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Train Reservations Trenitalia or RailEurpoe, Im Confused

Train Reservations Trenitalia or RailEurpoe, Im Confused

Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Train Reservations Trenitalia or RailEurpoe, Im Confused

I have read most of the threads with the problems trying to buy train tickets via the Trainitalia web site. All the trains we are taking are all local trains which have no seat reservations. Most of the advice from the forum is just buy the tickets in country a few days before you use them. At my age, and being a control freak I am uncomfortable with that. I can buy the tickets from RailEurope and pay almost double per segment compared to the Trenitalia web site PLUS a $30.00 handling fee.

The questions:

1. Are the Trenitalia web prices special and not what I would pay when bought in country?

2. How can I buy RailEurope tickets now, when Trenitalia won't sell them more than 7 days before departure?

3. Should I just follow the forums advice and buy in country?

Am I confused!

Thanks Everybody,

Wayne
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:10 PM
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When are you planning on traveling? The only time I'd say buy while you're still out of the country is if you're taking a route in high season that is very popular.

I have to tell you though, it was very very easy getting tickets for a local train (i.e. a day trip we took from Venice to Verona and back) in the middle of summer the day we decided to go.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:39 PM
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As long as your train of choice is not the Milan-Barcelona overnight train, which requires at least 10 days advance booking, you're fine just booking when you get here. Leave the Trenitalia website alone, it's confusing and rather than run the risk of getting the wrong ticket, save the hassle and deal with a human. It's also virtually painless
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:40 PM
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You said the trains are all local? Provided that you can get to a train station or an agency in Italy authorized to sell National rail tickets, buying ahead is all drawbacks and no benefit.

Local means no reservation. Someone who bought a ticket 5 minutes before the departure is just as entitled to a seat as someone who bought ticket at high markup several days before.

What benefit did you think you are getting by buying ahead (if it is even possible)?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:08 PM
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1. Are the Trenitalia web prices special and not what I would pay when bought in country? If you follow the same pre-purchase requirements, many of the same discounts will be available to you when in Italy.

2. How can I buy RailEurope tickets now, when Trenitalia won't sell them more than 7 days before departure? Because RailEurope wants to grab unnecessary and even exorbitant service fees from nervous travelers like you. And because Trenitalia thinks its unnecessary, silly, and a waste of their time to sell such tickets more than 7 days ahead of time when so few people will buy them.

3. Should I just follow the forums advice and buy in country? Yes. In more than 20 trips to italy, every one of them featuring train travel, I've never purchased train tickets before arriving in Italy.

If all your trains are "local" (R) which do not include reserved seats, you just buy a ticket for that route (train from A to B) and get on whichever one fits your schedule. Any ticket you purchase for an R is not for a particular train, just a particular route. If you must be a control freak: on your first day in Italy, go to a train station or travel agency and purchase all the tickets you need for every little trip you plan to take. That's as controlling as you need to be in this situation.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:08 PM
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Hi W,

>I can buy the tickets from RailEurope and pay almost double per segment compared to the Trenitalia web site PLUS a $30.00 handling fee.<

Yes. You can. After you do that, would you be interested in some Nigerian genuine gold bars?

Buy all of your tickets from trenitalia or a travel agent after you get to Italy. That is the cheapest price. Ask for the discount (Amica) fares.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:19 PM
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

We leave for Florence in 5 weeks, then to C.T, back to Tuscany and on to Orvieto, then to Rome. The trains are Florence to C.T., C.T, to Pisa and Orvieto to Rome.

Wayne
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Most of your route are r trains which don't sell out because they don't have reserved seats. It might mean you won't have a seat, but if it's the only option for your destination, then you don't really have a choice. It's sort of like asking should you buy tickets in advance for the subway paying double plus mailing fees.

A couple of your routes will also have some IC trains that you can reserve a seat. You will still be able to buy these in Italy. I believe your tickets might cost 5% more than the prices you see online at Trenitalia since the website says they are giving 5% discount for booking online. I've never really paid attention to see if I was getting the exact same price.
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