Train questions

I hear mixed reviews-buy train tickets ahead of time online or it's just as easy to buy when there. In looking online I see some scheduled times that are already sold out on their schedule. I need to book trains for; Venice to Florence Florence to Rome
Rome to Ovindoli Also, I see a few different sites. Eurorail, trenitalia, italiarail, etc How do I know which one to book? Also, please tell me if this is true-I hear they don't give you a whole lot of time to get off of the train at your destination. Having luggage etc to carry, I'm a bit concerned. Also, where does your luggage go on the train? Thank you :)

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Patricia, when are you traveling? If after June 8 or thereabouts, it is likely the tickets are not available yet. The schedule changes then and Italy is usually late in loading the new one into their website. The reason for buying in advance is to save money by getting theSuper Economy fares, as low as 9 or 19 euros for the fast ES trains. Buy on Trenitalia, the actual company, or possibly from Italiarailmwhichnis an agency that also offers the discount fares. Not on " Eurorail.". How much time you have to get off the train depends on the station. If it is an end station, meaning the train pulls into a deadened spur at the station, you have lots of time. If it is a through station, meaning the train pulls in,,stops, and then continues on in the same direction, it may stop only long enough for passengers to get off and new ones to get on. At this type of station, we like to be ready with our luggage near the door. You want to get off before the new passengers start boarding. Florence S.M.N. Is an end station and your train from Venice should end there. Mi haven't been to Rome, but I would guess the large station ( Roma Termini) is also an end station. Don't know about Ovindoli.

Posted by Stephen
Fort Mill, SC, USA
159 posts

I can speak for the Venice to Florence and Florence to Rome trains. I purchased the super economy tickets on Trenitalia.com for both trips. I bought the tickets on-line about 2 months in advance and paid 9 euros each. We had reserved seating. There is plenty of time to get off the trains in Florence and Rome as these are the end of the line. The downside to booking in advance is that you cannot change the tickets. You would need to buy new tickets if your plans change. You can also try italotreno.it as an alternative. They are a relatively new train company and in direct competition with Treniatlia. I routinely see 19 euro prices for these two routes on their website. They have newer trains, but both companies trains are very nice. Make sure you look at the stations that each one goes to in Florence and Rome. Trenitalis uses Santa Maria Novella in Florence and Termini in Rome. Both are the main train stations. SMN is within walking distance of the main tourist areas/sites in Florence.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2522 posts

There are overhead racks on the main routes that will accommodate full-size suitcases. There is also space behind/between the rows of seats where they face each other. As for getting off the train, I start heading for the door when I see others doing so.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

Here's a wonderful video clip from Rick Steves, showing in just a few minutes most of what you need to know about how to ride trains in Europe: http://tinyurl.com/ac82c92. What you do to avoid missing your stop: know when it is, and about 5 minutes before, start gathering your belongings and making your way to the exit (you'll see others doing the same). If you wait until the train stops before you start to gather your belongings, you will likely miss your stop (or be running frantically and colliding with those getting on). It's easy to buy your tickets in Italy; the reason to buy in advance online is to save money. But, these advance discount tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable (or are severely limited in these parameters). If you don't mind paying full price, or want full flexibility, there's no need to buy ahead. Here's Ron in Rome's detailed directions for using the Trenitalia website: http://tinyurl.com/c4t693b