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ttapl Jun 22nd, 2009 10:44 AM

Train planning site for Italy?
Is there a good site to plan our train trips in Italy? The Trenitalia site seems buggy.

ellenem Jun 22nd, 2009 10:49 AM

It really isn't buggy until you try to purchase. The schedules are only posted 60 days in advance, so you can work around that by choosing fake dates for this week, since the schedules stay the same--be sure to pick the same day of the week.

Zerlina Jun 22nd, 2009 10:53 AM

What's buggy about it? It occasionally takes a while to load, and it defaults to the time on your computer, so if you use it at 3 pm, it will show you trains after 3 pm today, but otherwise it works fine.

If you want, you can try

Viajero2 Jun 22nd, 2009 10:53 AM

Trenitalia is probably one of the best sites and as good as it gest for train itineraries in Italy. I would desist of buying tickets online on that website, though. Not an easy proposition and besides, if you cannot get a discount by buying online I don't get why it is imperative to commit to a set time for train travel in Italy.....

Zerlina Jun 22nd, 2009 10:56 AM

The schedules now on the Trenitalia Web site are valid until December 12, 2009. I just got train times for Rome-Florence on November 22.

ttapl Jun 22nd, 2009 01:13 PM

Thanks for your advice-- I'll give Trenitalia another try.

ttapl Jun 24th, 2009 06:35 AM

On Trenitalia site, where can you check cost of youth tickets? When I check times and fares, it is only showing me one type of fare now.

Zerlina Jun 24th, 2009 06:37 AM

Trenitalia does not have youth fares.

Viajero2 Jun 24th, 2009 07:57 AM


ellenem Jun 24th, 2009 09:14 AM

There are family fares for adults and children traveling together, as well as other discounts:

runnergirlannie Jun 24th, 2009 09:57 AM

This is probably a dumb question...but what is the differnce between Rail Europe & Trenitalia? Are they both selling tickets for the same trains and which is the best to use to purchace Italy train ticket from the US? Thank you

Mimar Jun 24th, 2009 10:20 AM

Yes, both sites are selling tickets on the same trains. But additional trains appear on the Trenitalia site.

Rail Europe is owned by the French train system SNCF (and other European train systems?). RE doesn't show all the trains, especially the locals and slower trains, and charges you for mailing tickets. Some of its fares seem inflated.

Trenitalia is the Italian government train system. Its site shows all the trains and all the best fares including discounts. But it's very difficult for an American to buy a ticket online. The site periodically rejects all American credit cards. The rest of the time it just rejects most American cards.

Some people say RE is fine for buying rail passes. But passes are not advised for Italy-only travel.

If you can stand it, it's best to wait to buy your train tickets in Italy. You can buy them all at train stations or at travel agencies that display the Trenitalia logo.

And don't take a long-distance train on the day of your flight home. Italian trains are subject to occasional strikes. I've also had journeys interrupted by (1) engine breakdown, (2) a power outage (suspicious), and (3) a suicide on the tracks.

Here's a web site with detailed information on riding Italian trains:

Jean Jun 24th, 2009 10:20 AM

Trenitalia owns and operates the rail system. Rail Europe is a ticket seller making a profit on every sale.

If you buy concert tickets at a theater box office, you pay face value. If you buy the same concert tickets through TicketMaster or other scalper, you pay face value plus fees (aka profit).

runnergirlannie Jun 24th, 2009 10:53 AM

ok THANK YOU both Mimar & Jean for this valuable info!!! I need to plan about 4 different train trips so I'll try the Trenitalia site and hopefully it will like my visa card :-)

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