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Trenitalia or Italo any reason one might be better?

We will be in Italy for 2 weeks in May. In the past we have always used Trenitalia. Just wondering if anyone has experience with Italo.
If deciding between the two, other than schedule and fare is one better than the other? Does anyone have preferences or if one has advantages over the other ?

We are still finalizing details of our itinerary, but these are some of the potential trips:

from: Milan to Venice,
Venice to Florence
Florence to Naples
Naples to Rome

Posted by
16894 posts

I found them equivalent in the standard class of service. In either case, pay attention to which station(s) the train serves for your city. For instance, about half of Italo departures from Milan use Rogaredo station instead of Centrale.

Posted by
308 posts

I preferred Italo. The wifi was working and found the seating more comfortable.

Posted by
11367 posts

Equal, IMO. I shop schedule, price and station and decide on the most favorable combo.

Posted by
635 posts

Given the choice, I prefer Italo over Trenitalia. Italo has pleasant waiting lounges in certain stations. Their website is easy to navigate to book tickets, and they let you book tickets farther in advance than does Trenitalia. You don't even need a hard-copy ticket; just the confirmation number.

Posted by
16894 posts

You also don't need a hard ticket for most faster trains run by Trenitalia; they use the term "ticketless."

Posted by
23343 posts

I agree with Laural - price and schedule. They are running on the same tracks.

Posted by
32224 posts

Italo is a newer rail network and only offers high speed trains so they don't cover as many destinations as Trenitalia. To make an accurate comparison, I've found Trenitalia high speed service equally as comfortable. If a particular route involves a combination of high speed and Regionale service, the integration between different types of trains seems to be better with Trenitalia in many cases. My experience with the Wi-Fi on Italo is that service can be "erratic" at times so I tend to just work offline. I find it a bit annoying to log onto a website and then lose service before I can log off.

I also agree with Laurel - use whichever one best fits your schedule and offers the best prices at the time. Also, as Laura mentioned, be sure to note which station is being used in each case for the Italo trains.

Posted by
169 posts

Thanks for all your comments. In the spirit of "getting there is half the fun" I realize the trains are on the same tracks looking out at the same views...but for the time spent on the train is there anything that would make one a better choice (after schedule and fare considerations). Perhaps analogous to which airline you would rather fly to the same destination.

Posted by
32224 posts

The only thing I can think of is that Italo trains are newer, so will have that "new car" feeling. They also offer some larger sized seats at extra cost, for those that want more seating room. I normally just look at whichever one fits my schedule and price preferences.

Posted by
32929 posts

I am happy with either, but prefer Italo.

First, Brits prefer the underdog. I definitely like the underdog.

Also, I like Italo leather seats and comfort in the most inexpensive class of travel, and I like the coffee.

I particularly like Italo lounges, open to all Italo travelers regardless of class with free wifi in the lounges as well as on the train.

Trenitala doesn't have the movie theatre car (free to use for all) that Italo does.

But, as said, the scenery is similar.

Posted by
1537 posts

Both services are fairly similar. Should one of the competitor offer a really better service or price, the other one would follow. - Every time I travel I check both schedules but usually I book on Trenitalia as the service is much more frequent and it is easier to get times matching my needs. A possible exception is that Italo sometimes services peripheric stations, this is an inconvenience in most cases but I remember a time when, having to do central Florence to an address in south Milan, by taking Italo and getting off at Milan Rogoredo I managed to do the trip in 1 hour 58 minutes door to door, a record impossible to match in any other way.

Posted by
1046 posts

I just booked Trenitalia (Freccia) for the end of June and early July. 4 months to the day before I'm travelling the tickets became available at huge discounts. I tried to do the same on Italo but their tickets only go on sale about 3 months in advance. If advance scheduling makes a difference - for me it's part of the fun and planning - then it's a matter of your schedule. Both trains get you there. I don't see huge differences in prices but they do seem to be more day-of-the-week specific on Italo whereas Trenitalia seems to have more consistent pricing options. Which works best with your schedule now and when you're in Italy? And yes, the scenery is the same and it is often quite beautiful (much better than watching a movie!?!).

Posted by
7581 posts

You compared to airlines, and my advice would be the same as for an airline, choose by price, schedule, and arrival/departure station, in that order. There may be some comfort/minor amenity differences, both ways, but generally the time on the trains in Italy is short, so price and schedule rule.

Posted by
635 posts

I tried to do the same on Italo but their tickets only go on sale about 3 months in advance.

Last year I bought tickets on the Italo website on January 18, 2015, for a trip on May 30, 2015.

Posted by
1446 posts

I definitely prefer Italo over Trenitalia. We used Italo from Naples to Rome. The Italo trains are shiny, new & clean. Some of the Trenitalia cars were smelly and old. The Italo seats have nice leg rests and the bathrooms were much nicer on the Italo train. We were on one Trenitalia train and I refrained from using the restroom even though I really needed to because it was disgusting. But, as others have said if the Italo schedule doesn't fit into your needed timeframe, then I would definitely use Trenitalia. Have a safe trip!

Posted by
11613 posts

I guess I am brand-loyal, I always try Trenitalia first. I schedule a lot of train trips in advance and I don't want to think about which company I am using. I also take lots of regionale trains, so I tend to stick with one company. Your trips don't have these considerations.

Italo has more bells and whistles - Nigel makes a good case with the coffee, that might be enough to change my mind.

Posted by
169 posts

Once again, thanks for all of your thoughtful advice.
In our case it will be a split decision because some of our itineraries are only served by Trenitalia.
However, from all I have read - which has been confirmed by many of your experiences we will go with Italo for the other routes.
I will report back after our trip.
Thanks again.

Posted by
616 posts

I prefer the Trenitalia Freccia Rossa, more spacious. There are more spacious and numerous in the day. very good. Fares for couples during weekends and also on Tuesdays and Thursday if you travel after 10 or 11 am.
I also like the coffee and biscuits or pro secco offered in the business class.