Trenitalia Pass Saver +$$ ???

Old Jun 1st, 2006, 06:51 PM
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Trenitalia Pass Saver +$$ ???

I need some help on Train Travel in Italy. We are flying out this Saturday and we purchased one of the Trenitalia Pass Saver cards. I tried to start scheduling train trips for while we were in Italy, and they informed me that it would cost us an additional 40 USD per person to guarantee our seats on the train? Do we need to do this??? I could use the $80 per train trip for souvenirs, wine, food, (all three). Any thoughts?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 08:08 AM
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Hi M,

You are probably taking ES* trains, which require seat reservations.

You can buy them in Italy for about $12 ea.

If you take IC trains, you wo't need reservations. If you want them, they will be about $4 ea.

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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 08:16 AM
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there are no $40 p.p. train reservations thru RailEurope who sets reservation prices for Eurostar Italia reservations in US - they charge $20 p.p. or $40 for two total. In Italy i understand they cost about $15 but can vary a few dollars i think on various ES rides. And RailEurope would charge a $15 booking fee and mailing fee as well so make your reservations upon landing at Rome or Milan airports Trenitalia ticket windows. Otherwise you could wait in long lines at Milan or Rome stations. You do have to go up to a ticket window to activate your pass so make all your reservations at the same time. So many Eurostar Italia trains should be little problem reserving. ICp (ICPlus trains also require reservations and these are about $15 thru RE i believe and a bit cheaper in Italy. IC InterCity trains don't require reservations like ES and ICp do but you can make them for about $4. The fancy new trains on the Rome-Naples run also require reservations (Altaria?) or some such name. Often the surcharges for these trains boost the Italian Railpass price much higher - in most cases the pass is already overpriced for what most people who actually do by train in Italy and the surcharges make it even more dubious for most people. You could refund you pass for 15% cancellation fee and go on and print out your own tickets at a probably much lower price - that is if you're the typical traveler doing the Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples routing - if traveling more than the pass may - may- be better.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 08:32 AM
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Did you do a price comparison between point-to-point tickets vs. a rail pass? I think it's that offers that function. We recently needed tickets for Rome-Florence-Venice-Santa Margherita Ligure-Nice-Florence, within 16 days, and a pass did NOT save money. I think people can be mislead into thinking a pass is always the best way to go. Maybe getting a refund and paying the 15% penalty would still be cheaper. Do you have time to figure it out? We bought our train tickets as we went, in early May, and had no problems. Except the trains can get crowded, and I'd suggest reservatioins just for your peace of mind, and to ensure a seat. Be sure to validate your ticket, and make sure it's for the correct time, or you'll get a surprise fine on the train, which is a drag. They show no mercy!
Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the responses (unfortunately or actually FORTUNATELY) we are leaving within 10 hours. I hope to post my first Fodors trip report when I return. See ya and thanks for all of the advice.
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