Train travel in Italy is an efficient and entertaining way to go from town to town and enjoy a panorama rich in history and beauty. Booking Italian train tickets is relatively easy, but factors to take into account include the time of year and exact points of travel. Italian trains can be subject to strikes, crowding during the high season, or delays due to a variety of reasons that include inclement weather or maintenance.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- For Booking Online:
- credit card
- secure Internet connection
- For Booking in Person:
- Basic Italian language skills or Italian phrasebook (optional)
- credit card, travellers cheques, or cash (Euros)
Choose the website to use for your booking. Trenitalia is the most obvious choice, but not all parts of the website are available in English, which may prove awkward unless you have a solid knowledge of Italian.
Ensure that your chosen website is reliable and accurate. A legitimate website that carries Italian train tickets and related services will include European rail passes, bus and ferry information, changes and refunds to tickets, and information regarding strikes. Some websites charge an extra booking fee.
Make sure the website you are ordering from has the ability to send tickets to your home country if you require it. Often there is a "ticketless" option gives a traveller a reference number instead of a paper ticket.
Don't be intimidated by language barrier issues if you plan on booking at the station. Use the electronic kiosks first even if you are confident in your Italian language ability. The lines are shorter and the process just as expedient.
Use the "fast ticket" machines in the station to book your ticket. These blue and yellow machines have services in a variety of different languages and offer discounts for booking a week, two weeks, or a month in advance.
Take advantage of booking on the new high-speed system that runs between the major cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples and Milan. Trains runs hourly and are faster than flying.
Booking In Person
Tips and warnings
- City to city trains are frequent and plentiful, so reservations are normally not essential. For high speed or long-distance trips, however, you may want to book in advance. Even if a train is crowded, passengers can often stand in the aisles if there are no seats available. Booking comprehensive rail passes are very handy if you plan to travel frequently or have no set schedule.
- Train strikes happen frequently in Italy, and trains do not run during these times. Try to keep an eye on local news reports to plan around such incidents. English is not widely spoken, even in major urban centres, so a working knowledge of Italian and a phrasebook are strongly recommended.
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