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Where Do I buy tickets train tickets? Here or in Italy? Your input, please!

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Where Do I buy tickets train tickets? Here or in Italy? Your input, please!

Old May 18th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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Where Do I buy tickets train tickets? Here or in Italy? Your input, please!

We're leaving pretty soon to our first trip to Italy, and I'd like to know where I should buy the train tickets for the different places we're planning to go (Rome, Florence, Venice, Assisi)
Do I buy them there? If so, do I RISK not getting any seats?
Or do I buy them here in the States?
What do you guys normally do?
I'm afraid that if I wait to buy them there, I may not have a seat.
Also, are the tickets more expensive here or in Italy?
We're living in mid June
Thanks.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:22 PM
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I'm no expert but have always bought them at the train station after I got to Europe. Those are pretty major routes, I imagine if you missed one train you could simply take the next one, right? And I don't think that's enough train travel to warrant a pass (one reason some people purchase in the U.S.)
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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I had a similar question about train tickets from Rome to Venice and posted it on this forum just last weekend--If you search for that thread you will get some great information. I, too was uncertain about buying ahead, however found out through this site that I could get cheaper 1st class tickets by purchasing from the trenitalia website rather than waiting until I got to Rome. Search for the thread on the "Italy" forum and you should be able to find it. There were excellent instructins on how to get the tickets as the trenitalia site is somewhat confusing and finicky at time. Hope it helps--it saved me time and money!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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I always buy there. I've bought, at various times, at: the AmEx office in Florence, although I'm not sure they sell tix anymore, the train stations themselves, and on one occasion a travel agency I happened to be walking by while in Rome. Usually, I buy all the tickets for the rest of my trip at once--or at least all the ES tickets.

If you have little flexibility in your itinerary, I'd say go ahead and buy them from trenitalia. I do recall one time the ES I wanted to take from Florence to Venice was sold out. We had to leave in the afternoon rather than the morning as planned. Also, it's worth it to take a gander at schedules on trenitalia if you haven't already, just to see what your worst-case scenarios for missed trains, etc., would be.

Rome, Florence, Venice, Assisi: my favorites! Have a wonderful time.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 03:48 AM
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ItalyLove- Either option will work but I chose to order all my tickets before I went except one. (We day-tripped to Florence from the Cinque Terre and I wasn't sure how long we would want to wander about). I found it easier to sit here in front of my own computer without any stress and sift through all the options until I was sure. I also printed out all the other possibilities just in case something went awry. With that said, the big yellow vending machines in the train stations are easy to use, expecially if you have already gotton used to the system and the types of questions it will ask you. The only difficulty of sorts is that you may have 25 people standing in line behind you craning their necks trying to figure out what you are doing. It does add a little pressure. By the way, if you do make reservations, this big yellow vending machine is also the place you will get your printed tickets. Do not forget to validate your ticket prior to getting onboard. Lynclarke
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Old May 19th, 2006, 03:51 AM
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We bought tickets (Rome to Florence) last month at the airport after arriving in Rome. It was the day before Easter so travel might have been heavy. The only seats available on the next two trains were in first class but we bought them anyway because we really wanted to get right to Florence, and we had prepared our selves for this possibility. We did not buy them ahead on Trentalia because, even with lots of instruction from this site, I thought it was a pain in the you know what, AND, if our flight was late, we might miss the train we were supposed to be on. Yes, we could have booked on a train much later than our flight arrival time to help ensure that we wouldn't miss it, but, as I said, we wanted to get to Florence right away so we could spend the afternoon there. We arrived at the airport around 8:30 am and were in Florence between 12 and 1.
There are pros and cons to both options (buy them before you go or buy them there) so you just have to decide what you can live with. For us, it was being willing to pay for first class so we could get on the next train. One recommendation: the best advice I got was to print out the train schedules from the Trenitalia site so you can point to what train you want at the ticket window. Not all agents speak English very well. Have a great trip!
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Old May 19th, 2006, 04:06 AM
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For those places, definitely buy there. Unless you're travelling on a holiday, you'll have no problems with seats, and even if you are travelling at a really congested time, buy your tickets when you show up in Italy and you should be fine (any Italian station can issue tickets for any journey in Italy, or Western Europe for that matter).
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Old May 19th, 2006, 04:11 AM
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Hi IL,

>we're planning to go (Rome, Florence, Venice, Assisi)

What is your arrival airport or train station?

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Old May 19th, 2006, 04:22 AM
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We just got back from Italy. We waited and bought our tickets at the train station.
However, if you know when you'll be travelling and don't have to worry about possible delays ( i e, will the plane land on time) than I'd probably purchase ahead of time, just to save yourself some unneeded aggravation. (For example, when we were at the train station in Rome, the line was LONG - it was a Saturday, midday - and took about 30 minutes to get our tickets.)
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