After reading Rick's book he suggests international train travel should be booked thru a travel agent with reservations .We plan on arriving in Milan and the next day taking the train to Geneva.We stay there 3 nights and then take the train to Florence.Should we look for a travel agent when we get to Milan? I have tried to hypothetically book to Geneva with no success. Has anyone done this what do you suggest?
You do not need a travel agent. For Milan to Geneva, you can either (a) buy those tickets at the train station when you get there, or (b) save some money by buying in advance on Trenitalia.com, the Italian train website. Look for "Smart Fare" for the international trip Milan to Geneva. there are 4 direct trains a day (no changes), including one at 12:25 which is a good time. There are more trains with changes at Brig. for Geneva to Florence, you can either buy the tickets on Trenitalia, buy at a train station in italy or at Geneva, or buy the Geneva to Milan portion on the Swiss rail site, sbb.ch, and the Milan to florence part on Trenitalia.
I have tried to hypothetically book to Geneva with no success. Have you tried a date fairly close. You don't say when you are arriving but if you try too far out it may not have the dates loaded yet.
If you book ASAP (up to 120 days allowed) on trenitalia.com, you can get a Smart fare of €22.00 for Milan-Geneva and for Geneva-Milan on direct EC trains. Do the same for Milan-Florence to get a Super Economy fare of €19.00 on a high-speed train. 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.