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Patrick Apr 25th, 2000 06:48 AM

Train Prices in Italy
Ok, I have bookmarked the Italian train web site and can find all the schedules, etc. on it and several other sites, but where can I find the prices? I would like to book our four trips in Italy for four of us in advance and be assured of nice seats together. I can't do this from the US, because it will be over two months between the time I leave and the time I arrive in Italy. A travel agent I know in London will help me. She quotes me 33.40 pounds per seat including reservation for 1st class on Eurostar Rome to Florence, for example. Is that about right? In the past we have had difficulties booking seat reservations at the last minute in Italy --everything filled, or agent telling us that there was only smoking left, or that we had to sit in a compartment, when actually there were nicer open coach type cars when we got there. <BR>Paulo, can you help with the price??

Rex Apr 25th, 2000 07:02 AM

If it's just price PLANning you need (as opposed to ticket buying), - - and forgive me if you already know this, then just look your city pairs on - - you actual price will be roughly 15% lower than what is shown. <BR> <BR>I think you will get seats just as good 24 hrs prior to travel as 24 days ahead (maybe even true 24 minutes ahead). Make it an adventure to try doing some comparison shopping at travel agents in the earlier parts of your trip - - you've got plenty time! No one will be that different on price. Buy based on service, pleasant smile, whatever. <BR> <BR>Presumably the budget for your trip (considering its length) is plus-or-minus a good (several?) thousand dollars (how could you plan your life any more accurately than that for five whole months?). Worrying about paying $10 too much on a train ticket is (I guess) just pre-trip, last minute jitters.

Patrick Apr 25th, 2000 07:38 AM

Thanks, Rex. Actually I had never used the raileurope site for planning, usually the German rail site (which covers all of Europe with detailed intineraries) and the Italian site. Neither of those sites ever seem to give prices however. Yea, I guess there are some pretrip jitters, but this is mainly for our two friends who will join us for two weeks in Northern Italy and Switzerland. I am taking care of all their stuff as well, and they are on a little more strict budget than I am. Just didn't want to spend a lot of money on their tickets and find that it would have been a lot cheaper to have waited. In any case, the price quoted by my "friend" travel agent in London is actually less than buying one through raileurope, especially once the reservation fee and booking fee are added.

Walter Apr 25th, 2000 10:30 AM

Hi Patrick: On the fs-on-line's timetable and this is *only* for ES trains, if you click-on (left side of screen) either the train's row number (1,2,3...) or the arrow next to it will show you the 1st & 2nd class fares. <BR>HTH Regards, Walter

Paulo Apr 25th, 2000 11:54 AM

To the info provided by Walter, I would add that if you buy the Eurostar ticket in Italy, there would be no reservation fee whatsoever (this is very clear in the FS site). You'd pay a flat Lit 81,500, which the Oanda site would translate to a little over 25 pounds at today's interbank rate. Once you should be able to get (with your cc) a rate not worse than 3% over the interbank rate, it would cost you, say, around 26 pounds ... and your agent in the UK would be eating up 7.40 pounds (+ his normal commission) per ticket just for this first leg of your trip. <BR> <BR>How many days are you staying in Rome? and in Florence? Were I staying a minimum of 4 nights in Rome I would never get my tickets/reservations in advance. I would do it for certain only if my stay would be shorter than 2 days. In between, I would think about it ... and considering there are so many Eurostars every day I would probably not do it in advance even if I had only 2 days. Now, for your peace of mind you may want to pay the price ... but never for the legs that will follow after Florence. <BR> <BR>Anyways, before making a decision, try to get in touch with the American Express office in Piazza di Spagna (+55 06 67641) and hear what they have to say about the subject ... <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>PS. If you end up not buying your tickets in advance and if the dollar plunges 25% till you get to Italy, please don't blame me :-) <BR>

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