Trains in Italy

Nov 26th, 2014, 05:06 AM
  #1  
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Trains in Italy

Planning a last minute trip to Rome and Naples next week (3 nights in Naples/4 nights in Rome). We will be traveling from London early morning into Rome. We will then take the train from Rome to Naples. We are looking for the most cost effective way to get from Rome to Naples. I think the regional train is €10.50 per person and the IC is €22 per person, but it looks as though we could use the Bambi Gratis/free kids under 15 for the IC, but not the regional. So, if I am correct we can take the faster IC for €44 (2 adults/3 kids 13, 10 & 7) vs €52.50 for the slower regional. Is this correct? I don't think I need to book ahead since it isn't peak season, correct??

Any other tips for a family of 5 (three boys 13, 10 & 7) would be appreciated too!! Probably not much on museums, mostly historical sights, scenery, food - anything that keeps the kids active!! Thanks!!
Natalie2b is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 05:31 AM
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I can't answer the question directly, but double-check your figures. Don't the regional trains also offer a "familia" discount, making them cheaper than the faster train?
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 05:54 AM
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First, you have to take the train from the airport (FCO?) into Rome. The Leonardo Express is 14€ (departs every 30 minutes) and is a regional train (regional trains don't have discounts, amenities or reserved seating). The Leonardo goes to Rome Termini where you can catch onward trains to Naples. If you want to get into Rome cheaper, take the Sitbusshuttle (5€ - hourly).

Do look for the family discounts (not just the bimbis gratis) on the Frecce trains first (might be as cheap as the IC/regionals).

If it's a Saturday, look for the 2 for 1 discounts.

Another option, is to take the train from the airport to Rome's Tiburtina station (8€- departs every 15 minutes) and switch to an Italia Rail train (they might have discounts when Trenitalia doesn't). Trenitalia trains also depart Tiburtina.

http://www.italotreno.it/IT/Pagine/default.aspx
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 06:04 AM
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>>>I don't think I need to book ahead since it isn't peak season, correct?? <<<

Regional tickets can only be bought online 7 days in advance. They have more restrictions if you buy online (will be for a specific time window). Discounted tickets in general (Frecce or IC) come with restrictions also (depends on ticket, but some are no refund if you miss your train).

Is your final destination Naples or somewhere down the coast?
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 08:46 AM
  #5  
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We will spend 3 nights in Naples and then double back to Rome for 4 nights. I knew about the Leonardo Express, but even with kids under 12 being free that is still €42 vs €20 if we pick up the Terravision to just save 30 minutes.

There are so many options it is confusing at times. I read on Fodor's that prices of €10.50 & €22 - but when you go to Trenitalia's website they don't break it down by per person and I'm not sure what the final costs will be... Italiarail's website seems to be down for maintenance at the moment.

I don't mind paying a bit more to save a time/have comfort - but I don't want to waste money either. I wouldn't consider saving an hour worth spending an extra €50+.

So, do you think I would have any problems buy tickets that morning at the station when we get there?
Natalie2b is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 09:28 AM
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To give you the best answer it would help to know which day you arrive and at what hour.
nochblad is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 09:57 AM
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Sitbus is not Terravision. They are different companies.

http://www.sitbusshuttle.com/en/

>>> I read on Fodor's that prices of €10.50 & €22 - but when you go to Trenitalia's website they don't break it down by per person and I'm not sure what the final costs will be... Ita<<<

If you enter one person on Trenitalia, you should get a rate (select one child or one adult).

Italo's website works fine for me. Perhaps try a different browser if you can't access it. Italo doesn't have any slow trains (they are only a few years old and have all modern trains) as they only serve major stops. They are supposed to start having trains out of Termini in Dec. Their child discount is 25% off the basic fare for children under 15 and 50% off economy.

http://www.italotreno.it/EN/timetabl.../overview.aspx
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 10:08 AM
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The Bimbi Gratis fare often sells out, so you can't be sure of it unless you buy it in advance. The problem with this is that the ticket is for a specific train; if you miss the connection because your flight is delayed, your ticket would be worthless, and you'd have to buy a new full price ticket.

If you're in no hurry to get to Naples, the regional train is your safest bet. On the regional trains, chilldren over 12 pay full fare, so only the two youngest would pay half fare. (On other trains, including the IC train, children under 15 pay half fare.) The total fare for all of you would be about €45 from Rome Termini to Naples. If you don't catch that train, you may still find some Bimbi Gratis fares on the other trains, at an additional cost of about €40.

There are no family discounts, or advance purchase discounts, on regional trains. You might as well just buy the tickets at the airport train station.

For the airport trains (both the Leonardo Express and the FL1) kids under 12 ride free, one kid for each paying adult. So the cost would be €42 for the Leonardo Express. The FL1 would cost €24, but it doesn't go to Termini station, which is the only station from which the regional trains leave. You could take one of the several bus lines that go to Termini station, at prices in the vicinity of €5 ((both adults and kids). I wouldn't choose one in particular; just choose the first one leaving. You can buy the tickets from the driver. However, the buses take longer to get to Termini station than the Leonardo Express does, so, if you're short on time to catch the regional train, you might want to pay more for the Leonardo Express.

Taking the FL1 train to Tiburtina station would allow you to catch frequent Trenitalia trains to Naples, but only the more expensive fast trains depart from that station. Also, you'd need a longer connection time, because Tiburtina is farther from the airport than Termini is, and the trains to Naples stop at both Tiburtina and Termini, but leave Tiburtina earlier.

There is no train company called Italia Rail; that name belongs to a USA reseller of Trenitalia tickets. Kybourbon means Italo (or Italo Treno) which operates fast trains from Roma Tiburtina to Naples. Their prices are about the same as those of Trenitalia, and their tickets are likewise for a specific train, with no possibility of changing it if you miss the train.

I myself, if I were trying to save money without incurring hassle, would take the Leonardo Express from the airport to Termini station and the regional train from there. The total cost would be €87.

Taking the bus to Termini station would save some money, but would be considerably more hassle; for one thing, you'd have to buy your train tickets at Termini station instead of at the airport station, which is much less chaotic than Termini. I suppose one of you could make a dash up to the airport station to buy the tickets from Termini to Naples while the others wait below with the luggage.

Taking the FL1 to Tiburtina and then a fast train to Naples would almost certainly cost considerably more, even though the cost to get there from the airport would be less. I would prefer the Trenitalia trains rather than the Italo trains in this case. If you miss the connection due to a delayed arrival of the FL1, Trenitalia will exchange your ticket free, while Italo won't, as they are different companies.

At the airport train station, you can buy both the tickets into Rome and the tickets from Rome to Naples. The last time I did this, the tickets had to be bought at the travel agent across from the normal ticket window, which was selling tickets only into Rome. I don't know if this was a temporary change; I had always previously bought tickets to my final destination at the ticket window.

Regional train tickets (including the tickets into Rome) must be stamped in the machines at the trackside, because they're not for a specific train, and stamping prevents their reuse. At the airport, used by so many tourists, there are signs everywhere reminding you to stamp your tickets, and often employees who check whether you've done so. At the train stations in Rome, there aren't so many signs, so don't forget to stamp the tickets if you're taking a regional train. Actually, if the regional train is departing shortly after you arrive at Termini, you could stamp the ticket at the airport rather than running the risk of forgetting. The tickets have to be used within six hours of stamping.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 26th, 2014, 11:01 AM
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WOW - bvlenci should get some kind of prize for going above and beyond the call of duty - such really impressive details all laid out. a Godsend for newbie Italian train travelers! I'm in awe!
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 11:28 AM
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Thank you so much for all the replies and information!!

nochblad - We fly into Rome on Tuesday (Dec 2nd) at 10:15.

I did get the Italo website to work, it was the Italiarail that i was having trouble with.

I guess my biggest concern is that all the economy or cheap tickets will be sold out when we get there & we will end up spending more than needed on faster tickets. I really appreciate everyones help

bvlenchi - thanks for all the tips!
Natalie2b is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 11:40 AM
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The cheapest train by a long way is the regional leaving Roma Termini at 12.36 arriving at Napoli Centrale at 15.07 at a total cost for 3 adults and 2 children (over 11 is an adult on the regional trains) is Euro 44.80

If you can travel without checked in luggage you should have time to connect with this train.
nochblad is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 12:16 PM
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well as said the Regional train you were talking about can't sell out - no reservations possible - "all aboard" - it takes forever but after an all-night flight you can snooze (just keep an eye on your luggage!)
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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what bvl said.

I'd rather take the train that i can't book which might be a bit more expensive [but still pretty cheap for a family of 5] than the one that i can but which I'll lose completely if the flight is delayed. Also it reduces the stress levels [already pretty high with 3 children en route to Naples] not to have to catch a specific train.

on the way back from Naples to Rome, you can of course book yourselves onto one of the fast trains as you won't be held up by flight delays, passport control, etc.
annhig is online now  
Nov 26th, 2014, 03:01 PM
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Just came back from the Jade 19 day cruise with 2 stops in Naples and 2 in Rome. In my year and a half research, and on our trip had a few observations:

-did not buy regionale tickets ahead of time and no problem buying them at the station. No difference in price as far as I could tell. One issue I was grossly mistaken in was timeliness. Rumor is European trains are always on time and found that to be so except for Italian regionale. We took about 8 and they were all anywhere from 25-45 minutes late.

-Leonardo gets you to and from the airport in 32 minutes but even for the 2 of us at 28E we could have paid 16E for the regionale.

-in buying tics in advance there are time constraints about the specific time the tic can be used, so know the rules.
jan47ete is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 01:43 AM
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bvlenci, great explanation
bilboburgler is online now  
Nov 27th, 2014, 03:27 AM
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Regional tickets always cost the same. There's no advantage at all to buying them online. In fact, there are several disadvantages to doing so.

- They can't be bought online more than a week in advance.

- Since the regional tickets are not for a specific train, and since the online version can't be stamped in the machine at the trackside, they will have a time window within which they can be used, which is fairly large, but still they would be worthless if you missed that window.

- Regional tickets bought in the station can be used at any time in the next two months (until they've been stamped) and unstamped tickets can be completely refunded if you can't use them. The online versions have to be used within the specified time window and can't be refunded at all.

If you'll be making several trips using regional trains, you can buy all the tickets at once in the first station you visit, and stamp them when you use them.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 27th, 2014, 03:46 AM
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I would think you'd have a good chance of catching the 12:32 regional train. If you won't have checked luggage, it would be virtually a sure thing, but even with checked luggage, your chances are pretty good. It's never taken me more than an hour to get out of the airport, and often considerably less. The Leonardo Express runs every half hour and takes a little over half an hour to get to Termini station.

Someone mentioned again the cheaper FL1 train instead of the Leonardo Express. This train doesn't go to Termini station, which is where you need to go to get the regional train to Naples. Taking any other way to Termini station (bus or round-about route using the cheaper FL1) would virtually rule out catching the regional train at 12:36.

The regional train takes about an hour and a half longer than the high-speed Frecciarossa trains, but only about 20-25 minutes longer than the Intercity trains. I though the Frecciarossa trains weren't even being considered, as they're much more expensive. There is an Intercity train leaving Termini station at 12:26. You might want to check what prices you can get on that train if you have time to get it. If there are any discounts left, it might be worth paying a little more; it gets you to Naples half an hour earlier,

Another thing to consider is getting lunch. You may have no time to grab something at the station if you take the 12:36 train, and there is no bar car on the regional trains. There's another regional train at 14:36, which would give you time to have a leisurely lunch at Termini station. There are several decent places to eat, including a self-service cafeteria on the upper level (by elevator) and a smaller one on the lower level alongside track 24.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 27th, 2014, 08:28 PM
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>>>Regional tickets bought in the station can be used at any time in the next two months (until they've been stamped) <<<

Not always. I've bought Leonardo tickets at the station from a machine and they had a time window on them. You had to select what time you wanted to depart and then you either had a 90 minute or 2 hour window to travel.
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 12:50 AM
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If the tickets had a time window, that would obviate the need to stamp them. It really doesn't make much sense, given the abundance of signs reminding you to stamp the tickets. Are you absolutely there was a time window printed on the ticket? Even for the tickets bought online, the window is never as short as 90 minutes.

You are always asked the departure time when buying tickets from the ticket machines, so that's not relevant. They show you tickets for trains departing around that time. At Fiumicino airport, where there's only one type of train (unreserved) going to Termini station, this is a superfluous question, but it matters for other destinations at larger stations.

The last time I was at Fiumicino airport, I bought the ticket from the travel agent, not fromm the machine, and anyway, I didn't read it carefully at all.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 28th, 2014, 04:56 AM
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The cafe at the top of the elevator at the back of the platform next to the ticket machines etc is pretty good, simple food but sensible staff used to the ways of the many foreigners who pass by. I tend to eat there most times I go through.
bilboburgler is online now  

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