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Jun 28th, 2016, 04:43 PM
  #1
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Train Help

I want to get train tickets before I leave for Italy. One trip I want to take is from Roma to Ravenna. There seems to be several companies that handle tickets. What advice can you give me. Do some charge a fee?
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Jun 28th, 2016, 04:51 PM
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Everything you need to know:

http://www.seat61.com/Italy-trains.htm#.V3MNTyjvBg1
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Jun 28th, 2016, 05:11 PM
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Your route is normally via Bologna. Rome - Bologna is linked by fast, frequent Frecciarossa or Frecciargento train for which seat reservation is compulsory. Bologna - Ravenna is usually by direct Regional train with no reservation required. Some require a change in Faenza with the final leg by bus. Walk-on fare is 66.10 euro one-way, but booking in advance, you can get a cheaper 32 euro fare. It's very easy to use Trenitalia site (choosing English language on top right) and they take foreign credit cards.
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Jun 28th, 2016, 05:17 PM
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There seems to be several companies that handle tickets. What advice can you give me. Do some charge a fee?>

Like Alec says book direct for the fast trains at www.trenitalia.com - for lots on Italian trains check www.seat61.com - great advice on discounted tickets advice; for general info also www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. There is no reason to book thru any middlemen but book direct - trenitalia.com recently became a whole lot easier for Americans to use apparently.

IMO and IME first-class has significant benefits and on the trip of a lifetime... especially easier to stow luggage IME.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 01:39 AM
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There is 1 direct train operated by Trenitalia: Roma T dp 17.38 - Ravenna ar 21.53
Faster connections with train change at Bologna C, about every hr.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:43 AM
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If you're willing and able to commit to a specific time of travel, it's better to buy tickets for Freccia trains in advance. (Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, e Frecciabianca). Also the few Intercity tickets still in existence can be bought in advance. These tickets can't be changed at all on the day of travel. Some discounted tickets, such as the Economy ticket (but not the Super-Economy) can be changed up until the day before, paying the difference between what they cost and the cost of a full-price Base ticket.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:45 AM
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[Fodors isn't letting me submit my response all in one piece, so I'm submitting it in parts.]

For Regional trains, it's better to buy the tickets in a train station. These tickets are not for a specific train, but for a specific route, so there are no reserved seats, and no discounts. If you buy them at a train station, you can use them on any regional train on that route, for the next two months. You have to stamp them in a little green, white, and red machine by the tracks just before boarding the train to make them valid for a trip within the next five hours, and to prevent them from being reused. If it isn't stamped, the ticket isn't valid. However, if you buy regional tickets online, they must be used within a three-hour window indicated on the reservation, and they cannot be changed at all for any reason. I once had to rip up a regional ticket that I had paid for when the train was running very late. Even in that circumstance, they wouldn't change it to allow me to travel on an earlier Intercity train.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:46 AM
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[part three]

On a trip that involves a fast train and a connection to a regional train, I would buy the fast train ticket in advance if I were fairly certain of my time of travel, and if the discount were substantial. I would get the regional train ticket in the train station where my journey begins, so that I wouldn't have to get it in the second station, and maybe miss a connection. Stamp it before boarding the train in the connecting station.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:49 AM
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bvlenci,

it is a consolation for me that others have the same problem with posting in one piece and it are neither my fingers nor my brain playing tricks. Strange system!
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:53 AM
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[part four. It appears that some words in this paragraph are triggering a spam filter, so I've had to be roundabout with phrases that seemed to me to have something to do with selling.]

Sometimes you can find a good deal for first class (or, on the Frecciarossa trains, Business) which makes the cost comparable. In that case, I would get the best I could get. Palenq always recommends first class, but I don't think he's had much actual experience, because he was surprised when I told him what the seating configuration was on the Frecciarossa trains. I travel on Italians trains a lot, and I wouldn't pay more than a few euros extra for Business. In some countries, such as on some UK lines, it's worth the extra cost, but in Italy it gets you some peanuts, a soft drink, and an Italian newspaper, and that's about it. This summer, Trenitalia is offering free upgrades, so no reason not to try it.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:55 AM
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In the previous paragraph, it seems that "1st class" or "cheaper" might have been the culprits. I had to modify it several times to get it past the filter.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 04:24 AM
  #12
 
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>>>There seems to be several companies that handle tickets.<<<<

The actual companies that operate the trains are Trenitalia and Italo (not to be confused with reseller Italia). Italo mostly operates between major cities while Trenitalia has the majority of trains in Italy. There are also some private lines in some areas.

http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

http://www.italotreno.it/

>>>Do some charge a fee?<<<

The actual rail companies don't, but the resellers do. The resellers typically charge a service fee, but they also make their money off DCC (charging you in dollars for a ticket that is sold in euro by converting the money for you at a higher rate than your bank or credit card would charge if you bought directly from the actual train companies).
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Jun 29th, 2016, 04:38 AM
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For a trip that will have to be partly on Trenitalia routes (because Italo doesn't serve minor routes) I would stick with Trenitalia for the whole trip, even if Italo has better prices for part of the route. If you miss a connection due to a fault of Trenitalia, they'll issue you a new ticket, but not if the delay was on their competitor's train.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 11:15 AM
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Palenq always recommends first class, but I don't think he's had much actual experience, because he was surprised when I told him what the seating configuration was on the Frecciarossa trains.>

does 2 nd class have solo seats - with just an isolated seat - an aisle and a window seat both? NO and to me that is a big difference bvlenci refuses to recognize.

Locals have trouble sometimes putting themselves into the shoes of a foreign tourist on the trip of a lifetime and especially with baggage- locals who take trains all the time of course would go 2nd class - fairly short trips and just a day pack.

anyway Italian trains have plenty of first class cars on them- one would wonder why if bvlenci's take that they is really very little difference between them - well some Italians at least fork out more forthem.

bvlenci - can you wrap your head around the aisle and window seat difference between the classes? To me those seats are priceless - two can face each other with a table in between.

Again is this not a significant difference between the classes? And note I said first class tickets also come discounted so always check on them.

There is a significant difference between first and second class - though for some reason bvlenci refuses to acknowledge that. Cheapest is not always best.



Never said that - don't put words in my mouth- I got updates on Italian trains from friends who annually spend a few weeks on them and they echo what I say - I do not have to have ridden trains in a few years to realize that there is a difference between classes and that is why quite a few Italians chose to pay more (or else as bvlenci would have it - that they are sheer idiots to do so).

Recently one poster said they took 2nd class between Venice and Rome and said 'never again' after. This is a subjective thing - just wish some folks would realize that and not insist that their own take is the real one and others are fools.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 11:26 AM
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http://www.seat61.com/frecciarossa.htm#.V3QQbbgrKUk

Here are some photos showing first and second class Frecciarossa train cars - note the isolated seats with just one in a row - you see these only in first class.

bvlenci - once again is not this a significant difference? Well the pix are worth a thousands words- perplexed by your refusal to recognize this - and I'm not saying 2nd classes are cattle cars though they usually are much fuller than 1st class which also has about 25% less seats in the same-size train car - one reason it is easier to stow luggage in overhead racks.
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Jun 29th, 2016, 02:15 PM
  #16
 
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In some countries, such as on some UK lines, it's worth the extra cost (first class)- well here is one thing I agree with you on - in the UK there is, on long-distance trains, a HUGE difference between a Greyhound bus type 2nd class and an airline almost like first class on many trains.
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