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Switzerland / Italy Rail?

Hey all,

Europe 1st timer here; will be in Switzerland from 5/23 - 5/28 then Italy from 5/28 - 6/6. Rick recommends the Swiss Pass, or a Eurail Select pass if you're going to more than 1 country. However, there is no Switzerland - Italy combo, like there is with other countries. Also, seems like rail passes in Italy aren't the way to go:
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/italy-rail-passes

As of right now, I'm thinking the 4 day swiss flexipass, then just paying a-la-carte for italian tickets. Any thoughts?

Cheers,

Danny

Posted by
16883 posts

For most trips to Switzerland and Italy, we do recommend just a Swiss Pass, as you are thinking. I would consider the e-ticketed version for 8 consecutive days and use Rail Europe's 20% off coupon code, which would bring that price down to about $304 per person. That gives you more coverage and lift discounts on your "in between" days.

Posted by
16834 posts

Do not get a pass for Italy, they don't pay off. In Switzerland, trains are expensive, so some sort of pass may be warranted, although an out an out pass is usually the worst deal. If you have more than 240 chf of tickets per person, the one month Half Fare Card is usually the best deal.

Posted by
6 posts

For most trips to Switzerland and Italy, we do recommend just a Swiss Pass, as you are thinking. I would consider the e-ticketed version for 8 consecutive days and use Rail Europe's 20% off coupon code, which would bring that price down to about $304 per person. That gives you more coverage and lift discounts on your "in between" days.

Thank you Laura! 2 more questions:

  1. You say to get the 8-day consecutive, for more flexibility. We'll only be there 6 days though. The flexipass is $286/person. Are you saying that for $304 per person, we have more flexibility - even though we wont use all 8 days?
  2. For traveling from switzerland to italy - i was looking at reserving through Ricksteves.com. It asked if I'd be using a railpass. Does it apply the railpass to the switzerland portion? Then charge you for the italy portion? When you pay to reserve, you're paying for the ticket, correct?

Thanks again!

Posted by
7205 posts

1) Do NOT NOT NOT buy a Eurail Pass (or traveler's cheques)
2) Use your Swiss Pass to travel to the Swiss Border
3) Do NOT buy a rail pass for Italy
4) Use www.trenitalia.com to book your Italian rail tickets directly from the Italian Rail company Trenitalia

Only in Switzerland does some sort of rail pass make sense and usually the Swiss Half Fare card makes the most monetary sense. It gives you 50% reduction on all of your train tickets in Switzerland including the expensive Jungfrau trip.