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Do we need to make a reservation for the high speed train from Rome to Flor

Was wondering if it's better to buy the train tickets for the high speed train from Rome to Florence before we leave the US or can we just get them the day of? Travel would be on a Wednesday, Oct 7th around 13:00. Any information folks can share would be great!

Posted by
1003 posts

You will need to buy your tickets once you get to Rome as Trenitalia's website will not take U.S. c.c. and you do not want to purchase tickets through RailEurope.com (used by travel agents and people who want tickets in hand before leaving home) as you will pay waaaay too much. You will want to take a EuroStar train and the ticket will come with seat reservations. Was in Italy in July and prior to leaving home I went to Trenitalia's website and printed out all the journey/times we wanted and it was very easy to purchase tkts. Check out www.roninrome.com for lots of excellent info. on buying train tkts and riding trains in Italy.

Posted by
32244 posts

Christy,

Could you clarify - are you going directly from the airport and then to Florence?

I'd suggest buying the tickets when you arrive in Rome. You can buy either from the staffed ticket window or from the automated ticket machines at Roma Termini. As the previous post mentioned, check www.roninrome.com for lots of great information.

After you've bought your tickets, DON'T forget to validate in the yellow machines before boarding the train!

You shouldn't have any problems getting tickets to Florence, as there are numerous high speed trains on that route every day.

Happy travels!

Posted by
425 posts

You will see that high-speed trains between Rome and Florence depart, on average, every 30 minutes.

The nonstop airporter train between Fiumicino Airport and Roma Termini Station also runs every 30 minutes.

Always allow 20 minutes to connect at Roma Termini from or to the airporter train.

Posted by
1018 posts

Buy the tickets after you arrive. You can purchase them from a ticket window or a machine. I prefer the machines because it is faster and you can select your language. If you take the Eurostar you must have a seat reservation which would be included in the price.

Take the Leonardo Express from Fiumacino Airport to Stazione termini. It cost 11 euro and takes about 40 minutes. After you pass customs and exit follow the "FS" signs to Terminal C on the 3rd floor. You can buy tickets from machines, a ticket office, or a newsstand. After buying a ticket the track to the right is for Leonardo And MAKE SURE YOU VALIDATE YOUR TICKET. You will find yellow boxes at the head of each track. Make sure you validate every rail ticket before boarding or you will be fined.

Train travel is easy and efficient.

Buon viaggio,

RB

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks all for the great information!! We actually are leaving Rome after 5 days of being there, so we will not be coming from the airport. We will be going to the Pope Audience in Vatican City and then we were planning on getting to the train station that has the high speed train. Grazie!

Posted by
12 posts

We were surprised how difficult it was to get around on a train in Italy. We waited until we got there to make reservations and were unable to get the train we wanted. We ended up in the a horrendous line in the Rome station waiting to talk to someone. English was not a given. We were stuck in the Rome station for 3 hours. This was mid July so a very busy time.

Posted by
425 posts

It is important to put Roger's posting above in context:

  1. The period in Italy between June 15 and September 15 is "high" travel season, coincident with the summer school break. July and August are "super high" travel season.

  2. Even outside of the summer peak season, Friday and Sunday afternoons, and Monday mornings are often very busy travel days.

  3. Throughout the year, three and four-day weekends are often busy travel times.

  4. Noting the foregoing, I always recommend travellers to print out the train schedules of interest to them (together with relative fares) in case a "problem" arises at the train station that they are not able to take their first choice of train.

  5. One should also note the frequency of trains, which varies considerably according to city pairs. For example, between Naples/Rome/Florence/Bologna, there are high-speed trains (AV, ES-Fast, ES) about every 30 minutes. Between Rome and Venice there are ES trains every one to two hours. Between Milan and Venice there are ES-City trains nearly every hour.

  6. At the major train stations, one can use the multilingual automatic ticket kiosks as an alternative to standing in a long manner teller line. These machines accept a combination (or alternative) of credit/debit cards and Euros.

  7. The major stations also have a fast teller line called "sportello veloce", which can be used by travellers who want to buy tickets for fast trains departing within 15 minutes. This avoids needing to wait in the much longer "regular" teller line.

  8. For those travellers who already have tickets for AV trains, and who need to make a last-minute change to a different train, there are mobile stations at the head of the track for these trains (only at Roma Termini, Napoli Centrale, Firenze S.M. Novella, Bologna Centrale and Milano Centrale) where a uniformed ticket agent can accommodate the request, thereby making it much easier to make a last-moment switch to a different train.

Posted by
425 posts

(continued from previous posting):

  1. At these mobile stations (where uniformed ticket agents have laptop computers), you can make seat reservation changes to earlier OR later departing AV trains for the same city pair for which you hold a reservation on a similar AV train. For example, if you MISS your reserved AV train, you can switch to a leter departing AV train for the same city pair (within the three-hour grace period) without needing to stand in the long teller line in the main part of the station. The agent at the mobile station at the head of the track where the substitute train is about to depart can assist you. You will NOT be able to change your TICKET, only your seat reservation to the subsitute train, and you won't be able to change your reservation if you are holding a special discount fare such as the "Familia" or the discounted fares for AV and ES trains. But if you're holding a ticket (paper or electronic) for an AV train at the "BASE" or "FLEXI" fare, you may be accommodated at the mobile stations. No "cash" or credit/debit card transactions can be processed at the mobile stations, only seat reservation changes which don't result in the payment of a higher fare. For all other operations, you must go to a manned teller window.

  2. During peak travel periods (noted above), it's a good idea to TRY to reserve a seat on any of the long-distance trains at least one or two days in advance. Otherwise, one does run a risk of not being able to take one's train of first choice, or alternatively or having to buy a first class ticket at a 40% premium over second class. Remember that you CANNOT make a seat reservation on any of the "regionale" ("R") commuter trains, so there is not point in buying tickets for these trains in advance.

  3. The main stations have good choices for buying food and beverages, fast food eateries, and some even have mini markets. They also have a large air conditioned waiting room where you can rest before train departure.