train to/from lucca

Hi: I am trying to get a rough idea on price for train travel rome-lucca and lucca-venice. I went to the trenitalia website but I can't get lucca to come up for any date. Do I have to book the legs separately (since I assume I have to change in Florence - or somewhere?)? Also, are these tickets we should book in advance for best price (I think there may be a family option)? Our itinerary will be set. With kids (9 and 11) should we book first class? Or is 2nd class ok? Thanks!!!!!
Kim

Posted by Kim
San Francisco
119 posts

hmmmm.. ok so the booking thing on the front page didn't work, but then on a different page a different box did work. website glitch I guess. Still have my other questions though so not a total waste of a post! ;) Kim

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2522 posts

The Trenitalia site gives two choices (which you may have found already): Le Freccie (red box tab default) or Tutti I Treni (grey box, click on the tab). If your trip involves only regionale trains or a combination of Freccie (fast trains) and regionals, you need to use the grey box. You don't need to book separate legs. Second class is usually just fine, unless it's a few days during peak season and the train is oversold. You can buy up to 120 days in advance online for a better price on the fast trains.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17783 posts

Kim, That trip is very easy, but will involve at least one change usually at Firenze SMN. Using an arbitrary date of 18 July, the Trenitalia website shows numerous trains from Roma Termini to Lucca. Fares will vary depending on which train you choose, and they range from about €26 to €50 PP. That particular route often uses a Freccia (high speed) train to Florence and then Regionale to Lucca. You can pre-purchase the Freccia tickets online and possibly save some money, but you won't be able to easily pre-purchase the Regionale tickets. You can buy the Regionale tickets when you arrive in Italy, either from a staffed ticket office or from one of the Kiosks. A few important points to mention. The Freccia trains have compulsory reservations which are specific to each train and departure time. That means you can't buy tickets for those and just board any train. Doing so may result in expensive fines, which will be collected on the spot. You'll be assigned a car number and seat number on that train. Tickets for Regionale trains can be used on any train within a particular date range on the route covered by the tickets, but the tickets MUST be validated prior to boarding the train on the day of travel, or again you may face hefty fines of €40-50 PP. IMO, second class seating is perfectly adequate. Second class on the Freccia trains is very comfortable. You'll only be on the Regionale for a short time, so I wouldn't pay for first class. Happy travels!

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6727 posts

Kim, from Roma-Termini to Lucca, Trenitalia will most likely route you to Florence on a fast train where you will change to a Regionale train for the 90-minute ride to Lucca. Regular fare is 50.10Euro. However, if you book 90-119 days in advance, you can see fares of 26.10Euro. The overall journey takes about 3.5hrs. For the nicely discounted fares, you will be locked in to a specific high-speed train departing on a specific date so you need to plan carefully. These Super Economy tickets are also non-refundable and non-exchangeable. For Lucca to Venice, you will return to Florence (Firenze-Santa Maria Novella) where you will change to a high-speed train to Venezia Santa Lucia. I'm giving you the Italian train station names as you must use these names to use Trenitalia (even in English). This trip will take about 4.0hrs overall. Regular fare is 52.10Euro but again, you can get the Super Economy fares for as low as 26.10Euro 90-119 days out. These discounted fares are limited for each train ride and will disappear after awhile. Best to buy early if you can.

Posted by Kim
San Francisco
119 posts

Thank you everyone, that is very helpful! The super economy is much cheaper than the family rate - but it seems to be the same seats. Is the family rate just more because it is refundable? Thanks!
Kim

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

It is the same seats. The family rate is based on the normal fare. The super-economy, if you can get them because they become rarer all the time, are a super discount ticket. They sell at that price until they sell out then they sell at the economy price until they sell out and then they sell at the full price. They will never go down, and they will never be cheaper (well never is such an absolute - never until Trenitalia decide they don't like the current system and nobody knows when that may be - no more than they know how long the next Prime Minister's government may last) than the super-economy. You have to pay for the super low price somewhere - so the deal is no changes, no refunds on that sort of super cheap ticket. If you can commit to the time and date, and train choices - go for it and don't hesitate.

Posted by karren
oklahoma city, ok, usa
206 posts

You don't say when you are traveling to Lucca but, I have never bought tickets in advance. I always buy them when I get in country and have never had a problem. However, I always travel off season (March, April or early fall). Tickets in Italy are inexpensive and the trains are frequent. When I arrive in one city, I buy tickets for my next stop so I can just go to the right track the day of my departure. I usually stay in each city 3-4 days. I usually buy first class but have traveling second class too. Lucca is one of my favorite cities in Italy. Enjoy!