Train Reservations?

Old Jan 9th, 2003, 10:59 AM
  #1  
Mike
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Train Reservations?

When we go to Italy in May, we plan on taking the train from Rome to Florence then from Florence to Venice. Should I use railsaver to make reservations and be done with it or should I wait until we are their and buy our tickets?
If I do make reservations can I reserve a 1st class seat? And How hard is it to change the time of departure if we decide to leave the citys at a diffrent time.

Mike
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 11:09 AM
  #2  
Alice Twain
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Do all your train reservations as you get here in Italy from the train stations' ticket selling windows or machines. You do not ned to book a seat long in advance, except on festivities (Christmas, Easter, april 25 or May 1st) it is enough to book one day in advance, on the above cases it is better to book _at_least_ 2-3 days in advance. The fastest and most comfortable trains between Rome, Florence and Venice are Eurostars, if you travel via Eurostar you will find that second class is perfectly aceptable, let's say that second class on a Eurostar has a level of comfort that is similat to the one you can find in airplanes' touristic class. If you change your plans once you have booked the seats, you can still change reservation until a few hours before the train's departure (no less than 3 hours!), but you might not be able to find any seats on your new desired departure time. In this case you might still switch to Intercity trains, which allow less comfort but do not require reservations, although a reservation is advisable also on these trains.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 11:30 AM
  #3  
Tess
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Mike,
Follow Alice's advice; she lives in Italy. And from my own experience, Eurostar is the train to ride when traveling between Italy's major cities. Do be aware there are non-smoking cars (non-fumato); so if that's an issue, make sure to request a seat in those cars. You can review Italy's train schedules on website, www.trenitalia.com. Although many of the clerks @ station speak a smidgen of English, it can be very helpful to print out schedule w/destination & time in order to be more explicit when you're purchasing your train tickets.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 11:37 AM
  #4  
Kris
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I've been wondering the same thing, thanks for the info! How much (in whatever currency you wish!) is a 1st class ticket from Rome to Milan? How much for 2nd class?
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 12:18 PM
  #5  
Tess
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Cost for Eurostar betwn Rome-Milan (one way ticket)
1st class - 67 euros
2nd class - 46 euros

InterCity train, Rome-Milan
1st - 53 euros
2nd - 38 euros
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 02:23 PM
  #6  
Kris
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Tess;
Thanks, that's really helpful in planning!
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 05:44 PM
  #7  
Rob
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I've done this twice and made all reservations AND seat assignments BEFORE I left the States....We did Rome-Florence-Venice in 1999 and I strongly recommend that You take care of this BEFORE You leave USA...have a great trip...We did !!


Rob
 
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 04:13 AM
  #8  
Alice Twain
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Rob:
Have you at lest once booked your seats as you arrived in italy and found any trouble in doing so, or are you suggesting to book seats from the Usa just because you do not trust us? ^_^ I do not doubt that you have had no trouble travelling with the tickets you bought in the Usa, but I am also sure that you would very hardly have found any if you booked in Italy (as I do, as a matter of facts, since I am a big train traveller in Italy); at the same time I am sure the price of the tickets bought in the Usa are more costly that they are in Italy.
 
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 08:45 AM
  #9  
joanneaj
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I go back and forth on this issue. Having been to Italy three times, we've had more than our share of problems with train travel. I don't know if it's that we're unaccustomed to train travel or just bad luck. Last month, we were assured that we wouldn't need reservations. But the train was PACKED, and after a 15 hour plane trip, my teens and kids sat on suitcases in the aisle for another three hours. On our first trip to Italy, we bought $1200 worth of Eurail passes, to learn that the railroads were on strike. We ended up with a rental minivan for the rest of the trip. Also last month, I made a special trip to Naples to buy reserved seats for our party of 6. When we got on the train, we learned that our 6 seats were scattered among several compartments in two train cars. It was a nightmare to get everyone situated, as we couldn't walk down the crowded aisles, much less drag our luggage.

If you have plenty of time to buy and recheck your tickets, do so in Italy. Otherwise, buy them in advance, even though they are vastly more expensive in the US. Otherwise, do what we will do from now on: rent a car.
 
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