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Traveling between Italian Cities via train ... question regarding buying tickets online

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Traveling between Italian Cities via train ... question regarding buying tickets online

Old Feb 13th, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Traveling between Italian Cities via train ... question regarding buying tickets online

Hello all,

I spent a good while perusing the english version of Trenitalia's website and from what I can tell, one cannot purchase advance tickets online. (I am looking at the Eurostar train from Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice.) Can you confirm this?

Also, once we arrive in Italy do we need to purchase the tickets a couple of days in advance or are we fine just buying them at the station the day of travel?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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I haven't tried to purchase train tickets on trenitalia. However when I went to Italy in June 2006 I had planned on taking the eurostar since its faster. I knew the schedule, as I had asked at the airport when we arrived. When we got to the main train station in Florence and tried to buy tickets for that particular train they were sold out, as well as the next train too. I wound up having to take a slower train and transfer trains as well and got stuck waiting in 2 different train stations for a few hours each. so long story short... if you can buy thie tickets in advance definitely do it so you get the time and train you want!
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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oh forgot to add I was going from Florence to Venice....
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 05:15 PM
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You can buy the tickets online, but not more than 60 days ahead of time. You can still put in your itinerary for an earlier date just to see the times and prices.

Most people here at Fodor's will tell you that there is no need to buy them ahead of time. I like to buy them ahead, it's just my preference because I usually want a specific train. If you're traveling at a busy time (weekend or holiday) and want a specific train, I think it's a good idea to buy them ahead.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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Hi shanrae, some people do like to buy the train tickets online. But yes, you can only buy them 60 days maximum in advance. I have always purchased them a few days ahead of when I need them and have never had a problem. Some people in the past have been very frustrated with trying to buy the tickets online. Evidently if you decide to do that you should call your credit card co. and advise them so the charges will go through. Personally I wouldn't wait until the day I wanted to take the train to buy the tickets..just in case. If you know your exact schedule you can buy them all at once.

And just in case you do not know, do use one of the small yellow boxes in the train stations to validate your train ticket for that trip before you get on the train.

Enjoy your time in beautiful Italy!

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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 10:00 PM
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I always buy my tickets through the trenitalia website. First, I like the ticketless option that you have online...just choose that option and printout the confirmation PNR code and take it with you and hop on the train...no need to validate a ticket in the yellow box etc.etc.
secondly, sometimes they have special discount fares you can only obtain online such as "duo per uno" that is to say two for one..or other special low low fares....
besides online is convenient and fast. Sign up on the website as a "member" and they will send you email updates of specials etc. plus if you are signed up with an account in place, your purchase will go through without hassle that some have experienced with foreign transaction fraud alert stoppages etc.
as has been mentioned you can only purchase tickets if the shopping cart icon appears next to the scheduled train...otherwise you are most likely beyond the 60 day limit i.e. attempting to purchase too far in advance. Again as some have said , put in similar dates closer to todays date to see comparable fares and schedules etc.
I have bought tickets online while in italy using the hotel computer etc.in the city i was currently in for the destination I was headed to. Having tickets/PNR codes in hand before getting to the station saves the hassle of lining up at the ticket counter or ticket kiosk also where you are out in the open and exposed to a potential pickpocket or snatch and run with some lurker making off with your wallet and cards/money.
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Old Feb 14th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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Hi S,

You can certainly buy your Rome/Florence and Florence/Venice tickets online from 60 days in advance.

You want the Amica fare.

However, there are so many trains on this route, that you can buy your tickets when you get to Italy.

Amica fares are available as late aas 24 hr before your train leaves.

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Old Feb 14th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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I bought my tickets about 25 days in advance. Lots of choices for the day I was traveling from Rome to Florence, but from Florence to Venice it was another story. For the day I was traveling, there was only one ES train from Florence to Venice, and it was leaving very late in the afternoon. I ended up taking the slower train from the smaller train station in Florence. Arrived in Venice at the planned time. I liked buying the tickets in advance so not having to bother with the hassle once I was in Italy.
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Old Feb 14th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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bookmarking
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 06:13 AM
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Thanks to all for (as always!) very helpful info. I am sure the 60 day thing was my problem, I was looking at tickets in May.

Ira, what is an Amica fare?
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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What about buying individual train tickets, say Rome to Florence, Florence to Rome, through RailEurope? I went online and the process looks straightforward enough. Or is there some problem or complication when doing this?
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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The main problem with RailEurope is the extra cost.
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Old Feb 15th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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Hi S,

The Amica fares are the discounted tickets.
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Old Feb 17th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Thank you Ira, I see the price differences now.

I think I will try booking online when it gets closer. Is it necessary to select a coach number and a seat designation? I don't see where there is a schematic of the train layout to know what to pick. If I leave those blank will the system automatically select two seats next to each other?
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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bkmrkng for September
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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No need to pick seats. That feature is used by people who are trying to pick seats next to people who already have tickets.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 05:48 AM
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Just wanted to confirm that anyone can purchase the "Amica" tickets. I was choosing "Standard" as the option for the rate and it is a much higher rate than the former. I would assume that it doesn't matter whether you're in 1st or 2nd class...?

Thanks in advance for the clarification.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 06:06 AM
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Anyone can try to purchase Amica tickets for either class, but it does not mean that an Amica ticket will be available. A limited number of seats on each train are designated for this reduced fare. You won't be allowed to purchase an Amica ticket if spots are no longer available. In any case, Amica tickets must be purchased no later than the day before travel.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Thanks ellenem! I will try to reserve at that rate when I log on again.

BTW, I did go through all the motions of purchasing the tickets until it was time to put in the credit card info. Then, I was booted off the system with an error message that "they" would contact me soon in order to proceed. Perhaps trenitalia is checking my credit card to make sure it will go all the way through their system first. Has anyone had any experience with this?
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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You can find innumerable threads here complaining about the Trenitalia website. That's why I use it for schedule and fare information, but always wait to buy my tickets when I reach Italy. Other have used it successfully after experiencing the glitch you describe.
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