Trenitalia vs Italo

Old Nov 6th, 2015, 03:25 PM
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Trenitalia vs Italo

Booking train to Florence from Rome for tomorrow.
Before I book it, doe anyone know why the Italo fast train would be considerably less expensive than the Trenitalia fast train?
Thanks
LeenieA is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2015, 03:54 PM
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Just competitive I guess. If you are worried that Italo is not a good choice, I have used it and found it to be really good. I booked a first class ticket but don't think you need to.
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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 04:06 PM
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raincitygirl - thanks
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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 05:25 PM
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You are welcome Leenie, how was Rome? I hope you are enjoying the trip.
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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 06:15 PM
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We used an Italo train a few months ago from Bologna to Venice and found it to be quite acceptable.
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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 09:27 PM
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Rome is wonderful! The Trevi Fountain is my FAVORITE!!! I didn't want to leave! Today we go to the Colosseum. I'm just not sure if we should go to The KeyHole of the Knights of Malta for the best view or on the terrace of Castel Sant'Angelo Junction Hill, giardino deli aranci, or Foro Romano. Too many choices and not enough time!
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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 09:30 PM
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Glad you are having fun, Rome is wonderful! I vote for the view from the Keyhole.
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Old Nov 6th, 2015, 10:31 PM
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Italo isn't filling up its trains, so they're keeping the prices low. Both companies offer excellent service on the high-speed lines, so I would choose based on convenience and price. However, Italo doesn't offer connections to smaller cities. If you need to make a connection, it's best to stick with one company.
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 01:21 AM
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I have cut and pasted this from a posting of mine -

Plus points of Italo over Trenitalia -

- Their prices are generally quite a bit cheaper
- No problem getting Senior Discount (over 60) whereas on Trenitalia you need a special card which is a nightmare to obtain for someone not resident in Italy.
- Their fast trains operate across the network whereas Trenitalia operates Frecciabianca on certain routes (e.g. from Venice)
- Excellent wifi and fewer downloading restrictions compare to Trenitalia

Plus points of Trenitalia -

- Their first/business class seats are more comfortable in my opinion. Italo seats are by Poltrona Frau a great Italian name but I don't quite think they have yet acquired the expertise in designing seats for trains.
- I think that the Business Area Silenzio is the best class on the Frecciarossa trains – hushed conversation and no interruption from mobile phones (nothing comparable on Italo)
- The Frecciarossa trains seem cleaner. Perhaps Italo is trying to save money here. Also on my latest trip on Italo (to Rome) many of the tv/film monitors did not work.
- The Frecciarossa on board website which shows your actual position and train speed is fantastic. I have a screen shot showing my train travelling at 300 km/h (186 mph)
- Frecciarossa (as part of the group which owns many of the main stations) has the best position in the stations for their Frecciarossa club etc. Italo does not yet have a lounge at Roma Termini so far.
- Only Trenitalia with the Frecciabianca trains operates directly out of Rome Fiumacino airport

One thing is certain. Italo by providing direct competition on certain main routes has upped the overall quality of service and has made pricing very competitive. Long may this continue.

bvlenci - connections to smaller cities. It is not as if sticking with Trenitalia you get better prices on your connection to the smaller cities. Generally, the saving on the Italo fares is such that it is worth the effort to research both Italo and Trenitalia websites.
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 03:12 AM
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Nochblad, let's say you need to go from Rome to Ancona, a route I travel. You could take either Trenitalia or Italo as far as Bologna, but only Trenitalia serves Ancona. Now if you miss your connection and both tickets were with Trenitalia, you'll be issued a new ticket for the next train. If the first was an Italo ticket, you'd have to buy a new ticket.

Regarding connections and missed trains, since Italo runs fewer trains on all its routes than Trenitalia does on the sames route, your wait for the next train would be considerably longer.

Italo used to have trains on the Adriatic line, but they cut back their service a few years ago, and dropped the Adriatic line altogether. They also seem to have shelved their plans to compete on regional train service. These are not good signs.

I was delighted to see Trenitalia get some competition, but it's been a disappointment for those of us on the forgotten side of the peninsula.

The Frecciabianca trains are older and slower than Italo or Frecciarossa trains, but they almost entirely serve routes where Italo has no service at all. I'm very grateful for the Frecciabianca from Ancona to Rome, because my alternative is not Italo, but a slow regional train.
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 04:18 AM
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bvlenci - I understand your comments about the connection if getting on the train at Rome as well as being on the forgotten side of the peninsula.

I quite frequently travel from Como to Pesara which is a far longer journey than that down to Rome. On many an occasion I have had to wait at Pescara station for the Frecciabianca arriving late having started its journey at Taranto, for example. So in your case the advantage of changing your ticket without an issue is understandable.

I would be very pleased if a high speed line was built down the Adriatic coast but I just don't see it happening due to the cost involved. There is just not the space along side the existing line so it would have to be built further back which would involve significant sections of the route being made up of bridges and tunnels. I don't think the traffic would justify such construction costs.
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 04:33 AM
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Italo competes with Trenitalia on the main Naples-Rome-Florence-Milan-Turin and Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples arteries.

They cannot compete with trenitalia for connectivity! They ran one tentative train Milan-Ancona, then withdrew it. But they've just bought a new fleet of pendolinos (similar to Trenitalia's Frecciargentos) and will start a Rome-Florence-Verona service in a year or two's time.

Fares are neck and neck: Rome-Florence starts at €19 with both operators, it just depends how to dynamic airline-style pricing works out on each of them as to which is cheapest for your journey. Check both!

I found Italo a bright modern train with great staff. They have forced Trenitalia to pull their socks up to compete!

Italo's weak point for me is catering, as Italo relies on a few vending machines selling coffee and a mars bar, Trenitalia's Frecciarossas have a proper bistro-bar and in some cases a sit-down waiter service restaurant car with a full range of goodies.

I also prefer the Frecciarossa's civilised lounge-like bays of seats around tables, nicely lining up with the windows for a good view.

Italo gets more seats in by having airline/bus-style unidirectional seats, with just one bay of face-to-face seats round tables in the middle of each car.

Give me a 'lounge' ambience over a 'airliner' ambience any day, although I have found that some U.S. travellers like facing a seat back 6" from their face, in case (heaven forbid) they make eye contact with a stranger! ;0)
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 06:13 AM
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They each ended up being 39 eruos each for the train per person, so we went with the one that had the more convenient time - Trenitelia. It was great, but our ears were feeling tons of pressure!
Here in Florence safely!
Thanks so much!
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 07:04 AM
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There is a movement in some of the seaside towns on the Adriatic to move the railway inland because it's not great for tourism to have it so close to the beaches. However, I agree that it's not likely to happen in my lifetime.

My husband, who has lived in this area all his life, and who was very active in land use boards, says that when the railway was built (before his time!) the coastal merchants lobbied to have it pass right through the towns, and likewise the autostrada, to bring business to their doorsteps. There was a time in the 1970s or 1980s, when the coastal zone was not as built up as it is now; my husband urged several people with the authority and ability to act, at least to acquire the land that would be needed to move the railway and the autostrada further inland, even if the project couldn't be realized for a while. However, the idea didn't have much support. Now that they want to do something about it, and talk about their towns being strangled by the railway, it would be much more difficult to acquire the land.
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 07:07 AM
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I traveled from Bologna to Florence last week, on a Frecciarossa train, in Business Class. That trip is mostly tunnels, speaking of ear pressure.

The "lounge bay" seating is fine if you're sitting across from someone near and dear to you, but less so if it's a tall fidgety stranger. Business class has no more leg room than Standard class. (I happened to be in Business class because that was the cheapest fare on that trip.)

On such a short trip, catering isn't an issue, but the cart offering free snacks and beverages didn't make an appearance until we were almost in Florence, and they zipped by silently, as though hoping no one was thirsty. I managed to waylay them before they were out of the car, and got my half glass of Coca Cola and a bag of potato chips.

No newspaper was offered to me, but there was a Corriere della Sera on the seat next to me, and I read that after ascertaining that it didn't belong to one of my "bay mates".

The car was by no means silent, but it wasn't a Business Silenzio area. The woman across from me was on her cell phone for over 20 minutes, apparently trying to clinch a deal, and spent the next 20 minutes giving her business partner (and maybe also husband) a rehash of the call.

I've always said I wouldn't pay any extra to ride in Business class, and this trip confirmed my feeling. I might be willing to pay a little extra for the "silenzio".
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Old Nov 7th, 2015, 08:40 AM
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LeenieA - it makes me laugh that you refer to Trenitelia. The intercom at the stations says just that when they are speaking in English. This is a common fault in Italy where the translation is often done by translators who are not fully proficient in English. More often than not it is done by outside contractors who won the contract based upon "relationships" rather than ability.

bvlenci - I think the area silenzio is the best carriage on the Frecciarossa trains. It is a bit like being in a library and people will complain if someone is too loud or uses their phone. If I do a long trip such as Milan to Rome or Naples I will always choose it but not necessarily on an intermediate journey such as Milan to Bologna or Firenze to Rome.

Regarding those who are involved in business conversations I marvel how some disclose so much information in their calls as if they they think they are back in their office. I recall once a conversation at Linate airport on the transfer bus from the terminal to the plane. The individual shared so much info that I thought that she (as was the case) should have been fired on the spot.

Regarding the train lines running along the coast, it is certainly a problem in many coastal towns (though even worse in Liguria). When I visit Pescara I often stay at Villa Maria at Francavilla. This hotel is set back at least a mile from the train line but even so one often hears some noise from trains passing at night - certainly freight trains. I cannot imagine what it is like staying at one of the hotels down by the sea and, of course, not far from the railway.
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