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ItaliaRail and the Italiaapass

I booked a train trip for travel from Florence to Rome for late June 2015 on ItalIaRail. I was using this site since it's easier than Trenitalia and read on Seat61 that if you email to a certain address, the booking fee of €3.50 would be refunded (is that still the case and is it €3.50 per ticket [ordered 6 tickets] or for the entire order)?

Also, during the booking process, a charge of $19 was automatically added on by ItaliaRail for an "ItaliaPass." It appeared that charge was compulsory. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, was there a way to bypass it and I missed it somehow?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
15952 posts

This is a new wrinkle, but it appears to be in lieu of the 3.50 euro booking fee. If you eliminate the "Italiapass" by clicking on the trashcan icon to the left, then the seat fee shows up.
www.italiapass.com gives a run down of 15% discounts at hotels and restaurants etc. I don't now how valuable these discounts are, but one of the benefits is no booking fees at trenitalia.