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Summer train tickets

Hi all,

I have been reading this forum for a couple of years, and researched our trip to death (groups, forums, books, videos, etc.). Every week I learn something new. This time around I have to questions regarding train travel

1) We will be arriving in Italy in Tirano, via the Bernina Express. From there we will be taking the train to Milan. Is it worth it to purchase the tickets from Tirano to Milan in advance? If we do, are the tickets for a specific train? I had read on Man on seat 61 that the trains Tirano - Milan are every two hours, but I can see if I check for June, there are hourly trains. This may change our decision to have lunch in Tirano vs running to catch the train in 15 minutes. Wondering if it is better to have flexibility.

2) When will the tickets for the summer be available (past the first week of June)? Right now I can only see the so marked EC trains, only twice a day, but not the Frecciarosa or Frecciargento trains, which is what I think I need. This would be for transit Milan - Venice, Venice - Florence, and Florence - Rome.

Posted by
7063 posts

You cannot book the train from Tirano to Milan, it is a regional train. Can't help about the booking window for the summer trains, but I think it is either 3 or 4 months - the Man in Seat 61 website will know.

Posted by
27406 posts

It appears that all the trains from Tirano to Milan are regionals operated by Trenord. The fare is 11.50 euros and will not change as your travel date approaches. There are no seat assignments on regional trains, so the trains cannot sell out. The only reason to buy this ticket in advance would be to save time upon arrival at the Tirano station. I assume there's at least one ticket machine there; that's how I buy my domestic Italian rail tickets. You do not want to have to depend on a staffed counter at an Italian train station; the lines can crawl.

Trenitalia.com says tickets can be purchased up until 5 minutes before departure. I've never used the Trenitalia app to buy rail tickets, but I suppose you could do that if there's a problem getting tickets quickly at the Tirano station. I've never tried to buy a regional ticket days ahead of time; I don't even know whether that is possible.

Posted by
3812 posts

are the tickets for a specific train?

Regionale trains tickets locally purchased are day-specific, not train-specific; they can be used on any Regionale running that route on that day. To prevent re-use, these locally purchased tickets must be time-stamped before getting on. Forget it and you'll be fined and asked to pay upfront.

Regionale trains tickets purchased online can be used on the picked train and the following Regionales running that route on that day.

You can easily figure out that regionale trains can't sell out and can't be "booked". You can only get a ticket in advance online.

I doubt you'll have lunch in Tirano in the only European restaurant that doesn't have free wi-fi for its customers. Ask for the password together with the bill and get your ticket online after you have paid.

When will the tickets for the summer be available (past the first week of June)?

Before June 11, when the summer timetable change takes place. Most trains will be uploaded on trenitalia.com before May 15. No idea about italotreno, but I'd wait for Italo to start selling their tickets before buying on trenitalia.com

You can use a day before June 11 for planning, just pick the same day of the week you expect to travel by train.

Before Covid, the booking window wasn't 3 or 4 months. It was "up to the next timetable change". On June 12 you could get tickets up to December 11, on December 12 up to June 11 and so on. Sooner or later the pandemic will end and Trenitalia should go back to the old habits.