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mike Apr 25th, 2002 02:54 PM

trenitalia vs. raileurope: venice to florence
hello fellow travel gurus:<BR><BR>can anyone tell me why there seems to be a huge price discrepancy for 1st class for these two tix agents? i'm looking to book for venice to florence but geez the difference is not nominal esp since we have 4 adults going...<BR><BR>also, has anyone ordered tix from trenitalia? raileurope seems eager to gouge all they can get from US tourists...btw is it me or does the trenitalia site offer tix purchase one moment (last night) but not today?<BR><BR>finally if we decided to rent and drive from venice to florence, could we get there within 3-4 hours? i assume the autostrada is like the US interstate in which you can go @ a good clip like 75-80mph...the only shortcoming from this would be shelling good $ to find parking holdover until we do tuscany...<BR><BR>thanx for any responses<BR>mike

Rex Apr 25th, 2002 03:52 PM

The website is the "real thing". RailEurope is a marketig consortium of all the rail companies of essentially all the countries in Europe. Think of them like an importer. They obtain tickets from the actual source, and then sell them here in the US at a hefty pocket.<BR><BR>They're not disreputable, nor crooks - - they set the standard for "rail passes" - - a decent deal for traveling salesmen or anyone else who wants to spend about 250 miler every day traveling on the train. and they have some decent discounted prices on airfares.<BR><BR>But you've discovered firsthand, what is a fundamental tenet among the "veterans" here. Son't buy point-to-point tickets from unless you value "peace of mind" a whole lot more than money.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

jahoulih Apr 25th, 2002 04:26 PM

Rex has it right; let me just add that there's no need to buy your tickets until you get to Venice (where you'll pay the Trenitalia price). Trains from Venice to Florence are extremely frequent; you should have no problem if you reserve your tickets a couple of days ahead of time.

mike Apr 25th, 2002 08:25 PM

thanks rex & jahoulih!..the trains seem to leave from venice every 2 hrs but some depart from mestre rather than san lucia (or could this be a typo from trenitalia?)..also, what is the deal with validating the tix? do you bring 'just' the tix to have the yellow meter stamp it for you?<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>

nancy Apr 26th, 2002 06:24 AM

Mike,<BR><BR>Definitely take the train from San Lucia, right on the Grand Canal to Florence - a good way to relax & regroup.<BR><BR>I would recommend the first class Eurostar - and after you get your ticket you slip it into one the yellow boxes and it gets punched & validated(very important to do).<BR><BR>After your stay in Florence then rent a car for Tuscany.<BR><BR>Have a great time!<BR>

Tina Apr 26th, 2002 08:22 AM

No, Mike that's not a type. Most trains (but not ALL) leave Venice from Santa Lucia. Make sure you're choosing those, unless of course you plan on staying by Mestre (not recommended). You can't purchase tickets online from trenitalia. Your best option is to take the train from Venice to Florence --- Eurostar are quick, comfortable & efficient. Do buy your train tix a few days ahead; can do so at train station or at travel agency once in Italy. After you get to Florence, pick up your rental car after you're ready to explore other cities in Tuscany region.<BR>

Rex Apr 26th, 2002 09:09 AM

I would say that tina is right. Every train that leaves "Venice" (Santa Lucia) will make a stop (maybe only two or three minutes) in Mestre - - after all - - for those 90% of Venetians who live on the mainland or elesewhere in Veneto, it would be crazy to expect them to travel out to Santa Lucia to catch the train or deboard when returning home.<BR><BR>But not every departure from Mestre originates at Santa Lucia; there are trains (a smaller number than those originating IN Venice) coming from north and east of Venice that are headed onward to the south and west. They pick up passengers at Mestre, headed towards Verona (and from there, some go to Milan, some turn south to go to Florence). Some DO stop at Verona, some do not.<BR><BR>A timetable from Thomas Cook is such a big help in understanding all this.<BR>

Julie Apr 26th, 2002 09:33 AM

Rex - I think you'll find that any train going through Verona will stop in Verona. <BR>And Venice-Florence trains do not go via Verona.

Julie Apr 26th, 2002 10:05 AM

I will be traveling from Bruges to Paris this summer by train and would like to know if anyone can tell me the approximate price of a ticket.<BR>Like Mike I have been looking on the raileurope website, but this fare for summer dates is $157.00 CAD - A bit more than I had wanted to pay.<BR><BR>Your help is appreciated!

jahoulih Apr 26th, 2002 10:10 AM

The "real" price from Bruges to Paris, according to, is 73.6 Euros for second class, 116.7 for first.

Julie Apr 26th, 2002 10:54 AM

jahoulih - thanks for your reply, I checked out the address you gave be and the prices are MUCH more reasonable.<BR>Your info just bought me a nice dinner while I'm away!

Rex Apr 26th, 2002 01:23 PM

Yes, I did not express that accurately. You CAN go Venice-Verona, and Verona-Florence; some times of the day the connection is not bad; almost anytime of the day you can make a 2-6 hour stopover to get a glimpse of Verona - - and once a day (I think), there IS a train Venice-Verona-Florence with no change of train (not sure why anyone would prefer to take this one). You are right, the normal Eurostar route does NOT go via Verona.<BR><BR>I knew the facts; I just expressed clumsy, and flat out wrong as a result. Thank you for correcting me.<BR>

top Apr 26th, 2002 06:11 PM


mike Jun 5th, 2002 10:28 AM

topping for jerryp

irene Jun 5th, 2002 10:43 AM

There is also a mini fare for RT Brussels-Paris. Is only about $40 US. Maybe you can buy it and just don't use the return part.

Santa Chiara Jun 5th, 2002 10:52 AM

If you take Eurostar from Venice to Florence, or any Italian Eurostar train for that matter, you no longer have to stamp your ticket before boarding. All Eurostar seats are not reserved and assigned, so you are either in the right seat with the right ticket on the right day, or you not. <BR><BR>This concept represents a great evolutionary leap forward in logic and organization for the Italian train system, analogous to walking upright.

Santa Chiara Jun 5th, 2002 10:53 AM

Of course, I meant "all seat ARE reserved. . . "

up Jun 5th, 2002 08:56 PM


a--z Jun 6th, 2002 07:40 AM

Mike:<BR><BR>When you purchase your train tickets in Italy (either at train station or through a travel agency there), ask them about prices for a "mini-group". I usually travel solo or with one other person; however I've read that groups of 3 to 5 people together qualify as a 'mini-group' with lower rates. Additionally this is a rate that you have to ask for (at train station, they won't offer it without being prompted). Perhaps someone else has firsthand experience on this ???<BR><BR>

mike Jun 6th, 2002 08:10 AM

thanks for the tip! i just finished my trip but i'll try it out next time...when i ordered the tix at the station they certainly didn't volunteer this info..<BR><BR>like all previous posters suggested, if you have a couple days before date of departure chances are good you can book the tix (w/ reservations) once you get there; this avoids the high cost of booking them thru raileurope...they sure give a new definition on 'markup.'

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