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Trip in April

We're going to Italy for the first time in mid-April for 14 days. We followed Rick Steve's itinerary suggestion by starting in Venice (2 nts), then to CT (2 nts), then Florence (3 nts). We then head to Sorrento for 4 nts, and finish in Rome for 3 nts. We plan to travel by train between destinations. It looks like a long trip from Venice to CT. Anyone else have experience with this and can share info on the best way to get there the quickest? Should we purchase our rail passes in advance?

Posted by
400 posts

Hi Terri, We did the exact same trip from Venice to CT. It was wonderful and really not that bad. It's nice to sit back, give your feet a rest, and enjoy the scenery. As I remember, we took the train to Florence where we made connections with a train to LaSpezia (sp?). You cannot go directly to CT with the main train lines. In LaSpezia, you pick up the small train route that goes into the CT. You will have to buy your ticket for that route at the LaSpezia train station. But for your ticket from Venice to Florence and then on to LaSpezia, we always purchased our tickets when we arrived in a city for the our next destination. This way, we always knew when we needed to be back in time to leave and could go right to the train without being delayed standing in line to buy tickets for a train that was leaving shortly. It always worked out perfectly. Know your train schedules ahead of time.

Posted by
1317 posts

Generally a rail pass for Italy makes no sense. Point to point tickets are cheaper and offer more flexibility. It is also impossible (or very, very hard) to buy tickets online through the Italian rail site with a U.S. credit card. You have to go through a 3rd party like RailEurope who charges much more.

U.S. credit cards work fine at the kiosks and ticket counters at the train station in Italy. I always buy when I get there.

Posted by
12 posts

Hi there!

I am planning a trip for Italy from Apr 27-May 17. A family friend who is a travel agent suggested to me that I buy my rail pass in advance (but only by a month or so when the schedule for April is available). Then you can schedule your train rides and book your seats in advance, they will then send you your pass and tickets all together. I have been visiting and putting in my destination points (put in a date for the current month) to see some different options and how long each leg will take. I hope this helps and you have a blast!

Posted by
15679 posts

I trained from Venice to Florence for a few days, then from Florence to CT (yes, La Spezia - then the local train to whichever town there you plan to stay in). I found the trains to be somewhat uncomfortable. I can't explain it, but I just could not sink into a seat and enjoy the ride. Also, much of the train tracks have trees planted along them, blocking the views. Yes, it is a long ride and, no, there is no quick way. If you are going to the Amalfi coast, maybe it isn't worth using up basically a whole day just "training" to see the CT on this trip.

I'd add a day to Venice (if you don't like it enough for the extra day, then you can do a day trip by train to Verona), and another day to either Florence (perhaps a day trip to San Gimignano or Siena) or Rome.