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RailEurope or Trenitalia

I will be purchasing train tickets going from Venice to Florence. There are two sites that I have looked into, one is RailEurope and the other is Trenitalia. Trenitalia's site has consistently said that tickets could not be purchased (I understand that they won't sell them more than 90 days prior to the date but I'm now within that timeframe), however, when I just checked RailEurope it shows some as being available - but it doesn't show the times I'd like (mid day). RailEurope shows that 2nd class seats are sold out and only 1st class are available. Has anyone had experience with either one or both of these sites? I don't want to wait for the Trenitalia site if the tickets will be sold out, on the other hand I'd prefer a mid day departure that RailEurope doesn't have. Another interesting note is that Trentialia's site shows some departures being EuroStar but the RailEurope site doesn't. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
1127 posts

You will pay a lot more for tickets purchased via RailEurope than you will on Trenitalia. Trenitalia is the official train site for the Italian train system so I would trust their information more than RailEurope, a ticket re-seller.

I can't imagine a train selling out of 2nd class seats 90 days in advance. I think this is a ploy to have people purchase the more expensive 1st class seats.

I would wait until closer to your date of travel and purchase tickets via Trenitalia. I usually buy my tickets once I am in Italy and have never had any problems getting the train I wanted.

Posted by
58 posts

I also bought all my train tickets while in Italy. We usually bought the day before at one of the fast issue ticket machines in any train station. You just put in where you are leaving from and where you want to go, the date and time you wish to travel , 1st or 2nd class and that is it. You can even choose which seats you would like on the trains that have to have reservations. These trains are usually high speed trains. You can also go to the ticket windows but they often have long lines.

Posted by
23428 posts

Antia is correct. Absolutely no advantage to buying on this side.

Posted by
423 posts

Hi Jon,

First, Trenitalia allows you to purchase tickets within "60" days, not 90. I have used Trenitalia extensively to plan my recent trip to Italy. They are the official website, so you will pay less with them than any of the other broker sites. It turned out I had difficulty purchasing tickets on their website (others have had the same trouble, and some have not).

I ultimately purchased my train tickets (4) at Trenitalia's window at FCO when I arrived. I traveled first class and all but one train had availability. For the 4th train, I took a train leaving 30 minutes later which was just fine.

I hope this helps.

Posted by
21 posts

I have tried purchasing tickets on Trenitalia repeatedly over the last month and had my payment denied repeatedly. Only 1 purchase actually went through successfully. Very frustrating dealing with their website. I tried Rail Europe but wasn't happy with their pricing or selection. I have now also found another website, Italia Rail, that seems very good and is solely focused on Italian rail. They seem to have all of the trains that Trenitalia has available and the pricing seems very reasonable with only a slight fare difference. I'm going to book the remainder of my trips on Italia Rail http://www.italiarail.com and see how it goes. I always know that I can buy in Italy as a last resort. Hope that helps.

Posted by
2 posts

I had been facing this same issue for the past nearly a month. Then I opened an account using my Yahoo ID and used a Non US card, and it worked. So its true that US cards definately dont work anymore, atleast now in 2008. I had also called up the cust service number and the gentleman confirmed that US cards will not work at all. This is not an issue with the banks / CC companies, its a trenitalia website issue, so dont sweat too much with your bank

Posted by
255 posts

I can affirm that Trenitalia does not sell their seats until 60 days out. I can also affirm the problems that people go through with their credit cards on Trenitalia's website. Been there, done that just this morning. Tried 2 different credit cards with plenty of credit available and both of them were denied.

I used a site called Rail Connection to buy our Venice to Florence tickets. Think I will check out Rail Italia for pricing before I buy our Florence to Rome tickets and see how the pricing compares to Rail Connection.

Posted by
1166 posts

Definitely try italiarail.com. We booked a couple of rail tickets with them and they have an 800 number to talk to a live person in New York to ask questions! The tickets arrived in 2 days. Trenitalia is a mess.

Unless you have to get tickets early-you have a flight the next day and you're worried about missing it, BUY train tickets in Europe.

Once you make a tentative travel schedule (if you actually plan), use the bahn.de site to get train information for your cities. Print off several different times of that day's departures to the towns you plan to visit and take it with you. You will (1)have the numerous times that a train departs for your next stop and can react to a change of plans and (2)if your ticket agent is hard to understand, you can physically show them the page and point to where you are trying to go!

Posted by
64 posts

Jon,
Did the website really say that tickets were "sold out" or just simply, "not aavailable?"

It is not possible to purchase 2nd class tickets on regional trains on the website ahead of time. There are no reservations for these trains, however, I do bleieve you can still possibly reserve 1st class seats on those trains, which is why that availability does show.

Good luck
Tracy