Last week my wife and I booked a train from Rome to Naples from a kiosk. It wasn't until we got on the train did we realize we weren't sitting together, even though we ed seats together when buying the tickets. For our return trip I paid attention to the screens and no matter what seats I ed we could never get two seats together, in fact they were never in the same car. The way around it was to buy one ticket and accept what ever seat the system gave us. Then I bought a second ticket and ed the option to sit near another passenger. I put in the seat from the first ticket got a seat right across from it. Seems like a hard way to get two seats together. Any ideas. One thing, we bought the cheaper 2nd class ticket, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it.
Jerry, I'm not sure why the ticketing system didn't give you seats together when you seleçted that option at the time of purchase? I usually travel solo, so this is not a problem I've ever had to deal with. There should be no difference between buying a first or second class ticket, as the system should assign seats based on availability in either case. One solution may be to simply buy your tickets from a staffed ticket office when in Italy, as a "live" agent will have greater flexibility in choosing seats. Hopefully one of the others has a definitive answer for you. Cheers!
We had the same thing happened to 4 of us a few weeks ago in Italy. The system really got confused then the seat options on the machine showed an "airplane" style car with a center aisle, but the actual equipment had compartments. Seat assignments all over the place, or numbers that didn't even exist. I think their software just isn't up to snuff yet on the seat reservations. Thankfully, our trains were uncrowded so we had no problem shuffling around to sit together. The conductor couldn't explain it either.
Trenitalia is changing its seat assignment interface/software. Until the recent past, you could only pick a seat category (aisle/window, compartment/open-plan etc). Their goal is to deploy a system that allows you to pick the exact car and seat, like you would on an airplane seat reservation interface. These are system implementation glitches.