train/rail passes italy

Looking to purchases train tickets/rail passes for Italy. We are going from Venice to Florence to Rome to Sorrento. Can I purchase the tickets/get help from a Rick Steves Travel Agent? Ive been to multiple sites and actually purchased tickets that were really expensive and they cannot promise the passes until 5 days before the trip. Which makes me very nervous. I asked the company to cancel the order. Any help from is appreicated!
Thanks!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

Rick Steves sells railpasses but not point-to-point tickets. For your limited trips, point-to-point tickets will be cheaper than passes, even if you buy them at a station and pay full fare. What are your travel dates? If you book ASAP at trenitalia.com, you still may be able to get discount fare tickets for Venice-Florence, Florence-Rome, and Rome-Naples. Discount fare tickets are for a specific departure date and time and are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. Be sure you can commit before booking. Circumvesuviana commuter trains go from Naples to Sorrento. The fare is around €5.

Posted by michele
linthicum, md, usa
6 posts

We are going in June. I looked at trenitalia sites but the only tickets available were late at night. A friend at work said to just wait and purchase when I get there....which makes me nervous as we have an agenda/reservations at hotels and tours already scheduled. Thoughts? Thanks so much for your response. :)

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

"I have been to multiple sites and actually purchased tickets that were really expensive and they cannot promise the passes until 5 days before the trip..." First, do not confuse tickets and passes or use the words interchangeably. They are totally different. A pass is a document that allows you to make multiple trips over multiple days. In Italy a pass is usually much more expensive than buying individual tickets for the journeys you want. Second, it sounds like you bought tickets from Rail Europe for travel after June 8. The Italian rail company, Trenitalia, has not Published the summer schedule yet, and tickets are not available for purchase. So Rail Europe and other agents will take your order and send you the tickets later. It is good that you cancelled the order, as you will be able to buy the tickets yourself when they are available, and if you act quickly you should be able to get the discount fares, as low as 9 euros for some trips on the ES trains.

Posted by michele
linthicum, md, usa
6 posts

Another recommendation was italotreno. Are you familiar with this train?
If yes, would you recommend? Thanks!

Posted by michele
linthicum, md, usa
6 posts

Thanks so much for the responses. I will remain patient and continue to check trenitalia. By chance do you know when they will post the summer schedule? I love this site!
Thank you!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

The bad news: Trenitalia is always the last national rail company to issue its new timetables. The good news: Timetables from 9 June forward should be virtually identical to the ones in effect today. Enter a date no later than 8 June and you'll see that there are many trains/day on all your routes. Based on what has happened in the past, the new timetables should be uploaded by early in May (maybe sooner). Check the site every few days until they appear. Even if you wait until you get to Italy to buy your tickets, it is highly unlikely that any train you wish to take will be sold out. You could buy all your tickets at the station in Venice. You'll have many departure times from which to choose.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2281 posts

Nothing wrong with Italotreno. Newer equipment, same speed. If there is a downside, they do not use Rome Termini station, but Rome Tiburtina. Easy connection to central Rome via subway.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

It would be considerably easier for us to help if you said which days you would like to travel and at what time of day, and how many of what age group. .Italo has their timetables up now until December on the majority of their connections. I liked them. Randomly picking Venice to Florence on 24th June this year in the morning I straight away got 5 trains all at €21 per person for that segment. You will never find a pass that cheap per day. Have a look at http://www.italotreno.it/EN/Pages/default.aspx

Posted by michele
linthicum, md, usa
6 posts

Thank you everyone. I went with .italtrano. Got a great deal.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

Just be sure you know where the train stations are for italotreno especially for Rome.

Posted by michele
linthicum, md, usa
6 posts

I purchased the Venice to Florence ticket. However, the Florence to Rome trip goes to Tiburtina station. We planned to take a cab from the station to our hotel Rome Cavalieri. Would it be a problem doing this from Tiburtina station? The hotel mentions the Termini station not Tirburtina. Any recommendations? We also considered getting a private driver at the train station, as friends have had bad experiences with taxi cabs in Italy.
Thoughts?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

I've never been to the Waldorf Astoria but it is just about the same distance, plus or minus, by cab I would have thought. Your hotel is well north of the Vatican. Tiburtina is northeast of Termini 4 stops on the Metro. As I remember it there is a line of cabs just to the right of the bus station next to the station... There is a very helpful and comfortable .Italo lounge open to all .Italo passengers on the top bridge above platform 17 or 18.