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Eurail Pass Purchase and use

My wife and I are going to Tuscany area and have rented an AirBnB for 2 months. Want to explore Europe by Train. Find the 2 month pass to best deal since we plan on using trains and ferries most of the time. Do they send us a Global Pass for both our phones and is this the best deal for all trains.

Posted by
21065 posts

How far and how much do you plan to travel while paying for your Airbnb in Florence? I'd think limiting yourself to day trips would be frustrating if you want to see sight-rich destinations like Venice, Rome and Naples. For smaller and closer destinations, buying single tickets might be much cheaper. Have you checked rail fares and travel times on trenitalia.com?

You cannot explore Europe by train from any one base.

I think we need to know about your plans for traveling outside Florence in order to give you solid advice.

Posted by
5159 posts

On the small chance that you and your spouse may be over 60, I wanted to mention that you would be eligible for the free Cartafreccia card on Trenitalia that would give you senior discounts. There is a special procedure to apply for nonresidents that involves completing a form and emailing it in. It can’t be done online unless you have an address/tax number. Several of us have received our cards with little difficulties and in a prompt manner.

You may want to consider this in pricing your options. That said, if you really want an Eurail Pass, go ahead and buy one. The man in seat 61, https://www.seat61.com/
Is a great resource for train information.

Posted by
21718 posts

Currently with discounted advance sales and other rail promotions, rail passes are not automatic good deal that they once were. You really have to do some homework. For example, in Italy, all trains except Regional trains, require a seat reservation PRIOR to boarding. That is at least 10 euro per leg or per reservation. In Italy the Regional trains are so cheap that you don't want to waste a day of the rail pass on a Regionale train. IF I was hanging out in Italy for couple months I would get a Eurail Pass. There are local passes that are cheaper for day trips.

Posted by
31471 posts

doross,

Rail passes are rarely a cost-effective option for Italy as trains are relatively inexpensive there.

Tickets for the Regionale trains are quite cheap and it's likely you'd be spending more for trips on those by using a Railpass. One important point to note is that locally purchased Regionale tickets must be validated prior to use on the day of travel, or you'll risk hefty fines.

As someone else mentioned, reservations are compulsory on the express trains (Freccia, Intercity) and these are specific to train, date and departure time. Those caught without a valid reservation for the train they're riding on will face hefty fines, which are collected on the spot. Those travelling with a Railpass must buy reservations for each trip they'll be taking on an express train.

One other point to note is that AFAIK, Railpasses are not accepted on Italo Treno or some of the other private rail networks in Italy.

Reservations are also required for TGV trains in France and I believe some in Germany. Railpasses no longer seem to provide the convenience they once did, and carefully planned P-P tickets are often a more cost-effective method.

Posted by
12886 posts

How extensive will you use the Global Pass? How extensive is the itinerary geographically? Get the Pass if you're covering a lot of ground.

If you intend zip back and forth, using ferries, day and night trains, say in Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, Hungary, Italy, and Switzerland , etc and if you qualify for a Senior Global Pass, I would get the Pass....basically , it all depends on your travel style. I would take the 15 day within 2 month Senior Global Pass. ...not the consecutive days Pass.

Keep in mind that the Pass just allows you on the train, everything else is extra, ie, you pay for the seat reservations, a sleeper or couchette on a night train (I don't pay for such luxuries) when taking a night train.

On certain ferries, say Germany to Finland or Sweden the Pass offers a discount, max 30% off.