Trenitalia - purchasing tickets online

Old Oct 28th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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Trenitalia - purchasing tickets online

I'm interested in purchasing tickets on Trenitalia's website (Chiusi to Florence) for travel in about 2 weeks. It will let me "buy" tickets to locations other than FSM (my desired stop). Why? (It will let me "buy" tickets to the other Florentine stops.) I'm sure there's a simple explanation.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 05:06 PM
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At first blush it would appear that the IC trains from Chiusi to Florence don't go to FSM.

The Firenze Rifredi stop is not far away - just a short distance really.

I can only surmise that these are through trains, and that diverting to FSM is seen as an unnecessary diversion. SMN is a terminal, not a through station, meaning that any train the pulls into SMN must turn around, which adds time since an engine must be attached to the leading end.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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Since this is a 1hr train by IC there is really no need to pre-purchase a ticket. You can pick one up in no time at the Chiusi station.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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Many short-distance routes are not available for purchase on-line.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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But when I checked Trenitalia, there were several trains ending at Firenze S.M.N. for which tickets could be purchased on-line. I'm not sure why you couldn't find the same ones I did.

Anyway, as J62 mentioned, you really don't need to buy these tickets in advance.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Yeah, the ticket machines at the train stations are extremely easy to use, with an idiot-proof English menu system. In two weeks traveling all over Italy, I never bought one Trenitalia train ticket from a human being.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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J62 - perhaps you've solved the puzzle. The Chiusi-FI S.M.N. trains are all regional. Other trains are not.

Jean - on the Trenitalia website, I typed in trying to purchase Chiusi-Florence tickets on the 15 November at 8:30am. Would you try this date as an example and see if it, indeed, will let you purchase for departing at S.M.N. in Florence? Thanks!

Andrew - I've never used the ticket machines at the train stations in Italy. Would you pretend I'm an idiot and try to describe as best you can it's use in English? Thanks!
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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The ticket machines are touch screen. You start the process by tapping the language - the British Flag - to purchase tickets using an English menu.

From there it asks you a serious of obvious questions: where are you going and when? It's set up assuming you are leaving the station where the machine is located and departing soon though you can choose other options. You pick trains from a list going from city to city.

It helps to have an idea ahead of time what options you have for trains and what they will cost, whether they have connections, etc. There are several different types of Italian trains, some that cost a lot more than others but aren't much faster than the regional trains over short distances. You can price out each option but it takes time - better to know ahead of time that the 10:14 train is the best one for you so you can just zip through the menus.

Many of the trains have 1st or 2nd class options. Some here believe it's worth it to pay a little more for 1st class but I didn't (and I'm tall).

The regional trains won't have reserved seats - even though you think you may have bought a ticket for a specific train, it's good on any regional train between those destinations, meaning you must validate the ticket in a ticket machine before getting on the train. If you are riding an ICPlus or Eurostar train you will be reserving a seat on a specific train. You can't use a regional train ticket on one of the more expensive trains. Just pay attention to the type of train it is - but it's pretty obvious usually.

Anyway, the last step of buying tickets from the machine is obviously payment. Most ticket machines take credit cards; some take only credit cards or only cash. (They'll tell you this at the outset.) I used my American Express and my Visa in the machines to buy tickets - never had a problem. At the end the machine prints your tickets and you retrieve them and you are done. The ticket serves as your receipt too.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 08:47 PM
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You typed "Chiusi to Florence" in your first post but typed "departing at S.M.N. in Florence" in your most recent post, so I'm not sure which direction you're going. Anyway, here are trains at the 8:30 am departure time.

Chiusi to Florence S.M.N.
Canova 700 departing at 8:23 am
Change at Firenze Campo di Marte (9 minutes) to
Train 6726 which arrives S.M.N. at 9:40 am
Overall time: 1:17

Florence S.M.N. to Chiusi
Train 3153 departing at 8:09 am
Change at Firenze Campo di Marte (18 minutes) to
Train 577 which arrives Chiusi at 9:33 am
Overall time: 1:24


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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Andrew - many thanks for taking me through the steps of the ticket machines. If I can't handle it, I shouldn't be leaving my home, much less traveling to Italy!

Jean - With your information, I fiddled around with the website and was able to make heads & tails out of what I was doing wrong. I failed to type in Florence S.M.N. Thank you!
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 08:07 AM
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Andrew gave great directions. For even more info, the Slowtrav site has an excellent explanation, with photos of the machines, on the Italian train system. Go to www.slowtrav.com, click on Italy, then Info. for travelers, then go to the sections on trains. I had no troubles at all using these machines all over Italy.
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