train tickets- buy ahead?

Mar 13th, 2005, 06:14 AM
  #1  
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train tickets- buy ahead?

We are leaving for Italy in a few days, and I'm wondering if we should/should have gotten any train tickets before we get there. We are only taking two train trips- Rome to Cinque Terre, and Cinque Terre to Venice. Any advice? Thanks.
bella17 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 06:23 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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I had gotten mine online but I still had to queue at the window to get the physical ticket (this was in 2004) to punch in the yellow time-punch machines. Lines were slow moving no matter which one (buying ticket or picking up). There are also self-serve machines where you can buy your tickets (need CC) that had no lines when I was there. You can wait until you are in Italy to buy.
nibblette is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Thanks nibblette!
bella17 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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bella,
I am getting ready to buy milan->venice tickets for March 26 online at trenitalia.com because of the holiday weekend. From what I've read, it is ticketless. They pull up your confirmation number on the train. No lines. No yellow punch machine.

Does this sound right, Ira, Rex, anybody, before I actually do it?
adawson1 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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Bella,
A little addendum to my previous advice.
I haven't been to Italy since 2004 and it looks like there have been a few changes to Trenitalia since then. I got an e-mail from them recently and I never opened it.

They now have completely ticketless travel on Eurostar and IC and IC plus trains. So you can buy on-line and then go straight to the trains without stopping by the window or punching at the yellow machines. Make sure you have your confirmation number with you. So buying on-line for these trains would save you time.

I don't know when you are going but if you are going during a holiday time like Easter, you may want to buy a ticket and reserve a seat ahead of time. The trains can be very crowded during these times and seats scarce.

Trenitalia has been having several sales and they may possibly apply to your travel. Some of them are on-line only. May be worthwhile looking at least.

A word of advice in making train reservations. If you are buying on a reserved train, e.g. Eurostar, make sure you have enough time to make it to the train station. In 2004, I was going from the airport then onto Northern Italy. I had a choice between one train that left 2 hours after I arrived and another that left in 3.5 hours. I luckily chose the later one. My flight arrived late and I would have missed the first train. This is even if I didn't have to go to the window to pick-up my ticket.
Hope this helps. Have fun. Love Italy and hope to go back someday soon.
nibblette is offline  
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