Train Questions???

Old Nov 30th, 2001, 01:58 PM
  #1  
Lisa
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Train Questions???

I have search this forum for threads on train travel in Italy, but still have a few questions I could use some help on. My travel plans include a trip from Rome to Venice on 12/9, Venice to Florence on 12/11 and Florence to Rome on 12/13 (yes, I know those are short stays in between). My first question is: What are the differences between the Eurostar and Intercity trains (other than the travel time)? For either the Eurostar or Intercity trains, are reservations necessary given when we are travelling (low season/non-holiday)? If we need to make reservations, what is the easiest, most convenient way to do so once in Italy? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 02:06 PM
  #2  
Grasshopper
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Lisa,<BR><BR>Truthfully, when I get to a city (usually by train) I purchase the tickets for my next segment of travel. I have never bought tickets before going to Europe and never had a problem. And I chose the train by the most convenient time to leave.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 03:12 PM
  #3  
YS
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Eurostars are nicer trains, and reservations are required, but can be made up to 5 minutes before train departure. On short runs like this you don't have to worry about advance bookings, but do as Grasshopper said - get the ticket for the next journey once you arrive at the station. This way you won't miss the train that you like to take because you got stuck in the ticket line.<BR>If you start in Rome, you can go to American Express office, one block South-East from Spanish Steps. There's no line, they speak English and there's no markup of any kind - same fares as in ticket offices.<BR>There are Eurostar trains between Florence and Rome every 1.5 hours or so, plus a whole bunch of intercity and "regular" trains in the middle. There are not that many between Rome and Venice, or Venice-Florence but enough.<BR>I would check http://www.fs-on-line.com in advance for schedules and fares.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 07:03 PM
  #4  
Anita
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My only addition to what's been posted: I don't like booking/buying train tickets at the last minute because I like to travel in first class and in a non-smoking car. Last year, I went to the American Express office in Venice for reservations/tickets to Milan five days in the future. Non-smoking seats were already sold out the morning we wanted to leave. Although we were still in first class, the level of tobacco smoke was nearly unbearable. As others have mentioned, American Express is very convenient for purchasing train tickets in large cities.
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 08:34 PM
  #5  
Maurice
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I agree, from experience. The line-ups are long and the service is horrendous. To be fair, the Italian train people are very helpful once you get to the window. But, a coffee-break is a coffee-break and is not postponed. <BR>BUY YOUR TICKET THE DAY BEFORE.<BR>We caught the train overnight from Naples to Venice. We figured, no problem... The ticket salesman decided to be helpful and (after lining up for 45 minutes)sold us the ticket for a train leaving in 5 - no, 3 - minutes. It was packed! A helpful fellow on the train invited us to sit in his cabin, there were 2 free seats out of 6; but it was smoking! The poor people who got on in Rome at midnight sat on the little fold-down seats in the aisle to Venice or Trieste. What the heck was train doing full overnight on a Monday-Tuesday?? <BR>So, for any long trip - especially if you want to sit together, or want a window seat, or whatever - get a reservation for the few dollars it costs you.<BR>Other hints: give yourself enough time to figure out the name of the train. The Naples-to-Venice train was actually the "Trieste" train; it only paused in Mestre. There is a chart behind some of the conductors that explains the train layout and car numbering for reservations...<BR>Enjoy your trip!
 
Old Nov 30th, 2001, 10:12 PM
  #6  
pat
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We bought our tickets too late from Venice to Florence, and couldn`t get on Eurostar, so we had to take the slow train. We didn`t realize we should have also gotten a seat assignment, and had to sit in the aisle on pull down seats. Uncomfortable and we had to keep getting up every time someone wanted to pass.
 

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