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Strike-proof trains and prefered seats Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice

Strike-proof trains and prefered seats Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice

Sep 12th, 2007, 07:52 AM
  #1  
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Strike-proof trains and prefered seats Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice

Hi:
We will be traveling from Rome to Florence on Oct. 9 and from Florence to Venice on Oct. 15. We hope to travel in the morning, and by Eurostar. We were considering first class, and wondering which are optimum seats for two adults with luggage. But more importantly, we need strike-free trains. I tried to find the "news on strikes" section of the trenitalia website, but could not find an english version. Does anyone have any advice, please?
RNSuzanne is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:14 AM
  #2  
 
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I don't know that any trains in Europe can be considered completely strike-free, but it has been the case in the past when other trains in Italy were on strike Eurostar Italia trains are still running. Hopefully, someone more familiar than I will give you some advice.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:21 AM
  #3  
 
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There is no such thing as "strike proof" train within Italy. There is strike scheduled from from 9p September 29 until 8:59p on September 30. Even during a strike there will be some trains that operate. The problem is that once these trains are announced the tickets go quickly.
BigBlueMarble is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 08:27 AM
  #4  
 
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Forget strike proof! and consider delay proof as well as off the table <G>
The trip is short 2nd class would be fine.
JoanneH is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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On the Trenitalia website there is a list of trains that will run even if there is a strike. This list shows only the train's first and last destination and it's number, though, not the stops between, so you have to do some sleuthing.

For example, to go from Rome to Florence you look on the list of trains that will run no matter what (the link to that page is on the page that has strike news)and you will find an early morning train that says Rome/Milan. It leaves from Rome and ends up in Milan. Note the train number and then do a search for the regular Rome/Florence run and find a train number that matches the Rome/milan strike run. That train (the rome to Milan train) will run even if there is a strike and will stop in Florence and you can purchase just the Rome to Florence leg.

The Florence to Venice train often starts in Rome and ends in Munich! Just look for the matching numbers.

Often a strike day is announced and then doesn't happen at all, or moves to another day. If you need to be assured of a particular train no matter what, this is the way. Buy in advance from the Trenitalia website (if they'll take your credit card!)
plafield is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 12:09 PM
  #6  
 
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"Strike free" and "Italian trains" are oxymorons.
dfr4848 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 12:14 PM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi R,

>wondering which are optimum seats for two adults with luggage.

You can choose window or aisle.


ira is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 01:13 PM
  #8  
 
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If you're talking about October 2007, and you haven't heard anything yet about a rail/transportation strike, this probably won't be an issue. Plafield has explained it well, but I doubt you'll have a problem. Have a great trip!
Albany1624 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 01:22 PM
  #9  
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Thanks so much to all! Plafield, I have searched and searched for that list you are talking about of the strike-free trains; I cannot find it on the English version of the website. Could I bother you for a link or web address?
Also, I think when I went to book reservations, the website said this could only be done in Italy. is that so? I was hoping to get this all done here, before arriving in Italy to have less trouble there. Also would you guys recommend first class, or no? And are there seats we could choose where the luggage would be closer to us, or stored right there?
RNSuzanne is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 01:29 PM
  #10  
 
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As Ira was trying to point out, you can't choose a seat. All you can choose is window or aisle.
SusanP is online now  
Sep 12th, 2007, 06:14 PM
  #11  
 
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For the list of trains that will run even on a strike day go to: http://www.trenitalia.it/en/notizie/index.html
click on NEWS at the top of the page then click on the red box that says: "Anti fare evasion initiatives on Regional trains and in the stations" Then click on the link on the left of that page that says: "News on strikes" and you will see a list of local trains and a link to long distance trains (Italian only) Click on the link to the long distance trains and you will see a list with numbers.

I suggest you first do a regular search for the dates and trips you want i.e. Rome/Florence and Florence/Venice. Jot down all the numbers of the possible trains you could take. Then go to the list of strike trains and find a matching number. Then go back to the regular booking page and book the leg of your journey on the train numbers that match the strike running trains.

You can book reservations from the website, I think, 60 days in advance but the Trenitalia website is very finicky and very often you get through all the hoops and at the end they reject your credit card.

Before you can buy online you need to get an ID and password. Get this by clicking on "customer's area" at the top of the page and then "do you want to register"

Once you're registered, you can buy online by entering the date you want to travel, from where to where, choose the train (the number that matches a strike running train)choose how many seats and which class (first has a bit more room for your luggage in the seating area but second class is fine for a shorter trip)request "ticketless option" and if you are successful and they actually accpet your credit card, you will get a confirmation email that you need to bring with you onto the train instead of a ticket.

Good luck!
plafield is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:20 PM
  #12  
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:48 AM
  #13  
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Excellent. Thank you so much! Now I see that the best train for me leaves at 6:52 in the morning from the Rome Termini station. So this gives me another question: how much before a train leaves must one allow to arrive at the station, to ensure one does not miss one's train?
RNSuzanne is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:05 AM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi R,

> I was hoping to get this all done here, before arriving in Italy to have less trouble there.

As noted, you can buy tickets online as early as 60 days in advance.

However, there have been many complaints about the website not working.

If you are flying into FCO, you can buy your tickets at the train station at FCO at the same time that you get tickets for the train to Rome TE, or you can buy them at the ticket machines at Rome TE.

>Also would you guys recommend first class, or no? <

They are both short trips - 2cl on an ES* will be fine.

>And are there seats we could choose where the luggage would be closer to us, or stored right there?<

Large suitcases go on racks at the end of the car. Smaller suitcases go in overhead racks, a la airplanes.

>...how much before a train leaves must one allow to arrive at the station, ...<

With tickets in hand, about 20 min to find the track from which your train will leave, get to the track and wait for the train.

If you are not on an ES*, remember to stamp your tickets at the entrance to the track.


ira is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:27 AM
  #15  
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Oh you are fabulous. And now that I am looking, yet another question (thanks so much for your patience):
I went to book a train from Florence to Venice, and right below where it asks for seat preferences (window or corridor), it says: Enter the carriage and seat number beside which you wish to travel herequot;, with a bus symbol. Why is this? Is part of the journey by bus?
And also, regarding window vs. corridor: how many are in an aisle? Are the seats cramped?
RNSuzanne is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 08:01 AM
  #16  
 
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If you go to the trenitalia site and are buying 2 tickets, and put in preference of "window", will it give you a window seat for both people or will it seat the people next to each other with one person having the window, like on an airplane? Sorry for the stupiud question.
akila is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 10:53 AM
  #17  
 
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Most of the time Trenitalia seats people across from each other as opposed to next to each other, no matter how you put in your prefernce. The seats on the train are 1, 2 or 3 seats across with 2 seats facing each other.
plafield is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 11:20 AM
  #18  
 
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Cramped? The seats in second class on an ES train are about the same, or perhaps slightly better than coach seats on an airplane.
ellenem is online now  
Sep 13th, 2007, 11:24 AM
  #19  
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Ok. Got another question. I mistakenly booked our seats in September, and was certain at the time they were window seats in coach 4, seats 14 and 16. I went in and changed them, and did not see a place to put my preference. I received a confirmation that we were now in Coach 2 Seats 73,74. Are these still both window seats? They sound different, being consecutive, one odd and one even, from the first, which were both even numbers.
RNSuzanne is offline  
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