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Trains in Italy - buy tickets on line or buy at the train station?

Trains in Italy - buy tickets on line or buy at the train station?

Old Mar 17th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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Trains in Italy - buy tickets on line or buy at the train station?

Hello, I will be in Italy in end of May and will be taking a train from Rome to Florence, from Florence to Naples and from Naples back to Rome. Not sure if I should book the tickets ahead of time or just buy them at the train station... Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

One thing I did notice was that http://www.trenitalia.com is much chipers than raileurope website.

Points of concerns are:
1.) can i run into situation where there are no tickets for the time slot i want
2.) would tickets be more expensive or the same price if buy them at train station

Thanks!
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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1- it would be highly unusual - two trains an hour Rome-florence; hourly to Venice

2- most likely becacuse online and weeks in advance when they are guaranteeably available you can get good discounts that you cannot get at the station i think. But Amica fares - 20% off i've read can be bought at stations though perhaps must be the day before - that's if the alloted number of tickets in that category remain.

You can buy all your tickets at one station upon arrival - a good place is at Rome Airport's train station ticket window - few lines and English should be spoken - print out all the trains you want from trenitalia.com so there is no language barrier.

trenitalia.com has frustrated scores of Fodorites - the very worst online site of all European railways - even worst than SNCF.com or French Railways. Good luck. But have no worry about getting trains you want upon arrival IME - No reason to buy ahead except to save money on trenitalia.com

And for trenitalia.com help there are several Fodorites who graciously help you with the very fickle site if you post the need for help. Ira is one who can usually help you get the site to work - on your own it's a nightmare for some silly reason.
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Hi ebe,

Good advice from Pal.

The Trenitalia website is very finicky and quirky.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it won't accept your credit card.

Before trying to buy, call your credit card company and tell them that you will be buying the tickets. Often, their computers won't accept an Italy transaction.

The discount Amica fares are available up to 12 hrs in advance, or maybe less.

No need to worry about getting tickets for your routes.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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I'm no expert that's for sure... but it's easy to buy train tickets once you are in Italy at the train station. Especially on routes that are so common, like the ones you mention, plus only needing 3 trips, I don't see why you'd bother to do it online in advance. Just seems needlessly complicated to me.
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 11:50 AM
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It is always worthwhile asking for the Amica fares at stations however and try to do this like Ira says some hours in advance and you'll save 20% - enough for a cheap meal in Venice probably. Not sure if Amica fares are refundable or changeable so if not be sure of your plans - otherwise wait and buy before your train - again loads of trains.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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ok so this is prob a very stupid question, but what is an AMICA fare? The trains which are marked for the routs we are interested in are ES or ES A. Are these AMICA?
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Others like Ira know more about the Amica fares - but i will regurgitate what i think i remember several saying here

Amica fares are tickets sold at a 20% discount - they can be sold on any of several types of trains ES (eurostar italia) or ES A - a newer form of the Eurostar Italia trains

so yes Amica would be available i believe for those trains - that is if the pre-determined number of Amica fares for that exact train is not sold out. sometimes they are not and you can get them up to several hours before the train. so always ask if they are available and also be flexible as if the first choice is not they could be on the train leaving 30mins earlier or later.

Ira or others - please correct me on any mistakes i may have about the Amica fares - Amica i would think meaning 'friendly' but not sure.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Well done, pal.

EB, take a look at
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-website.cfm?3

ira is offline  
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