I have posted about this earlier and Iv'e been doing some research on trentitalia.com. I am travelling forr 2 weeks in September from Milan to Venice, Venice to Florence, Florence to Positano and then to Rome by train. I found tickets from milan to venice and venice to florence for 19 euros each. Is that a good price? I feel that if I buy my train tickets in advance AND book some sights my trip will be too planned out. Will I really save ALOT more money by buying in advance? Im worried too about not alloting enough time and missing trains. Please let me know!
Katie, I usually just purchase my tickets when I get to the station. I keep thinking I'm on vacation, why stress it. I just purchase my entrance tickets ahead when they are for a popular site and it requires an appointment. Appointments to museums and popular sights are becoming the norm. If there is a city card still offered in Venice, Florence and Rome, see if it's feasible for you. What you have to avoid at all costs is wasting time in long lines to purchase entrance tickets. RS's books are good for that and shows you how to purchase the tickets. The only itineraries that I have are those appointments, the rest I wing it and have the time of my life. If you go to the TrenItalia site, you can see the cost and time between your destinations (usually 2-3 hours between those destinations). If you miss a train from those popular stations, there will be another one coming soon. "Forget about it" don't sweat it. Why have to be at the station at a specific time, killing yourself to get there. My wife was pestering and asking me on our last day in Venice about when we were leaving? I told her not to sweat it, we'd leave when we were done. We Vaporeto to the station, purchased our tickets and off to Florence we went. The same going to Rome. If you were leaving a small town with limited train service, then I'd make sure I had my tickets ahead of time and be at the station on time. Anyway your doing it right, your not flying out of Venice. You'll see... I hope your flying out of Rome??? I hope I helped? If not ask away...
Hi Katie. You can see the full price on the trenitalia web site - it is shown as the 'base' price. 37 euro for Milan to Venice; 45 euro from Venice to Florence. If you are OK with those prices, then just wait and buy at last minute to retain flexibility. Enjoy your trip!
I agree with the previous poster. I go to Italy every year. I never buy tickets beforehand. I buy the tickets in country. Never have had a problem. The one thing that I do every trip is this....when I arrive in the town I am staying at for 3-4 days (I don't do one night anywhere....you spend all your time traveling and packing), I go to the ticket counter and buy a ticket for the next town on my agenda....3-4 days away. that way, the day of my departure I can just go to the right track and wait for the train as I already have my ticket. If you miss a train, there is always another one coming soon. One time I had first class tickets for a segment of my trip and there was no first class train car. The conductor told me that not enough first class tickets were sold so they didn't attach a first class car. While changing trains in Milan, I took my ticket stubs to the refund counter and they refunding my difference. the only problem I have ever had with the trains in Italy was in 2011. There was a strike and I was in the train station in Verbania and had to wait for the strike to be over before I could leave for Verona. There is usually enough time to changes trains. It just involves going from one track to another...usually up and down stairs. Most stations don't have too many tracks except large stations like Milan where there is 20+ tracks. It's a vacation.....don't be too structured or planned...just go with the flow and enjoy it. If you have any other questions, send me a private message.
We travelled in May-June; although I did reserve some tickets on www.trenitalia.it in advance, we never found a train to be full, and except for small towns, trains were frequent. Prices are very reasonable there; do not buy a RailPass for Italy as it's much cheaper to buy tickets one-off.
Have been to Italy many times and just returned a week ago from a 3-week girl's trip with my 2 sisters and niece. On previous trips I purchased tickets in country as I never wanted to mess around with the Trenitalia website as seemed like it was so unreliable for U.S. users but this time around I decided to try out the new Italian train company ITALO and purchased tkts on their very easy-to-navigate website prior to leaving home. We saved quite abit of money (i.e. Venice to Florence we paid 21 Euros vs. 45 Euros posted above by Bob). I had apartments booked in advance for each of our destinations so was able to purchase tkts for our major journies Venice to Florence; Florence to Naples (where we got on the Circumsuviana to get to Sorrento); and then Naples to Rome. I would use ITALO in the future and the free wi-fi was very easy to log into. Unless you are traveling without accommodation reservations,which we never do, I personally don't see why you wouldn't book in advance and have more money to spend in Italy. Buon Viaggio!!