Train travel in Italy

Old Mar 10th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Train travel in Italy

So, we are flying into Milan on the 20th and flying out of Rome on April 1st. From what i have read in these forums (great info btw!!!), the suggestion seems to lead to buying point to point tickets for the travel in-between. My question is: let's say we travel from Venice to Florence and decide what the heck, might as well check out Bologna along the way...is there any sort of flexibility to do that outside of buying a rail pass? I just wonder if it was possible. We are novice train people. would love some words of wisdom
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 12:07 PM
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A normal Italian train ticket allows you to break your journey for a few hours, within specified time limits.
However, for high-speed trains such as Eurostar, you have to reserve a seat so you cannot just hop on and off trains on a whim. If you have a rail pass, you still have to reserve a seat, at an extra cost.
For a simple one-way journey from Milano to Roma via Venezia, a rail pass would be a complete waste of money.
There is no need to book tickets far in advance. On some lines, including Venezia-Bologna, there are slower trains with no seat reservations, so that there is no need to worry about the unlikely event that all the faster trains are booked in advance.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 12:10 PM
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LRoger

You asked "If I buy point to point tickets while in Italy (from Venice to Florence for example) and I decide I want to jump off of the train in Bologna...is that an option?"

The answer is yes and no. It depends on the kind of ticket you purchase.

When you buy a ticket on faster trains (AV, ES ICplus), you are purchasing a specific seat on a specific train between Venice and Florence--you can't just jump off and take the next train.

When you buy a ticket on a slower train (IC, R), you are purchasing a ticket for any IC (or any R) that goes between Venice and Florence. This is why the ticket must be validated (stamped with the date and time) just before you board the train, so you won't use the ticket another day. You have six hours to complete your journey from the time the ticket is stamped, so you could get off the train for a short while.

A rail pass only offers the flexibility you describe if you ride the slower trains--then you can just jump on and off--but those trains are so cheap that a rail pass is never cost-effective. A rail pass is not a good option if you plan to travel on faster trains, since all the seats are reserved. Even with a rail pass, you would have to stand in line and purchase a reservation for a seat on the particular fast train you wanted--and pay another €20 per seat to do so.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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LRoger

I just cut and pasted my answer from the other thread where you posted the same question. Hope you understand a bit more now.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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ellenem and GeoffHamer,

thank you so much. Very clear and excellent info and so fast! We will plan accordingly. sorry for the double posts...I am new at this.
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Old Mar 11th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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Hi LR,

Buying 2 Amica tickets, Venice to Bologna and Bologna to Florence, are about 6E more than one Amica ticket, Venice to Florence via Bologna.

You will be able to spend as much time in Bologna as you wish.

See www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

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