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Italy by Train: Best Option?

We'll be traveling from Rome to Tuscany, Cince Terre, Florence, Venice and back to Rom in 10 days in September; what is my BEST train option and would you recommend purchasing a pass, or just purchasing point-to-point as we go along? Thanks in advance for any input ..

Posted by
1775 posts

Buy tickets at needed. Point to point in Italy is very inexpensive. use the self service machines when available to save time at the ticket window.

Posted by
1775 posts

Buy tickets as needed. Point to point in Italy is very inexpensive. use the self service machines when available to save time at the ticket window.

Posted by
473 posts

Rather than RailEurope, I suggest using the web stie of the Italian rail system, www.trenitalia.it/en/index.html. RailEurope tends to have higher prices and does not list all routes.

BTW, you didn't ask, but your itinerary seems pretty aggressive. About all that you'll remeber of Italy will be the train stations. (Travelling from Venice to Siena, in Tuscany took us the better part of a day.) You can easily spend 4-5 days in Rome alone. Since you are starting and ending your trip in Rome, I would suggest leaving out the northen-most cities, i.e., Cinque Terre and Venice.

Posted by
32 posts

We were in Italy for only 12 days and did 4 days in Rome, one is Assisi, 2 in Florence, 1 in Genoa, 2 at Lake Como, and 2 in Venice. Your itinerary can be done in 10 days. Be sure you know what you want to do and have a good map and plan ahead so you don't waste time wandering around lost. Use buses in Rome to get from point to point. Buy tickets at each train station using the machines--very easy to use. IF you buy tickets at a ticket office, make sure you get the right number of passengers. We made that mistake because the guy didn't understand "six", so we got a ticket for 1. Have a good time!!!

Posted by
1449 posts

Buy as needed. I did much of that route last summer by train and just bought as we went. The automated machines have an english option and take credit cards, its a piece of cake. Just be sure to validate your ticket before you get on the train.

My other recommendation is to buy the tix a day in advance so that you know what time the train leaves. You can cumulatively waste a day or so of your trip if you are buying same-day tix and go down to the station in the morning and find you have 3 hours to wait before the train you want.

Posted by
683 posts

Buying before your trip is a huge waste of money. It is only advisable when it is definite that you will be going to a particular place at a given time and the odds of it being sold out are high.
In something like 50 days travel in Italy (about 35 in 2004 and 15 in 2006), we have bought point-to-point tix from machines or at station windows and seldom encountered any problem. It is a good idea to buy tix the day before travel to avoid being closed out on some lines (like trains to Venice,Rome and Florence)