I read in Rick's book that shoppers willing to explore the trenitalia website could get a discount on point to point tickets ( 2 adults get 1 child free) but I could not find that deal on their website. I also had trouble booking the tickets, the booking as denied at the end of the transaction. I do not know why. has anyone had success with this, or do you know how to get the discount? Help!
After you click on "Buy," under "fare choice," select your fare, then click on "tariff information" just to the right. It'll open a new window with an explanation in English. Or go directly to http://www.trenitalia.com/en/orari_biglietti/info_tariffe.html. "Familia" fares are availably only to those holding a "Cartaviaggio" which is only available to Italian residents. The only special fare available to the rest of us is the Amica fare, which is a 20 per cent savings off the Standard fare. But be careful of the refund provisions....most of which involve making the request at a ticket office, and subject to a 20 per cent fee. Refunds via the internet are theoretically possible, but......
Thank you all for your help. I do not have a mastercard, but I did try with another visa and was still rejected and the visa card customer service does not know why it was denied either. Everything is fine with the cards, but trenitalia (only) rejects them. ( They work everywhere else). I agree it would be simpler to buy the tickets when I am there, but I need tickets for my family of 5 from Rome to Florence just a day after I arrive and I am worried that is too late to get 5 seats together. ( I have 3 children). Thank you all anyway for your suggestions.
I think the child/family discount only applies to Cartaviaggio holders--and only residents of Italy can get those cards.
Were you able to complete the registration process? Registering on the Trenitalia site is required before booking--and many people have trouble doing it.
Yes, I was able to register, I did the whole transaction through payment details and then it came back that it could not complete it. I called the credit card company. They knew it had been denied by trenitalia but did not know why. Everything is fine with the card ( a visa).
Page 21 of Rick's 2007 book, says "...travelor's willing to hunt for deals online can get a discount on point to point tickets purchased in Italy....(Tariffa famiglia...no card needed. See www. trenitelia.com/en for detais." I have not been able to find this deal online.
If you have another credit card (MasterCard, for example), you could try again using that card.
I have tried twice to register at the Trenitalia web site without success. It seems to work, but I never get the email response with my password.
Also, I have not been able to determine how one qualifies for the various "deals", such as Amica fares. The web site displays a page, in Italian, that is not related to fare types.
So, good luck. Many other postings advise to simple buy the tickets after arrival in Italy. Personally, I prefer to do it in advance, especially with a tight itinerary.
Charity, in reading over the quotation you posted from the Rick Steves Guidebook, I'm wondering if this line has any bearing on the problems you're experiencing:
"travelor's willing to hunt for deals online can get a discount on point to point tickets purchased in Italy"
The last 3 words "purchased in Italy" might be significant? Perhaps Trenitalia doesn't allow purchase of these tickets from outside the country?
There are many travel and tour agencies in Italy that act as Trenitalia agents. You may want to try calling one in Rome...you'll have a better chance of finding someone speaking english there. They should be able to give you the same rates you see on the web...if you call prepared with that knowledge, you'll get a better deal. See http://tinyurl.com/2wa7xj. Trenitalia's Lazio regional office in Rome might be able to help....or at least take your complaint. Call 011-39-6-706-072-58.
The Lazio regional director's office is at 011-34-6-883-395-47. And....we should all send an e-mail complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy pasted into their complaints page at http://tinyurl.com/2vnmtr (in Italian only...typical...but you should be able to muddle through.) Flood them with complaints that our friends are having their credit cards rejected for no logical reason....maybe they'll get off their duffs and fix this problem once and for all.
WOW! Thank you so very much. I feel better knowing I can complain to someone. It has been so frustrating not being able to purchase the tickets and not being able to contact them about it.
I will try the calling the agents in rome and/or look at the prices on the italia rail site. Thank you all again. You are VERY helpful.