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What's the diff. btwn 1st and 2nd class on Trenitalia?

What's the diff. btwn 1st and 2nd class on Trenitalia?

Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:21 AM
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What's the diff. btwn 1st and 2nd class on Trenitalia?

My husband and I will be taking the train from Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice on our August trip to Italy. We will be traveling during the day time. What is the difference in 1st vs. 2nd class. We are from DC and take public transportation everyday. That is to say that we are fine with crowds and an eclectic mix of people. Our only desire is to sit down since the train rides are both much greater than an hour. Thanks for any light you can shed.
Jacksons is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:26 AM
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I've always traveled 2nd class myself, except once I did travel 1st class from Rome to Bologna. There's more legroom in 1st class, and the seats and such are a little more swanky. First class had beverage service too. But it's mostly businesspeople and tourists. The locals ride 2nd class, which is why I prefer it (and cheaper, natch).

You'll be getting an assigned seat on those routes, so you won't have to worry about not having a seat.
DejaVu is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:33 AM
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Thanks! 2nd class is good enough for us then. I appreciate the quick response.
Jacksons is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:19 AM
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I've travelled both 1st & 2nd class on the Eurostar and concur with DejaVu's comments. You'll be fine in segundo classe.

The bigger differences are between types of trains, rather than first/second. And the Eurostar (ES) is the fastest, most efficient option for traveling between Rome-Florence and Florence-Venice.

For addl feedback around this topic, check out a couple prior threads discussing the 1st class versus 2nd class issue >>>

1st class or 2nd train Italy --

Diff between 1st and 2nd class on ES* train
Tess_Durberville is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Bring your own lunch box (and a bottle of wine), the buffet cars seem to be disapearing on Trenitalia as fast as punctual trains. First class is quieter, everyone reads their business papers or works on their PC's whereas on 2nd class everyone is chatting away and sharing their lunch-boxes.
Sampaguita is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:07 AM
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We are both OK with being a little cramped in the name of saving a buck, so I think 2nd class is it. Thanks for all the posts.

I do have a follow-up question...It sounds like the ES is the way to go in terms of efficiency. Do you book that through trenitalia or another site? Also, if someone knows off the the top of their head, what is approximate price difference between the slower train and the ES? (am I even asking the right question?) Don't go out of your way to answer this one if you don't know right away, as I have not taken the time to research it myself yet.

Thanks for all the info and the links to the other threads. Very helpful!
Jacksons is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:15 AM
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I've always bought my tickets in Italy from machines in the train stations right before the voyage. What I do is look up the schedules online before my trip so I know when to show up at the station.
I've never had a problem getting a seat on the train I want. (But I was traveling alone, and not in August, so that might be a consideration.) What you could do if you feel nervous buying right then is, upon your arrival in say, Florence, is go ahead and buy your ticket for the departure.

You can book on raileurope.com but it will cost more. I don't know if Americans can book on trenitalia.com or not; I leave that for someone else to answer.
DejaVu is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:15 AM
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On trenitalia. The Eurostar trains are noted as ES (blue logo).
Margaretlb is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 11:57 AM
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You asked the difference between 1st and 2nd class on Trenitalia but Trenitalia is not a train. Trenitalia is the Italian train company. There are many different types of trains - ES (Eurostar)- IC and ICplus - R trains - D trains -IR trains.

The only trains that 1st and 2nd will be available are ES and IC/IC plus. ES tickets purchased in Italy or on Trenitalia's website (can't purchase more than 60 days in advance) will include your seat reservation which is required on all ES trains.

You stated that both train rides were much greater than an hour but in fact the trip from Rome to Florence is only 90 minutes. From Florence to Venice is a little longer - 3 hours on ES trains.
kybourbon is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:03 PM
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We took the ES from Rome to Venice and were in 1st class. The difference in price was not that much, and we figured it was worth it to us to have the bit of extra room and comfort. I walked into the next car, which was 2nd class, and it seemed fine, would not have minded being in there at all. Also, we didn't even take advantage of the food or coffee they offered in 1st class. So, I think you'll be fine in 2nd if saving the extra money is the paramount consideration.
almesq is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:18 PM
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Another big difference between ES and IC trains: ES tickets automatically come with a seat reservation--no extra people on the train. Second class is perfectly fine--like Amtrak seats (since you're from DC).

IC trains have optional reservations. You can take any IC on the route for your destiantion, but you won't have a guaranteed seat. You can pay extra to reserve a seat on a particular IC--worth it on popular routes. If traveling by IC, I reserve AND choose first class--much less crowded than second class.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Don't forget a good book too, Deja Vu can give you some good tips - arrivedeary
Sampaguita is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Cute. Very cute.
DejaVu is offline  
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