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Train travel

I am going to be going from from Rome to Venice in mid-April. When it comes to buying train tickets, is it a case of the earlier the better? As sometimes happens with airfares, is there such a thing as too soon? I'm sure there is "too late" but how late is too late? Also, I'm planning go from Rome to Naples and back, Rome to Venice and Venice to Florence within a one week period. Should I be booking some kind of railpass for that or just purchase individual tickets? Would the railpass, if appropriate, be more flexible than individual tickets? I don't know why, but I find the who train thing very confusing despite everyone telling me its very easy!

Posted by
7737 posts

The lowest fares become available on four months before the travel date. Once those lower fares are gone, they're gone. It virtually never makes sense to buy a railpass for travel in Italy. Buy point-to-point.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks for your answer. So, I guess there's no point in rushing IF the lowest fares are sold out (I am checking). My only reason for waiting is to be absolutely certain of my plans. If I was going to save a boatload I'd make sure my plans were definite but if it looks like I'll be paying regular rates I might as well wait a couple of weeks. Or is there a risk of selling out for some of the routes? I read somewhere that that rarely happens on the popular routes in Italy. Especially when its not high season.

Posted by
23472 posts

A rail pass is not more flexible since a seat reservation fee is required on all trains except the Regional. So you still have to make a reservation with a pass. The discount ticket prices are less dynamic that US airline prices that change frequently. Depending on the train and time, it is possible that a discount fare may still be available a few days ahead of time. The extremely deep discount will be gone but lesser discount could be available. Even if you have to pay full fare or base fare, it is still very reasonable as compared to the sky high price you encourage with last minute US plane fares. If you travel plans are uncertain then do not buy discount without understanding the terms. The deep discounts are no change, no refund. The lesser discounts can be exchanged for a higher price ticket under certain circumstances. If you miss the train you have 60 mins to exchange the ticket. Trains are easy but you have to get pass your first one or two and then you will wonder why were you so confused.

Posted by
33336 posts

If you use a railpass you will limit yourself to the Trenitalia trains. You can't use a railpass (not even with reservations) on the ItaloTreno (NTV) trains. You can't use a railpass on the Circumvesuviana trains between Naples and Sorrento or Naples and Pompeii/Herculaneum.