Train Tickets

Mar 24th, 2004, 08:03 AM
  #1  
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Train Tickets

Would you recommend purchasing train tickets for travel throughout Italy in advance or when we arrive?

Thanks!
nicoleg is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 08:46 AM
  #2  
 
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..depends. In the summer the lines in some of the major stations can be huge. I once waited 2 hours in rome to find that no sleeper was available (i had a "seat" reservation). Im sure you do not want to waste time standing in a line so would be be wise to get tickets. However if prebooked you are not as free to change plans on a whim.
When I was last in Italy during a busy month, I bought a secondclass pass good only on Italian trains. I could change my plans on a whim. In addition as my Italian is rudimentary, I would just have to read the schedules and did not have to try to communicate with a ticket agent. The only caveat- this pass was not good on some of the high speed express trains. Do think about this option if you are planning a lot of travel.
travelbunny is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 08:51 AM
  #3  
LJ
 
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Using the automatic machines at the train stations will save the line-up.

IMO, you can wait 'til you get to Italy and if you are thinking of a pass, figure out your destinations first and doublecheck the prices in advance with trentitalia.com (in Italian, if necessary as the English version is stubborn about prices.)

Do a search for other threads on this topic with specific info on pricing passes.
LJ is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 08:58 AM
  #4  
yk
 
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nicoleg-

I assume you are asking about buying "point-to-point" tickets and not Italian railpass?
Italian railpasses are not sold in Italy, they have to be bought in advance.

For point-to-point tickets, you probably can safely wait until you get to Italy to buy them. However, if your train trips include overnight trains, or traveling during a busy holiday (such as Easter week), you should buy them in advance.
yk is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 09:01 AM
  #5  
ira
 
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Hi nicol,

If you are thinking of passes, you buy them before you leave. Check www.railsaver.com to see if you will save money.

You can also purchase tickets on line from Trenitalia.

See
Trenitalia Tickets Online
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34465647
ira is offline  
Mar 24th, 2004, 09:02 AM
  #6  
 
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..i was talking about an Italian Rail pass which I bought outside the country. I did the arithmetic prior to see whether it was "worth" it.
travelbunny is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 06:14 PM
  #7  
 
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Unless I am misreading the Trenitalia site, the Trenitalia Pass, Youth Pass, and Saver Pass for foreigners can now be purchased: "abroad by agencies officially appointed by Trenitalia.
You can also find them in Italy in the stations of Bari, Bologna C.le, Brindisi, Firenze SMN, Genova
PP, Milano C.le, Napoli C.le, Palermo C.le, Fiumicino Aeroporto, Roma Termini, Torino Porta
Nuova, Venezia S.Lucia, Venezia Mestre, Verona. Passes can be issued no earlier than 2 months from the 1st day of validity (6 months if sold
overseas)." So now they are available in-country?

What surprised me is that after learning to use these sites (thanks to help from this board, I totaled point-to-point tickets second class/no ES at E110,52 for my 5 days of train travel--less for my niece who would qualify for youth. I used the Railsaver site and checked pass only if pass is cheaper, and it suggested the $179 (E147) TrenItalia 5 Day 2nd Class Adult FlexiPass Companion/Saver for each of us. Forcing some point-to-point it quoted higher fares than the rail site.

So, I assume Railsaver includes a service charge for both point to point when showing fares? If so, is it also showing a service charge for the pass? Is there somewhere to find the Railpass price in Italy?
Kay2 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 06:31 PM
  #8  
yk
 
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Hi Kay2-

After looking at Trenitalia's website for a while, I found the prices for the Trenitalia pass. They are only listed on the Italian version.
The 5-day Saver 2nd class is €164

You can look it up by going to the Italian version website, then click "Viaggi internazionali" on the top tool bar. Then scroll down and click on "Trenitalia Pass" then scroll down to Prezzi.
yk is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 06:32 PM
  #9  
ira
 
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Hi Kay,

The railsaver site isn't necessarily as precise as you were.

There are some countries that allow purchase of railpasses in country (Switzerland is another, I think) it's about 10-15% more expensive. (NO, I don't have the citations at hand.)

Otherwise, railpasses are sold through a number of agents, all at the same price.

Some give more goodies than others.
ira is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 06:41 PM
  #10  
 
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You guys are so smart. So, the railsaver.com pass only if cheaper option doesn't always give the cheaper option.

And buying the railpass in advance would cost less for the pass than in country, but must consider any shipping or other service charges as well as any bonuses the travel agency is offering.
Kay2 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 06:20 AM
  #11  
ira
 
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You've got it, Kay.

ira is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 10:29 AM
  #12  
 
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Any information on seat reservation charges? I have also been checking into the point to point vs the Trenitalia Pass Saver. It looks like on the point to point tickets there are additional reservation fees of between $11 & $19 each ticket. I'm traveling with a family of 5, and this will increase the prices quite a bit for each leg.

The last time I was in Italy I don't remember paying an additional seat reservation fee when I bought the tickets the same day I was traveling.

Does anyone know how this work? Thanks!!
walsung is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 10:41 AM
  #13  
 
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If lines are long at the train station and you're intimidated by the self-serve ticket machines, you may also buy your train tickets from an Italian travel agency once you arrive at little or no additional cost.
Lesli is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 10:52 AM
  #14  
yk
 
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walsung-

If you have a Saver Pass, you will have to pay for seat reservations on Eurostar trains (reservations are mandatory).
For Intercity trains, reservations are available but not mandatory.
For Regional trains, no reservations available.

So, if you want to save $, you will have to go with the IC trains or the regional trains. However, for a family of 5, without seat reservations, you may have a hard time finding seats altogether (unless you board the train way early). So, if you add up all the trips and the reservation costs, you may find out that you won't be saving much with the Saver Pass.

You didn't say how old everyone is in your family, but Trenitalia has some family specials. From their website:

< The Family offer applies to family groups made up of three people, two of which must be paying adults and the third a child under the age of 12. The members of the family must travel together on the same train and in the same class.
It is not necessary to prove that these individuals belong to the same family. >

Or, if you can get 1 more person to join your group:

<Discounts for groups of at least 6 people.
Groups consisting of at least 6 paying customers are entitled to a 20% discount on all Express, Intercity and Eurocity trains covering domestic routes and a 10% discount on Eurostar Italia trains, on Comfort Couchettes and Sleeping Carriage supplements. The offer is valid both for 1st and 2nd class tickets.
Booking a seat is compulsory and costs 1.50 Euro per person. It is free of charge if it is made at the time the ticket is issued (journeys on Eurostar Italia, Sleeping Carriages and Couchettes)
It is possible to book directly at in-station ticket offices and Trenitalia Travel Agencies >
yk is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 10:52 AM
  #15  
ira
 
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Hi walsung,

If you are buying tickets on ES* trains, the price includes the required seat reservation.

If you are traveling on IC, R or E trains you do not need a reservation. You can buy one in Italy for about 3E.

If you have a railpass, you must purchase seat reservations for ES* trains. These cost about $12.

If you want seat reservations on IC, E or R trains with your railpass, you can purchase them in Italy for about $3.

www.railsaver.com will allow you to compare point-to-point with Passes. Be sure to click the "only if it saves me money" button.
ira is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 10:53 AM
  #16  
ira
 
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PS,

You can buy your Italian train tickets online.

See
Trenitalia Tickets Online
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34465647
ira is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 08:41 AM
  #17  
 
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sorry if this has been asked ..BUT..We get to Venice,know our itinerary for the next few days,buy our train tickets there..but do you have to pick the exact time then..we are going to Verona and Bologna and Lucca,then Arezzo and Florence.I imagine so on reserved seats,otherwise can you just go? Part of our group has done passes,but on Railsaver it told me not to,the pass was more..but I do realize more convenient...aghh!
kmoncrief is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 07:48 PM
  #18  
 
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Hi I am very frustrated as well. The railsaver site is way higher then the trenitalia site. For instance: Florence to Naples: trenitalia76(63E) usd to Railsaver98 usd(1st cl) Buying 4 tix so it adds up!
I understand the family deal and I have it but I also have an extra child What do I put in the site for her? AT trenitalia...Do I purchase seperately a youth fare? Thanks to anyone who knows!
slynkyy is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 03:16 PM
  #19  
 
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is there somewhere that I can find what towns the trains stop at. For instance our villa is about halfway between Florence and Arezzo. Thinking we would drive to Arezzo and take the train,but maybe theres a small town it stops at,BUT I cant seem to find it because I dont know whats its called!!!
kmoncrief is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 08:30 PM
  #20  
 
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kmoncrief - Any website of the major European national rails, like www.bahn.de will give you the list of trains on a particular route, and if you click on the train number, it'll show all stops on that train.

The fastest Eurostar does not stop between Florence and Arezzo for the 32 minutes journey, while the slower trains can make up to 11-12 stops in between, taking 78 minutes or more.
rkkwan is offline  

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