Trenitalia and Italian Trains

Old Nov 15th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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Trenitalia and Italian Trains

A number of members appear to be familiar with navigating the Trenitalia site and the Italian trains generally. I am a novice and I hope the experts can help me with a few questions.
1. Is there anywhere on the site where you can get a full day long schedule of departures between the dparture city and the destination? For example, I want to travel from Rome to Bologna and I am not certain if I want to leave in the morning of the day of my intended sight seeing day or the night before. Do I have to put in specific times for each date?
2. If I am returning to Rome from Bologna and purchase a Bologna-Rome ticket, may I get off in Firenze and stay a night or 2 and get back on the train (Firenze-Rome) with no extra charge, or do I have to buy separate segments (the cost of the segments add up to more than the whole)?
3.When I try to find schedules/prices for a Rome-Milan trip, the inquiry is rejected. Are there no trains that make this trip?
4. I will be traveling in mid-February (Presidentís week). Will the discounted fare (Amica?) be likely to be available if I wait to get to Rome before booking or am I better off booking now using the site? Although the site has an English version, the window for fare options is in Italian; very irritating since I do not know what the options mean. It is through this Forum that I learned about Amica.
5. I will be traveling with my wife and 2 children (each of whom are students over18, one studying in Rome ), is there a fare better than Amica for which we would be eligible?
6. I noticed on some of our choices there are AV or ES trains, depending upon our time of departure. There does not appear to be a significant price or travel time difference. Is there a reason I should prefer one rather than the other?

Those are my questions for now. I would appreciate any assistance from my fellow Forum member experts. Thank you to all who help.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 08:19 AM
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1. I know of no way to display an entire day's worth of trains on one screen. For that I sometimes use http://plannerint.b-rail.be/bin/quer...ld=IA&L=profi& - which is good for double-checking trains all over Europe (but not for pricing).

2. Yes but you have to tell the agent in detail when you book. The train travel cost is per distance travelled, so one long or two partial segments come out roughly the same, but multiple seat reservations and validity for multiple days may add extra costs, plus you may forgo the chance to do it on a special discounted fare.

3. Right now the new schedules are not up yet, don't know why they are behind in displaying them, but it is because on Dec. 12th (or thereabouts) timetables all over Europe are adjusted and synchronized (every year) - try the other site above, or try a date before Dec. 12, things don't usually change all that much. Rome-Milan is a major route with lots and lots of connections. The trip will get shorter soon when new high-speed segments will come into use near Bologna, so things might change again - in your favor, so keep an eye on the site.

4. Hey, it's Italy, they speak Italian... But seriously, there are not very many expressions to learn - get a dictionary (online) and jot them down. But wait until after Dec. 12 for reasons stated.

5. Don't know about kids. Anyone?

6. No, they are all very fast and very spiffy.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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>1. Is there anywhere on the site where you can get a full day long schedule of departures between the dparture city and the destination? For example, I want to travel from Rome to Bologna and I am not certain if I want to leave in the morning of the day of my intended sight seeing day or the night before. Do I have to put in specific times for each date?

You put in specific times and can expand it ("earlier connections /later connections") to a few hours around the time you entered. On many lines, small booklets/brochures with a schedule in table form are available - but I don't think you can order them, you have to pick them up at stations.

>2. If I am returning to Rome from Bologna and purchase a Bologna-Rome ticket, may I get off in Firenze and stay a night or 2 and get back on the train (Firenze-Rome) with no extra charge, or do I have to buy separate segments (the cost of the segments add up to more than the whole)?

A flexible ticket (which you would be able to use on regional and IC trains) is only valid for a certain time period after validation - I am not up to date with the current regulations, but a few years ago it was 24 h from a certain distance on (200 km?) and 6 h below this distance. Within this window you can make stopovers but are limited to trains without reservation requirement. If you use faster trains (ES, AV, ICPlus) your ticket is issued for a specific connection and you have to take this train.

>3.When I try to find schedules/prices for a Rome-Milan trip, the inquiry is rejected. Are there no trains that make this trip?

Umm... no trains between the capital and the second most important city of the country? Surely you are jesting. Which dates are you putting in?

>4. I will be traveling in mid-February (President’s week). Will the discounted fare (Amica?) be likely to be available if I wait to get to Rome before booking or am I better off booking now using the site?

OK, understanding now - the annual schedule change is due in the 2nd december week (this is true for all European railway systems) and Trenitalia is notoriously late in loading the new schedule. Last year they did so only a few days before the actual change, or so I heard.
In this case you cannot book them right now - you have to wait until the annual chaos at Ferrovie dello Stato has been overcome.

>5. I will be traveling with my wife and 2 children (each of whom are students over18, one studying in Rome ), is there a fare better than Amica for which we would be eligible?

Group tariffs start from 6 persons, so I'm afraid no.

>6. I noticed on some of our choices there are AV or ES trains, depending upon our time of departure. There does not appear to be a significant price or travel time difference. Is there a reason I should prefer one rather than the other?

Not really. An ES train may be capable of 300 km/h, but if your part of the journey goes via a line that only supports the standard 150-160 km/h and not over a high speed line, this will be the speed of whatever train is running over it.
The ES/AV trains are SLIGHTLY more confortable that IC trains but not enough for me o change travel plans. If you decide on an IC train, make a seat reservation though - it costs little but is worth a lot.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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No question Tren Italia is a little frustrating.

We have video on our site under ALL ITALY that provides tips for buying tickets in Italy. I sense your frustration, so here is the link:


http://www.webvisionitaly.com/catego...=&ref_item=375

TIP: In Italy at Kiosk when typing destination city you must type name in Italian - so for Florence you would type Firenze. Otherwise, you''ll never find your destination.

You questions:
1: Put it times

2: Purchase separate tickets - train travel in Italy is not expensive, especially if you opt for the local trains that may take 20 minutes longer but may save you 50%.

3: Try Roma and Milano and see tip above

4: We always think better to book tickets in Italy. Preferably using Kiosk to save time. Language is an issue even when Kisok says it is English, you still must type name of city in Italian language. See tip above

5: Student fares for everything in Italy including museum entrance. Bring student IDs and license.

6: We prefer less expensive !
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Nobody has mentioned that you wouldn't be able to buy your tickets yet anyway. You can only buy them on Trenitalia 60 days before your travel date. You do need separate tickets to stop over in Florence.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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You can't predict which discounts will remain when Trenitalia updates their schedules. It's possible they will add other discounted fares.

AV/ES trains require reserved seats (included in your ticket if you buy from Trenitalia) so you can't randomly take another train.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 03:26 PM
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Hi Miz,

1. Start at 06:00 and keep clicking.

1A. It's 2:44 hr from Rome to Bologna. No need to leave the night before.

2. The cost of a -> C via B is almost exactly the same as A -> B -> C

If you want to stay more than a few hours, buy two tickets.

Also, a RT ticket is the same price as 2 one way.

3. Use any date within the next 30 days to find schedules and fares. They won't change much.

4. Amica fares may be purchased up to the night before, but they might not be available.

If you know which train you want, buy the tickets 60 days out.

Do not panic if you are unable to do so.

You can always buy all of your tickets at the train station at FCO, the train stations in Rome or almost any travel agent.

4A. I use http://www.freetranslation.com/

5. Your kids are eligible to purchase the Youth Fare card, which offers discounts. It is unlikely to be cost effective for just one visit.

6. AV and ES* are the high speed trains. The AV is newer.

Both are more reliable than the less expensive IC.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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If Ira is talking about the Green Card for youths, it would not be worth buying for your limited travel. The cost is 40€ to save only 10%.

Don't count on AV trains being newer. Sometimes you will book an AV train and discover when it arrives that is says ES on the train.
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 08:35 AM
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Thank you all for your speedy and very helpful responses. One note with regard to translating the site. I had tried using one or the other of the various web based translators for the various fare classes, but without knowing that "amica", which is translated into "friend", is the best fare I am eligible for, the translation is not that useful. Although I know that it is an Italian site, given all the other information that is translated on the site, you would think that it would have an explanation of fares and elgibility in English as well. Oh, well that is the joy of Italy. Thanks again to all those who offered great info.
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 03:26 PM
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It is available in English. All you have to do is click on it. Select the English version of Trenitalia, enter your cities (pick a day within the next 7 days - if you don't the r, d, etc trains will not show the buy cart and you can't price those tickets or get fare info). On the next screen you will see Fares choice. To the right of the drop down box to select fares you will see tariffs information. Click on tariffs information and you will get a box that shows the explanations of all the various fares (in English).
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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http://www.trenitalia.it/en/index.html
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 03:48 PM
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Kybourbon, Thank you. Once you pointed it out, it was obvious. Appreciate your help.
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