Train Pass or not

Exactly what is the benefit of having a rail pass? Can you take Any train at Any time? Reserved seats? We have the following itinerary and am wondering if I should buy individual tickets or a pass for each of us? Venice to Florence Florence to Amalfi Coast Amalfi Coast to Ovindoli
Ovindoli to Rome Thank you!

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10883 posts

For Italy p2p is almost always cheap especially if you purchase in advance and taken advantage of the discounts, sometimes very deep, available. All train in Italy except the Regional trains require a reservation which is specific to a train, date, car, and seat. There are no discounts for Regional trains and no advantage to early purchase.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5763 posts

Good for you for asking before you bought it. Railpasses almost never make sense in Italy.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8756 posts

To take the questions one at a time :- Exactly what is the benefit of having a rail pass? In the rest of Europe - less and less, in Italy virtually nothing. What a pass offered you in the past, for plenty of expense, was the freedom to take most trains just by popping on. Now you can only do that with Regional trains in many countries. Those trains are often called TER in France, Regionale in Italy. Any higher grade of train requires mandatory reservations and an associated cost. For pass holders in Italy expect €10 per segment per person on top of your daily pass charge. You can get Italian bullet train tickets - tickets including reservations - in advance for as low as €9, €19 or €21 per segment. No way a pass is that cheap. Now a pass allows to pay extra for getting on any train at a moments notice if seats are available for passholders on that train. France has, in particular, a very bad reputation of very strictly limiting pass holder tickets. If you look at the Eurail pass information pages you will see that your option in France is often a full price ticket even though you have a pass. Can you take Any train at Any time? Just like I said for the previous question. Places that you can just jump on any train are Germany (mostly), the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg - except not on Thalys or Fyra high speed trains. In fact I have heard that Thalys pass holder tickets are much more expensive than regular Thalys tickets. Reserved seats?
Sorry, don't understand the question. What about them? ...more

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8756 posts

... more We have the following itinerary and am wondering if I should buy individual tickets or a pass for each of us? In all cases it is your choice. Do you want to pay much more so that you can take Regionale trains without the hassle of buying the dirt cheap tickets? Do you want to be able to go to a station and be able to get on a fast train by paying the pass holder reservation fee if there are any passholder seats left, in addition to the very high per day pass cost? Money equals (sort of) convenience. Cheap tickets = planning in advance. Venice to Florence Plan ahead and get reservations cheap on the bullet trains. .ItaloTreno does not take passes at all, Trenitalia does but under the conditions above. €21 on the newest .Italo trains, and up; €19 or so and up on Trenitalia. Florence to Amalfi Coast High speed train through Rome to Napoli by either .Italo or Trenitalia then downstairs to the €5 Circumvesuviana (doesn't take any passes, nonreservable, buy when you get there private regional) to Sorrento, bus or taxi or boat from there; OR .Italo from Florence around Rome through Napoli to Salerno and bus, taxi or boat from there. Same rules as above. Amalfi Coast to Ovindoli From wherever you are on the Amalfi coast backtrack to Rome, take a Regionale train from Roma Tiburtina for 2 hours and 6 stops. Ovindoli to Rome
Take a Regionale train 6 stops and 2 hours to Roma Tiburtina station. Pass or point-to-point? Please let us know what you decided.