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Italian Trains

Hi, My family of four will be traveling all over Italy in July 2023 and I've tried to book trains, however, nothing seems to be popping up. I've looked at schedules that are closer to now and I see the times that we will want. Have they just not started selling this far in advance? When do tickets become available for summer months? Thanks!

Posted by
1469 posts

*** You can buy your Italian train tickets NOW for July at www.TheTrainline.com. You’ll even be able to buy the deeply-discounted tickets on fast-trains before they go on sale on the Trenitalia and Italo websites which means you are going to beat the rush of travelers who wait thinking they cannot buy them yet. Normally European train schedules are revised on the second Saturdays of June & December every year. This year the dates are June 10 and December 9. Because the train operators don’t want to sell tickets before they know what the schedules are going to be, they defer selling the tickets until the train schedules are officially issued.

You can look at a train website such as www.TheTrainline.com to see what the schedules are and buy the tickets today. The Trainline is a reputable British company which sells tickets for European trains.
Probably because it is not a train company, The Trainline was able to do this last year also, sometimes selling train tickets 9 months in advance.

Posted by
6508 posts

June 11

You can use a same day of week now to see what your options are-schedules don’t change much

Be sure you are booking on the official site ( trainline is a reseller)

Trenitalia- fast trains and regional

https://www.trenitalia.com/content/tcom/en.html

ItaloTreno- fast trains only

https://www.italotreno.it/en

Both have easy to use apps

All you need to know about trains in Italy
https://www.seat61.com/train-travel-in-italy.htm

Posted by
1469 posts

Excited traveler, Please read my edited post above as I just learned you can buy train tickets today for dates in July at www.TheTrainline.com

Posted by
6508 posts

Trainline is selling you a ticket that doesn’t exist yet in the hopes that they’ve predicted the schedule correctly

Why not just wait til Trenitalia updates? You’ll still have access to deeply discounted tickets in June and won’t be paying a reseller an additional fee.

Posted by
1469 posts

I actually would not wait because others will either buy out the bargain tix or drive up the price of the few remaining tix by the time they are released in 50
days on the Italian websites. The Trainline makes most of its revenue through advertising on its website. While there sometimes is a fee of €1 to €5 included in the ticket prices they publish- posters here have reported there was no difference between the price charged by The Trainline and prices of the train companies they would have had to buy their tickets from.

If I can get a skip-the-line reservation on a train ticket today for €19 that includes a fee, or wait 50 days when the same ticket costs €60, I know what I would do.

Posted by
23434 posts

Be a little careful of Kenko's advice. Since these is little change between one schedule period and another, it is a small gamble on Trainline's part that they can sell a ticket before the schedule is available. They will not give you a ticket confirmation till after the schedule has been released. I would stick with the actual train sites. Discounted tickets can sell quickly but will not sell out in the first day. There is NO driving up the price of the discount tickets. There are two levels of discount tickets -- super economy and economy. The prices are set on day one and never change till sold out. And remember with the discount tickets you are locked in to that ticket -- no change, no refund. Regionale tickets are NOT discounted. And sometimes that is a better choice.

Posted by
1469 posts

Frank, Since, as you have conceded, the June 10 revised train schedule is barely revised at all— there is little risk in the schedule changing for the train you book. And if it does, you will either be informed the train departs 1 minute later than originally posted or you can get a refund. And then get in line at Trenitalia’s website so you can pay €60 instead of €19.
What you’re saying is a bit misleading because, while the least expensive fast-train tix do not rise in price— they do sell out. And sometimes they sell out very quickly. If I remember correctly you wrote some time ago on this website that Spanish trains also do not sell out and others corrected you on that.
Last year Italy was the most-visited country in Europe by international tourists. This year, it will not be just North Americans who are returning to Europe in droves this summer. For the first time in 3 years. It will also be travelers from China and Japan who are able to return to Europe. And that means lots of competition for train tickets.

Posted by
6508 posts

Discounted tickets can sell quickly but will not sell out in the first
day. There is NO driving up the price of the discount tickets. There
are two levels of discount tickets -- super economy and economy. The
prices are set on day one and never change till sold out.

THIS^^

As I understand it- tickets purchased from a reseller are not guaranteed if anything goes wrong- a missed connection not your fault or whatever. You'll be stuck with a useless ticket. Not a risk I'd be willing to take.

From Roberto's post here-
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/frecciarossa

Read the above thread for more info on refundable options now available.

In a nutshell: Frecciarossa has 6 classes of seats. In increasing
order of comfort (and price): STANDARD PREMIUM BUSINESS BUSINESS
SILENZIO (must stay quiet like in a library) BUSINESS SALOTTINO
(small conference rooms) EXECUTIVE

All seats above are reserved, but they are sold at the following
fares: BASE=full price/No discount. Always available. ECONOMY=about
25% discount over base price. Only a limited number of seats are sold
at this fare in any class. So the longer you wait, the higher the
chance the offer is gone. SUPER ECONOMY=Work similarly to the Economy
fare but with about 40% discount over base price. So these tend to
sell out really fast

Purchase form the actual train company and you'll have nothing to worry about. They will not sell out in the first few days or even weeks. Get online June 12 and book your tickets if you know then what tickets/dates/routes you will need.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you everyone! I was able to get one leg of our journey (the one I'm most concerned about timewise) at a great price. I'll check in on the other ones starting June 10. I appreciate all your help and advice.

Posted by
473 posts

I’m not sure what peoples beef with the app Trainline is. I’ve used it in France and Italy a couple of different trips and it works flawless. Yes you pay about a 3% commission but you don’t have to have multiple apps for different train operators. I have all my train tickets for our trip from June 17 to July 7 in Italy all bought and paid for. And if you’re going cross a border, you don’t have to get two different tickets. You can buy them through the app. You can also buy tickets at the spur of the moment. I highly recommend them.

Posted by
3812 posts

I’m not sure what peoples beef with the app Trainline is.

I have nothing against Trainline, unless they blatantly lie to their customers.

They are not only asking some people to pay for a "ticket that doesn’t exist yet in the hopes that they’ve predicted the schedule correctly" as accurately written above. They are also betting that Trenitalia's fare system will be the same when they have no way to know how many discounted tickets will be released for many high speed trains running after June 11.

Add that they sell non-protected connections between Italo and Trenitalia without warning their customers. This is not a fair way to make business, this borders a scam to make money with people who has never travelled by train before.

I have all my train tickets for our trip from June 17 to July 7 in Italy all bought and paid for.

Unless you have paid (more) for tickets that Trenitalia has already released, you have paid for nothing but a promise.

you don’t have to get two different tickets. You can buy them through the app.

You can do that also on Trenitalia's site. If you can't, the reason is that you are transferring after the border into a non Trenitalia train. I really hope for you that you actually paid for 2 different tickets in a single purchase, otherwise Good luck with Swiss or Austrian conductors.


Some of what was shared above could be misleading for less skilled travelers.

As an example, Trenitalia can't sell the tickets of subsidized trains before they have been financed by either the State, or the involved Regions, or the involved bordering Regions or by a mix of all.

It's not that they "don’t want to sell tickets" while trainline puts them on sale first to make money asap: some of the trains Trainline sells these "non-tickets" for, could never run. Or could run using different rolling stock linked to a different fare system. Trenitalia knows it and does not run the risk. Even if it never happens, it could happen.

You did not buy a 19 Euro ticket before all the others, you gave money to a bot to check the schedules for you. And I really wonder what a "skip the line reservation" is since there are only reserved seats on high speed trains.

Posted by
1469 posts

I think the claim about it being a “scam” is kinda overstated.

Trenitalia, the national train company of Italy, contracts with Italiarail, a private company that is like The Trainline in that it resells Italian train tickets. Today, Italiarail has tickets for sale for trains on June 12 and beyond—which is after the train schedules are issued—just as The Trainline does.
Is Italiarail—the company the government of Italy contracts with— also “blatantly lying to their customers” and running a scam?

BTW there are train tix on Italiarail’s website today for June 12 offered for sale at prices higher than the prices listed on The Trainline.
It's highly unlikely that the Italian government has contracted with a private company running a borderline scam while also charging exorbitant prices.

Posted by
473 posts

Whatever the negativity is I’m not sure why is it warranted. Have a great day folks.

Posted by
5046 posts

Kenko, I would think twice about questioning Dario's expertise in these matters. He knows what he's talking about, and his statements regarding Trainline are accurate. Use them if you wish, but realize they are a 3rd party booking site, subject to all of the cautions and limitations inherent with all 3rd party sites. Similarly Italiarail is merely a US owned reseller. I'm not sure why you are being so argumentative, unless you have stock I these resellers.

Posted by
1469 posts

Mark Smith is the author of “The Man in Seat 61,”
the authoritative source for European train information. Smith, a retired Britrail employee, has endorsed Trainline to buy train tickets from.
Yet, some ( such as Dario) return online to write that you must be getting overcharged or ripped off somehow when you buy through Trainline. And that is nonsense.
If you re-read my prior post, all the same nefarious things that Dario ascribes to the Trainline must be true of Italiarail because Italiarail also is offering Trenitalia (remember Trenitalia contracts with Italiarail) tickets for sale beyond the date the new train schedule is issued. Logically, if Italiarail is offering tickets for sale for Trenitalia before tickets are actually available to sell, then Italiarail must be guilty of the same nefarious practices that are pinned on Trainline. That, along with reports online, is why I think it’s pretty much a safe bet to buy train tickets on The Trainline. BTW, Italiarail is offering some tickets on June 12 for some of the same trains as The Trainline— but at higher prices.

I have no stock or interest in either company or any travel company. I post information to help the original poster and answer their question. As Richard posted above, “I’m not sure where all the negativity is coming from.”

I’m happy that the OP on this thread got her ticket, and I hope it may help others save money in the future because, after all, helping people travel better is the purpose of this site.
Cheers!

Postscript Edit: According to Mark Smith, the editor of “The Man in Seat 61” website, the reason that you can reliably buy tickets months in advance on the Trainline and Italiarail websites is that Trenitalia, the national train company of Italy which is run by the government. has granted access to its computerized ticketing system to both of those companies. The two companies are not “selling tickets that don’t exist” or “predicting”what the train schedules or ticket prices are going to be after June 10 and December 9– they know what they are when they put
tickets up for sale on their websites with the permission and participation of Trenitalia. And since the ticketing systems are interlinked, Trenitalia gets updated ticket sale information from The Trainline and Italiarail.

Posted by
963 posts

Hey folks, we're stepping close to a "my facts are better than your facts" argument. As always, we expect members of this forum to present their information and let the OP decide what's best for themselves. Provide your information, and let it be. I've made some edits to ease this thread up. Keep arguments off our boards at all times.