Italy - Train Travel - Venice, Florence, Perugia & Rome

Planning a trip in Sept. 2013, traveling from Venice to Florence to Perugia to Rome by train. Have read I can not book all these tickets at this time and must wait until 90 day prior to my trip? My question is can I book these 3 trains together. Having trouble with the Florence to Perugia route. We must be in Perugia on a Saturday to collect the rental car and must be at the Hertz train station prior to 13:00 or 1pm. This is our first time traveling by train that we are purchasing the tickets. All other trips, tickets were provided by tours. We are traveling with another couple only. Thanks, Bill

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6888 posts

You are too early to even see the Trenitalia train runs for September. Additionally, schedules will be u-p-dated in mid-June. Second, you cannot book all of these trains together. Venice to Florence will most likely be a high-speed train. You can book and buy 119 days out from the time of travel. You can see the runs and the fares right now if you put in a day of the week that you will be traveling with the date 2-4 days from now. Yes, it's way early but you can see the runs. They won't change much as a result of the u-p-date. For your train from Florence to Perugia, this will be on a Regionale train. There are about 14 trains a day. Travel time varies 1hr.35min to 2hrs15min depending on the run as some runs are direct with no train changes and some require 1-2 train changes. You cannot buy these tickets online farther out than 7 days from the time of travel. No seat reservations permitted on the Regionale trains and they cannot be sold out. You can easily buy tickets for this journey when you arrive in Florence or even in Venice while you are there. Tickets for the Regionale trains are good for 60 days for any Regionale train making the run shown on the ticket. Just validate the ticket in the little yellow or blue/gray box in the train station, get on and find your own seat. Here's a link to what the schedule looks like. If you are taking the train from Perugia to Rome, the train situation will be the same - mostly all Regionale trains. Add an hour to the travel times. There are a few direct trains

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5412 posts

Don't pre purchase the ticket from Florence to Perugia. It's a Regionale Veloce (fast regional train) and there is no reason to buy ahead. Just buy at the station in Florence. Validate the ticket at th machine before boarding. There is a Regionale Veloce leaving Florence at 08:02 and arriving at Perugia at 10:23, no train changes. That is the best option to get you there before 13:00. All other options won't get you there on time, unless you depart earlier. Regionale trains don't run out of seats, they are like a subway. First come first served, and as long as you can squeeze yourself inside you are set. I doubt the train will be crowded on a Saturday, but you can always purchase a first class ticket. First class is always half empty at best. Regionales are very cheap. 2nd class from Florence to Perugia is euro 13.35. First class it's only euro 20.10.
If you rent a car why don't you drive from Perugia to Rome and drop the car off in Rome? That way you can visit some towns along the way, like Orvieto and Civita etc. Actually I would rent in Florence and drive to Perugia by car as well. Less than 2 hours and you are in Perugia, all freeway, unless you want o take some scenic country roads.

Posted by Chery
18 posts

Yes, you'd book the 3 segments as 3 separate tickets. As already mentioned, there's no need to book ahead for training from Florence to Perugia because it's a regional train route, which is comparable to US subway travel. You can purchase the ticket on the day-of at the departure station. Give yourself a little time to do that - sometimes there are ticket lines, you never know. You can also purchase the ticket the day before (or more) to avoid a ticket line while trying to catch a train. If the other routes you mentioned have regional train routes, the same circumstance applies there. But these longer routes may also have faster high-speed intercity train otions. For those trains, you need to book ahead at least by a few days to assure seating. When in Italy, that's easily done by dropping in at a local travel agency for these bookings, although the agency generally charges a small fee for the convenience. As for pre-booking a high-speed train from the US, I can't help you there, have no experience. Good luck with that if that's the way you need to go.

Posted by Lynda & Bill
Chocowinity, N.C., USA
2 posts

Thank you for all your replies. We will be strongly considering renting the car in Florence and returning it in Rome. This should take the stress away from making that 8:05am train from Florence. Look's like the extra cost to drop off in Rome is far less than the total cost of the train for four people.
Now to take on those Italian drivers. Traveled back in 2010 up through the northern parts of Italy. Drivers not to bad except in Padua, Bologna and Lake Maggoire. Best Regards, Bill