Please sign in to post.

Trains

I've read several posts about trains. I would just like to confirm a couple of things please:

  1. High speed train from Rome to Florence to Venice is the Italo?

  2. Stations - Termini to Firenze SMN to Venice S Lucia ?

  3. How far in advance should I buy? now? 6 weeks before? I want all of this done beforehand.

Thanks for your knowledge!

Posted by
16752 posts

Italo is a smaller company that runs some trains (high-speed) between the major cities. Trenitalia is a larger company running both fast trains (Freccia...) between major cities and slower trains as well.

You have identified the major train stations in the three cities.

Your best shot at getting cheap (though non-refundable/non-changeable) tickets is to buy them as soon as your dates go on sale--assuming your itinerary is solid at that point. When the fast-train tickets will go on sale can be a bit uncertain, especially if you are traveling after the schedules are updated during the first half of June.

Posted by
4686 posts

There are two rival train companies in Italy - Trenitalia, the national train company, which operates trains all over Italy, and Italo, which is a privately-held company that operates trains on some routes. Both operate trains between Rome, Florence, and Venice. Yes, those are the right station names.

If you are willing to commit early to specific trains that can't be changed, then I would book as soon as tickets go on sale to get the best prices; the cheap seats tend to sell out quickly. I think they go on sale 3-4 months in advance.

Posted by
1719 posts
  1. both Trenitalia and Italotreno run high speed trains on that route, it's up to you

  2. It depends on where you are staying in Rome, Florence and Venice. One picks the closest station and lets the site find if/where to change. For instance, Venezia Santa Lucia is the station on the islands and Venezia Mestre is on the mainland; all trains from southern Italy call at Mestre before stopping at Santa Lucia station. Direct trains to Florence depart from Roma Termini and then stop at Roma Tiburtina.

  3. You can buy tickets as soon as possible and save money thanks to the discounted tickets for advance purchases. Or you can get train tickets on the day of travel (up to 15 minute the departure time) and enjoy maximum flexibility. Again, there isn't a "rule" that's right for everybody, it depends on your budget and on your travel plans.

Note that Tickets for trains running after June 14 will be available from late March, but tickets for trains running before June 14 are already available and have been on sale since December 14, 2019. Some discounted tickets may be already sold out.

Posted by
46 posts

Awesome advice! Our trip dates are May 2-12th. I'll start looking into that now. Our dates and times are pretty set in stone already. All I have left of planning is the train tickets and transfers to B&Bs. Thanks so much.

Posted by
1256 posts

When you’re looking up schedules, whether it’s on Trenitalia or Italo, be sure to use the real, Italian names of cities: Roma, Firenze, Venezia. If you’re taking a train trip the same day you arrive, it is not a good idea to book that train early for a cheaper fare, since if you get to Italy late and miss the train, that ticket will not be refundable. When looking up trains, be sure to put in the earliest time you want to travel, as well as the date. Dates are written day/month/year, and time is listed as a 24 hour clock.

Posted by
1719 posts

Our trip dates are May 2

May 1 is a national holiday and May 2 is a Saturday, hurry up!

Posted by
69 posts

Be sure to check both Italo and Trenitalia as the price can vary significantly. I found a 27€ one way from Rome to bologna on Italo while the cheapest on Trenitalia was 39€ for the same time. As far as quality, they are about the same.

Posted by
21 posts

Any thoughts on using a third party like Trainline? I saw mention on a forum about an app called Treni! as well. The anticipated benefit would be comparing two train companies running the same route.

Posted by
1719 posts

Italians use an app to compare, but they get tickets on the official sites. Third parties Without an agreement with the train company have no legal obligation to show the full schedule and all the fares. More, in case of troubles with the seat reservation you don't want to be the one that have bought the ticket from a re-seller.

Posted by
92 posts

Third parties can sell tickets that combine a high speed ticket for a long leg of a trip with a regional ticket for a shorter leg and the tickets will be from different train companies. If there is a delay on the first leg and you miss your connection you must buy another ticket.

Posted by
16752 posts

It has been reported on this forum that trainline is now charging a service fee.

Posted by
11491 posts

Any thoughts on using a third party like Trainline? I saw mention on a
forum about an app called Treni! as well. The anticipated benefit
would be comparing two train companies running the same route.

You probably know this already but if planning to buy "fast train" tickets in advance from home (to land reduced fares) you can easily compare Italo and Trenitalia routes just by opening two windows, although that probably doesn't work on a phone. I do that all the time for side-by-side looks.

Posted by
102 posts

Trenit! aggregates information from Trenitalia and Italo so you can compare the fares and schedules simultaneously. You can purchase the tickets using the app too, it simply directs you to Trenitalia or Italo website since Trenit! is not a reseller.

Posted by
11153 posts

The only reason to buy a ticket from a reseller such as Trainline, Loco2, or Rail Europe is if you can't get your credit card to work on a particular train company's website. This has not been reported to be an issue for either Italo or Trenitalia at this time (these things do change). Otherwise, it just introduces complexity (some examples given above). So for Italy, just buy direct from the company operating the train you want.