Confused again about trains in Italy

We are staying in Panzano. I know we can drive to Figline Valdarno and get a quick train into Florence. I can find that on the schedules with ease. But getting to Rome seems to be a different story. If I am reading the schedules correctly, Leaving Figline Valdarno for Rome involves a trip to Florence, then a transfer to a high speed train direct to Rome. If we go to Poggibonsi and look for a train to Rome from there, it ends up in Florence with a transfer to a high speed direct train. Both runs are in the 3 hour range, which is not making sense to me because both go north before south. What am I missing here? to get to Rome quickly, would it make sense to go to Sienna and then catch a train? Any help would be appreciated. We are not going until September but I have a reputation for procrastinating and am getting an early start. Thanks.

Posted by Frank
Wilmington, DE
1476 posts

Although it seems counter-intuitive, going via Siena would just make the trip longer. Some of the connections via Florence get you to Rome in about 2:15, while the fastest train connection from Siena is over 3 hours plus your time to get to Siena. There are some regional trains (e.g. 9:35 or 11:35) that take you directly from Figline Valdarno to Roma Termini in about 3:15. Another connects to an InterCity train in Arezzo, also about 3 hours to Rome. Connecting through Florence or taking one of the direct regional trains appear to be your better options.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2253 posts

What site are you using? I'm at bahn.de and it shows 2 hr 15 min by heading south from Figline on a regional train, then change at Arrezzo to an express to Rome, or you could just stay on the regional and get to Rome in 3 hours, which would be the cheapest alternative if you don't want to lock in an advance nonrefundable ticket.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17728 posts

Terry, While it may not seem logical to travel first to Florence and then Rome, that's sometimes the way trains work in Italy. Many of the trips from Siena to Rome travel via Florence. The quickest trips from Figline Valdaro to Rome will be via Florence. Those trips will involve a trip of about 35 minutes to Firenze SMN, a short layover and then 1H:26M to Roma Termini (total time ~2.5 hours). One of the easiest trips would be a direct Regionale Veloce train from Figline Valdaro at 07:04, arriving Roma Termini at 10:30 (total time 3H:26M). There's another direct train at 11:35. Current 2nd class fare is shown at €17.45 PP. There's no advantage to pre-purchasing the tickets. Just buy when you arrive in Italy, either at a Kiosk or ticket office. As that's a Regionale train, BE SURE to validate prior to boarding the train on the day of travel! You can research rail travel details using the Trenitalia website. Happy travels!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3303 posts

From Figline you go North to Florence to get a fast train going south. You are back tracking but that's the quickest way because high speed trains don't stop along the way between Florence and Rome. If you choose to go South from Figline, then you'll be stuck with a slower regionale or IC. It might be less mileage, but since those take the old rail line (non high speed) and stop along the way, the journey time is longer.

Posted by Terry
Rochelle, IL
262 posts

Sam, I did look at the German rail site but did not see the route you mentioned. I thought the high speed trains were non stop....the detail button on the wite did not indicate any stations in between. I'm glad people verified that. I saw some regional trains and their times were upper three to four hours range. I thought I was missing something, but evidentally was not. If we have to go north to go south, well, when in Rome.....

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17728 posts

Terry, You don't HAVE to "go north to go south". Taking the direct train I mentioned in my earlier reply will get you there just the same, but will take slightly longer. The main criteria in this case is how long you want to spend on the trip. If you'd rather get there as quickly as possible, then the Freccia train from Florence is the best option. Cheers!

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6696 posts

Terry, in general, Florence is the major hub in the region. Many runs take you back to Florence before putting you on a high-speed to Rome. Thus, it is north before going south. Secondly, there are 50+ high-speed trains from Florence to Rome each day. Most, but not all, are non-stops. For example, there is a very fast high-speed that departs Bologna at 06:00 and arrives in Napoli Centrale at 9:55. It stops at Florence, Arezzo and Rome along the way. You can take the Regionale train from Figline Valdarno at 06:16 and catch this high-speed at Arezzo for the 7:25 departure. Total travel time is 2hr14min. Of the 43 runs a day from Figline to Rome shown on the Trenitalia website, this is the only run that transfers you to the very high-speed train to Rome. There are other such runs during the day but the second train is a slower intercity train. Or, you can catch the 7:04 departure from Figline Valdarno direct to Rome with no train changes. The train is a Regionale Veloce and not a high-speed. Journey time is 3hr14min. The fare is almost 1/3 that of the fare for the high-speed (17.46Euro). There are similar single-train runs departing Figline every two hours beginning at 9:35. But, most of the runs will take you back to Florence first. You can see everything I see on www.trenitalia.com. If you choose the Regionale Veloce run, you cannot buy in advance online more than 7 days out from the time of travel. You can see it but you can't buy it. Regionale trains cannot be sold out so just buy your tickets when you get to Italy.