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Train Rome --> Florence: When To Buy Ticket

Train Rome --> Florence: When To Buy Ticket

Old Apr 25th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Train Rome --> Florence: When To Buy Ticket

I've copied the schedule from Trenitalia, but I'm wondering when to buy tickets? Can I just buy them the same morning as my departure?

Also, I'm not 100% sure exactly what time I want to return....so can I buy the return portion in Florence just before we depart?

Finally, when buying train tickets at Termini (for Florence or elsewhere) do you buy from a ticket counter, or is everything automated?

Thank you!
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 04:53 PM
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J62
 
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If you want maximum flexibility you can just buy tickets the morning of your departure, or even right before you board the train. Ditto for the return.

There are discounts available if you buy in advance, but sounds like flexibility is more important here.

The kiosks are very easy to use and there are lots of them. You can also buy at a travel agent - look for the Trenitalia logo in the window. In my experience if you're looking for one you will have trouble finding one. The minute you stop looking you'll notice they are all around Rome.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Thank you J62. Do the kiosks take cash? Or just credit cards? A little concerned about US credit cards working in the machines.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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GAC
 
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If you want to save money, seek out one of the "MINI" discount fares on the high-speed trains. BEWARE, however, that once you purchase a ticket at one of the "MINI" fares, your ability to make changes is very limited, and no changes are allowed on the day of scheduled travel. The discount ranges between 10% and 60%. The sooner you book, the greater the odds of getting one of the deeper discounts. Fast trains between Rome and Florence run every 30 minutes, so there are LOTS of opportunities to get the "MINI" rate.

If money is not an issue, you can buy the ticket (at the regular fare of 45 Euros) on the day of travel, either from the staffed ticket windows at the station (long lines), from an automated ticket kiosk, or at an Italian travel agency which shows the Trenitalia logo on the window.

The automated ticket machines accept either cash (Euro bills and coins), or credit/debit cards, or both.

Between Rome and Florence, you could also take one of the cheap (17.05 Euros) unreserved and undiscountable "regionale" trains, but beware that travel time on these train is four (4) hours.

Travel time on the expensive (45 Euros) high-speed trains (Frecciarossa/Frecciargento) is 95 minutes.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 05:58 PM
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FYI The absolutely LOWEST "MINI" fare available on the Frecciarossa/Frecciargento high-speed trains between Rome and Florence is 19 Euros in second class, one way. Getting this exceptionally low fare usually requires booking WELL in advance. Less generous "MINI" fares are also available on many of these fast trains.

By contrast, the regular, undiscountable fare in second class on the unreserved "regionale" train on this same route is 17.05 Euros. This very low fare is available at ANY TIME, even minutes before train departure. There is no reason to buy tickets for the "regionale" trains in advance (except purely for convenience). Seats on the "regionale" trains are always unreserved.

For the moment, you cannot book trains beyond June 11. Once the new schedules are loaded, you'll be able to book up to FOUR MONTHS in advance.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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twiggers the machines at the train station are very easy to use. Given that you are only going to Florence for one day I would book the fastest train possible - about 90 minutes. As long as it isn't a public holiday you should be fine.

I'm not sure about validating the return portion of the ticket. Make sure you do validate your ticket in the little yellow box on the platform the train is departing from. Also, there is no fanfare when the trains depart - no announcement, no big tooting of horns etc, they just leave. The only way we knew our train from Florence to Rome was departing (that we were running late for) was when the train staff who were waiting on the platform all suddenly stubbed out their cigarettes. You've never seen such a mad scramble as we desperately dragged our bags onto that train!
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 06:10 PM
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>>>Do the kiosks take cash? Or just credit cards?
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Last time in ROme I bought tickets a few days ahead to comply with their discounted offer it was very good like 20 or 25off. Tickets can be bought at the station or at travel agencies.
Also in you are in Trastevere do not forget the Train station there, I took the tram or whatever they call it and bought it in two seconds from the window.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 06:19 PM
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Also althugh the Main Train station in Florence is the best choice, once I bought another train Rome to Florence
much much cheaper, it took a little more time, like half and hour more, and left us not far from the Main Station, because we were three we took a taxi to the hotel which amounted to same money than from the other station, also you can switch trains for free and end up in the main station.
Of course the best probably is simply not to save money and buy the more expensive one.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 02:30 AM
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Thank you SO much for all of the great information everyone!

We are going on 5/18 and when I looked on the website it didn't look like there were any Mini fares available.

Flexibility is key for me....sometimes you run late in the morning or want to stay a little longer...so I'll pay the 45 euros and just buy the ticket right before I leave the station.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 02:42 AM
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Just did this last weekk VERY easy day of the kiosks

take credit cards and euros

no price breaks booking abroad

FrecciaArgento the fast eurostar train

goes hourly easy to book 40 euros or so inluding

seats nice ride 2 hours or so.

You can save if budget on Regional/Intercity like the locals

takes 2X longer more stops but only costs 5-10 euros

to train like a local did some of that when there last

frequently had a nice private compartment all to myself

more space than the fast trains which were more crowded.

seat61.com best info.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 02:43 AM
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Did my returns the same way day of it was easy.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 06:51 AM
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GAC
 
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There ARE indeed "MINI" fares still available on 5/18 from Roma Termini to Firenze SMN: for example, there is a "MINI" fare of just 22 Euros (50% discount) on the 9:45 Frecciargento train. There appear to be many other "MINI" fares available on other fast trains on this route on this date, although some only give a 20% discount.

If you want maximum flexibility, just wait and buy the regular "base" fare ticket (45 Euros) on the day of your departure.

But, if you're willing to "lock yourself in" to a particular train, you can save LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of money with the "MINI" fares.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 11:55 AM
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We bought MINI tickets the day BEFORE our most recent one-day trip to Naples, saving more than 30%. The kiosks, as mentioned, are quite easy to use. Here's an article with step-by-step instructions on using the kiosks:

http://tinyurl.com/buy-tickets-2011
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for all of the detailed information. This will be really helpful for my September trip.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Huh, the MINI fares weren't showing for me....or maybe I didn't go far enough through the checkout process.

I'll look again! I'm always up for saving some money; however, DH is still on the fence about whether or not he wants to go.
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Old May 19th, 2016, 12:38 PM
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What is the difference among Eurail, Italiarail, and RailEurope traveling from Rome to Florence? I see the difference between high and regional speeds. But all three sites show up for routes and ticketing.
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Old May 19th, 2016, 01:27 PM
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RailEurope = re-seller of railroad products such as tickets and passes with markup and fees. They do NOT operate any trains. Targeted to visitors from key English speaking countries.

Italiarail = another re-seller of train tickets and passes, with markup. They do NOT operate any trains. Targeted to visitors from key English speaking countries. The one merit of using Italiarail over Trenitalia is their web site is more user friendly than Trenitalia.

Eurail = is a rail pass product. They do NOT operate any trains. You ride trains and other transports of the participating companies using their pass. Raileurope and Italiarail sell Eurail products.

Trenitalia = national railroad company of Italy. They operate trains and sell tickets for their trains online at www.trenitalia.com as well as at Trenitalia stations throughout Italy. This is most likely the train you will be actually riding. No mark up.

Italotreno = a private railroad company of Italy. Competes with Trenitalia on main trunk high speed lines. They operate and sell tickets for their trains.

You can price compare all these offerings online.
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Old May 19th, 2016, 01:38 PM
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RailEurope = re-seller of railroad products such as tickets and passes with markup and fees. They do NOT operate any trains. Targeted to visitors from key English speaking countries.>

Raileurope however I find in searches matches Italotreno - the competitor that Greg mentions above and that these fares are not seemingly marked up by RE like on Trenitalia - meaning as low fares at times as on Trenitalia.com, whose fares yes on RE are inflated it seems.

But you can get a cheap ticket on mainlines now thru RailEurope but they may have service charges and mailing fees so best to book thru www.trenitalia.com or http://www.italotreno.it/en.

Italotreno has consistently cheap fares even on short notice and operates on key main lines.

check www.seat61.com for more on Italotreno and discounted tickets online. For general info on Italian trains also www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 09:53 AM
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>>>Raileurope however I find in searches matches Italotreno
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