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Where to purchase train tickets in Italy...

Where to purchase train tickets in Italy...

Old Nov 16th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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Where to purchase train tickets in Italy...

Hello everyone,

My wife and I are heading to Italy in March, and plan on traveling (between Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome) by train. I was wondering what the best way to purchase the tickets would be... or if anyone could recommend a website to use.

I would like to have reservations because I just dont want to be waiting forever if there is not a seat on the train, etc.... tips, advice, recommendations all welcome! Thanks!
joelyval is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2008, 01:14 PM
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Rail Europe is your best bet. you can even get assigned seating. the high speed trains are wonderful!
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Travel agents in italy are authorized to sell state train tickets, as are some tourist offices. And of course you can buy them in train stations. In the places you are going, you will have no trouble locating travel agents, except perhaps in Venezia, but your hotel should help you out.

In March, I think you really don't need to worry about trains being sold out and I recommend that you purchase ES tickets.

How are you getting into Milano? If you are taking the bus from the airport into town, you will be dropped off at the Central Station. You can buy your tickets there, either using a machine (with a credit card) or at the counter. My usual strategy is to buy my tickets for the next leg of my trip when I arrive in the station -- that is to say, when I take the train from Milano to Firenze, I buy my tickets to Firenze, and before I leave the station in Firenze, I buy my ticket to Roma.

You can use the Trenitalia website to look at train schedules somewhat in advance (I'm not sure if you can buy tickets now for March). Remember when you are using the Trenitalia website that Italians call the cities you are visiting "Milano, Venezia, Firenze and Roma."

I understand Rick Steves's guides have easy-to-follow explanations about purchasing train tickets in Italy, He also has a website.

Best tip I can give you? If you plan to travel through Italy by train, pack light. Every single train station you are passing through has interior staircases, and the step-ups onto Italian trains are quite steep. People with luggage --even with light luggage -- usually need to help each other haul their bags onto the cars.

zeppole is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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I should clarify that "ES" tickets means "Eurostar" tickets which have reserved seating. I would wait to buy them in Italy.
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Old Nov 16th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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The routes you are traveling are popular with virtually hourly departures--no need to buy tickets before you arrive.

You can research your tickets at the very persnickety but official Trenitalia site. You can't purchase tickets more than 60 days ahead, but you can verify schedules and prices. Many people have difficulty using the site to make purchases. Once in Italy, you can purchase all your tickets at once if you like.

ellenem is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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No need to buy in advance (especially not from places like RailEurope that mark up the ticket prices or charge a hefty mailing fee).
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