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Using ITALIARAIL for booking reservations

Using ITALIARAIL for booking reservations

Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 8
suec1 - You will see your seat numbers BEFORE your card is charged but you need to enter your CC info first - once you enter it then it will make the provisional reservation which blocks off the seats, once you confirm your order then it charges the card and creates the confirmed PNR. You will get a confirmation email with the PNR, you can print the confirmation page at the end of the booking - all you need is the PNR to give to the conductor but having the confirmation email printed is always a good idea.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 8
girlonthego - I apologize, you are right, in rereading your post I realize that I should have just confirmed that we offer reserved seats - you did not say or imply that we didn't - I was a little on the defensive from the previous posts I think

KY and Bob - I simply tried to list a number of points to give a clearer picture in order to let travelers decide for themselves who to book with.

We are not a "middleman" we are a small business that contributes to the local and national economy - supporting small business in whatever country you are in is usually a positive thing.

We in turn support other local businesses and contribute to the overall health of the economy. We are also starting a Study Abroad Scholarship in 2014 to help college students who couldn't otherwise afford the experience of studying a semester in Italy.

As stated above my team's # 1 objective is to provide the best train experience possible for travelers to Italy. We re-invest heavily in achieving this and have innovated for the past 10 years thereby raising the bar for everyone in our space which in turn helps improve the experience regardless of where one books.

As far as the links - they are unintentional - there are just as many links to Trenitalia - it seems the system automatically creates them if you add .com at the end -I have no way to edit the post so can't go back in otherwise I would do it myself.

The only reason I am participating in this thread is to address the issue of incomplete or misinformation being spread about my Company. I am not trying to create controversy or be confrontational or violate any guidelines.

As far as the comments on the regional trains - there are MANY people who do want to book in advance and appreciate the peace of mind that comes with that - ESPECIALLY first time travelers - so it's not useless to them to know this.

I personally book all my regional train tickets in advance because I have had trouble at the self serve machines in the past accepting payment - not necessarily the machine - has been my credit card because I forgot to tell them I was going to Italy.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 02:53 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 565
what is wrong with kybourbon?

Excuse me, but I travel in Italy all the time -- more than kybourbon does I am certain -- and it is a tremendous advantage to be able to book and have in hand regional train tickets if you are making a tight connection.

There is nothing more aggravating than to be traveling with suitcases to a small town in Italy and when you get off at the main city train station to switch trains, if you must now buy a regional ticket to the small town you are actually going to, the amount of time that takes can end up meaning you miss a train and then have to wait a huge amount of time for another one.

I speak Italian, but many people coming to Italy for the first time and getting on a train do not. It really helps them to be able to buy ALL their tickets in advance and it really cuts into the opportunities pickpockets have in train stations.

Kybourbon acts like somebody who thinks she is going to be out of a "job" if people go to this website and don't end up not needing her on Fodor's anymore. Why so territorial?

ItaliaRail works with Trenitalia and vice versa to provide another dimension of help to foreign travelers. There is nothing against there being links to these websites in this thread.


If you never personally buy train tickets than yes, the Trenitalia site is a pain to use, especially since they reconfigured it to push their Freccia trains. And yes, if one's tickets get scrwed up in purchase, it is almost impossible to deal with Trenitalia's non-responsive, non-English speaking staff.

The entire present moment in Italy is all about opening up state controlled services so that consumers have more options. It is a wonderful thing that ItaliaRail and Trenitalia are being discussed here, and that the MISINFORMATION posted by kybourbon is being corrected by other people, including someone who works for

Give it a break, kybourbon. This isn't your "job" to post endlessly about trains on Fodor's --unless somebody is a paying you. Quit trying to get in the way of new information reaching people just because you've been here 10 zillion years. Don't feel so THREATENED that things change and get more modern.

I am delighted to think there is somewhere I can book a regional ticket in another part of Italy in advance, and I am happy to pay for the help.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 03:37 AM
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 04:16 AM
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Posts: 33,436
>>>is a wonderful thing that ItaliaRail and Trenitalia are being discussed here, and that the MISINFORMATION posted by kybourbon is being corrected by other people,
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Without getting into a spat I find kybourbon's serial posts on and Italian trains to be a great value - so so many times she/he has come to the help of flummoxed Fodorites trying to navigate the quagmire of - so I will happily come to her defense.

she/he has obviously studied every little morsel of things about Italian trains and many Fodorites have benefited from her expertise.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 07:39 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,363
I booked 90 percent of my train tickets prior to travel on trenitalia's website. I do not speak italian. There is an english icon to click and turns to english. I had zero problems booking. Without kybourbon, I would never have figured out half of the prebooking info and also how to save on the website. I credit her with saving us a ton of money and time by explaining to me trains in italy 101! Really saved me.
So, to kybourbon, thank you for all of your valuable information you gave me. I am sure others have found other ways to book trains as well. kybourbon was my ticket to getting tickets.
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Many people have benefited from kybourbon's expertise in knowing all about the fickle flummoxing site and she has saved folks beaucoups money - now perhaps ItaliaRail is easier to use - I do not know that but if and they charge a small surcharge that seems great - but unless you save a ton of money I always advice buying from the source and not a middle man in case of problems, refunds, etc.

as for the convenience of buying regional tickets that stevewith points out is it not possible to buy those regional tickets from any Trenitalia station well before the actual connection time - why pay $5 more for a regional ticket that can easily be bought in Italy - and again a problem with buying those in advance is if your trip plans fall thru then you have refund issues - wait until Italy to buy any regional ticket.
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
As for Italiarail being on this thread and continually linking their website,IMO, that is advertising and against Fodor's policy.>

No I do not agree with that - there are things being said here about the company that apparently are not true and it is the right of the company in that case to defend themselves - so when the owner says:

<The only reason I am participating in this thread is to address the issue of incomplete or misinformation being spread about my Company. I am not trying to create controversy or be confrontational or violate any guidelines>

I have to agree with him/her/it.

Everyone has a right to defend themselves against charges that may or may not be true.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
I found this thread when I was looking for information about Italiarail. I see that it's an old thread, so maybe no one will see this.

I had already attempted to use the Trenitalia website, but all I got were messages saying that no information was available for whatever trip I was trying to book. No indication as to why. I did not know about their 7 days in advance rule until I found this thread, and they did not tell me about it - just told me there was no information available.

So, I tried Italiarail. So sweet! It was extremely quick and easy to use. I opted to see and choose from only the lowest rates. I made reservations for two people on six different legs of our trip. I was amazed at how inexpensive it was to travel in Italy by train. That's so wonderful!

As far as "no refunds" goes, if something happens, and we can't make this trip, losing the entire amount for the train tickets will be annoying, but not at all devastating. It's a risk I'm willing to take because of the low cost, and to have this particular part of the trip settled.

Also, we are going to have six weeks in Italy, and we are not very picky travellers. We don't care where we sit on the train - we just want to get where we are going. Second class seats chosen by Trenitalia are just fine for us given that none of our trips are very long. I was relieved to see assigned seats on our order confirmation, though.

Regarding the $5.00 service fee that Italiarail charges, I don't think that is unreasonable at all. It was one $5.00 charge for all 12 tickets. They provided me with a very convenient and efficient service, and I was able to book the tickets in advance like I wanted - something I couldn't do on Trenitalia.

So, anyway, Mr. Fuller, if you see this, I was very pleased with the services your company provides. I found your website to be easy to use, and it was a very pleasant experience. The only thing I would recommend is that you state clearly at the start that when you purchase a ticket, seat assignment is included. Seat reservations should not be the topic of so many online threads I had to hunt all over to find out whether I would need to reserve seats and whether I would have to pay extra for that.
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Old Sep 5th, 2014, 03:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3
I tried using trenitalia to book my train tickets, it didn't work for one reason or another. I used italiarail and it worked perfectly. Just got all of my tickets from italiarail and got confirmed seat numbers.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Topping for good info on an alternative to the oft flummxing site.
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Old Jun 14th, 2015, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 8
cjsc and others who have used and have recognized the benefits, thank you for your kind words.

I haven't been on here in a while because I have had nothing new to add to the discussion - until now.

We have launched the newest version of ItaliaRail just two days ago and there are a some major enhancements that should make it clear that; a) it probably makes no sense to book your Italian train tickets anywhere else; and, b) addresses why the booking fee we charge is nothing compared to the savings we can now offer:

1) we now accept AUD, CAD, GBP, USD & EUR - you can pay in the currency of your choice this can save you time and money.

2) We allow you to search EVERY train on the day of travel and hi-lite the cheapest fares and find you "free upgrades" all with ONE search and on one screen this can save you time and money.

3) We save you money and often have cheaper fares than every other site (including Trenitalia) because our booking engine finds you the cheapest seats automatically - this works best for 2 or more people traveling together:


4) We indicate how many seats are left at the lower prices so that you don't miss out on the best deals.

5) We have negotiated an exclusive special price for the ItaliaPass a new VIP Traveler benefit program for Italy - it is only $19 on ($49 direct on The ItaliaPass gets you savings on hotels, tours and activities, car rentals, restaurants, attractions, etc.; and gives free access to a beautiful new lounge in Termini Station.

I encourage the moderators of this site to test out the new site and then please advise me if they still recommend booking elsewhere and why.

Our goal is to provide the best experience and value when booking travel around Italy - it's not easy but we are constantly working toward it.

Mike Fuller
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 05:44 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,371
Surprised to give ItaliaRail a try for a July train I have already booked for 5. Best Trenitalia can do today is 176 euro at the Bimbi gratis rate. RailItalia pulls up a Saturday 2-for-1 offer at 109.50 euro including the service fee, a 40% difference.
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,371
I meant ItaliaRail in the second sentence, sorry.

I tried another train for 4 in first class and again, ItaliaRail was 40 euros cheaper, about 20%.

On a third train looking at a single ticket, the price was the same before the service charge was added.
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 36,385
This whole thing solves absolutely nothing IMO. The "non-novices" on here have decided there is only one way to do things and others have decided their way works just as well.

I am now going to use the very famous rationale repeatedly posed by one of the non-novices: "It is the obvious choice."
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,203
Point number 3 above is the main advantage Italiarail seems to have over Trenitalia. If you try to book tickets for two or more people on Trenitalia, it won't show you any discounted offers unless there are at least two tickets left at the discounted price. If you buy the tickets separately, you'll get the best prices, but then you may have difficulty getting the seats together.

Because of this innovation, groups of two or more should at least try to see if they get a better price.

Italiarail does get you on the exchange rate, though. Your credit card will get you a better exchange rate if you buy on Trenitalia in euros.
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Old Jun 15th, 2015, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,371
bvlenci: Yes, but test out my point number 1: Roma Termini to Firenze SMN June 27th on the 12:20 train, 4 adults 1 child.

ItaliaRail: toggle on euros, then the price comes up 111 euros including fee (have to manually remove special pass offer from the shopping cart, irritating). This software finds that the cheapest price is the Saturday 2-for-1 for the adults and then the child pays full price but that is cheaper.

Trenitalia: comes up 172 euros as the Bimbi Gratis fare. Software cannot find the cheaper fare option that ItaliaRail found.

So the ItaliaRail software is more intelligent and that would be another advantage.
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