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Train Tickets

Hello,

First trip to Italy this July (family of 4). I was wondering how far in advance I needed to buy train tickets. Is there significant cost difference/benefit to booking early? We are traveling from Rome to Venice to Florence to CT to Rome. Thanks for any input/advice!

Posted by
22 posts

I can’t give you advice on that but will give you one tip (at least for local trains):always make sure your trainticket has a stamp on it before entering the train. Otherwise you might get a fine. Last year we bought a trainticket at a ticketmachine and thought we just had to show the trainticket. But luckily a local warned us that we had to put a stamp on it before entering the train. We have seen people getting a fine for not doing so. No excuse that you’re a tourist and didn’t know.

Posted by
16788 posts

As an example, on July 12 at 10:35, 4 adults from Rome Termini to Venice S. Lucia is 147.60 EUR with a Summer Promo Special bought today vs 368 EUR Base fare, which is the walk-up price. Of course, if you intend to travel on your arrival day at FCO, it would be risky to buy advance tickets if your plane is delayed. Also, the age of the family members comes into play.

PS. High speed trains like the one quoted above are good only for the train printed on the ticket, so no need to stamp the ticket. These tickets come with seat reservations automatically.

Posted by
2751 posts
  1. You must time-stamp only Trenitalia's Regionale trains tickets not purchased online. From the moment you time-stamp a Regionale ticket, you can take any Regionale train on that route within the following four hours.
  2. You can see the price differences by yourself: getting tickets on the day of travel you'll pay the Top fare, called Base on trenitalia.com. It's called Flexi on italotreno.it/en.
Posted by
3364 posts

From Rome to Venice you can purchase fast train tix in advance for a nice discount- but they are non refundable so you need to be sure of your dates and time.
Same for Venice to Florence.
These tickets do not need to be validated as they are already date/time specific
The schedules will be updated June 12- so you can look now on a similar day to see what your options are.

Florence to CT is regional trains- no discounts- the price is the same no matter when you buy and they can't sell out. If you pre-purchase this ticket you do not need to validate- if you purchase at station on day of then you do need to validate.

CT to Rome is probably a combination of regional and fast train.

Use the actual train sites to buy your ticket
https://www.trenitalia.com/content/tcom/en.html
https://www.italotreno.it/en (fast trains on same routes only)
Both have very easy to use apps as well.

You will need to use the proper Italian name for stations
Roma Termini
Venezia S Lucia
Firenze SM Novella
CT- whichever town you are heading to

Read all about trains in Italy here:
https://www.seat61.com/Italy.htm

Posted by
2230 posts

As the others have said, you can save money by booking in advance for the fast trains (anything starting with "frecce" on Trenitalia). You just have to research dates and times to see where the bargains are, especially if traveling as a family for which there are likely to be discounted fares.
You won't save anything on the slower trains (the Regionales).
You need to validate tickets on the regionales before boarding or risk a substantial fine. The Frecce's are already time stamped for a specific train so there's no need to validate those.
You can save yourself the hassle of queuing up to purchase paper tickets by downloading the Trenitalia App onto your smart phone and purchasing your tickets there. Your tickets will then be sent to you electronically as an email attachment once the purchase is confirmed. Electronic tickets are all time stamped for particular trains (even the regionales) so you don't have to worry about validating them prior to boarding. You do sacrifice some flexibility however, since with paper tickets you have a 4 hour window in which to catch the next train heading your way whereas with electronic tickets you're committed to a specific train.

Posted by
6 posts

We will be traveling at the end of October/beginning of November. Train travel will be:
Malpensa airport to Milan Centrale
Milan Centrale to Venice
Venice to Bologna
Bologna to Como
Como to Malpensa

Does anyone know when I can buy train tickets for these dates to get the best rate? Is that rate better than a senior discount? We are all 60 plus.

Thanks!

Posted by
5161 posts

To get a senior discount on the Trenitalia you need to get a free CartaFreccia in advance. You can not do this online if you do not have an Italitan residence. There is a process for non-residents to get a discount card .

Cartafreccia link
https://www.trenitalia.com/it/cartafreccia/assistenza_ai_soci.html#6
Don’t be put off that it is in Italian. Scroll down the page a bit to the 5th arrow where it refers to non residents in both Italian and English. If you click on this one, the information on the next page is in first Italian and then in English and gives directions as well as a link to the form you need to complete.
Basically, you complete a form and email it in. You do not need a tax ID or Italian address.

I hope this helps.

You will be able to see the senior discount option listed on the Trenitalia website for any given train if one is available.