:00am departure from sorrento to florence and decide on taking a later train can we still use the tickets? what is the cost to change the tickets?

any thoughtful input would be appreciated.

thank you,

Old Jul 17th, 2002, 12:07 AM
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You can book seat reservations here in US or in Europe. It is obscenely (sp?) expensive to book from the US. We were quoted $10 per seat per train leg for our trip. If booked in the US, the seat reservations are non-changeable and non-refundable.

We booked in Munich soon after arriving from the states. Some trains require a reservation, others are optional. In Munich we paid around $3-4 Euros per seat per train leg. Although we didn't need to, my understanding is that seat reservations made in Europe may be changed or refunded.

On the fast trains which require a supplement (which includes your seat reservation) I would advise purchasing your seat reservation at least a few days ahead of your travel. On the other trains depending upon the day and time of your travel, if you're just planning to buy an hour ahead of the train why bother? Take your chances, jump on the train, and look for an empty seat without a reservation posted for another traveler. Have fun, Dee
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 04:05 AM
Santa Chiara
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There is a very thorough discussion on an earlier thread. Try searching with "train" or "Italy train." If all else fails, try "Twain." That's not a pun, but the name of a poster who had some good advice.

You didn't say when you were traveling, but if it is at anytime than say mid-November to mid-December I would say that it would be difficult to obtain a first-class seat without any advance notice, although I am sure others will disagree.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 06:41 AM
Alice Twain
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You can surely book your tickets as you arrive in italy, although I suggest booking the seats a couple of days in advance (you can do it as you arrive in italy. Remember that you can't access Eurostar trains without a reservation, while for Intercity trains you should ask for the reservation, or you will be given a ticket with no seat reservation.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 09:57 AM
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Travelled all over Italy by 1st class train last Oct. I found the easiest way to make reservations was to go to a travel agent in the town you are in. So, much easier than standing in line at the train station. We always checked the train schedule when arriving in a town to find out when the train would be leaving for our next destination. Then just find a travel agent or a tourist information office. We had a flexi-pass, but still needed to buy supplements for the Eurostar.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 10:32 AM
Alice Twain
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booking train seats at a travel agency is not always a good idea. The ticketing syste used by agencies leads to some problems what it's up to seat booking, so that it is not uncommont to have a double reservation: two people claiming the same seat on the same train. Booking at the station is always the best option. If you are frightened by having to stand in the line for long, go to another Trenitalia station (for instance Lambrate in Milano, Campo di Marte in Florence, Tiburtina in Tome etc. Tickets can be bought and seats booked everywhere, but these station usually have smaller queues.
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