Notices

train passes in italy

Reply

Mar 1st, 2011, 07:58 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
train passes in italy

Hi there, does anyone know if I pre-purchase an Italy rail pass for four days of train travel, will it have flexi capability? I don't want to use it for 4 consecutive days of train travel. I read that most of the passes come with the flexibility built in, and that you simply have to enter the days that you want to use the pass on your first day of train travel, on the ticket. I don't see anywhere where I can specifically buy a flexi-pass. I want to travel by train for 4 days within a 10 day period. If anyone knows the answer to this, I would appreciate your input! I don't want to purchase rail passes and then find out I have to use them for consecutive days. Thanks!
Kate_Franklin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 08:10 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,120
Are you sure a pass is even worth it? Trains in Italy are pretty dirt cheap. Have you done a price comparison on point-to-point tickets with the pass?
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 08:26 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,057
Also keep in mind that, even with a pass, in Italy you will be required to purchase a reservation for a seat on a particular train for all but the slowest trains. Per ticket, the fees are 3€ for IC trains and 10€ for ES/AV trains.
ellenem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 08:27 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 6,845
You absolutely must the do the math. Rail pass are seldom a good deal unless you are doing a lot of long distance travel. Second, you are aware that there are reservations fees for all trains except regionals when using a pass.
fmpden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 08:51 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Thanks for the input- I will compare the prices. It does seem like more of a hassle to get the pass for 4 days than to buy individual tickets. And I did know that you had to reserve a seat, but did not know there was a fee. Thanks all!

Kate
Kate_Franklin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 11:15 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,530
Typically, passes aren't economical for Italy unless you are doing long distance travel or lengthy day trips with return travel the same day. If you list your travel, we can help with which tickets are best. To price tickets, you need to look on Trenitalia and enter a date within the next 7 days so all trains/prices will show. The prices on Trenitalia include your reserved seat except for R trains which don't allow seat reservations.

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

There are fully flexible tickets for sale on Trenitalia, but I don't see the point of paying 30% extra for them. If you want flexibility, just buy a ticket for the next train at the base fare instead and save the 30%.
kybourbon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 06:28 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Thanks for your response, kybouron. We need to travel from Lake Maggiore to San Gimignano, then the next day, from S. Gimignano back to Florence. Then from Florence to Venice, and last, from Florence to Milan. These are not all on consecutive days. We appreciate your help, thanks so much.


Kate
Kate_Franklin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 07:03 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,057
I don't think your itinerary warrants a pass. Standard point-to-point tickets in 1st class would cost 195-205€; 2nd class 145-155€. You might get discounts (Mini) fares on some of these if purchased ahead.

Standard ticket prices (range shown depends on type of trains):

Stresa (Lago Maggiore) to San Gimignano (Poggibonsi SG): 1st class 85-95€; 2nd class 65-73€

San Gimignano (Poggibonsi SG) to Firenze SMN: 5.20€

Firenze SMN to Venezia SL: 1st 60€; 2nd 43€

Venezia SL to Milano CE: 1st 43€; 2nd 31€
ellenem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 07:07 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,057
(I assumed Kate meant Venice to Milan on the last leg, rather than Florence to Milan.)
ellenem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2011, 10:27 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,530
No train station in San .G so you take the train to Poggibonsi and there is a bus the rest of the way. That's a lot of travel for only one night in San G.
kybourbon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2011, 01:26 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 278
Kate_Franklin, on the routes you mention that you ARE NOT on a regionale train, you can pre-book online at the Trenitalia website, and purchase a MINI discounted ticket. See an article here: http://tinyurl.com/MINI-fare

The MINI discount, although inflexible, can save you up to 70% off the base price - which further offsets the gap between the rail pass. If you're locked into your dates, and you can get your credit card to work, then buying these in advance can save you some money!

For more info on navigating the purchase process on the Trenitalia website - and how to read the darn thing - see this post: http://tinyurl.com/tren-online

It will explain to you how to use a "tickletless" ticket and the many options you have when buying a ticket online. Unfortunately, "ticketless" regionale tickets are not yet an option - although there is a method to print out a PDF on some regionale tickets...

Or you can wait until you get to Italy as most trains never sell out. If so, you can buy at a kiosk - see this info with a step-by-step explanation of the new kiosks, located in larger train stations: http://tinyurl.com/buy-tickets-2011

There may even be some MINI discount tickets available when you arrive. Two weeks ago, I bought next-day MINI's from Rome to Naples and saved 30%. The MINI ticket availability is determined by Trenitalia. Good Luck!
rineurope is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2011, 07:02 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Thank you all for your suggestions, and especially rineurope for the articles. kybourbon, we will look into staying perhaps 2 nights in S. Gimignano area- good point. ellenem, thank you for the train fares, and yes, I did mean Venice to Milan!

The articles are fabulous, I will print the instructions and take them with me, they help to take the stress out of buying a train ticket, to be sure!! I like the kiosk idea, and think it could be our best option. Again, many thanks for all of the comments- we are going on our honeymoon in 2 weeks and this information is so helpful. We had been set up with a car rental, but last minute decided to cancel that idea and take trains... seems so much easier AND safer!
Kate_Franklin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2011, 07:08 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,530
>>>>Kate_Franklin, on the routes you mention that you ARE NOT on a regionale train<<<<

The only trains I see between Florence and Poggibonsi are R trains as are many of the trains between Stresa and Milan so yes, she will be on some R trains.

If you want to take advantage of any discount tickets on Trenitalia, you must book the route in sections if it involves a mix of fast trains (AV/ES/EC/IC) and the slow trains. The discounts are only on certain trains.
kybourbon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2011, 04:41 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Ok, gotcha. Goodness, this is a complicated system when you are not used to it!
Kate_Franklin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2011, 05:27 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,057
There are some very helpful articles about the Italian train system at this site:

http://www.slowtrav.com/Italy/trains/index.htm
ellenem is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:31 AM.