Train Passes in Italy

Jul 3rd, 2010, 07:24 AM
  #1  
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Train Passes in Italy

We just purhcased an 8-day, 1-country Eurorail pass for Italy. It is 1st class. We ploan to be there in Oct/Nov. Can the Eurorail pass be used on Trenitalia railways? I'm confused because there are so many different train companies in Italy. Any info regarding trains would be greatly appreciated.
dr_golf2000 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 07:33 AM
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There is only train company in Italy, Trenitalia. RailEurope is a reseller who offers train passes.

We have traveled in Italy often with first class passes. You might find this link helpful:

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/trains/

Be advised you will need seat reservations on many trains in Italy, except the slower regional ones. These reservation cost extra with your pass. We purchase them upon arrival into Italy for our main segments and as needed for daytrips. Do not buy them on the RailEurope site unless you want to overpay.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 07:54 AM
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How many times do you plan to take the train in Italy? It is highly unlikely that the pass is a good idea. As noted, you will still have to pay extra for reservations. Point-to-point tickets will mostly likely be cheaper. Is your pass refundable? I would check it out.

You can see what the prices for point-to-point tickets will be on Trenitalia.
SusanP is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Passes are not popular with many posters but we find them worth it for the flexibility they offer. Based on my experiences, the cheaper point to point tickets are generally advance purchase and have restrictions that make changes expensive. And those of us with US credit cards cannot purchase tickets online in advance of travel.

If you already have your pass, I would use and enjoy it. Check out the bonus features as well as there is always something extra we can take advantage of. These are listed in the handbook that came with your passes.

Enjoy Italy!

Enjoy your trip!
kfusto is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 09:03 AM
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There are a few private train companies in Italy, like the Circumvesuviana that runs from Naples to Sorrento. Your pass will not be good on them. The chances of your taking another train that is not a Trenitalia train is very small.

I hope you realize that you will have to buy a seat reservation on all trains that require them. The price is €10.00 on high-speed EuroStar Italia trains and €3.00 on IC trains. There is open seating on regional trains and no seat reservations are possible.
TimS is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 09:12 AM
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Wow, I love this forum. You all are so full of useful information. Susan, I checked out the ticket to ticket prices and realized it was going to be very close in price so I opted to purchase our rail passes. That being done, as Kfusto said, I'll live with them and pay the additional reservations prices as we go. Thanks for all the info and links.
dr_golf2000 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 11:10 AM
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Passes aren't really flexible in Italy since seat reservations are required on all but the slowest R trains and have been for about a year. In other countries, most trains don't require reservations so you can just hop on any train. It doesn't work that way in Italy.

Did you check point-to-point on Trenitalia? RailEurope marks up their tickets. The prices on Trenitalia include your seat reservations.
kybourbon is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 11:29 AM
  #8  
zaf
 
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Since you already have pass so may like to use it. Just one advise, be sure to reserve your seat in advance or be at least 30-45 minutes earlier than your scheduled departure time, reservation counters have crowd especially in rush hour and there is no special counter for only seat reservation you have to follow tkt purchase counter which is crowded at times, unless you book all or most of your journey in advance.

Hope this helps!
zaf is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 12:44 PM
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You can buy passholder seat reservations from station ticket machines. No need to stand in line at a ticket window.
TimS is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Hi folks,

I´m still a little confused about this. I´m going to Italy in August and planned to purchase my train tickets in advance. In my case, it would be much cheaper to purchase a pass than point-to-point tickets, almost half the price in fact, through rail europe.

I also don´t want to wait to get to Italy to reserve the seats, as I know it´s the busiest time there. Besides, I don´t want to run the risk of not finding a seat on the trains I've have chosen as they perfectly fit my itinerary (both in terms of schedule and trip duration)

My question is, if I were to buy a pass, could I make the seat reservations right after, through the same site? And would I be able to find the same trains listed on the point-to-point timetable?

If the Frecciarossa is what TimS is calling high-speed EuroStar Italia trains, would seat reservation then be about 10 euros per trip through rail europe? It would still be much cheaper than the point-to-point, at least at raileurope.

Thank you all very much.

Aline
AlineWyllie is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 12:18 PM
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sea61.com has the best pass discussion I know

there are several private train companies in Italy

Pass is BAD value in Italy big surcharge/supplements

for fast trains sleepers cheapest for me just to do regional

trains or book fast trains at the station Venice Rome

for me in May(FrecciaArgento)was less than 4 hours

paid less than 20 euro per hour of training.
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 12:20 PM
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http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-E...pass-guide.htm - CachedShould you buy a rail pass or normal point to point tickets? Which rail pass should you buy? ... Buy train tickets & passes online at the seat61. Rail Shop .... You can check Italian train fares online at www.trenitalia.com. ...
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 02:00 PM
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Hi qwovadis,

I am checking it out just now. Thank you so much.
AlineWyllie is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 02:20 PM
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GREAT TIP QWOVADIS. SITE IS FANTASTIC! THANK YOU!
AlineWyllie is offline  
Jul 4th, 2011, 03:12 AM
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Yes, Frecciarossa trains are the newest high-speed EuroStar Italia trains.

Buying seat reservations in Italy will be cheaper than buying them from Rail Europe.

Will you only be traveling in Italy? If you can commit to specific departure dates and times now, you can book today on the Trenitalia site and get Mini fares. Much cheaper than a railpass + seat reservations.
TimS is offline  
Jul 4th, 2011, 05:33 AM
  #16  
 
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>>>And those of us with US credit cards cannot purchase tickets online in advance of travel.<<<<

That's no longer true. When Trenitalia updated their website in Dec. 2010, they fixed the credit card problem. You should be able to book using a Mastercard or Visa as long as you have notified your credit card company in advance that you will be making a foreign online purchase so they don't block it.

>>>reservation counters have crowd especially in rush hour and there is no special counter for only seat reservation you have to follow tkt purchase counter which is crowded at times, unless you book all or most of your journey in advance.<<<

At any of the larger train stations, there are touch screen ticket machines in English. No need to wait in a line. Here are screen-by-screen pictures/directions of how to use the machines. Scroll down to buying a ticket from a kiosk.
http://www.roninrome.com/transportat...a-train-ticket

If you are planning to buy tickets online for the fast trains only (AV, ES, ESCity), Trenitalia has link just for them where you can pick your exact seats (can't do that on the regular link). You must pay attention to the autofill for the station names as they have to be exact in Italian. You can do a trial purchase. Select your train and be sure to click "select your seat" and then purchase without registration (for actual purchase, you will want to register). You will get a diagram of the train car (it will tell you the car number you will be in also). The green seats are the available seats. The gray oblongs between some seats are tables (means the seats will be facing the table). At the ends of the cars, seats don't have tables. These seats have fold down trays like planes. I don't care for these seats or ones close to the WC (restroom).
http://www.fsitaliane.it/cms/v/index...003f16f90aRCRD
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