Trains

Feb 21st, 2006, 03:51 PM
  #1  
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Trains

sorry for my ignorance. But I am about to purchase a three day train pass from tranitalia.com. Do I have to make reservation on the trains now or can I wait until I get to Italy to make my train reservations. I will be arriving in Italy on March 11th and my first day for the train travel won't be until March 13th??? Also will this three day pass allow me on the Eurostar? Finally I will be taking a train from Rome to pisa around 7 pm will they have food on the trains??
mindybil is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 04:37 PM
  #2  
 
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Topping
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:18 AM
  #3  
 
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Have you checked that you really need a train pass? Usually with passes you will need to pay extra fees to use the Eurostar. Go to railsaver.com and enter your travel intinerary--be sure to click "only if it saves me money" to see if you need a pass. (I don't recommend buying from railsaver--just using their handy trip calculator)

You can also enter your individual tickets at trenitalia.com to see how it adds up.
ellenem is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:46 AM
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I assume you're planning to get the Trenitalia Winter Promo Pass for $140. Even though that's a good savings over the regular pass price, I'd still check to see if point-to-point tickets would be cheaper. Rail travel in Italy is fairly inexpensive. Unlike standard passes, the Winter Promo pass requires you to enter your first travel date when you buy it.

The Trenitalia Pass is meant to be convenient, but you'll need to stop at the ticket window before each trip if you want a seat reservation (optional $4 for most trains or required $10-15 for Eurostar Italia). You can reserve several dates at once if you're ready to commit. Compared to fast InterCity trains, the speedier Eurostar Italia shaves a little time off typical trips but may not be worth the effort and expense of reserving if you have a pass.
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:05 AM
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The Rome-Florence leg of your trip to Pisa will be on EurostarItalia (restaurant service is available).
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:04 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi m,

Good advice above.

If you have a railpass, you have to buy reservations for the ES* trains. It is much cheaper to do this in Italy.

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Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:34 AM
  #7  
 
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mindybil: What are your train trips - then we can give you an idea of whether the pass is really a good idea for you or not. Not only do you need to pay about $15 extra for Eurostar Italia trains but, new recently, also for IC+ InterCityPlus trains, old IC trains that have been completely revamped and now also charge a slightly less surcharge than do Eurostar trains. Regular IC trains you can just board without reservations or make one for a few euros. These also run between Rome and Florence hourly but take one hour longer usually than Eurostar - but they'll be about $15 cheaper for you if using a pass. There are direct Rome-Pisa IC trains as well as Eurostars. Eurostars on this route take about 3 hours - about the same as going via Florence and then having to transfer there, often to a dumpy second-class only local to get to Pisa. Eurostar trains have food - in fact in first class you get a tiny snack and the world's smallest cup of coffee included gratis as well as an Italian newspaper.
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:50 AM
  #8  
MaureenB
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The Winter Promo pass is for travel only through this March, in case that matters to you. But, I highly recommend you use the trenitalia.com feature where you can plug in an itinerary (just make up the dates if you're not sure),click where it says it will figure whether or not a pass saves money. There are some specials now for last-minute ticket purchases, too.

Yesterday I used the feature to figure round-trip fares from Florence to Venice, Rome, and Bologna and it came out cheaper to just buy point-to-point tickets. It's very helpful and easy to use.

You might find out a pass isn't the best value, but do the research.

Or, go to BudgetEuropeTravel.com, call the 800 number and ask the very helpful and knowledgeable people all your questions about surcharges, reservations, costs, food available, etc.. Then, if you want to buy your tickets or a pass, they will sell them at face value plus a very small ($15) S&H fee so you will have the paper tickets in hand before you leave home.
 
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:02 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for all the help... I did find out that the pass will not save me any money... Therefore I will not be purchasing the pass. I am planning on a day trip to Pompeii from Rome (so I will need to travel Rome-Naples-Rome) Then I will be traveling Rome to Pisa and Finally I will be traveling Pisa/Florance to Venice. All travel will be done by March 17th.

Thanks for all the advise!
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Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:13 PM
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I've tried to access the www.trenitalia.com web site but for a few hours it's been out of commission - not unusual so can't get exact prices but i estimate:
Rome-Naples and back (2nd class) $40
Rome-Pisa $40
Pisa-florence-Venice $50

i tried to low ball the prices - they may be more - certainly as a walk up basis but the advance hard to get PREM fares are what i'm basing this on

anyway, conservatively i think you'd spend $130 in second class

and the Italian Rail pass special would cost you $119 for the three days - all you need IF you have two or more people traveling - the so-called Saver Pass - one pass with two names on it
if you're a single traveler then the Italian Promo would be $149 - more than the point-point perhaps - not sure - i advise you to go to www.trenitalia.com and get real prices as even the $149 could save you money.
But keep in mind $10-15 surcharge with pass for Eurostar trains, which you don't have to take - times on IC trains Rome-Naples are only a few minutes slower than on Eurostars
only between florence and venice would you probably need to go Eurostar if the few daily direct IC trains don't fit your schedule.
For questions about the Italian Pass Promo in US i'd call BETS as mentioned in above post.
But even with Eurostar surcharges pass could save you money - too bad the Italy site was down the three times i tried to get prices or i would have given you an exact comparison.
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