Trains, clothes, and hotels in Italy

May 10th, 2003, 09:33 PM
  #1  
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Trains, clothes, and hotels in Italy

We are traveling to Italy in June and I need help. I have read some messages, but I am still not sure what to do about buying train tickets. I looked up the web site raileurope.com from Fodors book to get some information We are going to take a train from Rome to Florence ($70 first class with reservations per person), Florence to Pisa for a day ($43), and Florence to Venice ($65). It was recommended in the book that we should buy first class tickets for the trains with reservations in advance. Should I do it over the internet or do it when I am in Italy? I am worried that it would be sold out as it is a busy tourist season. Is it less expansive to buy it when we are in Italy rather than the internet? If you do buy it in advance, can we change it if we need to? Any information is greatly appreciated and needed.

Has anyone stayed at the Richmond Hotel in Rome, Casci Hotel in FLorence, and Hotel Al Piave in Vience?

What kind of clothes should my husband take with him to Italy? Are shorts appropriate to wear if we are not going to any churches?

Thank you in advance for any guidance and information.

Spud
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May 10th, 2003, 09:46 PM
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I personally would not buy the first class tickets, neither the Rome to Florence nor the Florence to Venice is that long a trip and second class on Eurostar is not bad. We were in Italy in March and I bought these same tickets upon arrival in Rome at a ticket machine at the train station 3 days before our fist leg without a problem.

I do not know about how crowded June trains are but the Rome to Florence trains run frequently so if the 8:30 is full the 9:00 probably won't be. The Eurostar trains require reservations but the intercity trains don't, I guess you just show up and get on what ever train you want.

Rick
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May 11th, 2003, 06:13 AM
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Spud, We just returned from Italy and had the same concerns (we had to buy train tickets to 4 different cities).

You don't even have to buy them at the train station, we bought them at travel agencies (with no fee).

There are travel agencies everywhere so you won't have trouble finding them anywhere. It was very convenient.

We would just go to a travel agent a day or two before we had to take the train. Much easier than dealing with it at a crowded train staion.
JenniferW is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 06:28 PM
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We like to buy tickets and reserve seats a few days in advance, but we usually travel in October. Don't know about June. Even planning ahead, on one journey we had to settle for seats in a carriage where smoking was permitted. Yuck. Won't do that again.
Jean is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 07:54 PM
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Jennifer, what a great tip! We are leaving for Italy in two weeks--and I'm going to do just as you have suggested. Thanks.
Dog_Mother is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 10:22 PM
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Thank you all for your help.

I do have one more question. Has anyone had problems with leaving their suitcases in the back of the train and not keeping an eye on them? We won't be able to keep them with us as they are too big.

Thanks again for you help
Spud
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May 12th, 2003, 12:13 AM
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In answer to your last question, yes it is a problem if you have luggage that is too heavy to put above your head or too large. Try and travel as light as possible. There are racks at the end of the carriages on Eurostar but if you end up in the middle to the end of the carriage you will not be able to see what's going on with your luggage if there's a stop and you are staying on. I had my case on the second rack and someone put a bag in front and i had to lift their bag down to reach mine and in a hurry. I didn't know that it must have contained rocks as I hurt my arm and it actually took three months to come right. So the motto is travel light or try and get a seat near these racks.
Second class non smoking is fine and you should be able to get good seats a few days before travel at the stations.
There are plenty of trains for day trips just buy the ticket for those the day before.
KathyNZ is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 02:46 AM
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The ticket prices seem a bit excessive to me. ROme to Flroence (first class Eurostar, reservation included) costs 42.35 euro per person, Florence to Venice costs 39.25. If you want to be very sure to have your seats, you might book them (and buy ticket) as yo arrive in Italy, though usually a couple of days in advance is enough to secure the seat.
The Florence-Pisa round trip ticket will cost you 7.30 euro in first class, but not all Regionale trains (and all the trains from florence to Pisa beliong to this cathegory) have first class. Also, there is no way to book a seat on a Regionale train.
Alice_Twain is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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1. Take smaller suitcases. You won't regret it.
2. Shorts are fine for husband but make sure he has long pants as well. In general, the longer the shorts, the better - 'walking shorts' go over better than 'running shorts'.
jenviolin is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 06:01 AM
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Hi
Travel supply companies (Magellan's is one, they have a toll-free number in the US and a website) sell thin, strong cables with locks so that you could secure your larger bag to the railing of the luggage rack. But try and travel light anyway, the biggest hassle about the trains (maybe the only one) is handling one's luggage.

Be sure to order tickets and seat reservations--just a ticket doesn't guarantee you a seat.

Unless you have a religious reason for not going into churches, you will be missing a lot of gorgeous art, architecture, and history if you don't go into any churches.

I have files on your three cities; if you'd like to see them, email me at
[email protected]
elaine is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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The Rail Europe mark-up looks outrageous.

Why book through them at $178 when you can book in Italy, from Alice's quote, at EURO 89.00?

That's a lot of gelati ...

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
May 12th, 2003, 07:18 AM
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And I have quoited from the official Trenitalia (Italian railways) web site and timetable.
Alice_Twain is offline  

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