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Train tips in Italy please...

Old Dec 30th, 2003, 04:08 AM
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Train tips in Italy please...

Hi Everyone! My wife and I are planning to tour Italy in February. We plan to ride the train from Florence to Venice. What is the best method for securing tickets? Is it best to buy tickets the day of or prior to departure? Should we buy at the train station or somewhere else? Is it possible to buy tickets at the Termini in Rome (we will be there a few days before we get to Florence)? Does pre-purchase guarantee a seat reservation? Thanks for your help!
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Old Dec 30th, 2003, 04:15 AM
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We did the same trip this past summer. Although I'm sure you can purchase tickets in Rome, we simply purchased our tickets for Eurostar at Club Eurostar (located down track 16 at the Florence train station) after we arrived Florence, which was three days before our departure to Venice. Our Eurostar tickets guaranteed us a seat reservation.
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Old Dec 30th, 2003, 04:24 AM
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Hi Clay,

You can buy your train tickets from Florence to Venice at the same time and place you buy your Rome to Florence tickets.

You may get them at the train station or any convenient travel agent (expect a 3-5 E fee per ticket).

If you are taking the ES* train, your seat reservation is included in the ticket price. If you want to go on the IC train (less expensive) you have to ask for a reservation (prenotazione) for ech ticket, which is extra.

Th ES* has racks for large suitcases at one end of the car (it will be the end opposite to the one you get on) and overhead racks (a la airplanes) for smaller baggage.

The IC train has a luggage compartment at one end of each car (also the end opposite to the one you get on).

Train schedules and prices are at www.trenitalia.com/en

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Dec 30th, 2003, 05:04 AM
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Last year we bought all our train travel tickets from a travel agent in the Rome train station. His charge was nothing and he made all the reservations for us,(we got all nice window seats). We did not go 1st class and we knew nothing how to do the tickets, he did all the work. We went from Rome to Sorrento, with a stop in Pompeii, then Sorrento to Florence, Florence to Pisa and Pisa to Rome airport. My husband saw an ad, but the agency was on the north side in the station.
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Old Dec 30th, 2003, 05:49 AM
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Ira, Where is your " helpful info" thread when you need it?
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Old Dec 30th, 2003, 06:27 AM
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IC (Intercity) trains have large overhead luggage racks in each compartment of six seats (first or second class). There are 13 compartments in each second class rail car, 9 compartment in each first class rail car. These compartmentalized, overhead racks on IC trains are much larger than those on Eurostar (ES) trains. Consequently, if riding on a ES train with large luggage, you will either have to keep it in the luggage racks at the ends of the railcar, or wedge it between the seat rows in front or behind your own seat. The overhead racks on ES trains cannot accommodate large suitcases. ES trains do not have individual compartments, but have totally open seating (like on a bus or airplane). A ES ticket automatically includes a seat reservation (not true on IC trains, where seat reservations must be requested for a supplement of 3 Euros per seat, per train).

Between Florence and Venice, there are ES trains every two hours. There are also a couple of IC trains which originate in southern Italy. If taking an IC train, be sure to reserve a seat if going second class. Look up schedules and fares at www.trenitalia.com
Depature: Firenze S. M. Novella
Arrival: Venezia S. Lucia

Don't worry about needing to buy the ticket much in advance when travelling in FEBRUARY!!!!! One or two days in advance is all you need (even the day of departure should be adequate).
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 10:45 AM
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Thanks Everybody! You all have been a big help! This board is great!
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 12:11 PM
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I've used several travel agents in Italy to purchase train tickets and never paid a fee.

Best to get them prior to day of departure if you want to be sure of seats on the train of your choice. If you are more flexible, it should not be a problem, especially in February.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 02:43 PM
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Be prepared to be firm about your rights. We took a train from Switzerland to Rome 2 years ago - first class non-smoking. When we stopped in Florence 3 people got on with a ton of bags, entered our cabin and proceeded to light up. When we protested they first ignored us and then were derisive (in Italian). My beau complained to a conductor who asked then for tickets - and it turned out they weren't even supposed to be in first class - but were nevertheless mouthy when he made then leave. We then heard a similar story from people we met in the hotel. So, be polite but be firm about your rights.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 03:49 PM
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Helpful Information: Italy http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34443340
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 10:20 PM
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Clay,
We always buy our tickets at the train station a day or two before we go to our next city. We have had no problem and you should neither unless they go on strike.
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Old Jan 1st, 2004, 05:56 AM
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Last week we used the ticket machine at Rome Termini because the lines were so long. There is an English option and was VERY easy to use. Inserted credit card (takes cash or debit cards also) and it just printed the tickets. Just put in your dates and the schedule pops up along with a diagram to pick seats. It really was very easy to use. . .
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Old Jan 1st, 2004, 11:34 AM
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Jeri's message: Last week we used the ticket machine at Rome Termini because the lines were so long. There is an English option and was VERY easy to use. Inserted credit card (takes cash or debit cards also) and it just printed the tickets. Just put in your dates and the schedule pops up along with a diagram to pick seats. It really was very easy to use. .

Thanks for the info. The only thing that would give me pause about popping in my credit or debit card would be what I would do if the machine mangled them...Nope, cash for me...

Lil
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Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Clayfus, We took a train from Florence to Venice this past May and found it very convenient to purchase them a day or two in advance at a travel agent (they are everywhere)and there was no fee at all.

It is confusing enough at the train station so I would reccommend buying them at a travel agent.

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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 12:05 PM
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My suggestion is purchasing the tickets from the ticket machines at the train stations. This is SUPER easy and you don't have to do any extra tracking down of travel agents, etc.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 12:12 PM
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american express offices sell train tix and the employees are usually very helpful. the one is rome is by the spanish steps, the one in venice is on the main street with the designer shops, and the one in florence is tucked away in a shopping area (helpful police directed us)they have always helped us with all seating, time schedules etc.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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You can buy in advance on trenitalia.com
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