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sasha_g Feb 1st, 2007 07:54 PM

travelling by train in italy
travelling to Italy in April for 2 weeks. Plan to travel within the country by train. Need to know if i need to buy tickets beforehand (through trenitalia website), or can i buy them at the station just before travelling from Point A to Point B.
Or is it worth picking up a Eurail Pass and then pay for reservations (a bit expensive, though).
Also, when visiting the Trenitalia site & trying to book tickets, they show a lot of fare options (e.g. flexi, standard, duoununo, etc.) if i can book tickets online, then which fare should i choose?

a lot of questions, i know - but needed some clarity. this is my first time in italy, and hence need some guidance.


STUMBLEBUM Feb 1st, 2007 11:24 PM

I don't know about the rail passes, but getting tickets at the station is no problem. Trains are cheap, though to avoid fines on the train, before you board, look for small yellow boxes on the wall etc on the platform. Stick your ticket in the slot to validate it, otherwise a 5 euro fine applies (i know from experience!) The trains I travelled on were a bit untidy (take some tissue if you will need to use the toilet on board. They were however very quick and consistantly on time.

GeoffHamer Feb 2nd, 2007 12:49 AM

Italian train fares, like those in most European countries, are calculated from the distance. Therefore, to decide whether a rail pass is worth getting, you need to know which journeys you will be making and look up the fares for those journeys.
Generally, standard Italian fares are cheap (perhaps half the fare for a similar distance in France), so a rail pass is only worthwhile if you're making lots of long journeys. To justify a Eurail pass, you'd need to spend almost your whole holiday on trains.
There is rarely a need to book in advance, except for overnight journeys or for travelling around public holidays. Trains are frequent - usually two an hour between Roma and Napoli, for instance.
I've travelled all over Italy by train and just bought tickets at the station. If the ticket offices are busy, there are machines. Standard tickets are valid two months from purchase. Before boarding the train, you stamp the date and time on the ticket in a yellow machine, and the ticket is then valid for a specified number of hours (six hours for the shortest journey or, I think, 48 hours for the longest).

ira Feb 2nd, 2007 04:54 AM

Hi S,

It's unlikely that you will need a railpass for travel in Italy.

Look for the 29E and 39E fares on the ES* trains online. They don't offer them on all routes.

Otherwise choose "standard".

You can buy all of the tickets you need at the same time at the train station or at a travel agent in Italy if you don't want to buy them online.


basingstoke2 Feb 2nd, 2007 05:59 AM

Keep in mind that some city pairs have better connections by bus e.g., Florence - Siena, Siena - Rome.

pineisl Feb 2nd, 2007 11:07 AM

So if I arrive in Rome and will be there for 7 nights, I could go to a travel agency or station on my day of arrival and buy my tickets for Rome to Venice, and my Venice to Florence tickets all in Rome. Am I understanding you correctly? Also I see people mention eurostar for the train to Venice and that it is a high speed train. Is this the same eurostar that does London to Paris, because when I go to their web site I only seem to get UK, France, and Belgium info. Just one more question, do you know the estimated travel time between Rome and Venice? Thanks

WallyKringen Feb 2nd, 2007 11:24 AM

Yes, Yes, No (different EuroStar ES*), a good 4 1/2 hours.

ira Feb 2nd, 2007 11:55 AM

Ditto Wally


navgator Feb 2nd, 2007 01:33 PM

I recently asked a question about the ticketless option on the trenitalia site. here is the link if that is method of purchase.

sasha_g Feb 2nd, 2007 08:43 PM

thanks all of u...
it's time to start the countdown for my italian holiday! :)

pineisl Feb 3rd, 2007 03:58 AM

Thanks for your replies. I think I have it now. Now I will have to see if I am brave enough not to buy tickets before I leave the states.

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