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Travel by train in Italy-better to buy tickets before leaving?

Old Jul 21st, 2003, 03:31 PM
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Travel by train in Italy-better to buy tickets before leaving?

Wondering if it's best to buy the train tickets before leaving the states or when were there.
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Old Jul 21st, 2003, 03:36 PM
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We just returned from Florence and Venice and had the same concerns. Everyone assured me that it was fine to purchase once we were there.

We purchased Eurostar tickets from Florence to Venice once we arrived Italy, about three days before our day of departure by train. Had no problems whatsoever.

I might be concerned if you are purchasing the day before your train departure, as seats may be limited. But, if you have a day or two, I've seen it posted many times here that there should be no concern.
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Old Jul 21st, 2003, 06:31 PM
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No, absolutely not. If you want to avoid any possible complications or hassles during your trip, don't buy your tickets before leaving the US. First, it will be problematic if you decide to make changes in your departure date, time or seat class. Only God knows what are the recent Italian procedures or excuses for handling changes in prepaid tickets. As you might already know, Italians constantly change procedures and determinations vary from one station to another, and not to mention the Italians limited patience to deal with tourist. I warranty you will not have any problem in acquiring tickets at anytime to anywhere in Italy, and you will probably get better deals not available in the US, and for a lot cheaper.

A last minute advice, avoid traveling on weekends or at rush hours (8am or 5pm), its usually more crowded and confusing, get your tickets in advance, a least the day or night before, try getting first class seats, this cars are usually empty, more comfortable, with aircon and the difference in price is not significant. And always travel light, remember that if you carry a bulky bag or suitcase, it will not fit in your cabin and you will have to leave it at an entrance suitcase rack, away from you view. And don't forget, travel happy, but travel safe.

Buono Viaggio



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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 07:56 AM
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We were just in ITaly for our first time ever. It's wonderful! We bought on train tix on arrival. From Milan to Varenna 2 hours b4 departure. Tried to buy a day or so beforehand, usually at a travel agency. They are pretty much everywhere and we found it easier to understand the schedules and xfers with someone taking more time. If you know what you want and have time you can buy at the train station itself. Our train from Milan to Venice was delayed and we went to the travel agency right in the station adn they switched us to the faster sooner Eurostar train for only a 3 euro each fee. That was about 30minutes before departure and seats were avail in first class. I worried about this way too much, it's easy!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 08:00 AM
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We arrive in Rome on a weekday morning and want to go directly to Florence for the first few nights. I am assuming we should just get train tickets at the airport. Any risk of being stuck?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 08:07 AM
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we have always purchased train tix through the american express offices and they have been very helpful. since there are so many strikes ( usually rolling--striking in one spot, then rotating- ) . it makes more sense to buy when you arrive in italy.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 08:48 AM
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On planning my first trip to Italy, I was arriving at Milan airport and going on to Milan Central station, to immediately take a train to Venice.
It was busy season and a weekend, and I wanted my ticket and seat reservation in advance.
In the US, I used 1-800 CIT TOUR and received my ticket with reservation within 48 hours. I paid a reasonable surcharge, but I thought it was worth it, especially when I saw the ticket buyers' line in Milan Centrale--I might have missed my train.
If you do purchase in advance (or not), be sure to stamp your ticket in the little machines before heading to the track area--you'll see everyone doing it
so don't worry.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 08:56 AM
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Hi Rohani,

Most folks do suggest purchasing tickets after arrival.

However, in our case, we will be taking the train out of Rome as soon as we arrive and we thought it better to purchase that ticket in advance.

We arranged our reservation through www.Euraid.com. Very nice people, who showed us how we could put the whole thing together for slightly less than the cost of doing it in Italy.

This, however, is our own particular itinerary. A lot depends on how much train travel you wish to do.
ira is offline  
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