Looking at trenitalia and it looks like every single direct train between Venice and Florence is sold out...? I thought booking 3 months in advance would be OK but maybe I was dead wrong? Or, am I missing something??
Thanks for the link, I hope it's just too early (though that page you linked says "high speed trains in Italy now usually open 4 months ahead"). I did see there is some kind of cricket festival in Florence then.... (!)
You are right, all high speed trains from Venice to Florence are unavailable Saturday and Sunday, on both Trenitalia and Italotreno.
Your options are:
Travel Friday evening, There are still departures at 6:25 pm and 7:25 pm.
Travel on regional trains. Takes twice as long, but they don't sell out. On the other hand, seats will probably be in short supply. There are 2 changes, at Bologna Centrale and Prato Centrale. Get to the station 30 minutes early and be prepared to board as soon as the train is spotted on the platform. Try to get seats near the door so you can get off ASAP to make the change at Bologna Centrale.
Must be a big event, or they have week end track work scheduled.
Dang it! (Mad at myself!) OK, well we can't leave Friday night but the good news is our hotel in Florence can be modified so maybe we'll divert ourselves for a day in Tuscany. (Or just take the longer trains - just REALLY didn't want to have to transfer.) I did want to do this Parma/Modena food tour out of Bologna so maybe we'll go there for a day and then Florence after. Time to start researching.
Maybe there’s a big event or maybe they’re just updating their website or inventory?? I had tix last summer that I purchased early on. A few weeks before my trip my train vanished completely from trenitalia’s schedule causing me a bit of panic. After a few days it showed back up. Who’s knows when it comes to Trenitalia!
But Italotreno is showing the exact same unavailability.
Trains from Milan to Florence still have tickets for available.
Is a cricket festival a huge deal??? LOL
I realize June 2nd is a holiday, but this seems very odd...I struggle believing a 05:37 departure from Venice, even just looking at going to Padova, is sold out more than 3 months out. I would certainly keep checking to see if availability opens back up.
If direct trains from Venice to Florence really are sold out or not running, there are tickets available Venice to Verona and Verona to Florence (change in Bologna). Trip takes about twice as long as the direct Freccia trains, but you could get to Florence on June 1 if needed.
Of course all trains to Florence are not sold out, otherwise it would be the same for trains coming from Milan. Venice is not known for its crowds of cricket fans.
If it was for the June 2 national holyday there would be some trains sold out also on the 31st.
Since Regionale and high speed trains share the same tracks between Venice and Bologna, works on the rails should block all runs, but they have blocked only the bookings for the high speed trains. It must be something that involves both trenitalia and italotreno, but not the local trains. Maybe New reserved platforms in S. Lucia and/or Mestre?
Stop checking trenitalia.com and italotreno.it during the night and months in advance, their webmasters are not used to anxious customers suffering from insomnia.
On the theory that you might get better help from a private company, you can try calling Italo Assistance during their business hours. They might have some answers.
Italo Assistenza for general information
892020* (calls will be charged)
Open Monday to Sunday from 6 am until 11 pm.
*Calls from a landline cost a standard fee of 30.5 cents and then 54.9 cents per minute. Calls from mobile phones are subject to network charges. Fees will be charged once the message regarding call costs has been played. If calling from abroad, please call Italo Assistance on +39 06 8937 1892.
Tickets are not sold out. They did not start selling, yet. It is still too early.
It isn't too early!
Both Italo and Trenitalia sells tickets up to the next timetable change and the next summer timetable change is scheduled on June 9! On trenitalia.com You can buy tickets for direct high speed trains running on June 7. Checking takes 5 minùtes.
They have blocked bookings on those days for whatever reason, you can wait and purchase in a couple of weeks or you can waste time and money to solve e non existing problem. Your choice.
I'd suggest checking the rail websites every couple of days as I suspect tickets will eventually become available. As others have mentioned, this may be a bit too early.
You might try buying tickets at https://www.thetrainline.com/?redirected=true as they sell tickets for both rail networks, with no markup. If you have issues with the purchase or with finding tickets, I've found their customer service to be excellent. They usually respond to E-mails very quickly.
The Festa Del Grillo (cricket festival) at the Cascine Park happens on Ascension day, which in 2019 falls on May 30. I doubt Venetians are so interested in that festival to book all trains (besides two days too late).
Also it is IMPOSSIBLE that all trains to any destinations have all the 450 seats each (even in business or executive class) booked. It’s rare enough to have one or two trains on that segment booked on any given day, but not all, and certainly not this early.
There is obviously a bug in the website, and that bug is not a cricket.
Just relax and wait a few days. I’m sure some computer technician will catch that cricket in the software.
Thanks to all for your replies. Roberto, thanks for making me chuckle with your response. I'll keep an eye on it in the coming days/weeks. We've got flexibility and time, but I was just startled to see those sold out icons on my date.
Did anyone determine for sure what is happening with the June 1 trains? I still see every Freccia train as being "unavailable". Is this for real?
scythian, the theory that it's too early doesn't fly. I'm looking at Italo and there are trains available from Venezia S.L before 6/1 and after 6/2 up to 6/8 (schedules change after the 8th so tickets after that date are not available yet). It still doesn't list any trains for 6/1 and 6/2. So if it was too early, NO June trains should be available at all.
As previously mentioned, there are some regionales listed on Trenitalia for 6/1 or 6/2 but still no "fast" trains. Schedules show normally on 6/3.
There's something else going on. Maybe a system bug, maybe infrastructure work; maybe there's some sort of ongoing scheduling negotiations happening between the two companies for that weekend. As suggested, just keep on eye on the websites for now.
Another possibility - is there a bottleneck in the system that you can bypass?
I'll use an example - I was unable to get a ticket on the Freccia from Rome to Lecce - all sold out for the days I needed.
I was able to get a slower train to Benevento, and pick up the Freccia there - the sold out part was all between Rome and Caserta.
So can you get a slower train to e.g Verona, and pick up a fast train from there?
scythian, I did read the link, and have referenced/recommended that site (it's a really good one!) many times in the past. Just sayin' that, with trains listed on both sides of that weekend, it's sort of an odd situation for both Trenitalia and Italo I haven't really run across before. But like others of you, I've recommended just sitting tight for now. :O)
Okay, so I just called Italiarail and they were not aware of this issue. So the lady I spoke to went through it with me to confirm that she was seeing the same thing. She agreed that it is inconceivable that all of those trains are fully booked.
Her advice was to just sit tight and check back over the next few days. She said that there is no point in contacting Trenitalia because they won't respond. She said that she has seen instances where the schedules are posted in odd blocks of days and she thinks that might be the case here.
thank you for the update aaron!
Just as an FYI to anyone following this thread, I am seeing some direct trains available for purchase now. Looks like frecciargento/frecciarosa trains... nothing on Italo as yet.
And just like that... they're gone again.
Stacey, I never even saw it. I've been checking about every other day and have yet to see the direct trains appear for June 1. Maybe since you saw them momentarily that is evidence that they do exist.
I'll keep checking!
Please lay off making fun of the OP, OK?
Understand that train travel is not common AT ALL in my country so it's an entirely new and very real source of anxiety no matter HOW many times you tell an American traveler new to it to relax. I've had that anxiety myself and will have it again when next planning to explore a country by train that we haven't yet. Making our nervous posters feel small because you understand the system and they don't is not helpful.
How people travel in Japan or preference for private guides in Europe has nothing at all to do with this thread. Let it go.
Thanks, Kathy. I don't take the comments personally. I just ignore the ones that aren't helpful. I'm trying to solidify our timing so we can plan our day around our travel times, and had been hoping to book an afternoon/evening tour in Florence. Of course I would prefer it if I had the train locked down, but I'm just in wait and see mode at the moment.
Stacey and Aaron, I understand that it's a little concerning but your trains WILL be able to be booked in plenty of time. In the meantime, it's OK to keep tabs on the websites now and again as, if nothing else, it helps one become comfortable with how they work!
All will be well. :O)
Booking Italian trains requires a whole lot of patience. Around our house we're so used to the quirks that we just chalk it up to "Relax, it's Italy". We purchased some tickets last year the day they were released for sale. In the next couple of days our entire train dropped off the schedule. I did panic a little, but just gave it a couple of weeks, and once again it appeared on the trenitalia schedule and was available to purchase.
Just relax - it's Italy.
Are summer train fares usually high?
What do you mean buying train tickets requires a lot of patience? You go to the website, 1 month, 1 week, 1 day or 1 hour before the trip, look at the schedule, pick your train, pay, show up at the station. That's it! I don't understand how people get so stressed months in advance waiting for train schedules to be loaded, hoping their train won't be full... Do you know how uncommon it is, that a train is full?
A typical American tourist may take several rather long trips over the course of a 2- or 3-week vacation. There's quite a difference between paying 40 euros for each trip and paying 80 (or 120). In some countries (I give you England) the fare difference can be more like 5x. If we ignore such differences we won't be able to afford to travel as much.
Just wanted to add that I'm also looking for tickets on 1st June. Ticket were available on Sunday 10th March 2019 on italiarail.com, I was pushed for time and I didn't book. We're travelling to Florence for the Italian Moto GP running 31st May to 2nd June 2019. Guess I'll keep looking........
Juton, tickets for trains running on June 1 have been available since the 9th of December 2018 on official sites (that you are not using). What are you exactly waiting for?
Also note that June 2 is a National holyday.
Okay, so I am checking back on the June 1st trains and the direct Freccia trains are now available. A few weeks ago, they showed changing trains in Bologna, I believe.
The only weird thing is that the trip is now 3 hr 5 min, whereas the exact same trains are 2 hr 5 min on every other week.
I just suspect that this is a mistake (hopefully on the arrival time and not the departure time).
Anyone have any wisdom to add to this?
When I booked my train (I booked on Italo) I remember noticing the duration and saw that while the trip didn't require a change of trains, it is making a few stops in between Venice and Florence. For me, I'm fine with it. I was just relieved to have purchased my tickets and was then able to firm up some evening plans in Florence.
The extra hour is for the stretch between Padova and Bologna. My guess would be that some sort of repair work is going on that requires the trains to travel slower and/or use older tracks between those 2 cities that day.
Anyone have any wisdom to add to this?
Eric is right, the only possible reason is works on a small section of the high speed line. When the OP first checked they probably did not know the time needed and they blocked all bookings. A one hour mistake on the arrival time would be immediately noticed by other companies running trains in Italy and by re-sellers. Both would ask why nobody warned them.
I appreciate the responses, everyone. Thanks for the insight!