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Train Help, Pass or Individual Tickets!d

Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 05:14 AM
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Train Help, Pass or Individual Tickets!d

I will be traveling this fall to Itay for a long extended stay. My husband and I will be going to several cities and wanted to see if it was better to buy the Eurorail Italy pass or individual tickets.

We are traveling roundtrip from Rome to Sorrento, then one-way from Rome to La Spezia (CT), and finally a one way from La Spezia to Venice.

Can someone advise on the individual tickets what the difference between Flessible and Base is?

I have done the math and it comes out roughly to $292 pp on individual tickets. The pass option from Eurorail was either $251 or $215. Can someone advise what the saver pass is, as it has a difference of $36?

Also does the Eurorail pass work on the metros, or the Circumvesuviana?

Thanks all for any input or guidance you all have!!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 05:43 AM
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Recheck using Mini Fares - these are big discounts available if you book in advance and don't mind more restrictive conditions. Use trentialia.com for all fare searches.

Eurail pass will need seat reservations at €10 on all fast trains. I don't think Eurail is valid on the Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Sorrento, and it certainly isn't valid on metro trains.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 05:44 AM
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No, the pass is not good for the Circumvesuviana or metros. The pass also doesn't include the required seat reservations (tickets bought on Trenitalia include your seat) for each train (on the faster trains - AV,ES,ESCity,IC in Italy - 10€ each except IC which is 3€). Only the slow R trains don't require seats. A saver pass is for two or more people traveling together.

Flessible if like buying a full fare airline ticket that allows you to change at anytime and refund. They charge a 30% premium for the flexibility. It's the most expensive you can buy. Base is the regular price. You should look for sale prices (mini fares).
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 07:18 AM
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How far in advance do you have to book the mini fares? My only concern about booking ahead is if I miss the train (esp on the rome to Naples- as that is dependent on our flights), any more information you all can share is greatly appreciated!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 07:21 AM
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Also is there anyway from the US to purchase from Trenitalia? I know i read previously there were some issues.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 07:24 AM
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The further in advance you can book, the more chance there is of getting a bigger discount on the Mini fares. Like airfares, the longer you leave it the higher they get.

But if you are travelling straight of a flight, then it's a bit risky to book a Mini because you might miss the train and then your ticket is useless. In that case, just book a ticket at the Base fare when you arrive.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 07:25 AM
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I believe that Trenitalia is now able to process US credit cards online, but not American Express.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 07:28 AM
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A saverpass means two to five names on one pass and is about 20$ cheaper than individual passes - since you have one pass with two or more names on it you must travel together and cannot take separate trains.

Railpasses are not valid on the CircumVesuviana commuter train Naples Centrale to Sorrento but the cost of that train is all of 3 euros or so.

After years of travel on Italian trains I adamantly advise first class for the average traveler - especially those with luggage - thus compare IMO the cost of a first class pass to first class tickets - not 2nd class. 2nd class will get you where you are going but in so so many ways first class is much much more relaxed - seats much larger - often empty seats near you to put your luggage on within your eyeshot, etc. IMO apply to train travel the same criteria to hotels, restaurants - cheapest is not always the best and you do get what you pay for. For the trip of a lifetime pay the relatively little extra and go in a much more relaxed first class.

But anyway check out these fantastic sites for loads on Italian trains and passes - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 08:10 AM
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I wouldn't book the tickets for the day of flight. Nor do you need to spend extra for 1st class. The fast trains in Italy are quite nice in 2nd class and the train ride is very short (only 60 minutes). You barely have time to get settled on this route before you are gathering your things to get off the train. There is no problem storing luggage in 2nd either as there are multiple storage areas at the ends of cars, overhead plus an area to slide them in behind your seat.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 10:33 AM
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IMO folks who say there is little difference between first and second class on Italian trains simply have NOT ridden in first class but are making presumptions - I have traveled in first class on Italian trains for years and there is a significant difference between the classes - and this is not to say 2nd class is a cattle car but just more cramped - seats significantly smaller - less places to comfortably store luggage - I have indeed seen 2nd class cars where it was problematic getting a large bag into the storage areas at the end of the cars as these can be full - or your luggage ends up shoved into the rear - leave plenty of time before your stop in 2nd class to ferret your luggage out of these racks - in first class I have always found room for my luggage on an empty seat next to me or in the wider room between seats, etc.

There is some reason many Italians pay more for first class - and IMO the average tourist should as well.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 12:54 PM
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How far in advance do you have to book the mini fares? My only concern about booking ahead is if I miss the train (esp on the rome to Naples- as that is dependent on our flights), any more information you all can share is greatly appreciated!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 12:56 PM
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How far in advance do you have to book the mini fares? My only concern about booking ahead is if I miss the train (esp on the rome to Naples- as that is dependent on our flights)-

well then IMO rather than risking losing your ticket if you miss the train due to a late flight then bite the small bullet and just buy a full fare ticket going to Naples after your flight. I believe the mini-fares cannot be changed if you miss the train but perhaps that is not correct but I do not think they can also be transferred to other trains every easily if at all possible.
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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We bought EuroRail for our first trip to Italy and were shocked having to pay a reservation fee for every ticket. We decided on our second trip to buy individual tickets when we arrived in Italy and it worked out great. There were no reservation fees and we requested seats together close to the luggage rack. Also, with EuroRail, if you buy First Class you sometimes end up on trains with no first class so, money wasted.
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 06:50 PM
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Thanks all for the great info!!! We decided on the individual ticket route. We are going to try and save cost taking advantage of the mini rates! We can't wsi September can't get here fast enough!
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Old Jun 28th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Also, with EuroRail, if you buy First Class you sometimes end up on trains with no first class so, money wasted.>

But the average traveler going say Milan-Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples, etc would always be on trains with first class - very few Italian trains I have been on did not have first class but some regional trains may not.
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