Looking to book train travel ahead of our trip. I just looked at ItaliaRail and they only offer a PNR ticket. I didn't complete the transaction until I figure out how to use this type of ticket. Will it be on my cell phone? How do I validate the ticket? (no machine punch needed?) The site says "no paper ticket". What type of receipt do I get?
PNR = passenger name record. They are the equivalent of modern airline etickets where all data is stored in computers, and any printout you make is merely for your own reference. With a PNR ticket, all you need to do is sit in your assigned seat and wait until a train conductor comes and automatically knowing your name (from your seat) just check your ID to make sure you are yourself :) Couldn't be easier. Nothing precludes you from printing a receipt from the ticket (like you can print them for airline reservations).
Ellen: There's no reason to buy your ticket so long ahead of time for Italy. Trains run often and they're virtually never full except during holidays. I'll sometimes zip into the train station late at night and buy a ticket for the next day from a ticket kiosk (machine.) And Italy's trains are a real bargain when you consider gasoline for a rental car is probably $9 per gallon. (I paid $9.51 in April.) RoninRome.com is a great ex-pat website, and he covers how to get around on trains and purchase tickets.
Ellen, what's the $5 fee for? Currency exchange in the US? Or a fee from Italo? BTW, you did mean the new Italo train, didn't you - not the Trenitalia Freccia high speed train?
There's no reason to buy your ticket so long ahead of time for Italy There is one reason, indeed: to save a lot of money.
I AM going to buy my ticket before we leave the US. There is a good discount for doing so (and a $5 fee for it as well) I want to have ticket and seat assignment in hand when I get off the plane from the US. We plan to take the new fast train, so I'm sure getting a seat reservation will be important. Have LOTS of experience with taking trains in Italy (buses too) but this will be the first time on the Alta Velocita for us. I simply didn't know what the PRN was...and I got my answer right away on this board! Thanks for your replies!
The fee is noted on the website as $5 per ticket for electronic ticketing and preticketing. I understand that, as it's a source of income for them to manage the website. This is the website I am using: We are taking one of the high speed (Alta Velocita) trains from Rome. http://www.italiarail.com/italian-high-speed-trains Here's the description: The Frecciargento trains connects Rome to Venice, Verona, Bari/Lecce, Lamezia Terme/ReggioCalabria on both high speed lines and traditional lines. Frecciargento trains can reach speeds of 155 mph.
For more information on Frecciargento
Ah, I see. Its because they are resellers not the railway and that is for profit. I hadn't heard of that particular reseller.