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Trouble with Trenitalia site and Rick Steve's recommended train reservation site

Hello everyone,
I tried to make a train reservation on Trenitalia and they wanted a VAT number. I sent an email to them in this regard but got a response in Italian, which unfortunately I cannot read.

So I tried Rick Steve's recommended site, RailEurope, I think. When I put in my birthday I got a message stating that all adults had to be between 18 and I believe 57. I'm an adult, but I'm way over 57. But I can't get a senior card cause I don't live in Italy.

Would someone please advise.

Thank you,
Elaine

Posted by
8799 posts

You should not have to put in a VAT at Trenitalia. Is this the site you used? https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html

If you continue to have problems, try https://www.thetrainline.com/. They are a little more user friendly. I am not clear if the charge a fee, but if they do, it is n’t very much and the service is great, days to understand, and their app is useful.

Rail Europe is, IMO, a rip off. They charge a fee on top of ticket prices.

Posted by
8799 posts

FYI, forget senior discounts. You have to have a Cartafreccia and you cannot get one unless you live there.

Posted by
68 posts

I'm not interested in senior discounts.

But I used Italiarail and was able to get my train tickets. Thanks all for helping.

Posted by
1408 posts

First you had to turn auto-translate off, than switch to the English version of Trenitalia on https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html and finally you had to check the "Go on without log in" radio button under Authentication. Otherwise the site "assumes" you are an Italian who wants to register to the site before making a purchase and makes questions only an Italian could reply to.

Posted by
2 posts

I bought tickets on ItaliaRail yesterday, no problem. They also take PayPal.

Posted by
106 posts

I didn't find this to be the case at all. You can see the whole days schedule on Italiarail, rather than just a small period of time on the official site, plus if you email italiarail, you can get your booking fee refunded. It's very easy, and I did this for all my tickets in June.

Just email them at seat61@italiarail.com. Just forward them your receipt, and they will refund your booking fee.

Posted by
1408 posts

They do not display Italotreno's runs. More, Italo's discounted fares are always cheaper than Trenitalia's. So they show less trains than the 2 official sites combined at an higher average price. There are many apps that let customers easily compare the prices and the schedules of the 2 competing companies.

If you want to see all the trains running during the day on trenitalia.com, just pick 00 from the drop down menu.

Posted by
106 posts

Good to know. Thanks!

I was very happy with my experience using Italiarail, but it's always nice to have options.

The other thing that is nice for those of us who don't speak Italian, is that you can use the english spellings of Italian city names on Italiarail.

Posted by
44 posts

I recall having the same issue you describe the first time I tried to make a purchase. As I recall, I was able to eliminate this issue by selecting "Go on without log in" in the AUTHENTICATION dialog. (I just tested this again now and it worked.)

I just returned from 3 weeks in Italy, and used the Trenitalia site (as well as the mobile app) often to purchase tickets. A few I bought while in US before flying to Italy; the others I bought while in Italy. Some were 2nd class assigned seating, some were unassigned seating, and one was 1st class assigned seating. I DID NOT REGISTER (so thus when paying selected "Go on without log in" under the AUTHENTICATION dialog at top of page, though one still needs to enter name and email in this AUTHENTICATION dialog; an error message will alert you to the need to enter this information). Then I paid with credit card.

If you are traveling with two or more people, a discount you might be able to get (as we did) on some stretches is the "insieme" (joint) discount. If available, it will come up as an option.

My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by Trenitalia. We used their service when travelling from Sicily to Naples (which included riding a train ferry between Sicily and the mainland), Rome to Orvieto, Siena to CInque Terre, and Cinque Terre to Milan. On one stretch (Siena to La Spezia) we had two train changes, with 5 minutes and 9 minutes to make the two changes. Even with our luggage we had no problem catching the connecting train. The conductors we encountered were unfailingly polite. In most cases we just showed our pdf ticket on our cellphone; in one case we had a printed copy. Only one of the many trains we rode experienced a delay (30 minutes); I couldn't understand the announced Italian explanation as to the cause.

It was wonderful to buy the tickets in advance and avoid the lines as well as the need to validate the tickets.

BTW, we also bought advance tickets online for the italo high-speed train from Naples to Rome, and for the Malpensa Express from Milan to Malpensa airport. No issues.

Have a good trip.

Posted by
235 posts

Recommendation of Raileurope by RS or anyone else is a stupid thing to do. Same with Italiarail, another reseller.