How to Travel Italy by Train: It’s Easy, We Promise

High speed Italian trains like this are an important part of our guide for how to travel italy by train
You can take a train to the Amalfi coast, too!

At Walks of Italy, we’re passionate about enriching your travels. If you find our travel guides helpful, you’ll love our expert guided walking tours. Check them out over at walksofitaly.com and no matter where you go, don’t forget to travel slow and #takewalks.

Pst! We’ve got a secret: The best way to get around Italy is by train. The Italian rail network connects just about every major city in Italy, runs like clockwork, and often includes spectacular views of the countryside. If you know a few simple tips about how to use it it’s an absolute breeze. 

First, a quick look at the other options. Driving in Italy, particularly in Italian cities, can be confusing, chaotic, stressful and, for the uninitiated, even dangerous. (But if you do want to drive, you should definitely read our top 6 tips for driving in Italy.) Between the cost of car rental and gas it’s often cheaper to go by rail. Meanwhile, with all of the hassles of flying and the time required to get out to the airport, a flight often winds up taking as long, or longer, than the train — and, again, is often more expensive. 

Of course, we know it’s easy for us to say that taking a train is easy. If you don’t speak Italian, even figuring out the train schedule can be tricky. That’s why we’ll walk you through how to book, and take, a train — right now.

How to find an Italian train schedule

Travelers can choose between Trenitalia, or for high speed routes they can check out Italy’s new private high speed trains at Italo Treno. Take a look at both to compare dates, times and prices. Trenitalia is the national rail service, so it includes all of the national routes. (Small, local trains, like the Circumvesuviana that goes from Naples to Sorrento and Pompeii, aren’t included, but you don’t need them for most major destinations).

At the website, click the button that says “English” at the top. Then, on the left, you’ll see your options for searching routes. You can opt for one-way or for return, and you have to put in your starting point, destination, and date.

For example, let’s say you want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome then pop over to Naples for a jaunt through Pompeii. When you enter your options and click “Send,” the next page will show you a list of options around the time, and on the date, you selected. You might notice that under “Departure,” though, it doesn’t say Rome. It might say “Roma Te.” That’s because Italians call Rome “Roma,” and the “Te” is short for Rome’s main train station — Termini. Similarly, instead of “Naples,” it’ll often say “Na C.le,” short for “Napoli Centrale.”

We know this can be confusing, so here’s a list of Italy’s major train stations and how they’re abbreviated on the Trenitalia site:

Rome Termini (central station) –> ROMA TE

Naples Centrale (central station) –> NA C.LE

Florence Santa Maria Novella (central station) –> Fl.SMN

Venice’s Santa Lucia train station

Venice Santa Lucia (on the island) –> VE. S.L.

Venice Mestre (on the mainland) –> MESTRE

Milan Centrale (central station) –> MI C.LE

Genova Piazza Principe (central station) –> GE P.P.

Genova Stazione Brignole –> GE BRIG

La Spezia Centrale (central station) –> SPEZIA

Pisa Centrale (central station) –> PISA C.

Sometimes, you might notice that one train station name at the top will be black, followed by a number of others in red. That means that there’s more than one station in the city you’ve picked, and the train stops at all of the stations on the list.

Figuring out the differences between Italian trains

High-speed Italian train

The Frecciarossa train is one of the fastest in Italy

Once you’ve got your destination and date down, you’ll often still have a number of options for exactly which train to take. You’ll notice clear differences under “length of journey,” with some (more expensive) trains being much faster than the other trains. You can also look at “train category.” The “Frecciarossa,” “Frecciargento” and “Frecciabianca” trains are the fastest, with speeds of up to 200-250km/hr. The “Eurostar” trains are also very fast. These are also the most expensive trains, and they connect only Italy’s most major cities. The most economical option tends to be the “Intercity” trains, which connect everywhere else, make more stops, and are slower, or the “Regional” (local) trains.

What are the price and speed differences, exactly? Well, let’s take our Rome to Naples journey as an example (one-way). On a weekday, leaving around noon, a “Frecciarossa” train takes only 1 hour 10 minutes. It costs €45 2nd class, or €58 1st class. Then there’s the “Intercity” train, which takes 2 hours 13 minutes and costs €22 (2nd class) or €29 (1st class). Finally, there’s the regional train, which takes 2 hours 34 minutes and costs only €10.50 (one class only).

What train you pick, of course, is up to you. But because the Eurostar and Frecciabianca/argento/rossa trains tend to be not only faster, but more comfortable and cleaner, if we’ve got a little cash to spare, they’re our transport of choice. That’s especially true when there are discounts on those trains — as there often are.

Taking advantage of Trenitalia’s promotional fares and discounts

When you’re looking at tickets online, don’t forget to check out Trenitalia’s deals (yes, that’s the link to their current promotional fares). You can see that right now, for example, children under 15 travel free with their Bimbi Gratis Offer

How can you actually book one of these promotional fares? When you get to the page with all the train options and times, select the one you’d like to take, then click “Continue.” Your various options, like a “base” or “flexible” ticket, will show up – along with any promotional fares, like the Bimbi Gratis offer, if they’re available.

Booking your train ticket: online or at the station?

Rail station in Salerno, Italy

One benefit to booking your ticket online: train stations can be crowded… and there can be lines, even for the automatic ticket machines!

You can either book, and pay for, your ticket online, or, if you’re feeling a little more spontaneous, wait until you get to the train station.

Waiting has a major benefit: If you buy a ticket online, you then have to be on that exact same train — if you’re late or miss it, you have to change your reservation online. That can be a hassle, so if you can’t be quite sure when you’ll make the train, sometimes it’s best to wait.

That said, if you book in advance, you can change your ticket if you miss the train. For the “base” tickets, which are cheapest, you can change your reservation only one time, and it has to be done within the hour after the booked train has departed; you can do it either online, at an agency or at the station, and you have to pay the extra amount if the new train is pricier (you can also get money back if it’s cheaper, but, as to be expected, that procedure is a little trickier). The “flexible” tickets let you change your reservation an unlimited number of times, but that costs you 25% more.

Of course, the downside to buying your ticket at the station right before departure is that, often, it’s too late to take advantage of any promotional fares. And, very occasionally, particularly popular trains might even be sold out completely. So if you really want to take advantage of a discounted fare, or if you’re on a tight schedule, it might be worth booking online — or buying your ticket at the train station a couple of days in advance.

Finally, be aware that, if you book your ticket online, you don’t need a printer to print it out. Instead, Trenitalia has electronic tickets, either via email or sms text message on your phone. Once you board, simply show the email with the PNR number to the conductor or the sms from your phone and you’re good to go!

Now you’ve got your ticket… but how do you actually get the train?

Board for the departures and arrivals of trains

Look for your train on a board like this one — and those kiosks are to buy tickets

Once you’ve gotten your ticket and you’re at the station, look for a big, hanging board with all of the newest trains listed. (One dead giveaway for where this is tends to be the crowd of people standing underneath it!). Don’t panic if, at first glance, your train isn’t there. You might be too early, since only the soonest departures will be listed. Or you might be looking at “Arrivi” (arrivals) rather than “Partenze” (departures). It’s also often easiest to go by the train’s number and departure time, rather than your particular destination. (You can find this either when you book it, or on your ticket itself; it’ll say “TRENO” followed by the number). Remember: trains are listed by their final destination. Often your destination isn’t the last one so if you look up at the board and don’t see your destination, don’t panic, just look for your train’s number.  

Once you’ve found your train, look where it says “BIN,” for “binario” (platform). That’s your platform number. Don’t worry if this takes a while to come up — you won’t be the only one hurrying to the train, and it’s rare for a conductor to leave a crowd behind on the platform!

Machine for validating your rail ticket in Italy

To validate your train ticket, use this guy

Don’t forget to validate your ticket. You often don’t have to do this for fast trains that required a reservation—but if you’re uncertain, it’s always best to be on the safe side. The validation machines tend to be all over the station, as well as on the platform; they’re usually yellow. To stamp, put your ticket in the slot, arrows facing in, and push until you hear the stamp. If you don’t do this and you were supposed to, you can get a heavy fine when (or if) your ticket is checked.

Depending on what kind of train you booked, also check your ticket. After the train number, it might say “Carrozza” followed by a number. That’s your carriage number. Then it’ll say “posti,” which is your seat number. Many Italian trains have reserved seats, so make sure you sit in the right one. Even if there are a ton of empty seats elsewhere, you never know how many people might be getting on, and trying to sit in their reserved seats, at a later stop. (If someone’s in your seat, showing them your ticket will usually suffice for them to move).

Typical train ticket — this one’s for an Intercity train, base fare, from Salerno to Rome’s Tiburtina station

 So you made your train. Now what?

Relax! Just don’t forget where you put your ticket, as it may be checked by the conductor (you can get a stiff fine if you’re found riding without a ticket!). Also be aware of those around you: Both train stations and trains themselves are a favorite haunt for pickpockets, particularly on the major lines, like from Rome to Naples. Know where your things are at all times, be careful of putting your bag or purse on the ground where you can’t see it, and never fall asleep with your purse next to you if you’re traveling alone.

Traveling Italy by train seems daunting, but if you know a few basic tips it's one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest ways to get around the country. Check out the guide at Walks of Itay.

473 Comments

  • Brandon says:

    Very informative! Thank you

  • Martin Morici says:

    Great article Jason on the train system in Italy !!!!

  • planeters says:

    The Frecciarossa looks pretty sweet.I bet it is a great experience to travel in it

  • Colette says:

    I’m curious, it says that if we book online we can use the “nifty ‘ticketless’ option.” But if we do that, how do we validate our ticket and show it to the conductor on the train?

    Our schedule is fairly set and I’d love to get our tickets ahead of time so we don’t have to spend vacation time in ticket lines, but I’m still fuzzy about how that actually works once we get to to italy.

    Grazie! Looking forward to see you guys in Rome.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Colette,
      We’re looking forward to seeing you too! With the “ticketless” option, you’ll receive a booking reference number, called a “PNR code”; just jot that down (or, if you’ve received it as a text message, you don’t even need to do that!) and it’s all you need to give to the conductor. No validation necessary 🙂
      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • David Grech says:

    My girlfriend and I are planning to visit ortisei, dolomites next month. We will be landing at venice airport, treviso. However we are completely lost on how to get from treviso to ortisei! From what we gathered online, we have to take a train from treviso central to bolzano. We looked online at trenitalia (your blog was extremely helpful!) and found an option. however there is only a 9 minute difference to switch between the second and third train!! Is it possible to make it in 9 minutes? what if we cannot find the platform and miss the train? Do you suggest to buy the tickets online or at the station? Is it much more expensive if we buy the tickets from the station at last minute?
    And do you know how to get from bolzano to ortisei?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi David,
      We’re happy to help! Nine minutes should be enough to switch, but regardless, you can use this ticket—because it’s not for the high-speed line, the Frecciabianca (that’s the 2nd train)—on a later train if you miss that one. You can sometimes save if you buy your tickets in advance online, so if that’s a consideration then we’d recommend doing so :-). As for getting from Bolzano to Ortisei, it looks like the bus is your best option. The timetable is here:
      http://timetables.sad.it/getTimetablePDF.php?id=4279
      Let us know if we can do anything else!

  • Ditzzeechick says:

    thank you so much for this info. we have requested a quote to be driven from Rome to Florence but this information will be invaluable for our trip!

  • tripmom says:

    Been researching train from Rome to Lamezia Terme to take with my kids this July. Since my daughter is 12 I am trying to clarify child fares, maybe you can help. Trenitalia lists her as child fare for National trains but not Regional. I want to take her on the Intercitynotte or Intercity train. Do u know if those are National or Regional?

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Nicole,
      We’re happy to help! Intercity trains are national trains (not regional), but you still can select “child” from the drop down menu of participants and the updated amount will come up. Also, take note that the following discount offer might help you:

      FAMILIA OFFER
      Offer intended for journeys of family groups of 3-5 persons composed of at least 1 adult and 1 child of under 12 years. It includes the ticket booking (free) and provides the following discounts:
      50% (30% for Couchette and Wagon Lits) for children under 12
      20% for the other persons
      Net of the discount, the minimum price is at least 10 euro for each passenger aged over 12, subject to the minimum fares for the train used.
      The offer has limited seats availability, the numbers of which vary depending on the day, train and class.
      Trains you can use this solution on:
      AV, ES*, ES* City, IC, ICN, Express, couchettes and WL. The Familia offer cannot be used for journeys on the Excelsior and Excelsior E4 carriages, or for single journeys on the regional trains. The discount extends to the Regional trains too only for journey solutions that allow the use of Regional trains connecting with trains for which the offer is valid.

      If you put in your participants and you are eligible for the fare, and the fare is still available for your travel dates, then this option should come up automatically as one of the options in the drop-down.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • tripmom says:

    Thank you! I’m keeping an eye on the family and supersaver fairs. Good stuff! Another question please: I will be traveling with my daughter age 12 and son age 8 in an overnight sleeper train that only offers the 4 person sleeper option. I really don’t want to pay for the whole compartment. I thought I read somewhere that I could book into a female only sleeper compartment because my son is young. I feel a little safer if the stranger sleeping with us is female, so prefer this option. Do you know if I can book the “donna” option for the 3 of us??

    • walksofitaly says:

      Unfortunately, that one we don’t know right off the bat! Easiest would probably be for you to call (they will speak English), which from abroad +39.06.68475475. Let us know how it goes!

  • Elaine Elward says:

    Wondering about how much it would cost to visit Italy. I would like to stay at low key Abbeys or, convents. $$ also, how much would it cost to take the train from place to place if I plan to visit mostly the churches and incoruptables, in about 14 to 16 days? $$ A ballpark figure? Looking for a low cost trip. I plan to mostly eat power bars, enjoy the country, churches etc… tks!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Elaine,
      As you might expect, that very much depends! However, farm-stays can cost between about 30-50 euros/night, while a convent or monastery in a city center is about 60-100 euros/night. (Check out our post on budget accommodation in Italy for more help). Trains very much depend on where you’re going and how far you’re traveling; you might want to put in some possible destinations on http://www.trenitalia.com for an idea. Churches are free to enter, while museums are generally quite cheap (outside of the major museums in the major cities). Food also very much depends on where you are. We recommend sitting down and figuring out where exactly you would like to go, and then figuring out transport and hotel costs from there. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

    • Lisa says:

      Elaine, did you go?
      This is what I like to do too! Visit churches & stay in religious guesthouses.

  • Trisha says:

    My husband and I will be traveling to Italy in April. Our flight arrives at 7:30 a.m. in Rome. We plan to go to Avellino (Servino?) to visit relatives and they told us to take the train to Naples or Sorrento. What is the best way for us to do this?I am afraid to pre book in case our flight is delayed and we miss the train. Would we lose our ticket if this happens? Also, how do we get from the airport to the train and how long does it take? I want to allow enough time for us to get to the train station.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Trisha,

      Personally, we’d probably wait and get a ticket when we get to the station. There are lots of trains between Rome and Naples, and generally speaking, they won’t sell out (if they do) until the last minute. Otherwise, you can book a ticket in advance, but as you say, if your flight is delayed, or your baggage comes late, or anything else, you will miss your train. That said, if you miss your train, you don’t “lose” your ticket—you can change it, either online, at an agency or at the station, up to 1 hour after the train has departed, for normal fares. Still, it can be a bit of a hassle.

      It takes a half hour on the train to get from the Fiumicino airport to Termini station, and trains depart every 20-30 minutes or so.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Florence says:

    Hi thanks for the great article!! Just wondered, when taking train tht require a change, is it easily done? Do you need more than one ticket? I’m planning on taking the florence to pescara train which I believe means you have to change in bologna… So do I board any train heading to bologna and then go from thee to pescara? Sorry if its a silly question.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Florence,
      If you book your ticket from Florence to Pescara, then that’s the only ticket you need. Train changes are usually quite simple—at your change station, just look at the list of trains departing from the various platforms to find yours, to Pescara. Good luck!

  • aman sodhi says:

    Great article!
    I have a question. Can I easily take a train to NAples and find an excursion to Pompeii from there rather than paying a large amount for the excursion from Rome. WE are 2 adults and 2 kids 11 and 15
    Thanks for all your help!

  • KennyB says:

    This is probably a stupid question, but Do trains stop at all stops regardless of whether there is anyone supposed to be stopping there? And I’m assuming you can exit a train at an earlier stop than ticketed. Specifically, we will be travelling on the Thello night train from Paris to either Bologna of Florence, but we won’t decide which until a day or two beforehand. So I plan to buy a ticket to Florence but may want to get off at Bologna. Thanks!

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Kenny,
      Not a stupid question at all! Yes, trains stop at all the stops, even if no one is ticketed to get off (although that would be very unlikely, especially for a stop like Bologna!). And yes, you can get off at an earlier stop. So you’re all good. Safe travels!

  • sk says:

    Hi All, I intend to buy the ticket online for Milan to Rome on FrecciaBianca (9717) on second class, and I was given the choice to select the seat. As I have a big luggage with me, I will like to select a seat that is next to the luggage racks. Are these racks located at both ends of the coach/cabin/carriage? As I also heard of pickpocket in train, so which seat is best or preferred since i have a choice now to choose. I am travelling in mid-Apr, and need to book the train ticket tonight. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • walksofitaly says:

      Hi Shirley,
      Racks are usually located at both ends of the cabin, but in all honesty you don’t have to worry much about someone making off with your bag… it can always happen, but we’ve never heard of it happening hear! You also don’t have to be very worried about pickpocketing on the train; that’s a bigger concern on the subway or on the local, urban trains in the cities. Just keep the same awareness about you that you would traveling anywhere else in the world, and you’ll be fine! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • sk says:

    sorry, is Milan to Venice (not on Rome) on FrecciaBianca 9717

  • dana says:

    I’m going on a Mediterranean cruise, with a stop in port city Civitavechhia. And, from there, I’d like to take the Trentalia train to Rome.

    But, I’m a bit confused because I see two trains, R and RV. Are the same price even though the RV trains are faster, and would the RV be covered by BIRG ticket?

    • Hi Dana,
      We’re happy to help! There isn’t really much difference between the R (regionale) and RV (regionale veloce) trains—the RV trains are slightly faster because they skip some stops. The BIRG ticket does include R and RV trains, but not the high-speed trains.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Bri says:

    I have a question/concern. I arrive in Rome on 6/7/13. I would like to take a day trip to Florence; I have found tickets for 6/8/13. I am concerned since I will have just arrived in country if it is so wise to take a train that early in the trip. I have no problem asking for help. Thanks for any input. Your info was so informative keep it up.

    • Hi Bri,
      The only reason we can think of as to why it might not be wise is that you might be a little jet-lagged 🙂 OTher than that, we can’t think of anything that would stop you! Let us know how it goes (or if you have any other questions!).

  • Kris10 says:

    This ongoing post has been really helpful, but I have one question. My husband and I are flying into Naples and then traveling straight to Positano (not sure how yet). I’m nervous about NOT purchasing train tickets in advance because things will fill up, but at the same time I’m nervous to pre-purchase tickets in case our flight is delayed or we don’t make it out of the airport in time. The same goes for taking ferries.

    I don’t want to be stranded in Naples or another connection (Sorrento, Salerno or Capri) and not be able to make it to our hotel by night.

    Any advice? Thanks!

    • Hi there Kris,
      To get to Positano, you’d take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento and then the ATAC bus to Positano. No need to book in advance, as the Circumvesuviana leaves very frequently and we’ve never seen people not allowed to get on it for lack of seats. In fact, we’re not even sure you can book a Circumvesuviana ticket in advance (it’s different from the Trenitalia train network).
      We hope that helps! Let us know if we can answer anything else!

      • Kris10 says:

        Thanks for your help, but I should have been more clear. We are trying to avoid the Circumvesuviana and bus as we will have been sitting in a plane all night (and I am prone to carsickness). We wanted to try either a 100% ferry route or take a highspeed train to Salerno and then a ferry to Positano. What is your advice for reservations/tickets?

        I really appreciate your help!

        • Hi Kris,
          In that case, yes, either option works. We’d recommend reserving both the ferry and train in advance online, if you know there are particular ferry/train times you want. You can book the train at trenitalia.it and find out more about ferry lines in our post here. Let us know if we can do anything else!

  • Ken Neo says:

    Hi, my wife and I are thinking of taking train from Milan to Interlaken in Oct but I don’t see any train available in trenitalia.com. May I know is there any other website that we can book with ticket that is also ticketless? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  • Neha says:

    Hi,

    My husband and I will be traveling to Italy in June. We’re planning to travel from Cinque Terre to Venice – Monterosso-Milan-Venice seems to be the best option. However, there’s only 15 minutes available in Milan for us to change trains. Is that time period sufficient?

  • Kate says:

    This is the best info I have seen re:train travel in Italy, thank you. I have a question regarding how much time I’ll need to get through Roma Termini to make the train for Firenze S.M. Novella. I am planning on taking the Leonardo Express from FCO to Roma Termini. How much time should I allow between trains? Also, can I buy my ticket for Firenze at the Roma FCO train station when I buy the ticket for the Leonardo Express train?

    • Hi Kate,
      Thanks for the kind words! The platforms likely won’t be far from each other, so give yourself at least 10 minutes to switch and you’ll be fine. And yes, you can buy your ticket for Firenze at the Fiumicino airport train station, where you’d buy a ticket for the Leonardo Express. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Charles says:

    Bonjour,

    I am finishing the final leg of my trip in Italy but I am running into a major block getting from Genoa to Florence on May 20th. The only train is at night. They can’t possibly be completely full at this time. Is there a regional option instead of the main site. Otherwise do you have another suggestion ? I need to get back to Bologna for a 16h return flight on the 22nd of May

    • Hi Charles,
      We see a number of options and seats available for May 20 from Genova to Firenze. Are you sure you’re in the right section of the website? You want to click “Tutti i treni” (all trains), to give you options other than just the high-speed one. Let us know if we misunderstood, or if that works!

  • mohammad says:

    Hi, thanks for the great info.
    My flight arrives into Naples at 2:25pm and originally wanted to go see Pompeii using the Circumvesuviana train, I am worried I will not have enough time to get there and see every thing. it is wiser to go to Ercolano instead because is smaller in size and better preserved?

    • Hi Mohammad,
      If you’re pressed for time, yes, we think Ercolano is a great alternative to Pompeii. Its more compact size means it’s easier to visit on your own, even though the ruins are just as fantastic (and there are skeletons!).
      Please let us know if we can do anything else!

  • Gary says:

    Hi, we have been waiting a long time to book train from Pisa Centrale to Santa Margherita Ligure for 20 july 2013 and also some other trains in Italy after that but can’t get the Trenitalia website to come up with options. Thought it was to do with new timetables coming out for June 9th onwards, but getting worried as time gets closer. Can you help please! Gary

    • Hi Gary,
      Believe it or not, you’re looking too far in advance 🙂 Timetables only appear to be loaded up for trips for the next few weeks. Check back sometime in early July. (And don’t worry about not getting the ticket—the only time we’ve seen trains sell out is in the half hour before departure). Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Stephanie says:

    Hello,

    I am taking a tour that drops me off in Naples and from there I was going to go to Pisa to visit family. I am going to Italy in June. I would like to pre book but when I go to look for a train there are only there and we would arrive late. I am looking to leave early in the day is it still to early to book?

    • Hi Stephanie,
      Most of the trains should already be listed for June, but yes, perhaps check back later. Unfortunately, though, it might simply be a case of not many trains on the day you’re looking for.
      Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Marjorie says:

    Great blog – thank you. I’m just trying to put together a trip from Scotland to Sicily with my daughter and a dog. It seems she would age 11 qualify for free travel before the end of August, does that include overnight trains too? Also are there any trains that I can’t take the dog onto? Thanks so much in advance for any help.

  • Kelly says:

    We will be travelling to Florence for a few weeks this summer, home exchanging. Fares from the US seem to be cheapest flying into Rome, so I think we’re looking to take the train from Rome to Florence. We are 2 adults and 6 children (ages 1-11). We are well versed in travelling with all our kids, but train travel would be new to us. I am worried can we manage this, with our luggage in tow?

    1 x-large suitcase
    1 large suitcase
    1 pack-n-play cot
    2 strollers
    1 large backpack

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

    • Hi Kelly,
      We can’t really tell you how much you’d be comfortable carrying—it very much depends on your strength and stamina! 🙂 But if you’re worried that you and your partner can’t comfortably handle all of that luggage, plus 6 children… then you’re probably right that it might be too much. You should also keep in mind that elevators aren’t always available at stations, so you may have to take on stairs with your luggage. The good news is, strangers in Italy tend to be very kind and will help you, but it’s still stressful to have to depend on them to give you a hand, plus keeping an eye on the kids at the same time could, we imagine, be difficult! So try packing as lightly as you possibly can (hey, you can always wash clothes in the sink). Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Penny Harris says:

    Hi, I wonder if you know how frequently the trains run on Christmas Day , between
    Venice and Florence? I had picked Christmas Day as a transfer day , given that all tourist sites will be shut – but now I’m not so sure.. My accommodation is booked for both cities, but I’ll change the dates if travel on Xmas Day is not recommended. Thanks Penny

    • Hi Penny,
      You shouldn’t have any problems with trains. They might run slightly less frequently, but they will run. 🙂 Let us know if we can help with anything else!

    • ann says:

      Hi
      Brilliant blog! Very very helpful!
      Do you have any experience of times/frequency of trains on Christmas Day between Florence and Rome, say from 2013 timetables? I am looking to book the holiday as a birthday surprise for my partner but don’t want it to turn into a disaster if we have to travel at dawn 🙂
      Many thanks
      Ann

      • Walks of Italy says:

        Grazie, Ann! The trains usually run on their normal schedule for Christmas Day, but we suggest double checking on TrenItalia or ItaloTreno a few months closer to your trip. Buon viaggio!

  • Colleen says:

    There’s 8 of us travelling on the train from Rome to Venice in super economy class. We want to sit together, is it best to sit near the front or back of the “coach class” with all our luggage. Thanks for any tips!

  • Natalie says:

    I’ve read through all the terrific information you’ve given, and don’t specifically see the answer i need so:
    i’m flying into milan for a few days then going to venice, i think the train is the best option but to book in advance or not? Then same problem again when leaving venice…heading to vernazza; I have no clue, should I book in advance to pisa? then regional to that little train that goes along cinqueterre? sorry

    • Hi Natalie,
      The train from Milan to Venice is definitely the best option. Book in advance if you’re sure you’ll be able to make a specific train, as that’s the best way to guarantee not only a seat, but to take advantage of any discounts if any are offered. Likewise with Pisa, although we’d say don’t worry about the Pisa to Vernazza leg. We hope that helps! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Adele says:

    Great and informative site. We are travelling from nice, france on dec 23rd and I would like to take the train to Pisa and then to Rome all in the same day but, with a 2 -3 hour stop in Pisa. I am worried that it will be hard to time it this way. Also worried about trains selling out with the date so close to Christmas. Any suggestions on whether this might be possible?

    • Hi Adele,
      We’re happy to help. That will be a full day, so get an early start! If you’re worried about the train selling out, just pre-book your tickets on the site—the other benefit is that the farther in advance you book, the more likely it is you’ll be able to get a discount on the fare.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Lourdes says:

    Hi! Thank you for all the information, I have a question. I booked a train from Rome to Florence online and when I received the confirmation it said it was for the next day. I have read on some websites that this is not the first time it has happened but even though I filed a complained and sent an e-mail I have not received a response from trenitalia yet. I tried changing the date online but always get an error message even though I am copy/pasting the information from the e-mail confirmation. My question is, is it possible to change the reservation once we get to Rome? What do we have to do to get the tickets’ date changed? Thank you!

    • Hi Lourdes,
      Unfortunately, bugs like this show up sometimes in the Trenitalia site. We would suggest that, when you arrive, you go to the ticket desk once in Rome and explain the situation (someone will speak English!). A printout of the screen-shot of the error message you get online might help. Also make sure you print the ticket, and also have with you your PNR and CP code.

      If you got your train ticket at the “base” price, changing the ticket date shouldn’t be a problem. If you got your ticket at the “economy” or “super economy” fare, you might have to pay the difference in price—meaning, pay up to the full base price. But here’s hoping that, instead, Trenitalia will recognize their mistake and not have you do that.

      We hope that helps. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

  • Winnie says:

    Hi, my family of four are planning to travel from Venice to Zurich. We found tickets on the Frecciabianca for Venice to Milan, and Eurocity for Milan to Zurich. For the Milan-Zurich leg I was told we have to print the tickets and get them validated at the station. We only have 15 minutes from our arrival in Milan at 8:55am to our departure at 9:10am from Milan. Is 15 minutes sufficient time to get the tickets printed and validated at the Milano Centrale? Are the machines easy to locate?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Winnie,
      It might be a little bit of a push if you have luggage. But don’t worry about locating the machines—they’re quite visible (they’re the normal ticket machines, but you click the option for picking up your ticket instead of buying one). Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Christine says:

    Hello –

    I’m having a very difficult time with the Trenitalia site. I’m not sure what to enter in the “From” and “To” fields… We are going to Cortona from Florence. I tried to enter the code you listed above for Florence, but it won’t accept it.

    I consider myself web-savvy, so needless to say, this is driving me crazy!

    Can you please provide a clue? Grazie!
    Christine

    • Hi there Christine,
      If you’re working with the Italian site, the problem might be that you’re searching high-speed trains (“Le Frecce”) only. (This is what the default search is set to—annoying, we know!). Since there isn’t a high-speed Cortona to Florence train, this would explain why no results come up! Make sure you’ve clicked on “Tutti i treni”, if you’re on the Italian site. Start typing in “Cortona” and you’ll see the station options; same for “Firenze.” (Even if you’re on the English site, you need to use the Italian names). Let us know if that fixes the problem!

  • michelle says:

    Thanks so much for this very informative website!
    I’ve got 2 questions: I’m travelling to Rome from Verona. The train unfortunately takes 4 hours with one change (for the times I need to travel). Would you recommend the train rather than a flight? The cost is about the same. Second question! When I get to Rome Tiburtina, I need to find the Orte train. How long would you allow for purchasing tickets and finding the train -I don’t speak any Italian…
    Thankyou!

    • Hi Michelle,
      You’re very welcome, and thanks for reaching out!

      We’d still recommend going with the train, only because we find it more convenient. In general, by the time you add in travel to and from the airports, security, waiting at the gate, etc., it winds up being the same amount of time (and often more money). The benefit with the train is also that you don’t have the same limit on luggage! Finally, it’s pretty nice to look out the window and get a sense of parts of Italy you might not have time to stop in 🙂 Of course, though, it’s up to you.

      Secondly, all train stations in Italy will have a couple of big boards, one labeled “Arrivi” and one “Partenze”. “Arrivi” are for trains arriving, “Partenze” for trains departing. You’d look on that board for your train (look for the train number, not for “Orte,” since the destination given will be the train’s FINAL destination, which probably isn’t Orte). That’s the easiest way to find your platform number, no (or little) Italian needed! You also can buy tickets on one of the automated machines, and there is an English option. To be on the safe side, give yourself 20 minutes or so between trains.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Angie says:

    Hello, thanks for the geat info.
    There are 8 of us (7 adults & 1 teenager) going to travel on the following dates by train:
    June 30 around 12pm – Rome to Florence
    July 02 around 12pm – Florence to Venice

    I browsed the Trenitalia & Raileurope website, why such a big difference in price? And in Trenitalia, we can only book 5 people at a time? Pls advise. Since we have the exact dates & time, is it advisable to purchase all the tickets for both destinations on line while we’re here in the U.S.?

    On July 4th – we’re leaving Venice to fly to Paris via Marco Polo airport; what’s the best way to go to the airport for 8 people? We’ll be staying at a hotel located in between the Venice SL train station & the Rialto. Thank you so much for your help.

    • Hi Angie,
      The difference in fares between Trenitalia and Raileurope comes about because Trenitalia is the official seller, while Raileurope is a “reseller,” so Raileurope applies commissions to the Trenitalia fare.

      Unfortunately, there are some glitches with the Trenitalia site, including that, yes, you only can book for up to 5 people at a time. The benefit of booking your ticket online in advance regardless of the glitches, though, is that you can get discounted rates (like super-economy or economy fares), if they’re still available. That said, if you do decide to change your mind on the date or destination, changing your ticket is complicated. But if you’re absolutely sure, it’s worth buying in advance.

      Finally, the easiest way to transfer to the airport is generally with a private transfer. Feel free to contact us at info@walksofitaly.com for information on our transfer services.

      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Claudio says:

    Even though i’m italian, I consider this one of the best guides to italian trains I’ve ever seen in my life. Glad to see there are ppl like you helping tourists this way. Great blog, great website.

  • Ficus Flanagan says:

    Are you familiar with the train station at Bologna?
    If you are transferring from a train from Florence to a train for Verona, do you have to go from one level to another?
    I am asking because often it is difficult with a large suitcase to navigate up or down stairs.
    Any information about the train station at Bologna would be appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Ficus Flanagan

    • Hi there Ficus,
      Yes, we’re very familiar with that train station! To get from one track to another, you have to take an underground passageway, which you can access by stairs or by elevator. However, sometimes the elevators are out of order, so do be prepared that there’s a slight chance you might need to climb stairs with your bag!

      Also, the train station at Bologna is, in many ways, a sight worth visiting in itself. The wall near the trucks in its waiting room are a sobering reminder of the terrorist bombing of August 2nd 1980, which killed 85 people and wounded more than 200. The area of the station where the bomb detonated has been reconstructed, but the flooring has been left unrestored and a deep crack in the main wall has been left as a memorial to the attack. A station clock is also set at 10:25, the exact time of the explosion.

      On a happier note, there is a “yummy place” at track 1 (take your left if you get out of the ticket desks atrium) that makes “tigelle”. Tigelle are like small but thicker piadine stuffed with anything you like. Of course, in Bologna, you must try the tigelle with Mortadella and cheese! 🙂

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Shell says:

    Hi, I have a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to anywhere. I booked 4 seats (2 tickets of 2) on the train from Venice to La Spezia (transfer in between). I only meant to book 2 seats for my boyfriend and I. However, we are travelling in a group and I can give the other ticket for 2 seats to my friend and her boyfriend. It says we need to give the PNR number to the conductor. Does it matter than I booked all tickets under my name, which isn’t the same as my friends? I am just curious if I am going to run into problems since both tickets for 2 seats each are reserved under my name.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Shell,
      We’re happy to help! And yes, you can book tickets for other people, so as long as you are traveling together, you should be fine.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Nella says:

    Great informative website !
    I will be travelling with my husband and 18 month daughter through Italy in August/ September . We are thinking of taking the train from Rome- Venice , Venice -Milan, Florence – Salerno . Should we book a rail pass or individual tickets instead, what is cheaper ?
    We also want the fastest trains and most comfortable. Any advice is most appreciated
    Nella

    • Hi Nella,
      We’re happy to help. In general, individual tickets are the best, and cheapest, option. Try to book them in advance online, and you can take advantage of sales, like traveling in first class at half the price.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • sam says:

    What a wonderfully helpful website, thank you!
    I am travelling from Venice to Modena on July 29th.It’s quite a long journey and I think there’s a change at Bologna. Is there a better time to travel, ie very early or after 9am. And is it much more comfortable in first class? It seems the price difference between first and second isn’t as prohibitive as the UK’s.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Sam,
      We’re happy to help! We’d say pick whatever travel time is most convenient for you, but mid-morning and late afternoon (rush hour times) tend to be busiest. First class is a bit more comfortable, with roomier seats, and on the fast trains, you get little snacks and a newspaper as well. But at the end of the day, everyone arrives at the same time, so it depends on your budget. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Tim says:

    My wife I arrive in Rome on 6/24 approx. 10:30 AM. Want to take train to Salerno. What train service is the most effective w/out changes if possible. Thank you. By the way, we decided on Salerno because of your blog!

    • Hi Tim,
      We’re so glad to hear you’re visiting Salerno! It’s very easy from Rome: you can take the direct high-speed Frecciarossa train, which takes just 2 hours, or the slower intercity train, which takes 3. You’ll see when you book if you would need to change or not, but there are lots of direct options.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Maria says:

    Hi,

    I’m travelling to Verona Porta Nuova from Milano Centrale and I booked the ticket online, through the Trenitalia website. Since it has a PNR code and a code bar, do I have to validate it before boarding the train?
    Thanks in advance
    Nice website!

    • Hi Maria,
      Nope, you don’t have to validate the ticket. Just make sure it’s printed (or on your phone) and show it to the conductor when s/he checks.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • say says:

    Hello. I’d like to book a train from Rome to Venice. I’m trying to purchase a mini fare ticket but can’t seem to open any of the links people have posted. Either doesn’t open at all or comes up as error. Do these fares still exist?? thank you

    • Hi Say,
      These promotions are generally temporary, so yes, the MINI fare is no longer on offer. Instead, you can find a full list of ongoing Trenitalia promotions here, including 2-for-1 tickets and same-day return offers. Let us know if we can help with anything

  • Nilesh Samant says:

    First let me say that this is a great article on train travel through Italy. I have booked my tickets but am confused on one of the trips about getting the tickets and validating the tickets.
    I am travelling from Pisa to Manarola with a stop in Spezia for 7 minutes.Pisa to Manarola is an e-ticket so I don’t need to print any tickets. However from La Spezia to Manarola is a Self service ticket.
    My question is where do I get the ticket for Manarola..from Pisa or La Spezia. If its La Spezia, will I have enough time to get my ticket and then validate it? Or can I print my ticket at Pisa and validate it in La Spezia. Sorry if I have repeated myself a few times.

    • Hi Nilesh,
      You’ll get the ticket for Manarola in La Spezia. You won’t be able to get it at Pisa. And yes, you should have time to get the ticket and validate it at the La Spezia station.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • LeeAnne says:

    Hello,

    Please disregard my last question as I think we will be going straight from Riccione to Rome. The train schedule in Bologna gives me 18 minutes to transfer. Is this enough time? Thank you for your time and help on this matter.

    • Hi LeeAnne,
      Yes, it should be enough time. Just remember that the elevators don’t always work, so you may have to lug your luggage up and down stairs on your own, so pack light if possible!

  • Lyn O'Sullivan says:

    This is a great site and is extremely helpful. After reading the information I’m actually going to book my tickets online instead of using a travel agent as I have done in the past. I have a couple of questions though. Could you please tell me if the names of the passengers have to be exactly as they are in your passport, what the email list for travels is and lastly, if I put in my mobile phone number as the contact number and it changes between now and then what do I do?

    Regards,

    Lyn

    • Hi Lyn,
      We’re happy to help! Don’t worry about the passenger names, as the conductor won’t check your ticket against an ID. Don’t worry about the phone either, as you likely won’t be contacted. Just make sure your email address is correct so you can receive the e-ticket. Finally, we’re not sure what you mean by email list for travels—can you clarify?
      Thank you, and happy travel planning!

  • Linda watson says:

    In looking at the train schedule from Monterossa to Naples, we are routed through Roma with a 4 minute change over time. Is this enough time to get to next train. It appears we come in on a 505 (whatever that means) and go to Trenitalia Le Frecce 9419. Just wondering how far apart these are?
    Thanks,
    Linda

    • Hi Linda,
      The numbers are just the way to identify each train. Four minutes will be tight, if you have luggage, so make sure you’re ready and waiting at the door as soon as the train pulls into Termini. Luckily, the platforms are also fairly close together. Ask the conductor when he comes through if he knows which platform the Rome train will leave from (show him your ticket). If he doesn’t, you’ll have to get off the train and check the large departures/arrivals info board. You’ll look for the train with that 9419 number; the platform number is listed where it says “Binario.” Let us know if we can help with anything else, and good luck!

  • Claire says:

    Thanks for all the information provided! I do have another question, though. I’ve booked a journey from Pisa to Trieste at night, sadly only via Regional trains, but that’s ok. The site said I need to collect my tickets at the self-service machine. Is that correct, or can I just use the PNR number like you’ve mentioned? And if I do need to collect tickets at the self-service machine, can I collect the tickets for all connecting trains at once or do I need to collect each ticket at each station I stop in?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Claire,
      We’re happy to help! If the message said to collect the tickets at the self-service machine, then you’ll have to do it that way; you can’t use the PNR only on regional trains. However, the machines are pretty easy to use. And yes, you can collect all of the tickets at once. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Jules says:

    Hi we are taking the regional train from Levanto to Ventimiglia then Nice in a weeks time. We have two kids 11 & 8 and three suitcases. Is there anywhere on these trains for luggage? Our train leaves from Levanto at 5am so we are hoping it won’t be crowded but I have heard of people having to sit on their luggage in the aisle for lack of room.

    Any tips?

    Thanks

    • Hi Jules,
      Yes, there’s room on the train for luggage. If the train is very crowded and there’s no more room for suitcases, you might have to put yours in the aisle next to your seat, which is annoying for other passengers but a necessity that others will understand. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Eria says:

    This is the best site ever!!! I want to ask ,if you know, why the site doesn’t have the option of more than 5 people? We’re 6 of us travelling but there is only the option of 5 people or less. Do I need to purchase the tickets separetly?
    Thanks,
    Eria

    • Hi Eria,
      It’s just a glitch with the site. Simply book your 5 tickets, then when that’s done, book the last ticket separately. Annoying, but no way around it.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Simon says:

    Hi,

    I am just getting started with trenitalia.com to look for trains from Rome to Florence on the 21st of September. However, I can hardly see any Regional trains. Most of the options seem to be the Fast trains. Am I doing something wrong?

    S

    • Hi Simon,
      Are you on the site in Italian or English? In Italian, on the home page, you have to click on the “Tutti i Treni” tab before putting in your start and destination. If you are on the English page, then no, regional trains should come up. They may just be running less frequently on the days you are looking for than the fast trains, as Rome-Florence is a popular fast-train route.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Martha says:

    We are planning on taking trains from Rome airport to Ancona in early August. Are Rail Europe and Trenitalia two different services? They seem to have different schedules. Also, are the trains striking frequently these days. Suggestions welcomed.

    • Hi Martha,
      Trenitalia is the official site, while Rail Europe is a reseller of Trenitalia tickets. So there might be a few mistakes on their site when it comes to schedules. As a result, we recommend only using (and relying on) Trenitalia!

      Trains aren’t striking any more frequently than usual these days. It’s unlikely that it’s something you’ll experience, and even if there is a strike on the day you travel, it’s rare that it’s a complete strike (usually at least some trains are running).

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • leanne says:

    Hi – great site! Leaving Nice for Venice tomorrow morning (with two hungry 13-yr olds!) on 3 trains: quick regional to Ventimiglia, then 4-hour InterCity train to Milan, then 2.5-hour Frecciabianca train to Venice. Wondering if we should bring food aboard the IC and FB trains? After lots of research online, all I can find is that the FB has a “refreshment trolley” which I think is just drinks. Any idea about that, and about the long InterCity train? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Leanne,
      I’m sorry if we didn’t catch this early enough to help! But for future reference, yes, the “refreshment trolley” is drinks and small snacks (packaged crackers, cookies, etc), so if you want a full meal or anything fresh, definitely pack a lunch. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  • Julia says:

    I am booking the Intercity train from Rome to Napoli. Can you tell me how to select the seats on the IC train as the numbers are jumping around. I would like to book a window seat and a aisle seat. How to tell if the seats are facing the front. Also, do we must join a tour to visit the “underground world” ? How long it takes for this tour? Thanks.

    • Hi Julia,
      We’re happy to help! Unfortunately, even when booking right at the ticket desk at the station, it’s not possible to know if seats are facing the front. That’s because nobody knows the order of the carriages (basically the way they “build” the train) in advance. Usually, it is possible to choose seats by clicking on “select seat,” once you select the train you wish to purchase. However on some trains the assignment of seats is automatic. That said, once on board, you can always move around and maybe even kindly ask somebody to switch seats.

      As for Naples, yes, it is necessary to visit the underground on a tour. One of the main companies for this is Napoli Sotterranea; you can read more about their tours here.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Taraa says:

    Hi, thank you for the great information! Me and my friend will be traveling to Italy in late August to mid September, and was wondering if it is better to book train tickets in advance when leaving from Venice Mestre to Pisa S. Rossore (on the Frecciargento 9419 and Regionale 23359), and Pisa S. Rossore to Roma Termini (on the Regionale 11853 and Frecciabianca 9773). Do you think these tickets will sell out if we wait to purchase our tickets the day of traveling or the day before traveling? Also would you have to validate these type of tickets?

    • Hi Taraa,
      We’re happy to help! This route most likely won’t be sold out (as long as you buy it at the station at least a half hour in advance, and almost certainly if it’s a day in advance), but you can never be guaranteed. Also, by booking in advance, you do get the benefit of taking advantage of any discounts, which you won’t be able to do on the day of. That said, if you want to be flexible, then we’d recommend waiting to the day of or the day before.

      You don’t have to validate the Frecciargento/Frecciabianca tickets, as these come time-stamped already, while the Regionale can be used in the future. And you don’t have to validate if you book the tickets in advance. That said, we tend to always run our tickets through the validation machine anyway… just in case!

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Daniel says:

    If i book the train ticket online in advance from trenitalia website, how do i validate the train ticket in the station?

    • Hi Daniel,
      If you book the ticket online and either have the code on your phone to show the conductor, or print off the voucher, there’s no need to validate the ticket at the station.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • S A says:

    We are a family of 6. I made a reservation for 5 (the max allowed) of us on the trenitalia website. When I tried immediately afterwards to make a reservation for the 6th family member, I was not able to get seats in the same coach cars or at the same price. According to the seating plan on the website, there are other seats in that section that we are in. I tried to call trenitalia but was not able to get thru to someone. Any thoughts on how to get seats in the same cars, even at a slightly higher price. Thanks, SA

    • Hi there,
      We’re happy to help. Unfortunately, the best option is to go to the ticket counter early and see if you can get your tickets changed at the station. Otherwise, we’d recommend just asking another passenger if they would mind switching seats with you so your family can sit together—Italians tend to be quite understanding about that kind of thing, and it happens all the time.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • francis grech says:

    Hi I would like to know how to go from Florence to Mirabilandia. Is it difficult.Tks
    Frans Frech
    Malta

    • Hi there,
      We’re happy to help! If you’re not renting a car, you’ll want to take the train from Florence to the station of Lido di Savio/Lido di Classe, near Ravenna; a shuttle bus takes visitors from the station directly to the park. You can see more information about accessing Mirabilandia here. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Allen says:

    My wife and I are planning on going from Rome to Barga by train. Spending 5 nights and then going from Barga by train to Paris. We are concerned that there is very little luggage storage on some, or all, of these trains.

    Are there porters or baggage handlers available at most stations(we are older)?

    What route would you recommend for this trip?

    Thanks for your help and a great blog.

    • Hi Allen,
      We’re happy to help! Luggage storage is limited, but there’s always room either at the end of each cabin or in the aisles (as annoying as it is for passersby!). However, there aren’t porters or baggage handlers—you are responsible for handling your own luggage—so that’s an incentive to pack light. (As is the fact that not all of the stations have working elevators/escalators, so there is the chance you might have to drag your luggage up or down stairs).

      You can check routes from Rome to Barga on trenitalia.com. If there are specific places you’d like to see on the way, we’re happy to help you further. Just let us know!

  • PRAKASH NAYAK says:

    Hi,thanks for an exhaustive article! me and my wife are travelling for the first time to italy and shall spend 12 days and wish to travel between florence-pisa-bologna-venice-rome. Since we travel in the second week of september , we were wondering if its a good idea to book train tickets on the spot or in advance? we would like to retain some flexibility, but were worried if trains would be ‘sold out’?

    • Hi Prakash,
      We’re happy to help! As long as you arrive at the station about a half an hour in advance, the trains most *likely* will not be sold out (and if one is, another will probably leave in the next hour, if you are on the most popular routes). By doing that, you usually miss the chance to get a discount on your seat, which is only offered if you book in advance. But it does help for retaining some flexibility.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Eric says:

    I booked a train from Brig to Milano Centrale on the TrenItalia site (EC 59). I received a PNR code and seat assignments, and the message to retrieve tickets at the self-serve kiosk. However, I don’t see that there is a way to do so in Brig. Can I travel just with the PNR, or will I be in trouble when the conductor checks?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. Great job on the website.

    • Hi Eric,
      We’re happy to help! This situation is a bit strange; in general, if a train station does not have machines to print out tickets, the option of printing out tickets at the station’s machines would not appear. We would suggest going to the train station in Brig and talking to the ticket desk to sort this out. The conductor does check, and applies a fine if the PNR is linked to a “non-ticketless” option.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Glenn says:

    I want to take the fast train Milan to Rome what towns will I pass through?

    • Hi Glenn,
      If you take the Frecciarossa, it actually doesn’t make any stops at all. That’s why it’s so fast (2 hrs 55 minutes)!
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Femke says:

    We booked tickets for the Frecciargento from Rome to Florence. Are there any rules for luggage (suitcases, bags) when you will travel by Frecciargento ?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Hi Femke,
      If there are any official luggage-limit rules, we’ve never seen them enforced (or heard of them). That said, though, be aware that you will have to lug all of your bags yourself (and possibly up and down stairs, depending on the station), so do try to pack light.

      Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  • Linda says:

    Hey there,
    I’ll be traveling from Venice to Milan (for a day tour) and then that evening will need to go from Milan to Rome. Do I need to purchase two separate tickets? or is there an option that allows me to have a super long layover in Milan? Thanks.

  • Angelica V says:

    Hello! I’ve been addicted to this site for over a year now, ever since my husband & I decided on having our belated honeymoon in Italy. Neither of us have ever used the train system there before, and this article (and many others) have been a huge help!
    I do have a question, since I am unfamiliar with the train systems. We are planning on taking the trains from Naples to Cariati in Calabria. Trenitalia is showing a route with 3 stops in between: Nopoli-Paola-Castiglione Cosentino-Sibari-Cariati. Once in Paola we switch to regional trains, and some of the change times are short. One is 5 minutes. We won’t have a lot of luggage, only a backpack each, but is a 5 minute transfer enough time to switch trains & validate tickets?
    Thanks in advance for any help/advice on this and thanks again for having such a helpful blog!

    • Hi Angelica,
      Thank you for the kind words! We’re happy to help.

      And no, 5 minutes is probably not enough to change trains. Instead, book your legs separately to allow for more time (the price will be the same). Also, you can validate all of the tickets at the first station, before leaving.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Leona says:

    I was wondering how early we should arrive at the train station. We booked our trips online and I want to make sure we arrive early enough. Example – we will have a car take us from Positano to Naples train station. Our train leaves at 1300 (1pm). What time should we plan to arrive at the station? Also, what time do you think we should leave Positano? Our driver told us he would pick us up at 10am – the date is Wednesday, Sept. 11. Thanks! Your blog rocks!!

    • Hi Leona,
      That timing should be fine. In general, go with what the driver recommends; a local, professional driver knows the route and likelihood of traffic the best, and certainly won’t want you to miss your train. If you don’t have to buy tickets at the station, 15 minutes should be sufficient to find your track and board the train when you’re at the station.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Stev3 says:

    Thank you for all the information about how to travel on the trains. It cleared up alot for me. I do have a question. My wife and I are visiting Italy in September. We are flying into Naples we have transfers from the airport to our hotel. We plan to stay about three days in Naples and then take a train to Rome. How do we handle our luggage. We will have three suitcases and a couple of carry ons. Do you check your bags as you would in an airport? Or do you cary them on to the train or does the conductor handle your bags. I was told not to trust someone who offered to store your bags even if they have a name ad picture badge.

    • Hi there,
      We’re happy to help! No, you don’t check your bags, and no one else will handle them for you—which is why it would be strange indeed if anyone offered to do so (the exception to this is the stored luggage lockers at major stations like in Naples, but you would go to this area yourself and it’s very clearly marked and official). So you’ll have to haul your bags yourself, I’m afraid. There are storage compartments on the train, both overhead for smaller bags and at the end of each compartment for larger bags.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Jeff D says:

    Hello, what a helpfule website and election of walking tours ! I have tried to book IC #1533 from Milan to Monterosso 0810 departure September 22, 2013 – SEVERAL TIMES on the trenitalia website…… every time it lets me go through the entire booking, choose seats, etc. then when I submit, it says ” error code 439″ and that the train is temporarily unavailable. How long can I expect this to go on, and how else can I hope to book this specific train on-line, as I had hoped to ?

    • Hi Jeff,
      We feel your pain! Unfortunately, the Trenitalia site is full of glitches. We’d recommend just being patient, and trying again another day. Tickets certainly shouldn’t run out, so even your week of departure would be fine.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Wan says:

    Hi thank you for your help. I will be going to italy in October 2013. I am planning to book via trenitalia site. My question is will it be necessary to have all passengers name exactly entered like in the passport? Thank you.

  • Kate from LA says:

    This blog was SOOOO helpful! Thank you!

  • Kate from LA says:

    what is the best way to get to from the airport to the train station in Venice? If I am going to Verona I assume that I would want to depart from Mestre, yes?

    • Hi Kate,
      Yes, the train station connected to the airport is Venice Mestre. So you’ll want to either take a train from Venezia Mestre to Venezia Santa Lucia (to get onto the island of Venice), or from Mestre to Verona (to get to Verona).
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Susana del Toro says:

    Hi, I am travelling to Italy by the next week. I bought some train tickets to travel around there. My tickets are electronic tickets, so, my question is: do I have to validate on the yellow machine before riding on the train? And a second question is: is there any way to know what is the platform in which I have to board on the train or I have to look on the big screen in train stations?

    • Hi Susana,
      You don’t need to validate tickets purchased online. And unfortunately, the only way to find out the platform is to get to the station and look at the screen.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Suhaila says:

    Very helpful information. Thank you very much

  • Susana del Toro says:

    Thank you very very much for the information.

  • Amber Fernandes says:

    What a fabulous thread! Wish I had discovered it earlier 🙂
    I have a question and really appreciate your time.
    I am traveling to Rome tomorrow early morning with my 15 yr old daughter. I will be then going to Cinque terre, Florence, Milan, Venice, Castelmona, Positano and back to rome to catch our flights back.
    Questions: Do i need to do the reservations for all the above on the train?
    Where can i make cheap reservations as the reservations itself are pretty expensive?
    Taking the overnight from venice to Taormina. with our supersaver we will be allocated 3 couchette with another lady i suppose. how is the train journey?
    From florence i am going to go to pisa and seina
    From Positano will visit Pompei
    Would appreciate ANY suggestions. 🙂
    Thank you so much in advance, Amber

    • Hi Amber,
      We’re sorry we saw this too late to help you, but for other readers, no, you don’t always need reservations. It’s only the most popular lines that tend to be sold out and only at the last minute. That said, booking in advance is the best way to get discounts, so we recommend doing so if you have a clear idea of your itinerary.
      Amber, we hope you had a wonderful trip!

  • Kayren says:

    We will be traveling from Switzerland to Salerno the last week of September. We don’t have an itenerary about how to get through Switzerland. Do you have a suggestion for us about the route by train? We would like to have 3 full days in Salerno and don’t have any idea about whether to stop in some smaller towns along the way to make our journey more enjoyable. Reading this blog is how we decided on Salerno. You’re so kind and helpful!

    • Hi Kayren,
      We’re happy to help! Unfortunately, Switzerland isn’t (yet!) our expertise, but as for the Italy part of your trip, getting from northern Italy all the way down to Salerno is a bit of a haul, so yes, you might want to break it up. Depending on which way you go, you might want to stop in Milan, the Cinque Terre, Lucca, Pisa, Florence, or Siena.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Joe says:

    Hi. This is a great site.
    Flying to Italy next week for a Mediterranean Cruise. Also doing a bit of site seeing.
    Is there a direct train from Genoa to Florence?
    Do you have to exchange at Pisa?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Joe,
      We’re happy to help. Yes, you do have to change at Pisa, but changing trains is usually pretty painless (as long as you don’t have too much luggage!).
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • luann says:

    the Circumvesuviana is so confusing. I’m trying to get from Sant’ Angello to Ercolano Scavi and when I put the date in (sept 15, 2013) it comes up NA/NA/NA/. What is that about? The calender doesn’t even fit properly in its cell. Is there really going to be a train available for that date? Thanks

    • Hi Luann,
      We’re happy to help! Keep in mind that the Circumvesuviana is a very local train (more like an above-ground subway than a national rail system), so often the schedule isn’t announced very far in advance. In this case, it looks like it’s simply too far out from the date of travel to pull up times. But yes, there will be a train available for that date. For today, for example, there’s a train at 12:24pm leaving from Sant’Angelo and arriving at the scavi at 1:52pm. So we’d recommend that you just continue to check as you get closer to the date.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Doug P says:

    First, a note to others. If you find a cheap train, hit “Select” next to the price to see if you can actually buy for that price. Many low fares are Frecciacarta fares, which appears to mean you need a special card account to buy those. I have an ID at Trenitalia, but no Loyalty Code to take advantage of these fares.
    I’ve now booked all my journeys online, but some legs do not have a PNR. I do have a “ticket code”. For example, we’re heading from Fiumicino to Napoli Centrale and the Leonardo Express leg into Roma Termini has just a Ticket Code. Do we need to obtain a ticket by punching in our code at a ticket machine, or does the code work on board just like the PNR–ticketless?

  • crispy says:

    Hi, does trenitalia allow return booking? for example rome to venice, venice to rome after 2 days? I tried doing it but seems not working that way. Shall I do single trip booking only? Then book separately for the return to Rome? Of course this means transactions twice. Hope you can help me with this. Your site is very informative. Thanks for this.

    • Hi Crispy,
      Yes, the site allows you to book return trips. If you’ve clicked the English option (upper right-hand corner of the page of the main site_, then under “ticket” you just put the bullet point in “return” instead of “Single.” It’ll bring you to your outbound options first, and when you select one and click forward, the next page will show you your options back. If for some reason that’s not working (the site can be glitchy), then yes, you’ll have to book each separately.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Janet says:

    Hi,need help on best way to buy train tickets. departing from Roma Te on Sat.sept.21 to Florence. I would like to take the Eurostar. I am staying in Florence 3nights and leaving from Florence to CT and staying 2nights.than taking train from CT back to Rome. Is their anyway to book all tickets at one time. Should I use a travel agent in Rome to help me? Do the Frecciarosa train run less frequent on Saturdays? Thank you

    • Hi Janet,
      We’re happy to help! We’d recommend booking these tickets yourself, as you’ll have to pay more for a travel agent to do so, and it’s very doable on your own. If you want to take the Eurostar (in Italy, these are called “Le Frecce” trains, not Eurostar), then go to trenitalia.com, click on the UK flag in the upper right hand corner, put in your start and end points and times, and the fastest trains that come up (Frecciarossa or Frecciabianca) will be Italy’s version of the Eurostar trains. Just follow the instructions in the post to book those trains. You’ll do the same for Florence->CT (La Spezia) and CT->Rome. Unfortunately, you have to do each transaction separately, but it’ll still be less time than it would take to find and use a travel agent in Rome :-).
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • marie says:

    I am travelling to Rome in October and would like to visit Cinque Terre for a day trip. Is this doable? and how long will it take to travel by fast train from Rome to La Spezia then local train to CT?

    • Hi Marie,
      From Rome, it’s going to take about 4 hours by train to get to La Spezia, and then another 15 minutes-half hour from there (depending on which Cinque Terre town you want to visit). So, unfortunately, we don’t recommend it as a day trip. Instead, you might want to think about other, much easier day trips near Rome—like its lakes (we like Lago Albano and Lago Bracciano), seaside, or, if you want to go to another big-name spot, the Amalfi coast (you can get from Rome to Salerno in 2 hours by direct train, and then take the SITA bus from there). Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • John Kelly says:

    Hi, I have tickets for my wife and me from
    St Lucia St in Venice to Rome. We are arriving
    By ship in Venice. Between luggage 3/4 pieces,
    And my difficulty in walking, I’ve been told it will be impossible to get from ship to St Lucia ,
    And I should take a taxi/ car to Mestre. My train ticket is from St Lucia, can I simply go to Mestre
    And board the train there? I have seat reservations in Premier class, and the same
    Train stops in Mestre.

  • Rozmill says:

    My husband and, a bit unfit in our early 60’s wish to take a train from Florence to Roma Te in the afternoon of Monday 21 Oct. I am concerned about the possibility of arriving in Rome around 5-6pm (depending on which train we take ) during peak/rush hour traffic both on the road in Rome or at the station. What do you recommend is the best way we go to our hotel in the Piazza de Spagna – by taxi or train? Will we be lugging luggage up or down stairs if we take the train? Would it be best to arrive later say 7pm although that means being at Florence station around 5pm when I presume that will be very busy as well?

    • Hi Rozmill,
      We’re happy to help! Don’t worry too much about rush hour; it really shouldn’t make much of a difference for you, in either Rome or Florence, since you’re not driving into or out of the cities (like commuters do).

      To get to your hotel in Rome, it’s very easy to go by metro, as you just take the A line right to Spagna (about an 8-minute ride). There are escalators at both Termini and Spagna, however there are still some short flights of stairs to take as well. Or you can take a taxi; make sure you get one from the official, licensed taxi stand outside. It should cost no more than 10-12 euros.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Tammy says:

    My hubby and I are traveling to Italy in May. Have waited 25 years to do it and want to do it right. Our itinerary for 2 weeks is, fly into Rome for 4 days…train to Siena for 2 days…train to Florence for 2 or 3 days?…. Train to vernazza for 2 days…train to venice for 2 days….train to Milan for 2 days ..fly home from there. My questions..how many days in Florence and Venice and do I need to make train reservations before we get there or can we do it when we arrive in Rome.

    • Hi Tammy,
      We’re happy to help! As you know, you’re packing a lot into 2 weeks, so be prepared for that 🙂 We’d say spend 3 days in Florence and 2 days in Venice, if you can. As for the trains, you’ll want to always book the high-speed trains to cut down as much as possible on your transport time. Given that, if you have some idea of your itinerary; you may want to book your tickets in advance, before arriving in Rome; the reason is that that way you can take advantage of discounted fares that may not be available closer to the date (many tend to sell out a week ahead of the train’s departure).

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Diane says:

    What would be the best way to get from Rome Termini to the Intercontinental De La Ville Roma….taxi or metro for four 60-somethings with luggage? Thank you!

    Also, any recommendations for renting a car in one of the smaller towns (La Spezia, Pisa, Lucca, etc) in Tuscany region for driving to small castles and hotels in the country?

    • Hi Diane,
      If you want to make it easiest on yourself, go by taxi. Depending on the time of day you arrive, it shouldn’t be more than 12-15 euros for all four of you.

      With your own car, you definitely can get to more out-of-the-way spots in Tuscany and Liguria. However, for La Spezia and the Cinque Terre, we don’t recommend having a car; parking in the towns is very limited and having a car really isn’t necessary because of the trains there (unless you want to explore other spots that aren’t the 5 CT towns). Also keep in mind that you must be comfortable driving in Italy, where drivers can be a bit more aggressive and where getting around can be very confusing, so make sure you rent a GPS with the car.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Diane says:

    Thank you. Since you asked if you could help with anything else….

    As far as renting a car in a smaller town we are hoping to find a rental agency near the train station when we disembark. Are there any that you might know?

    We hope to go to Volterra, San Gimignano, Lucca, Barga (stay at the Renaissance there) and other smallish walled towns we may find. Will we be able to park in these towns? Are there parking restrictions of which we should be aware?

    We are US citizens. Will we need anything other than out passports for this trip? (visas, international driving license, etc)

    Thank you, again!

    • Hi Diane,
      Apologies for the late reply to this! In answer to your questions: In Volterra and Lucca, parking is available in the towns. In Barga and San Gimignano, you’ll probably have to park just outside of the historic center, and then get a bus or walk (usually convenient unless anybody has particular ability issues).

      You won’t need a visa for a less than 3-month stay in Italy. Technically, you’re meant to have an international driving license, but in practice, we’ve never heard of a rental agency that hasn’t accepted a US driver’s license to rent a car. Those two documents should be all you need!

      For rental agencies, locations should be listed on the car rental sites (we like Autoeurope and Maggiore Rent); we recommend booking your car in advance, both to save money and to have the most options for what kind of vehicle you want.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Sarah says:

    Hello
    My husband and I are planning to catch the train from Pisa airport to Siena on 30th September. My question is, if we book train tickets in advance online, but then were to miss the train because of a delay with the flight, would the tickets be valid for the next train? We are planning to catch the train approx one and a half hours after landing
    Thank you for your help
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,
      If you book tickets in advance online and miss the train, the only option would be changing them at the train station, which can be a hassle. So we’d recommend just buying the tickets at Pisa when you arrive, so you don’t have to stress!

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Joe says:

    Hello, we are travelling from Roma Termini to Venezia St.Lucia. We found tickets on trenitalia website and i have 1 brother and 1 sister both aged 13 this year. I was wondering whether to choose National or Regional as National 4-14, Regional 4-12.
    Please help . Thank you very much 🙂

  • Linda says:

    Great website, many questions answered! But still a little unsure about the best way to combine our med. cruise with side trips.
    We want to hop off the ship in Naples (Jan.17th) and train to Florence, spending two nights and the intervening full day there. Getting up early on departure day and train to Pisa for a quick tour of the tower, then on to Livorno to rejoin the ship by 3PM. Do you think this is too ambitious? We are a little nervous about the ship arriving in Naples according to schedule and secondly are wondering whether or not to wait to buy the tickets when we get there or do it before we leave home (two weeks earlier). Also at the end of the cruise we want to get off in Naples again and train to Venice for two days and then back to Rome for a week before leaving for home. We are trying to figure out which trains/passes/tickets would be best and when we should start looking to purchase them. We leave home Jan. 4th and will have sporadic internet thereafter. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! Again, great site!

    • Hi Linda,
      We’re happy to help. That schedule is very ambitious, but it is doable; the ships almost always arrive when they say they will. You can buy train tickets at the station, but it’s usually best to book in advance to take advantage of cheaper fares on the high-speed trains; generally, two weeks ahead of time is fine. Looking at the schedule you’re setting out, though, you are making it quite hectic for yourself, especially as you’re going to have 11 days in Italy, if we understand correctly, after your cruise finishes. We’d strongly recommend that, instead of what you’ve proposed, you consider spending your Naples layover exploring Naples (here are 9 reasons why you shouldn’t skip Naples!), Pompeii, and/or the Amalfi coast, which is much more convenient from where you are. When you return from your cruise, you can then organize a much calmer itinerary where you train to Rome, spend time there, then Florence, spend time there, then Venice, then return to Rome on the fast train to get your flight home. Just something to consider.

      We hope that helps!

  • Krista says:

    Hello, I have 2 questions.

    One: I have gone to the website and tried to enter Florence as my destination from Milan, but it is not giving me any options for train stations in Florence at all. Is there any chance it is called something different?

    Two: My daughter will be 3 when we travel. I noticed that their child tickets are for kids 4 and above. Does this mean I don’t need to purchase a ticket for my 3 year old?

    Thanks in advance for all of your information.

    • Hi Krista,
      We’re happy to help. First, the Trenitalia site can be a little buggy, which might be why you’re having problems. You have to type slowly and wait a moment for the options to come up. Alternatively, are you sure you’ve clicked on the English version of the site? If you’re on the Italian version, then Florence isn’t coming up because the city’s name is Firenze, not Florence.

      Second, yes, your daughter travels for free.

      We hope that helps. Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  • Joe says:

    Sofia,

    My wife and I (71-69) are flying into Milan on October 27th, spending the day, and taking the train to Florence the following day for a two day stay, then taking the regional train to Civitavecchia to board a cruise ship. We are taking two rollerboards and one large suitcase.

    Is it possible to ship the large suitcase from Milan direct to Civitavecchia by train so that we don’t have to lug it onto the trains? We will be spending the night there prior to boarding the ship, so we have time to receive the bag even after we arrive.

    • Hi Joe,
      We’re not aware of a service that does this, although if you do a bit of research you might find one. In general, though, we wouldn’t recommend going with the Italian postal system for anything like this; the chance that your bag will be delayed or that there will be any other problems is just too great to risk it. Unfortunately, we’d recommend going the old-fashioned route of taking the luggage yourself.
      Sorry we can’t be more helpful in this case!

  • Faith says:

    Hi! I plan to travel from Rome to Bologna and from Bologna to San Marino (I read I’d have to take the train from Bologna to Rimini then the bus to San Marino). Do I need to buy the tickets in advance or can I buy them on the spot? Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Faith,
      You can buy them on the spot. Sometimes booking in advance can be nice as you can take advantage of discounted fares, but if you’re not sure when you’re traveling, it’s better to be flexible, and on a route like Rome-Bologna, barring any strange circumstances, as long as you are at the train station at least 30 minutes ahead of your time to buy your ticket, you shouldn’t have any problem getting one.
      We hope that helps!

  • Yancey says:

    Hi, I just wondered if here is any luggage regulation or baggage weight limitation for the train~? I’m going to Italy in Nov.
    Thanks for the help in advance~

    • Hi Yancey,
      There are no weight limitations for the trains. However, be aware that you are responsible for carrying your luggage (sometimes up and down stairs) and storing it on the train, so it’s advisable to pack as lightly as possible. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Ravindra Jumde says:

    In intercity from Pisa to Milan 20/10/2013

  • Marion says:

    Hi there
    Thank you for all the information here, I was wondering if you might be able to offer me some advice?
    I am travelling to Milan next week with my 2 children who are 11 and 15. I am trying to book a day trip to Venice. I have the option to select a ‘Bimbi gratis’ fare, but it says it’s for under 15 years. So does that mean up to 14, or up to 15? I am not sure if I can count her as a child or not. Also would it be wiser to wait till I am in Milan to book the train tickets or should I risk booking them online? I am happy to book for a particular train time, I am just worried about my daughter being 15 and whether that actually counts as a child fare or not.
    I would also like to book a day trip across the Swiss border to Lugano perhaps? Is this a trip you’re familiar with? Any advice?
    Many Thanks!

    • Hi Marion,
      We’re happy to help. “Under 15” means up to 14 years old. However, the easiest way to handle this generally is to go to Trenitalia.com and start as if you’re going to purchase your ticket; when you do, put in the age of each passenger and the system calculates the price and any discounts for you.

      You can take a train to Lugano with Trenitalia as well.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • ky says:

    I plan to visit Pisa from Florence with my family, 4 of us (2 adults & 2 children).
    Understood that we can get the regional train for return trip if in between the valid 4 hours.
    How this works and what is the conditions? How to validate the tickets / how many times we need to validate the ticket?

  • LHP says:

    I understand booking in advance allots for possible deals offered by Trenitalia. However, do the standard fares increase over time? Currently, a business class seat on a train from Florence to Rome, on the 2014 date I’m looking at, is 29 euros. Is that price subject to increase as the date becomes closer? Knowing that will help me decide whether to pre-pay for the ticket(s) or not. Thank you.

    • Hi Luciana,
      Yes, fares tend to go up. You can see by checking if the fare you’re looking at is called, for example, “super-economy” fare. These fares are usually totally sold out by a few days before the trip. So it can definitely be worth booking in advance! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Erin W says:

    Thanks for the play by play for us US citizens! I wish you spoke more about families like us who have pre purchased passes! Any tips/links for this?
    We are a family of 5 ( 4 adults one 9 year old) traveling together entire time for 13 days over Christmas 2013. We purchased a 6 day/1st class family eurail at a promotional rate. Flying into Milan (MXP) and arriving at 12 noon and have 3pm last supper tickets and then must catch a train to Venice that evening…need to stow our luggage at train station…help me here if you can as to what trains to take from airport and where to stow luggage and then how to get via train to last supper and back to train where our luggage is stowed and hopefully where we continue on to Venice. Any train suggestions to get to be in Venice around 8pm. But needs to be after 3pm last supper tickets! Does the first class pass help? After 3 nights in Venice we go to Florence and I wasn’t planning on reserving train in advance as I noticed there is a reservation fee? Will we be ok with our eurail tickets to just get tickets upon arrival to station? With these 1st class eurail passes what trains are good choices to go from Venice to florence? (Afternoon time) can you please list one or two?
    After 4 nights in Florence with day trips in mind we head to Rome for 4 nights and again due to having the 6 Day eurail passes I wasn’t going to reserve trains…it is Christmas and some of our travel days are dec 20 23 and 27. Do you suggest I pay reservation Fees? We will take day trip from Rome to Naples on the 29th and clueless from Naples as to how to get to pompei. Can we use our train passes to get to Pompeii too?
    Please send along some info regarding above inquiries, WOW thanks!
    THANK GOODNESS WE FLY OUT OF ROME! It will be the new year! WOW AGAIN!

    • Hi Erin,
      We’re happy to help. For your questions about which trains to take, it’s easiest for you to check yourself on trenitalia.com (click the English option in the upper right-hand corner). You can tell it to look at trains that leave after 17:00, which seems to be the earliest you would want to depart. A first class pass won’t help with getting you there faster; taking a high-speed train will. When you put in your query, though, all of the solutions will come up, showing you exactly what your options are.

      There is no reservation fee for booking a ticket in advance; make sure you are on the official trenitalia.com website. You can also actually save money by booking in advance, as often there are discounts.

      For Pompeii, your Eurail passes won’t work. If you are going to the Pompeii Scavi from Naples, you will take the small, local Circumvesuviana train, which is separate (and very clearly sign posted when you arrive at the station). However, it’s very cheap (3 euros or so per ticket).

      We hope that helps! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Louise says:

    Ciao! I love your article! It’s very helpful! And I just followed you guys on twitter too! What tours do you do? Maybe I can sign up for 1 or 2 while I’m in Rome! I plan to travel to Roma, bologna, Venice, then back to Rome with a short stay in Firenze in december. Taking the train all the way! Happy & excited! First time to Italy! I checked the train schedule from Roma termini to fiucimino airport on 22 dec for my flight back but the site shows “no travel solution”. What does this mean? That it’s too early to check? I tried the other way around from the airport to termini and was able to get a timetable. Any idea why termini to FCO shows up empty? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Louise,
      We’re glad you’ve found our resources helpful! We have a number of tours in Rome, Florence, and Venice, which you can find out about here. However, we do recommend that you don’t wait until the last minute to book them, but rather reserve online in advance—many are quite popular and sell out in advance!

      As for the train schedule, we don’t have that problem. Perhaps try again, but type in Roma-Termini and Fiumicino slowly enough to make sure that the right place pops up; if you type too quickly and it doesn’t, the system doesn’t recognize the names properly.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Martha says:

    what about Rome to Sicily by train? is that a good idea?

    • Hi Martha,
      It depends on how much time you have and how much money you want to spend. It’s one of the cheapest, but longest, ways to get to Sicily. As an alternative, you might want to look into budget flights, as there are many from Rome direct to Palermo and Catania.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Roli says:

    Great information!
    We are planning a trip to Italy (first time in Italy :)) in late Jan./early Feb.2014 and I am thinking of the folllowing route –
    Landing in Milan (from Hong Kong)-Venice-Florence-Lucca/Pisa-Rome-fly back to HK.
    We could also do a day trip to Lucca & Pisa from Florence if that is better.
    We also intend to do day trips to Vetican City & if possible to Pompeii from Rome.
    Not sure how to plan & check trains though.
    I was wondering if there is any rail pass which allows to travel certain number of days in 1 month (as I have seen some other European rail passes do).
    We land in Milan on 25 Jan. in the morning & fly out of Rome on 03 Feb. at night.
    Any help or suggestions would be highly appreciated.
    Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi Roli,
      We’re happy to help. In general, it’s cheaper to buy individual train tickets than a rail pass, even with the amount of travel you’re doing. You can buy tickets on trenitalia.com; for specific and detailed instructions, read this post!

      Regarding your route, it sounds a bit ambitious to us—with only a week in Italy, we don’t recommend doing more than three major cities, at the very most (in your case, Venice, Florence, and Rome, or Milan, Florence and Rome, would work the best).

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Dan says:

    In March, two of my daughters will arrive by international plane to the Rome airport around 8 am on a Sunday morning. We want them to get a train to meet us in Florence that afternoon or evening. Since it is difficult to be certain of their time to be available to get the train from Rome to Florence I am hesitant to reserve a ticket in advance. How difficult would it be for them to arrive at Termini and them purchase a highspeed train ticket for the next departure to Florence ?

    • Hi Dan,
      They should be fine; sometimes these tickets do sell out, but usually not more than 15 minutes before the train’s departure. Plus, there’s usually another high-speed train soon after. So we’d say that would be the best way to go.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Susan says:

    Train from Monterosso to Florence

    We would like advise on the best train to catch between Monterosso and Florence.

    Our search indicates that there is only one fast train and this travels at 2000 hrs. Is this correct? Other trains we have found Regional and Intercity, travel more often but via Pisa. Is this also correct?

    thanks for your assistance

  • Lee says:

    Hi there. Thank you for this wonderful site and education!

    I am traveling to Italy for the first time in Feb-Mar of this year (2014). I am planning to base myself in Napoli for my second week of travel, and would like to take the train to The Vatican from the Napoli Centrale station, but I cannot figure out how to do this via the routes to Roma on the Trenitalia site (I am using English though I understand a basic amount of Italian).

    Do you have any advice, please, to make this happen? I am planning a day excursion from Naples by myself, and just want to visit the Vatican City itself. No time for any other Roma sites, and I’d like to be there to queue up or join a tour by 9:30 a.m. at The Vatican, returning to Naples by 8 p.m. at the latest, if that is doable?

    Grazie!!
    Lee

    • Hi Lee,
      Vatican City is within Rome, and you have limited time if you want to do a morning tour, so you’ll want to take a fast train from Naples to Rome’s Termini station. From Termini, you can get on metro line A to the Ottaviano metro stop, and the Vatican museums and St. Peter’s are a 5-minute walk away. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Ivonne says:

        Hi There,

        We are a group of 7 people will be traveling from Rome to Cinque Terre on mid-March. I’ve read your website and found out that I should book train from Roma Termini to La Spezia Centrale to go to CT. And would you mind informing us where to book the regionale train ticket leaving La Spezia to CT area? Can we buy the ticket online or we have to buy it on the train station?

        And since this will be our first time traveling to CT, which are the best towns out of the 5’s areas in CT to stay overnight? And is there any special price if we’re traveling with elderly (Above 70 years old)?

        Really thankful that I get to find this website before our travel time. It’s been a great help! Many thanks

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Ivonne, the ticket leaving La Spezia to Cinque Terre can be purchased online or at the train station. Accommodations can be arranged in all 5 towns of the CT, but we would suggest Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare as they are the bigger towns with more hotel and dining options. As for senior citizen discounts, Trenitalia offers a discount card (carta argento) that is free for seniors over 75 years old with a 15% discount off all normal fares (more information on the Trenitalia website). Senior discounts are also available on the Cinque Terre Card. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

  • Chamaree Sothanaphan says:

    Great article. Really love it.

    I plan to go to Pisa from Florence and return the same day with my daughter. I understand that if i buy a ticket at the station, the validity is 6 hours. Can I use just 1 ticket to go to Pisa and return to Florence if travel time is within 6 hours ? Is it possible to do the return trip with the same ticket? I am afraid I may misunderstand about this.

    If not, can I buy a return ticket (Pisa to Florence)at the same time from the ticket machine in Florence? So that I do not have to waste time buying a ticket again at Pisa.

    Is it possible that I get off at Pisa S, Rossore but return from Pisa Centrale station?

    Thanks
    Chamaree

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Chamaree! A Florence – Pisa ticket would only be one way, so it would not be possible to do a return trip with the same ticket. You can purchase a return ticket from your departure station, just be sure to indicate the time you would like to return and which station you’ll be leaving from. Be sure to always stamp your ticket before entering the train at one of the machines by the track or ticket machine to validate it. Do let us know if we can help you with anything else 🙂

  • Bob says:

    Hello

    Do I need to register on the Trenitalia site to be able to book tickets?

    Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Bob, registration on the Trenitalia website is not mandatory to book tickets, unless you would need an invoice for the purchase of your ticket. Let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  • Jim Beckman says:

    Hi,.
    Thanks for all the great information. My wife and i will be landing at Malpensa Airport in Milan in a couple of weeks before continuing on to Rome, then Florence and Venice.
    We arrive at Malpensa at 9:00 am and plan ontraveling by train to Rome. Should we take a chance on an advance purchase? Can we book a train at the airport or is the shuttle bus to Milano Centrale a better choice?
    How many days in advance do we need to purchase our other train tickets to take advantage of promos and discounts?
    Thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jim, we prefer traveling from Malpensa to Milan by train to avoid getting stuck in rush hour traffic. We suggest booking your ticket for the Malpensa Express train in advance online, along with your train ticket from Milan Centrale to Rome on Trenitalia with a generous block of time to ensure making your train in case of airline or baggage delays, missing your train from Malpensa to Centrale, etc. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  • Ajay says:

    Hi,

    Really great information here.
    My question, which is very weird on part of trenitalia, is that I have booked online return ticket from Zurich to Venice with break at Milano Centrale.

    Now the itinerary I receive in email has tickets for Milano to Venice and Venice to Milano. For Zurich to Milano and return, it says SELF SERVICE ticket. But in Zurich there are no such machines.

    I have PNR for complete trip and reserved seats in all the trains.

    Now can I travel with this ticket from Zurich and then get the tickets from SELF SERVICE machine in Milano or Venice for Zurich to Venice part.

    Please assist, I have never come across such situation in any train system. If it cannot be printed in Zurich then they should have not issued it.

    Please guide.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ajay, if you have a confirmation for seats on the train, you should be able to show this number to the conductor instead of printing out your ticket. Do let us know if you have any further questions!

  • Rob Andresen says:

    Visiting this April. I plan to take the Leonardo Express from FCO to Termini. Once I arrive at Termini I will be taking a Frecciarossa or Frecciagento to Naples. How much time do I need to transfer between trains? Is 30 minutes enough time? How far between the train platforms?
    I will buy the tickets in advance so I need to leave enough time. I’m figuring 3 hours from landing in Rome at 1425 to take a 1730 arriving in Termini and taking an 1830 to Naples.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rob, the Leonardo Express runs every half an hour and the ride takes around 30 minutes to get to Termini. 3 hours should be enough time to get from FCO to Termini, especially if you purchase your tickets ahead of time. Buon viaggio and let us know about your experience!

  • Vanessa says:

    HI There.

    We are a couple traveling in May, 3 nights each destination, from Rome to Venice, Venice to Florence, then Florence back to Rome to two more days, then catch our flight home, and was reading that it’s better to buy train tickets in advance; however, some websites say you don’t need to. I also read that there’s two train stations for to Venice We have a place to stay in Cannaregio. Which station would that be? Also, we have no time deadline to catch these trains and would like to know the best time to go that’s not rush hour since perhaps U.S. rush hour might be different than Italy and the cheapest. Should we buy in the US or wait till we get there?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Vanessa, if you’re staying in Venice we would suggest taking the train to and from the Santa Lucia station. The best time to travel would be from 11:00AM to 4:00PM to avoid the rush hour and generally find cheaper fares. If you are looking to take the high speed trains (Frecciarossa or Italo) to large cities like Rome or Milan, we would suggest booking in advance to find a cheaper fare as seats are assigned on the trains. Let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  • Maria says:

    Does it matter what site you book your train tickets on Trenitalia or Raileurope?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Maria, RailEurope tends to be a bit more expensive than TrenItalia as it is a ticket reseller and applies commissions. We suggest using RailEurope if you’re looking to book more than 5 tickets at a time as that feature is not available on the Trenitalia website. Other than that, there should be no difference in tickets!

  • Bill says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if a I purchase a “ticketless” regional ticket for travel between Firenze and Siena for a 11:10 departure, could I still use the same ticket for 12:10 departure if I have a delay in my connection? Thanks for all of the great information 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Bill, you can use the regional ticket on a later train that same day as long as there is no seat assignment. Buon viaggio and let us know if we can help!

  • Corinna says:

    As usual your posts are really useful and informative to travellers.
    As many have already pointed out, taking the train in Italy means a lot of things, but the reasons why I always suggest to my guests they should take the train and not the car are the following
    1.you can enjoy great views from the windows while reading a good book or studying Italian 😉 2. you pay less for transports 3. you arrive directly to city centers without wastingyour precious time to seek for a secure spot where to park the car (and parking fees in big cities like Rome, Milan or Florence are quite expensive!) 4. you can help the planet (train travel is so much less polluting than flying or driving!)
    Moreover for a real responsible travel you can take your bike with you on regional trains for just a small fee (€ 3.50). In Puglia your bike will travel for free! Check this website for details http://www.ruotaliberabari.it/usa-il-treno 🙂
    In Umbria and Lazio instead there is a nice project The Ferrovia Turistica (the Touristic Railway) http://www.laferroviaturistica.it/Index.html thanks to which you can combine walking with train to discover villages and towns otherwise hidden to travellers.
    Hope this helps someone! 🙂

  • Priscilla Han says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the great tips, i would like to ask some questions:
    1) What is the train station name for Alba?? (can’t seems to find it on the train website)
    2) Is there train from Alba straight to Venice?
    3) Or is it better to travel from Turin to Alba?

    Really appreciate your help as i’m planning this trip for my birthday celebration.

    Thanks in advance!

    Priscilla

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Priscilla! You can search Alba in the Trenitalia website (it will be the first result). We suggest taking the train from Turin as there is only one stop (in Bra or Cavallermaggiore) and is usually a 1:15 ride. Taking the train from Alba to Venice would include at least 3 or 4 stops because there is no direct train from Venice to Torino. Buon viaggio and do let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Andee says:

    Hi, great website!
    I’ll be in Ravenna in September and need to travel to Milan Malpensa for an 11:20am flight.
    However, the earliest train on Trenitalia website departs Ravenna at 6:30am (change at Bologna).
    1) Is there an earlier train? If yes, where can I find the timetable?
    2) If there’s no earlier train, this one arrive Milan around 9:20am, should I catch a taxi/bus/Malpensa Express, to get to T2 (Easyjet) the quickest?
    3) Finally, when the train arrive at Milan Centrale, is the exit at front or back of train? As I need to get out of the station quickly.

    Any help appreciated! Thankyou!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Andee, the earliest train we’re seeing on Trenitalia is at 5:03 from Ravenna, arriving in Milan’s Central Station at 8:40. You will then have to transfer to the Malpensa Express or shuttle bus and the ride will be about an hour to reach Terminal 2. Seeing as this schedule is pretty tight and leaves little room for train delays, we would suggest heading to Milan the night before so that you are closer to the airport for the flight. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Mark Buselli says:

    Thank you so much for this information! So very helpful. I have a question. We are arriving (4 of us) into Malpensa on June 1st at 10:40am. We want to get to Florence and are not in a time crunch.
    1) We plan on getting a train to the Central Train station in Milan …. We want to buy our tickets in advance for the high speed train to Florence. What would be the earliest we could book the Florence trip without feeling rushed?

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Mark, we’re glad you found this information helpful! You’ll have to factor in any possible flight delays, the time to go through passport control, pick up your luggage and get to Centrale via train (Malpensa Express) or shuttle bus. Just to be safe, we’d recommend a train around 1:30PM – 2:00PM. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Karen says:

    Hi, thanks for all the great info on using trains in Italy. I am hoping you can help with information on how long trains stop for passengers to exit at stations.
    I have made a booking for July 4 Roma Termini to Civitavecchia (we are joining a cruise) on the Frecciabianca 9772 (Second Class) which leaves Rome just before midday and arrives at Civi around 12:40pm. My questions is that I am not sure if this is a direct train and the last stop is Civi or if it continues on to a final destination – if it does I am unsure what the final destination is. As there are four of us and we will all have cases/luggage wondering how long the train is at the station for passengers to exit. Do we need to be ready at the doors to exit? Any clarification would be appreciated.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Karen, thanks for your kind words! The Civi should be the last stop on the train, but the Frecciabianca usually announces all upcoming and current stops in Italian and English so passengers have enough time to get off the train. The train will be in the station for a few minutes, but since you have luggage we suggest preparing yourself before it stops (you will hear an announcement and see people preparing their bags to leave). Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Christina says:

    Hello, great article! I just had a couple questions:
    I plan to arrive in Florence on May 23 from 9-10am. I don’t think there are reservations for regional trains from Florence to Pisa, but do you know if there are trains I can ride from around 9-11am on May 23?
    Also, do you know how often there are trains back from Pisa to Florence as well (ie. every 15 min, every half hour)?
    Thank you so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Christina! Regional trans run about every twenty minutes in either direction (Florence-Pisa). If you’d like, you can also purchase your region ticket on TrenItalia one week before your departure. Buon viaggio!

  • Sue says:

    My family of 4 will be traveling by train in June. How crowded would you expect the Florence – Venice train to be on a Saturday morning. Do we need to buy a 1st class ticket to be confident we will be able to sit together (or at least on the same car)?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Sue, you can actually pick your seats on the train in advance using TrenItalia or Italo. We would suggest reserving your tickets as soon as possible to ensure that the train is not nearly sold out, as June is peak season for travel in Italy. Buon viaggio!

  • Murli says:

    Hi:
    i found your article of great help. My wife and i are planning to visit Rome in May for a week . We fly in from India and then we have to fly out from Milan to the USA. that would require us to transit from Rome to Milan by train. My concerns are that we would be having some luggage ( 2 big bags and a couple of cabin bags) and would it be convenient and possible to lug them from Rome to Milan. Secondly, we would have to go to the airport in Milan (MXP) from the station. question is does the train stop at the airport since Milan’s traffic could be crazy at times?
    lastly we plan to make some day trips from Rome to Naples and Florence. are there some discounted tickets that are available for tourists similar to VUSA ( Visit USA)?

    Sorry for the bother but it is comfortable to get advice from experienced traveller.

    Thanks in advance

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Absolutely no bother, we’re here to help! The high speed trains (TrenItalia and Italo) have areas dedicated to luggage, so traveling with a few bags won’t be an issue. We recommend the Malpensa Express train (12 euros, approximately 50 minutes) to skip the traffic and get to the airport with ease.

  • Holli Daze says:

    Thanks so much for the great info. Just wondering if you can advise which would be the most logical way to get from Venice to Cinque Terre… Obviously considering Venice-Florence-CT but possibly Venice-Milan-CT as the two main options. Very open to your suggestion though – trip is for 4 adults. With thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      We would suggest taking the train from Venice to Milan to Monterosso al Mare as it is the most direct train. Other ticket combinations can include over 3 different transfers, which means more time traveling. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • YM says:

    Hi,

    Your article is really useful but I still got some little question to ask.

    Me and my family plan to visit Italy in this July.

    Is it enough/reasonable to arrive at milano centrale only 30min earlier before our train depart to Roma termini, say I will take metro from Porto Di Mare to milan centrale. Is it far between the metro station and train station?

    Also, how long it take walking from the ‘black information board’ to assigned platform?

    Thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! It will take about 25 minutes to get from the Porto di Mare metro station to the Milano Centrale train station and 30 minutes should be enough time once you get to the station to board your train to Roma Termini. The walk from the information board to the platform shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. Buon viaggio!

  • Kelly says:

    Hi –

    We are trying to research the best way to get from Rome (not the airport) to Positano (directly to the hotel) and we are trying to avoid taking a bus – I checked trenitalia and the prices are high however we’ve looked at ohter train websites which seem to be less expensive – why is that? Are we looking at the wrong thing? We are thinking Rome to Naples and getting a driver from there although we do have 8 people in our party – what is your recommendation?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kelly, the tickets you are looking at may be more expensive because they are a high speed train, therefore much faster than regional trains. We suggest using Frecciarossa (Trenitalia) or Italo for these types of trains. Since you are a large party, you may want to consider getting a driver and a small coach bus to get to your hotel in Positano. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Denise says:

    Hello!

    We are traveling to Italy in June. We found tickets from Milano Centrale to La Spezia but are having a hard time finding tickets for our next destination of Forli. When we search La Spezia to Forli on June 23rd, 2014 it says travel solution not found. When we check up to June 9th they are there but not afterwards. We are traveling with two kids so we are nervous about not having tickets ahead of time. Do you know if there will be a train between La Spezia and Forli on June 23rd?

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Denise! There are no direct trains from La Spezia to Forli and most travel solutions have multiple stops that include regional trains which can only be purchased 7 days in advance online. By looking at the timetable, we suggest finding a train that has just one stop in Pisa as many of the results include 3 to 4 stops. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Lourdes says:

    Hello….

    We are traveling froom Geneve to Venice by plane….Im looking for the flights and I see one at night (19:00 and arrives at 20:55) means that we will be late at Venice….do you think is no recommended ???

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Lourdes! The flight should be fine as public transportation should still be running at that time. Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

  • Kay says:

    Hello. My husband I will be flying into Rome in June and are going to Santa Margherita for a few days first. I was thinking of flying into Milan and then taking the train. What would you suggest?
    Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kay, we think taking the train from Rome to Milan is much easier (and usually cheaper) than taking a plane. The train to Santa Margherita is then quite convenient from Milan. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Peggy says:

    Hi I am visiting Italy in June . Can you please tell me the best way to get from Milano Cardona to Milano Centrale and how long it takes ? I have researched it and have found the green line is probably the best way. I am catching a train and want to be sure to get there inplenty of time.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Peggy! The best way to get from Cadorna to Centrale is by subway on the green line and it should take around 10-15 minutes. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • chris123 says:

    Hi In July I am planning to travel from Florence to Pisa. Is there a train that will go directly between these two cities? i have checked the trenitalia website and there seems to be no trains that do this

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Chris! There are many train options between the two cities (usually 2 or 3 per hour. The ride takes approximately 1 hour), but you may have to search for “Firenze” instead of Florence, even when using the Trenitalia website in English. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Gail says:

    My daughter is taking a trip that originates in Marseilles and then she is proceeding to Avignon, Nice, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Verona, Venice, Bologna, Florence and Milan. I am confused about the rail routes in that sequence of cities. Is this doable? I have found that she would instead have to go to train stations in nearby cities to make this work. Would she then take a bus to her destinations? Please advise. Grazie.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Gail, your daughter can absolutely take the train to and from each city and she can reserve via internet on Trenitalia and Italo to guarantee a seat on the train at the lowest price. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  • Shing says:

    Hi,

    Need some expert advice on travelling in Italy.

    I am travelling in Jun and I am still not sure on the train routes.
    I am travelling from: Milan – La Spezia – Siena – Florence – Tirano.

    Can you advice which trains to take for each journey of the trip?

    Are seat reservations adn pre-booking of tickets required?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Shing! We suggest using Trenitalia to purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible in order to guarantee a seat at the lowest price. Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

  • Ganesh says:

    Hello, I am looking to book the InterCity train from Rome Termini to Salerno on a Sunday. I noticed there are only two trains in the morning that get us to Salerno before 3pm. The InterCity 727 (arrives Salerno at 2.21pm) and the InterCity 1573 (arrives Salerno at 2.50pm). We are looking at InterCity compared to the faster Freece lines since the Freece lines dont travel all the way to Salerno on Sunday, and would require a change to the InterCity to reach Salerno in any case. Couple of questions I hope you can help us with –

    -How reliable are the InterCity trains – do they usually make it on time, or are they mostly delayed? We have a ferry to catch from Salerno to Positano at 3.30pm so want to make sure we get enough time to catch the ferry.
    -What is the difference between the 1st and 2nd class in the InterCity – the 1st class seating in the InterCity 727 looks to be six seating in a couchette style, and in the InterCity 1573 looks like open concept with 4 on one side and two on the other side of the aisle. Which would you recommend?

    Thanks,
    Ganesh

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Ganesh! We’d definitely recommend giving yourself ample time with trains as delays are fairly common. 2nd class tickets are less expensive, but 1st class is known to have more comfortable seating so we’d suggest keeping this in mind depending on your preference while booking. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  • Francesca says:

    Hi there, I am traveling with my family on July the 25th 2014 there will be 4 adults and 2 children aged 9 & 10. We are flying to venice and spending a couple days in venice, we are then looking at catching a train from venice right down to ciro marina or the nearest stop. Can you please advise of what would be the best train/ route to take I understand we we will have to stay over night on the train.

    Look forward to you reply thanks in advance.

    Regards Francesca

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Francesca! There are a few different train options depending on what time of day you wanted to head down to Ciro’. You can use the Trenitalia website to find the most convenient train by plugging in the departure Venice and arrival Ciro’, with routes from 12 to 16 hours with 3 to 4 different stops. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Mitchell says:

    Booked tickets online for Rome to Naples Frecciarossa in business class, carriage 4. How will I know which is carriage 4?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Mitchell! You will see a sign on the door of each carriage on the train when it arrives. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Aukse says:

    Hi! I have a question regarding the train punctuality. I’m travelling this weekend from Zurich to Florence, and everything is set up except the trip back. On Monday I have to take the train from Milan to Zurich at 16.10. So I can leave Florence with either 13:00 or 14:00 train, which gives 1.5 or 0.5 hours overlay. I would prefer to take the one at 14:00, arrive in Milan at 15:40, and have half an hour to get my next train. So my question is – can I really trust this train to arrive on time +-10 minutes? I heard that those fast FRECCIAROSSA trains usually don’t have delays, unless there are strikes or so, just want to hear a locals opinion. Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! Frecciarossa trains are usually on time, but we always recommend giving yourself enough time because delays do occur. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Manuela says:

    Hi, A very iinformative article, I really enjoyed it. I am about to buy an e-ticket to travel from Trieste to Riva del Garda (Rovereto station). It was mentioned in the article to validate your ticket before catching the train. Does this happen with an e-ticket and how or what is the process?
    Thanks again,
    Manuela

  • Manuela says:

    Question: When buying a train e-ticket online, does this need to be validated at the train station? What is the procedure?

    Love the article, very informative.

    Thank you

    Manuela

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Manuela! If you were already assigned a seat number it is not necessary to validate your ticket. If the ticket does not have a seat assignment, like with a regional ticket, you must validate it. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Carolyn says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for the useful information on how to travel by train in Italy.
    I would like to seek your advise regarding travelling from Verona to Firenze.
    I have checked the train schedule and noticed that I need to change train at Padova to Firenze S. M. Novella. However, the time that I have to change train from FRECCIABIANCA
    9711 (10: 42) to FRECCIARGENTO 9419 (10:53) is a mere 11 mins. Will that be a problem cause I am planning to buy tickets (super economy) that do not allow any changes.
    Appreciate your help with regards to this matter.

    Ciao,
    Carolyn

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Carolyn, 11 minutes is cutting it a bit close and could be risky as trains can be delayed and it could take a few minutes to change platforms. We suggest finding a train that gives you a longer stopover of at least 20 minutes. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Jennifer says:

    I am taking my first trip to Italy next month and staying in Mira (outside Venice) for three months. I will have opportunities to travel around the region and I want to take the train. I can’t figure out if there is a station in Mira, or near Mira, and how would I get to the closest station. I’m hoping to get to Florence, Bologna, Ravenna, Padua, Verona, Vincenza, and maybe Milan during my stay. Also I need a bit more clarification on the “same-day” tickets. I only have time for day trips. Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Jennifer! You can find information on the buses in trains in Mira in English on this website. Same day tickets can be purchased for the Frecciarossa and Frecciargento high speed trains (more details here). Buon viaggio!

  • Anthony says:

    Hello,

    Last year, we visited Italy via car since we wished to go to little towns that do not have train access. Late December/early January, we wish to return and bring additional family members to witness the beauty of the main Italian cities (Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Venice) via train spending around 4 days in each city except for Pisa where we will travel from Florence for the day and return the same day. We expect to be in Venice for New Year’s Eve. Do you know when the train schedules for December 2014 and January 2015 will be published? Any recommendations regarding train travel for that time period that we should be aware of?

    Thanks,

    Anthony

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Anthony! We suggest having another look around September/October to see the timetable for December/January. Trains should be running normally, but may have limited access on the holidays 25 and 26 December and 1 January. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Ambika says:

    We’re leaving in about a week to Europe! One of our stops is La Spezia. I was wondering if you possibly knew the route on how to go from the cruise port to the train station.

    Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! The train station is located about 10 minutes from the port by foot. We suggest walking! Buon viaggio 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    I have a question about round-trip versus two single tickets on regional trains. We are planning a day trip from Florence to Pisa. When I put the information into trenitalia, I think it looked like it would be much cheaper to buy a round-trip ticket (23.40 euro r/t as opposed to 21.40 each way, this was for four people.) Does that sound right? Is it usually cheaper to buy a r/t ticket for a same-day trip, rather than two single tickets?

    The blog is very helpful, thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lisa, we took a look on the Trenitalia website and it looks like the regional the price is 7.90 euro per person, regardless of a one way or round trip purchase. You may have also seen the Frecciabianca options as well, which is at 15 euro for a faster train. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Lucy says:

    Hi, Thank you very much for so such useful information and tips! This is the best place in the internet to find all necessary information regarding train travel in Italy!
    I would appreciate your advice for my trip. I will be traveling from Rome to Venice (lido di Jesolo) on July 04, 2014. On my way I would like to visit Florence and Pisa for a couple of hours. I think to book one ticket from Roma Termini to Firenze S,M,N.; one ticket for Firenze S,M,N – Venezia Mestre Section and a return ticket Firenze S,M,N – Pisa Centrale – Firenze S,M,N. Is this the best option for my trip? Also, if I am not sure regarding the return time from Pisa to Florence, will I be sticky to the time mentioned on my return ticket or I have some flexibility?

    Thank you very much in advance

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Lucy, your itinerary sounds great! We suggest having a look to see if your ticket was assigned a seat: if it’s a regional ticket with no seat assignment, you are free to use your ticket even the next day if you’d like. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • EDUARDO says:

    Hi!

    I will be travelling in July 2014 with my two daughters from Florence to Ventimiglia. We have reservations to travel Frecciarossa 9500 arriving in Milano Centrale at 8:40 am, and then board Intercity 1535 to Ventimiglia, leaving at 9:10 am. Is that 30 minute lapse enough to change trains? Is there a possibility that Frecciarossa could arrive late? How may minutes before departure can you board a train? I expect these are not too many questions! Thanks a lot!!
    Eduardo

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Eduardo, the 30 minute stop over should be enough time to switch trains. Frecciarossa trains generally run on time and you can board the train as soon as it arrives in the station, usually 5-10 minutes before your departure. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Samantha says:

    Very useful website! Thank you for the tips and advice. I am buying a train ticket from Como to Monterosso, however I’ll need to print the ticket at a self-service machine in Como. Are these self-service machines usually quite easy to find and reliable? I’m afraid that it will be faulty or I’ll be unable to find them and I won’t be able to print my tickets and have to purchase another ticket at the station. I hope I’m just being paranoid here, but better safe than sorry! Thanks heaps.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Samantha, you can use the ticket machines directly at the station to print your tickets. We suggest arriving a few minutes early to give yourself enough time to print them since there is usually a line. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Victoria says:

    Hi! I am looking at buying train tickets online from Florence to Cinque Terre. It looks like we will have to switch in Pisa and will only have 14 minutes to switch trains. Will this be a problem? Thank you so much for all the great information!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Victoria, 14 minutes should be enough time to switch trains if they are both on time. If your train is late, be sure to check that you purchase a regional train with no seat assignment so you can use your ticket for the following train. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Joe Diaz says:

    Great job! The most informative website on train travel that we’ve found. Can you please offer some guidance for travel between Nice, France and Florence in October. We’ve read that we should take a local French train to Ventimiglia. From there, should we use the Milano Centrale route transferring to the Frecciarossa to Florence? Since we’re not familiar with train travel or any of the stations, what is the safe amount of time we should allow for transferring? Should we purchase tickets online in advance? Is luggage checked like on a plane or do you carry it with you, and if so, where do you store it? Which seat class do you recommend? These are very trivial questions for experienced train travelers, but despite being experienced travelers, this is the first time we’ll be using trains. THANK YOU for any information you can provide.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Joe, thanks a lot! You should take the Frecciarossa high speed train from Milano Centrale to Florence, giving yourself at least 30 minutes between transfers. We would suggest purchasing tickets in advance to save money and to be sure that there are seats available, and luggage can be kept with you (large bags can be set in the open storage area of the train). We suggest second class tickets, which are usually cheaper. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Helen says:

    HI
    We arrive in bologna on Friday 11th, and want to take the fast train to Firenze. Do you think it’s ok not to book in advance, but buy tickets at the train station? When I visited the trenitalia.com site, I saw that one of the trains that day was already sold out. Preferably, I would like to wait as we don’t know exactly when we will arrive at the train station.

    Kind regards,
    Helen

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Helen, we would recommend booking in advance as soon as you have an idea of what time you will be taking the train as tickets tend to sell out quickly for the faster trains, especially on a Friday. Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

  • Beth Dempsey says:

    Is there a place to leave luggage at Roma Termini? If yes, is 15 minutes enough time to drop off the luggage? I depart Fiumicino Aeroporto, stop at Roma Termini for the 15 minutes before I continue to La Spezia. After 2 days, I will return to Rome via Roma Termini. I would prefer to not have to carry a suitcase to Cinque Terre and would rather not leave it at Fiumicino. Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Beth, there is a luggage storage area of train station (more information here), however we do not think that 15 minutes will be enough time to arrive at the station, leave your bags, then catch your train. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Mari says:

    We will be in Rome on October 10 and need to take train to Milan to stay by Malpensa Airport for departing flight Saturday from Malpensa back home to Florida. Is there a train from Rome to Malpensa Airport? Would that be the best way? Thanks! Love your blog!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Mari! There is one direct train from Rome Termini to Milan Malpensa everyday. If you can’t catch this train, you can take the high speed train from Rome to Milan Central Station, then hop on the Malpensa Express to the airport. Let us know if we can help with anything else 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Wow – what a wonderful website! I’m part of two couples visiting Italy 10/25/14 to 11/8/14.

    Our original agenda (May 2013) was flying to Rome, plane to Venice & trains back through Florence to Rome & home. However, a medical glitch made it necessary to postpone the earlier dates, so all our accommodations needed to be changed.

    Had to reschedule for this Oct 26 th to Nov 8th. Now, we will first be staying in Rome for 7 nights, then take train to Florence for 3 nights, and train to Venice for four nights. Here is the touchy part: getting from Venice to Rome for an 11am flight back to the US ! There is a 6:30 am flight from Venice to Rome. But will need to get our luggage & hurry over to check in for our 11am US flight. Is that do-able? Would appreciate any suggestions.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Anne! Thanks so much for your kind words. We think stopping over in the airport is do-able, but we would suggest checking in with the airline to see if you can check your bags directly to your final destination in order to avoid having to re-check your bags a second time. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Alice says:

    We spent two weeks in Italy this June and traveled almost everywhere by train. (There were a few, boats, buses, and taxis used, too.) The trains were fabulous, fast, comfortable, and on-time, but there was an extra bonus the article doesn’t mention. Without exception, we met interesting people on every train. Many times they were Italians so we got to try out our tiny bit of Italian phrases on them. Sometimes they were travelers from other countries. But having extended conversations with people from other parts of the world was one of the highlights of the trip. One young woman even wanted to continue to Skype (“do you Skype-ah?”) once we returned home. Trains were an unexpected bonus to an already fabulous trip.

  • Liss says:

    I’m so thankful I happened upon this website. My family is planning a trip to Italy in October, mostly due to my husband having to work a few days in Verona. One of those days, I’d like to take my 12 year old to Milan to see the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (while in Milan, you might as well window shop). I’m a little nervous about doing so, with it just being her and I as I am not the greatest at directions. I looked at different stations and it looks like the Centrale station is closest. I was just wondering what kind of public transportation there is between the two and what you would recommend. I very much appreciate any advice you could give me.

  • Marilyn says:

    Hi,
    Short question. When travelling the regional train for example Florence to Orvieto, are you allowed to get off at Azerro, walk around and take the next train to Orvieto?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Marilyn, if you are planning to get off the train at Arezzo we suggest you to purchase tickets from Florence to Arezzo, then Arezzo to Orvieto to avoid any issues with ticketing on board. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • KL says:

    Plan to take the train from Milan to Rome with luggage. They are large size, but not Hugh size. Are there any specific space in the train to store the luggage safely, or are there any space near the seat that I can keep an eye on it ?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! We suggest placing your bags in the designated luggage area and finding a seat nearby to keep an eye on your belongings. There is usually not much space by the seats and it is discourage to take up seats with luggage on crowded trains. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Tracey says:

    we are planning to travel from Rome to Florence to Lucca to Venice. What route would we take by train? Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Tracey, you can take a high speed train from Rome to Florence, then a regional train from Florence to Lucca, then Lucca to Venice with a short stop in Florence. If you haven’t already made your arrangements, we’d suggest visiting Lucca first, then Florence and off to Venice by high speed train. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Sharmi Amir says:

    Hi,

    I will be travelling from Milan to Florence in December with 2 of my friends & a little girl. Plan to take Frecciarossa 9537 from Milan to Florence. I just want to check the seating arrangement on coach 10, is seats No 8A, 8B, 9A & 9B facing each other??

    And from my understanding, seats No.8A, 7A, 8B & 7B do facing each other with a table in the middle. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Thank you in advance

  • Dianne Kelly says:

    Thank goodness I found this excellent website to answer questions about train travel!!
    My start to finish itinerary is Genoa Airport to Vernazza.
    So far I have figured out to take a bus from the airport to Genova Piazza Principe. From there I take a train to La Spezia Centrale. So far so good.
    However, when I try to take the train from La Spezia to Vernazza, I find the following message for all train departures: The regional travel solution is not purchasable if the travel solution departure date is after 7 days from current date.
    I’m rather unsure what this means. Should I go to one of the other cities in the Cinque Terre and take a cab to Vernazza?
    I don’t want to book anything in advance as I will be flying into Genoa from London and can’t be sure at what time I can begin my bus/train journey.
    Could you help please? Thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Dianne, thank you – we’re glad to help! Regional trains can only be purchased within the week of your departure, so just take note of the timetable and purchase it right before your trip either online or in person. Buon viaggio!

  • Kathy Wasson says:

    My daughter and I are flying into Milan in June 2015 and plan to take a train to Varenna on Lake Como. I tentatively plan to take a train or bus from Milano Malpensa airport to Milano Centrale train station, and then I found a train ticket on trenord.it straight to Varenna Esino.
    Is this the best way to go and what type of train is this considered- local, regional, etc?

    Thank you for your assistance.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Kathy, Lake Como is actually quite close to the Malpensa airport, so you may want to make that your first destination. The Trenord is a local, commuter railway. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Kathy Wasson says:

    Hello,

    We are traveling to Italy in June 2015 and I am trying to determine which train company to use between the cities we are visiting. These are the train transfers we will need:

    Milan Malpensa airport to Varenna on Lake Como
    Varenna to Venizia St. Lucia
    Venezia St. Lucia to Florence
    Florence to Assisi
    Assisi to Rome
    Rome to Manarola in Cinque Terre
    Manarola, Cinque Terre back to Milan Malpensa airport

    It appears there are several trains and I am not sure which website or company is appropriate. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    Kathy Wasson

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Cathy! We’d suggest using the Trenitalia website where you can a wide variety of information on regional and high speed trains. Tickets are available for purchase up to 3 months before your trip, but you can get an idea now of the timetable. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • laura says:

    hi,

    I bought the wrong date for a special price ticket from rome to venice. It was very cheap but instead of January the website gave me February, What can I do? I will go from pisa to firenze also (I know that is an inter-regional) can they change the ticket for me in trenitalia? it’s actually the same price. I would really like to know the answer. In case I can not change it, can I give the ticket to someone else? because I put my name in it.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Laura! We’re sorry to hear that you had a mixup with your train tickets – we suggest sending an e-mail to Trenitalia at rimborsi@trenitalia.it with all the information about your ticket in order to request a refund. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • MT says:

    Hi! I will be travelling from Barcelona to Cinque Terre on the 11th of June 2015 via a budget airline.

    I’m wondering of the two flights below which is the better option for further train connections to cinque terre? And if there are reasons why I should pick one flight over the other.

    Barcelona (BCN): 11:05 – Florence (FLR): 12:45 (30 euro extra)
    Barcelona (BCN): 15:55 – Genoa (GOA) 17:25

    I believe it will take a bit longer to get to cinque terre from florence, but that flight will allow us to get there earlier in the day so we don’t have to navigate to our hotel in the dark and maybe even allow for a stop off at Pisa for a quick visit?

    Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! The flight to Genova will be much closer to CT, and the train ticket will also be cheaper. However, if you prefer to arrive earlier and see Pisa, flying into Florence would be the best way to go. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • MJ says:

    Hello, I am solo female traveller from Canada and I am considering taking a train departing from Milan Central station at 11:30 pm on a Sunday night. I would like to know if waiting inside the station on the platform is safe for women at that time of the night or if I should change my plan to take an early morning train. I will have one suitcase with me. Please advise.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao MJ, where will you be traveling to? The station should be fine at night, but as always we suggest being aware of your surroundings. Our concern is you arriving late at your destination – can you let us know some more about your itinerary so we can give you some tips?

  • Shiela warman says:

    Hi, We will be spending almost three weeks in Italy June,2015. we are planning to buy a Eurail pass. I have been looking into different train schedules for the trains we will be taking to the different cities. Every site we look at requires a reservation, some up to 64E.
    Whats the good of a rail pass? You do get a cheaper reservation cost, but does everyone
    have to have these? These are not necessarily high speed.

    help! shiela

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Shiela,

      We’re not 100% familiar with the Europass rules and regulations, but it seems that most high speed trains for the Italy Eurorail pass requires an additional fee. Instead, we’d suggest simply buying the train tickets you need directly from the Trenitalia website. It will likely cost less and leaves more flexibility.

  • Dorothy says:

    Good Day, I am trying to book train tickets on the Trenitalia site, but even with all the information you have provided and reading all the links on Trenitalia, Trenitalia seems to require that I input a User ID and Password suggesting the site wants me to Register (which I dont want to do). I read on another site that I can get around registering by Selecting the dropdown box “are not registered” under the Authentication section in the “My Travel and Payment” tab. There is no dropdown box when I access this section – so I do not seem to have a choice to continue without entering a UserID/Password. I can’t seem to get around this problem. What am I missing or doing wrong?

    Other links within Trenitalia site indicate that I can book with certain travel agencies in the US, so maybe it would be better to try this option?

    Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Dorothy,

      We have heard that the trenitalia site can be buggy at times. We suggest trying again or simply registering for the site. It’s free, and often used as an extra protection for your payment. Let us know if you have further questions.

  • Serena says:

    I read a few articles and I just want to tank you for how you advertises this beautiful country and you show the authentic side of it. I think as a student of Archeology that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty the food the art the culture of my country and Italians should do more to do this. Anyway as an Italian I advice the train for a journey considering the expansive tolls. Also sitting the window from La Spezia or Monterosso to Genova is really something beautiful in my opinion I do it every day and never bores me 😉

  • Train IL says:

    Thank you for your post and for explaining how can we travel Italy by train.

  • jean reed says:

    taking high speed train from paris to venice with two children and myself, do the doors on the sleeper cabins in the trains lock? Is this a safe way for a woman with two children to travel? Taking the night train, don’t know if that makes a difference.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jean,

      The compartment doors for sleeper trains usually have both normal locks and security locks (or chains) which cannot be opened from outside, even with a staff key, so you’ll be safe and snug! Let us know if you have other questions.

  • Leslie says:

    Ciao – traveling from Pisa to Roma via train, most likely Le Frecce…where can we find information on space for baggage? We have a large bag that we checked for the flight over and it will of course not fit in the overhead on the train 🙂 We’ve been zipping around Tuscany on the Regionale for day trips taking only a small pack but need to move everything with us to Roma.
    Grazie,
    L

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Leslie,

      The Freccierosse have space, usually next to the doors, for oversized bags. For anything else, they have shelves above the seats similar to an airline to store smaller or medium luggage. Have a great trip!

  • Joseph says:

    Thank you in advance for your help. Two of us will be going from Milan to Florence on Wednesday May 13, 2015. I see the trains leave every hour. We land at 8:40 AM..do you think we need to buy advance tickets or just buy them when we get there for the next departing train. Do you think these trains will be sold out? Thank you again.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Joseph

      When we travel we always book our trains ahead of time – they do sell out at times, particularly on busy routes such as Milan to Florence and the queues to buy tickets at the station can be a little crazy. If you are tight on time, I would book a train online but give yourself a reasonable time to allow for luggage collection etc.

  • Denise says:

    Thank you for your site. One question about planning the visit?
    We are looking at different agroturismo villas and we would like to have a map of train stations in order to choose the areas where we will stay. It will be easy to leave the car at a train station and take one day trip to cities we want to visit but in order to do so, a map of train stations or a list of them will help us in the planning. I can’t find it on the Trenitalia Web site. The timetable app on the site required to already know the departure station. Do you know where I can fin a map with train stations or a timetable with train stations listed?

    Thank you

  • Mark M says:

    Thanks for this great article.

    We arrive Rome (FCO) Sat June 13, 9:45 AM and would like to book online train for 6 to Naples. The online price is 19 Euros Vs. 45 Euros in the article above. Did the fares drop drastically or is that the normal online savings?

    And, how much time do we need to allot for customs from the US to Rome? With 9:45 arrival I was looking at the 11:45 from Termini to Napoli. Do you think we would be able to catch that train (assuming an on time arrival)?

    Thanks for any advice on this!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Mark,

      The train prices vary drastically and are especially convenient when ordered months in advance. This is likely why you’re able to find 19 euro train fare – great for you! Customs in Rome should be brief and fast, but keep in mind that trains run from the Rome airport to the Central train station every 30 minutes and it takes roughly 30 minutes to arrive.

  • Alison says:

    Hi, I’m amazed at how responsive and helpful this website is!
    I tried clicking on the link to see Trenitalia deals but it leads to an error. Is this an old link that does not work anymore?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you Alison. We apologize for the link. Here is the link for Trenitalia in English. You can also find it by going to trenitalia.it and clicking the English flag.

  • Hui Shan says:

    Great website, thanks for all the tips!

    Can i check – i would like to book a train from Firenze Campo Di Marte – Cinque Terre. Thinking to alight at Monterosso or is it Monterrosso Marche (sorry a little confused here).

    Which towns in Cinque Terre are worthy to check it out (i am only doing a Day trip there).

    And i realised for Saturdays there’s a 2×1 special. I read the website on the terms & conditions, but it’s not sure to me whether it’s eligible for tourists? Or have to be their CartaFreccia card holder to enjoy the special price?

    Thanks for your advice!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Hui Shan,

      Don’t worry, it can be confusing! The town you’re thinking of is Monterosso. Perhaps this article on Cinque Terre train travel might help you. Though all the towns in the Cinque Terre are beautiful, Monterosso and Riomaggiore are two of the most popular. This article can give you an idea of the different hikes available from each. Have a great trip!

  • Lou says:

    Just wondering what is the best way for us. We are landing in Rome on June 9th/15 and want to spend a couple of days there then go to Florence for a couple of days then onto Venice for a couple of days then spend the rest of our vacation in Pescara where we have a house rented. There are four adults. We are thinking about renting a vehicle?

    Help Please

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lou,

      It all depends on what you prefer. While renting a vehicle is simple and the highways are easy to manage, but there are toll booths and parking to consider. Train travel, on the other hand, means no one has to drive or worry about parking in the major cities (which are usually closed to cars anyway). You can easily take a high speed train from Rome to Florence and on to Venice. From Venice you can rent a car to get to Pescara or take a train that will pass through Bologna. Try trenitalia.com to see prices and times!

  • Ruth says:

    Hi, I discovered your website by mistake and I’m so pleased!
    We are travelling to Pisa in late August and hiring a car to drive to Camporgiano, where we are staying. From your excellent tips I think we would be better getting a train from Camporgiano to Pisa when we want to visit the city for the day. Is it easy to park at regional train stations and leave the car there? Also how do I know which trains will be direct and be the shortest times to travel? I’m sorry to ask so many questions! I am so worried about how to get about!
    Thank you in advance

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ruth,

      Though every train station is different, most have some sort of nearby parking available. Just look for the blue signs with a big white P and you will find parking. As for the most direct train times. Trenitalia.com will give you all the possible options with times and prices, from there you can choose which is best for you! We’re sure you’ll have a great trip!

  • Mireille Dalpe says:

    Hello, just fell on this wonderful site.
    We’ll be visiting our daughter in Verona for three weeks in April 2015, from Canada. We’d like to make some day trips around Verona but also possibly longer trips such as a visit to Rome for 2 or 3 nights and maybe the Dolomites.
    Some questions:
    1. Train to go to Rome & back: is it direct? or changes? And what line or kind of train do we look for when booking on Trenitalia?
    2. Would you have a suggestion for an area to stay in Rome. Our interests are: Vatican. Colosseum, Trevi, and things in between to walk to. I suppose those are expensive areas to stay in? Any cheaper solutions close to those areas?
    3. We are told that it is complicated to get to the Dolomites if you don’t have a car.
    Are there any towns that a train from Verona could take us that we don’t have to take a bus, taxi, etc. to get to a place to stay.
    Are there any lifts operating to the top of mountains at that time? Hard to find info.
    I don’t know if April is a good time to go because of rain and fog(?).
    Thanks for your help,

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Mireille,

      What a great occasion! We don’t think there is a direct train from Verona to Rome, though there is one from Venice to Rome. On the trenitalia website, you simply put your starting destination and your ending destination (in this case Rome) and it will give you all the possible options including connections. It is easier to visit the Dolomites by car, but from Verona you can visit Lake Garda, Mantua, Venice and Milan quite easily from train. We’re sure you’ll have a blast!

      • Mireille Dalpe says:

        Hello thank you for your response.

        One question was skipped 🙂
        2. Would you have a suggestion for an area(neighborhood) to stay in Rome. Our interests are: Vatican. Colosseum, Trevi, and things in between to walk to. I suppose those are expensive areas to stay in? Any cheaper solutions close to those areas?

        Thank you,
        M

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Mireille,

          Sorry, we aren’t able to decide on your location for you, but we often use http://www.booking.com to find hotels and b&b’s based on review, location and price. If you’re interested in the Trevi Fountain, you might like our Twilight City Stroll through Rome, which passes by the Fountain. No matter where you stay, Rome has a great bus system to help get you around and it’s a beautiful city to walk through. We’re sure you’ll have a great stay! 🙂

  • Rina says:

    Hi, my fiance and I are planning a trip to Italy for our honeymoon, and we’re planning to take the train everywhere! We are have found all the trains we need on trenitalia.com except for 2 of our trips – getting to Cinque Terre and leaving from there. We found trains going to Venice, Florence, Naples, etc, but when we search trains from Venice to Cinque Terre, and from Cinque Terre to Florence, nothing comes up after June 13th, 2015. We’d like to take a train into CT on June 14th, and a train to Florence around June 17th. I thought maybe the summer train schedule is not yet available, but I have found trains from Florence to Rome, and from Rome to Naples at later dates than that. Do you possibly have any insight on why there are no trains available to/from Cinque Terre after June 13th?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rina,

      It could be that the schedule isn’t available, as it’s a smaller train than the ones to Rome and Florence, though we can’t be sure. Actually, the train only goes to La Spezia, a town near to Cinque Terre. From there you’ll have to take a smaller train, a taxi or a bus into Cinque Terre. Try searching Venice to La Spezia! Have a great honeymoon!

  • Jeremy says:

    I’m traveling from Venice to Piedmont to Tuscany to Rome. Any idea how to travel this without renting a car?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jeremy,

      You can absolutely take those trips without renting a car. We recommend using Trenitalia.com (either freccierosse or the “all trains” option, depending on the location) and typing in your beginning and end destination to better plan your route. Have a great trip!

  • Leigh says:

    What a great article and resource! My fiancé and I are currently planning our honeymoon and we’re looking for some advice. Our flight into Rome (FCO) lands around 12:45 and we are looking to take a train directly to Florence. I have come across a couple options and wanted to run the timing by you. Ideally, I would like to catch the train out of the Fiumincino Airport station at 15:08. Are we giving ourselves enough time to get through customs and baggage claim, or would we be better off booking a later train out of another train station?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Leigh,

      We think you’ll have enough time to get your bags and get on the train, but if you’re a bit worried (for example, if the flight is delayed it becomes more difficult) than maybe you could book a train from the airport for an hour later. You might risk being bored for an extra hour, but you’d be less likely to risk the train!

  • Gopa says:

    Thanks very much for the detailed information on Italian trains, this is absolutely helpful. I am looking at getting a Frecciarossa premium seat from Florence to Rome, could you advice on whether there will be space between seats or overhead luggage racks for a couple of luggage trollies (there are 3 of us traveling together). A seat map of the carriage shows that there is space one end of the carriage for luggage, but I am worried about leaving my bags away from me. If I leave my bags at the space near the door, should I be locking and latching it up to the luggage rack just so that they don’t get taken away?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Gopa,

      On the Frecciarossa trains there are luggage racks above the seats for smaller bags and personal items. For large suitcases there are racks near the doors that you can slide your suitcase in so that it doesn’t roll around. There is no room to keep the suitcases on the ground near your seats, though you could try to get seats next to the suitcase rack! We’ve never had any problems traveling with luggage on the trains, even without a lock, but if it would make you feel better than by all means bring a small bike lock to loop through your luggage handles! You’re sure to have a great trip!

  • ADELINE says:

    Hi! Is it possible that there are no trains on the day that I’m planning to travel? I tried the Trenitalia site to see the afternoon train times for June 17th from Pisa to Florence but the results are N.A. Help.
    Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Adeline,

      There will definitely be trains from Florence to Pisa on that day. The Trenitalia site automatically puts you on the Frecciarossa, the high speed train, but there are only regional trains that take you from Florence to Pisa. Be sure to click the “all trains” option during your search if you want to book ahead. Often, however, you cannot reserve regional trains so far in advance. Don’t worry though, there are always seats – you can go the day of and get your tickets directly at the station! Have a great trip!

  • Deb says:

    I’m sure you didn’t intend to be the Italian rail network expert, but your page has been so incredibly helpful. I have a question please. I’ll be travelling from Milan to Marseille on 27 June but I can’t find any trains available on that day. I see trains available up until the 25th, and then from 28th onwards, but not for June 26 or 27. Is there some cultural event or public holiday in Milan/Italy that weekend that would affect train schedules? Surely a “strike” wouldn’t be scheduled that far ahead?? Gracie!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Deb,

      Thank you, we’re happy to help! No, there is no event or public holiday on that day. It’s possible that they simply don’t run trains from Milan to Marseille on that day. You can try a different day, or search French trains at the TGV train website here. They should have trains running daily! Have a great trip!

  • Suzy says:

    Hi …. Will be staying in Rome for 3 days in a hotel that says 20 min. Walk to termini. Is taxi needed?
    We would like to go to Florence and this is our first time . So I am not sure how the procedure is. I went online raileurope and found out you can purchase online train
    tickets in advance.
    I am confused as it says make sure you validate your tickets before boarding. And another article says reserved seats do not need to be validated. Can you please
    On this ? I can buy the comfort seats if this will assure me of reserved seats.

    Thank you very much!
    Suzy

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Suzy,

      Landing in Rome after a long flight and with all your luggage, it might be easier to get a taxi, especially if the 20 minutes was based on a car and not walking directions! You can purchase train tickets in advance online at http://www.trenitalia.com. Usually, if you print tickets in advance with a seat specified on your ticket, you don’t need to validate them as it will already have a date printed on them. If not (such as if you get tickets the day of your trip, something totally doable) then you will need to validate your tickets in one of the many little yellow boxes you’ll see around the train station. This simply stamps a time and date on them, so that you cannot reuse your tickets. Have a great trip!

  • Nur says:

    Hi!

    I am planning to go Pisa from Venice on 10 June but I am not sure if I should book my train tickets in advance or buy on the spot at the train station- is it cheaper to buy online?
    Also, how much does it usually cost for a train ride to Pisa from Venice Mestre? From Trenitalia, it seems to be about 50eur for 2- is that about right or is there cheaper alternative?

    Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Nur,

      The price is typically the same whether you book online or the day off, the only difference is if you book online months and months in advance and even then it’s not always available to view so far in advance. Getting your tickets on the spot can give you more flexibility, but with a Frecciarossa you might end up not getting the exact train you’d like. Though we don’t know the prices to all the trains, 50 euro for two people sounds like a good deal, considering Florence to Milan is more than that for one person! If you’d like to compare prices, you can try Italy’s other high speed train, Italo trains, here.

  • Hi, need to enquire a few questions from you. I am the group leader of 30 people vacationing in Italy. We will arrive in Rome on 3rd of May. We plan to travel by the intercity train to Naples on May 4. Is it okay to buy the tickets on the day of travel at the station. Do the tickets include the seat reservation? Do we need to validate the tickets before going on the train. Hope you can answer my enquiries.
    kind regards
    Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hello Raja,

      While it is ok to buy tickets the day of the travel, with a group that size we suggest getting them in advance to ensure seating and minimize problems. If you buy in advance there should be seats printed on the tickets as well as the date, in which case you won’t need to validate them. If there is not date, you’ll need to validate them so that they cannot be reused.

  • Valerie says:

    Hello! THANK YOU for this amazing information resource! Our 20-year-old daughter will be in a six-week program in Florence. She’ll be flying into Milan, arriving around 9:00 a.m. (on a Sunday), taking an express train to Milano Centrale, and then a high-speed train to Florence. We’re looking at logistics and trying to allow a lot of time for each step. So we’ve decided to go for a 15:00 (3:00 p.m.) time frame to catch the FRECCIAROSSA to Florence. I have two quick questions:

    1) Why is it that the 35573 Frecciarossa train leaving from Milano at 15:12 gets to Florence later (17:10) than the 9541 Frecciarossa? (which leaves at 15:15, arriving Florence 16:55)? And why are the economy premium fares $56 for the first train, and $45 for the second?

    2) If she gets to the Milano Centrale station much earlier than our estimate, would it be possible for her to get an earlier train for the same price, if there are any seats left?

    Thanks very much for any insight you can provide!
    — Valerie

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Valerie,

      We’re happy that you’ve liked our blog so far! As for the Frecciarossa trains, it’s hard to say why the prices and times different without seeing it ourselves. The most likely option is that one isn’t a Frecciarossa, and instead is a regional train which is less expensive but also slower. As for the second question, if your daughter already has the Frecciarossa seat reserved it will have a date and time stamped on it, so it will be difficult to change that pass. She could try to go to the ticket station desk and explain her problem, if they do have seats they’ll likely seat her! Good luck 🙂

  • Tinoj says:

    If I have already bought the ticket online, Is there anything I have to do at station like stamping it or something. Or else is it only enough showing the ticket pdf file in phone to the checkers if they ask for it.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Tinoj,

      If you bought the ticket online, it likely has a date and time printed on it. If so, then you don’t need to validate (stamp) your ticket at the station. The yellow validation boxes simply stamp a time on your ticket so that you cannot reuse it, so you should be fine! Have a great trip!

  • Mary Lynne says:

    Hi – have been trying to find a good train between Genova and Firenze which has turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. But I’ll get there! I read “travel by train” post with interest – it’s extremely informative. I have one question – you mentioned that you can get an electronic “ticket” either to your phone or by e-mail and just show that to the conductor. So I’m assuming that means you would not need to find the yellow validation meter and get your ticket validated? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I love this idea because my very first train trip, I think I had read about the yellow box but somehow wasn’t seeing one anywhere so I figured, “well, maybe they’re where you board”. It was getting close to departure time and I got all the way down to my carriage where a young couple was getting ready to board. I don’t remember if I asked them about the box or what, but yes, I DID have to get it done and the young man took my ticket and went tearing off to do it for me. His wife and I got on the train and I was totally panicked that he would not get back in time. But he did, bless him. 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Mary Lynne,

      Thanks for sharing, it just proves again that the kindness of strangers can make all the difference while traveling! If you do get an electronic ticket, you won’t need to validate it anywhere, you simply show your phone to the conductor when he passes (be sure that it’s charged!). We hope you have a good trip and let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Elaine says:

    We’ve travelled a lot on the trains in Italy and found them to be excellent.
    Just a couple of points about validation – the point of it is to stop you using the same ticket more than once, so if you do forget to validate your ticket before you travel, you can get a pen and write the date and time of your train across the edge of the ticket. Usually good enough to appease the inspector. And there are lots of inspectors on the trains!
    Also, I’ve yet to come across an oblong yellow validation machine except on a bus! On the station platforms they’re green with a grey-ish front panel where the slot it, and they have a convex, rounded front to them. They look a lot more modern than the machine on your pic so maybe Trenitalia is updating them.
    Buon viaggio a tutti.

  • Namrata says:

    Hello ! I am so glad I came across this site. My 2 friends and I will be traveling to Italy this october. We will be landing in rome and traveling our way from Rome – South – and then up north ending in Venice

    Rome – Naples – Amalfi Coast – Florence – Venice

    I believe there are trains for all these cities. My question is would you suggest buying a rail pass or just buy it for that day? Is a pass even necessary? Thank You.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Namrata,

      That depends. Tickets between each of the major cities run around 50 euro (though it varies quite a bit and sometimes can be found much cheaper on Italo trains, as opposed to Trenitalia). That means that you’d be spending around 200 euros per person for all of your train journeys. The Eurorail Italy pass offers unlimited travel on trenitalia trains within a certain time limit. For 3 days in 1 month the second class ticket starts at 120 euro – a big difference! But I imagine you’d need at least 4 days, for your four different city trains. That still comes in at 133 euro. We’d suggest looking at trenitalia.it and Italo trains for individual ticket prices, and compare them to the Eurorail pass prices. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Arch says:

    My husband, myself and son(4yrs) will be visiting Italy for 6 days. We will be flying into and out of Rome and plan to visit Venice and one other city in the South (Naples, or Sorrento). I understand train is the best way to commute between the cities. since we are visiting 3 cities, i was thinking of spending a couple of days in Rome, leave to Naples/Sorrento-1 day and then from there go to Venice 2 days and then back to Rome via Florence-1 day. My questions are:
    – Given the distance, travel time, frequency of trains etc is this doable or is it too tight?
    – would you recommend an alternate route or will Rome->Naples->Venice->Rome via florence work given the train options?
    – Which train service providers will work among these cities? Does trenitalia ply between all these cities?
    – you mention about booking train tickets in advance, can i book it online using a US credit card?
    Thanks a lot for your help

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Arch,

      We’ll do our best to answer your questions:
      – It is absolutely doable, but of course every day you spend traveling is a day lost in a city, especially one as big and vibrant as Rome. To get the most of your time in Italy, we suggest taking guided day tours, such as our Venice in a Day tour that hits all the top sights and ends in a gondola ride. We also have nearly 20 tours to choose from in Rome and the Vatican City all guided by our local experts.
      – To save time, we’d recommend staying in Rome and taking a day trip down to Naples and returning to Rome that same night in your original hotel. This way you will haul your luggage around much less, and the train to Venice will be much shorter (Naples to Venice takes 5 hours and 2 train changes….)
      – You can go directly from Rome to Venice (the train stops in Florence, but there’s no need to change trains) on Italy’s high speed trains, either the frecciarossa from Trenitalia or ItaloTreno.
      – Yupp, you can book in advance with a US credit card.

      We hope this helps and that you have a great trip!

  • Gerrard says:

    We would like to go to Florence from Rome in July and stay a night there and go to Venice from there.
    what’s the best way to get around. our group consists of 10 people.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Gerrard,

      That all depends on your preferences! By far the most relaxing way is by train, because there’s simply less to think about and no one has to be a driver. That said, it would be much cheaper to rent a car or two, rather than pay train tickets for each person. This article on driving in Italy might help you decide.

  • Sarah says:

    Hi, thank you for the excellent information! It was extremely helpful. I have one question… on the picture you posted of the arrivals and departures I do not see the train number; only the arrival destination, the time, and the platform/binario…where do we find the train number?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Though each board is a bit different, the train number will be on the board as well. Then you can match the number printed on the ticket (if you look at the picture of the ticket at the bottom of the post, it says “treno 1590”) to the one on the board. Hope that helps!

  • Carole Weir says:

    We are traveling from Milan to Venice, Florence and Cinque Terre and can’t decide the most efficient train trips. Could you tell us what would you do??

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Carole,

      Probably the most efficient thing to do is work in a circle, no matter what city you begin with. Considering that Milan has a large airport, we’d loop from Milan to Venice to Florence to Cinque Terre (or the other way around, if you prefer). That said, play around with the Trenitalia.com website or ItaloTreno to see the different train times and prices. No matter what, we’re sure you’ll have a great trip!

  • Kiya says:

    My family (4 adults) will be traveling to Italy for the first time this July. We are arriving on a Saturday morning in Rome and staying in Florence, so are looking at taking the Leonardo Express to Rome Termini and the fast train to Florence.

    I have read that the fast train tickets can sell out, so it is better to book in advance. However, I don’t know exactly how long it will take us to get through customs, etc. at the airport. I am hesitant to book ahead, since I know they cannot be changed once they’re bought. I don’t want us to miss the train due to delays or end up sitting in Termini for hours because we got through quicker than expected. Is it a good idea to wait and buy both the Leonardo Express and fast train tickets at the airport when we arrive? Or will all the fast train tickets to Florence be sold out by then?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kiya,

      We think that you can either book a train that is well in advance of your arrival time (allowing for some space in case your plane is delayed, also) or simply try to book once you’re there in the airport. You’re right that fast train tickets can sell out, especially on Saturday’s, but you can usually find some space on the following train. If that fails, there are always regional trains available as well, which will be slower but still doable. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Rachel says:

    We are planning to take a train from Rome to Naples on Christmas day. Are the trains operating on Christmas day December 25th? If there are trains on Christmas day, are all trains or only a few are operating on Christmas day?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rachel,

      On Christmas (and even the 24 and 26), trains and buses often run on “holiday” schedules. That is, far less frequently than normal. You’ll have fewer time options and those that you do have might be more crowded. Your options here are to 1) be flexible 2) book in advance or 3) stay put for those days. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Dawn says:

    Hi I’m traveling from Rome to Florence and later in the day Florence to Venice my question is do the stations have somewhere you can leave your luggage or is there any way to send my luggage on ahead to Venice. Also later on I will be travelling from Venice to Nice with a stop in Milan and I have the same question about my luggage.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Yes, the train stations have a luggage deposit where you can pay to leave your luggage for the day if you’d like to tour the city in-between trains.

  • Ron says:

    Hello,

    My wife and I are planning on a trip from Rome – Pisa – Florence – Venice.
    Would you suggest i book tickets online? and for all destinations since we will be doing a schedule of departure for each destination/
    Our route would be Rome – Florence – Pisa – Venice. We will stay in Florence for a couple of days so we will just take a train from florence to pisa and back.
    Appreciate your suggestion

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ron,

      For longer travel, we suggest you book ahead online. This way you’ll be sure to get seats on a fast train at the time you want, rather than a slower regional train. That said, you can book a train from Florence to Pisa the day of, simply walking to the train station a bit before you’d like to go. You can see all of your options on the TrenItalia website.

  • Adriana says:

    Good afternoon,

    Can you please tell me if there is an easy way to travel throughout Cinque Terre without renting a car.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Adriana,

      Of course! Cinque Terre is a car-free area, so the number one way to move through it is either on foot, hiking the trails that connect the five small town, or by train. Trains run frequently and cost very little, so it’s easy to travel throughout the Cinque Terre!

  • Mary Ann Knecht says:

    Hello,
    We are arriving at Milan Linate in June around 7:00 pm and are hoping to make an 8:50 train to Parma. Will that be enough time to go through customs and immigration, grab a taxi and make that train? Also, we’re hoping that a later train will open up. The weekend before has trains leaving as late as 10:50 pm, but thus far the next weekend, when we come in, has 8:50 pm as the latest. Is this likely to change?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Mary Ann,

      Typically customs in Italy are quite cursory and shouldn’t take too long. We see here that you can get from Linate airport to the Stazione Centrale in about 8 minutes by taxi, so there’s a good chance you can make your train to Parma if the flight is on time! Have a great trip!

  • Jemma says:

    Thankyou this article was very useful and answered lot of questions about booking trains between RoMe and Naples. I didn’t know about Italo Trena before reading this and have found some cheaper flexible tickets, THANKYOU!

  • Adriana says:

    Hello and thank you for your answer.

    1. Can you please tell me what would be the easiest way to travel from Cinque Terre to Venice. We will not have a rental car.

    2. Is it easy to travel from Florence to Perugia and Assisi for a day trip ?

    Thank you,

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Adriana,

      You can take a fast train from La Spezia, directly south of Venice, straight into Venice. Check out http://www.trenitalia.com for tickets. There are direct train rides from Florence to both Perugia and Assisi, but you’ll have to take a regional train, which runs a bit slower and will take a bit more time. The website above can help you simulate your trip. Have a great trip!

  • Matt says:

    Hello, I will be traveling to Italy in a couple weeks visiting Milan, Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome. Quick question about train tickets. We booked tickets in advance and most of our tickets are e-tickets that do not need to be printed. However, from Venice to Cinque Terre, we have to connect through Levanto and the ticket from Levanto to Vernazza is a regional train and we need to print the tickets at a kiosk. My question is if we can print these tickets at any train station with a kiosk or does it have to be at the Levanto station? For example, our train route from Venice to Vernazza is Venice-MIlan-Levanto-Vernazza. Can I print the regional tickets in Venice and also validate them there instead of rushing to do so in Levanto? Thank you for the help!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Matt,

      If you booked your train tickets with the final destinations as Levanto, then your e ticket should cover that as well. If not, you can likely print them anywhere, but you can always ask at the ticket window. That said, there’s a time limit on validated tickets, so we suggest validating it only before you need to get on the train.

  • Jason says:

    Hi,

    Once we do arrive at the station, how do we get from there to our hotel in Venice. Should we take taxi or bus? What is the best way to get to our hotel in Venice?

    Thank you

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jason,

      If you’re talking about the Santa Lucia Venice train station, it will drop you off in Venice already. From there, you’ll have to take either a water taxi or a water bus. We suggest a water bus, considering the taxis can run nearly 100 euro! The water bus, or vaporetto, are easy to use and run often. Tickets should cost 6 euro and the maps at the bus stops can help you find your way. Have a great trip!

  • Jane says:

    Hello,

    My family of four will be traveling from Florence to Matera June 30 to July 2. (via return train to Rome) We understand that the 2nd will be the final day of the festival for the Patron Saint of Matera. Will we have a difficult time getting a train back to Rome on that day?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jane,

      You won’t have any problem with the high speed trains on that day, but some of the more regional ones, such as your first train out of Matera will most certainly have fewer hours available. Check ahead of time the schedule at http://www.trenitalia.com or consider renting a car to drive you to a bigger city, such as Napoli, and then take the train from there.

  • Alvin says:

    Hi Walk of Italy,

    I love your informative article and it allows me to understand more on taking the train in italy. However, I will like some advice regarding Roma Tiburtina. I am taking a train from the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport to Florence and I will be train transferring at Roma Tiburtina to a Frecce train. However, I only have 15 mins to transfer. Will that be too rush?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Alvin,

      If your train is on time into the station, you can easily jump off and right on to your new train in 15 minutes!

  • Nadine says:

    On the website italiarail, if I type Roma at least 20 options pop up as opposed to when I type Rome it just gives me the airport or Rome (all stations). Could you please explain if I should pick the Roma option and try to go closer to my actual destination. We are staying in the center of Trastevere, and I see that there is a Roma Trastevere option. Should I pick that one or just general Rome all stations if traveling to Florence.
    Thank you

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Nadine,

      There are many train stations in Rome, but when doing your search you’ll want to use “Roma” and not “Rome”. The central train station in Rome is Roma Termini. As for if you should choose Trastevere, that depends on your schedule and hotel destination. We’re sure your hotel could help you with that. Thank you!

  • Elizabeth says:

    This is a wonderful blog, it’s a wonderful resource for us clueless tourists! Anyway, I have a couple of questions for you about what to do with baggage. My mother and I are taking the high-speed train from Rome to Florence, and then Florence to Venice later on, we’re traveling with two backpacks and two small suitcases. Do we have to check-in the small suitcases into baggage claim, like at the airport or do we take them with us on the train and store them on luggage racks at the back of the carriage? A similar question applies to the backpacks: do we check them into baggage claim, store them on the luggage racks, or keep them with us at our seats?
    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      On the high-speed trains there are bag racks at the start of most of the cars, you’ll store your larger bags there. Then you can keep your backpacks with you or put them on a rack above your head. Hope that helps!

  • Efe says:

    Hi,

    Can I get on the next train with the same ticket if I miss the train? Train information below.

    Depart: 15:10 Bologna Centrale / Arrival: 16:35 Venezia S. Lucia / Duration: 01:25 / Train: Frecciargento
    9426

    Next Train: Deprt: 16:10 Bologna Centrale / Arrival: 17:35 / Venezia S. Lucia / Train:Frecciarossa
    9430

    Thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Efe,

      You can for regional trains that you don’t have a seat number for. Unfortunately for the Frecciarossa trains you typically will have a time, date and seat number, meaning that is your one and only train.

  • Larry says:

    Hello, I am travelling from Livorno to Monterosso. The ticket require a connection in Spezia. If I purchase the ticket at a machine will I just get (A) one ticket for both segments or (B) two separate tickets for each segment.

    If (A), I just need to validate the ticket at the first station? no need to do it at the connecting station?
    If (B), I guess I need to validate at each station then.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Larry,

      Honestly, we’re not 100% sure if you will get 1 ticket or two, but we’d think two. When you buy them, you’ll find out! On that note, you will need to validate the ticket at each station, as they have a time-limit and can run out while you’re on the train (though in your case it seems the trains are close enough that it wouldn’t). Have a good trip!

  • Holly says:

    I have made a few purchases online to save on foreign transaction fees for an upcoming trip. I see the PRN on our high speed trains, but I only see a ticket code for the regional trains. I did print out the tickets as a back up. Do we need to validate the regional trains, or can we just show our e-ticket? Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Holly,

      Yes, you always need to validate regional tickets. We’re unsure about printing out regional tickets ahead of time or e-tickets – usually you can’t print them out ahead of time, so just be sure that there is a time and date on them or that you validate them when you’re at the train station and you’ll be fine! Have a great trip!

  • Chris says:

    Hello,

    My wife and I are Americans living in Ferrara (for a couple months now). We’ve mastered the train station for most things but we are taking a holiday to Austria in a few weeks and we’re trying to figure out night trains. We have found the time and route we are taking but when it comes to booking on trenitalia some of the options are confusing. We’d like two tickets for a sleeper car together, one of the options is ‘Cabina A 2 Interna’ is that what we are looking for? Thanks for the help.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Chris,

      Yes that seems to be right, as it means one cabin for two people inside. Trenitalia has an English language option in the upper right hand corner, but we know that sometimes not all the information is translated. Good luck and have fun!

  • Vihra says:

    Hi,
    I will be traveling by train from Pisa to Siena but I saw that I have to switch trains in Empoli. I know that I have to validate my ticket in Pisa before the departure of the train, but do I have to validate my ticket in Empoli too? Thanks a lot in advance!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Vihra,

      If you have just one ticket, then you don’t need to revalidate it. If you have two separate tickets for each train, then yes, you’ll have to validate each before the respective trip. have a good time!

  • Jesmond says:

    Hi. Will be staying in Como over Christmas period and am confused as to whether I can just turn up at the train station and buy any ticket on the spot (rather having to book online in advance). I know that this is possible in the case of regional trains however each time I’ve checked on faster trains (Eurocity) I keep getting instructions to book/pay in advance. When travelling abroad I always prefer to decide what to do on that same day and therefore (if possible) I wish to avoid booking in advance.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jesmond,

      You’re right, with regional trains you can always get a ticket but with faster trains such as the frecciarossa in Italy they prefer that you book in advance to ensure a spot, as the seats are assigned. That said, you usually can still get a seat on these trains, but we suggest to be flexible, as the train time you want might be full and you’ll have to take a later train. In any case, there are only regional trains to Como from Milan, so if you’re coming from out of Milan you’ll likely have to change trains from there to Como.

  • Selena says:

    Hi
    Have a question I haven’t been able to find an answer to yet..

    Will be travelling from Milan to Modena and Bologna and spending the night in Bologna. Then from Bologna to Verona for a few hours, then back to Milan.

    Can I buy a ticket from Milan to Bologna and get off in Modena (spend a few hours there) then with my same ticket travel from Modena to Bologna? Or do I need to buy 1 ticket from Milan to Modena, and 1 ticket from Modena to Bologna.

    Similarly, can I get 1 ticket for the next day from Bologna to Milan via Verona. Can I use this 1 ticket to get off at Verona for a few hours then go from Verona to Milan? Or do I need to buy 1 ticket from Bologna to Verona and 1 ticket from Verona to Milan?

    Thank you for your help!!
    Selena

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Selena,

      You’ll need to buy separate tickets. The high speed trains have specific seats assigned, so you have to stay on the entire time and though the regional trains, which is what we think you’ll be using, don’t have assigned seats, they do have time limits to use them once they’ve been stamped (validated in the tiny yellow boxes along the platforms). We suggest going to http://www.trenitalia.com, changing the language to english and typing in your destinations from there. Have a great trip!

  • Jessica says:

    Hi,

    I have a question regarding validating a train ticket. You wrote that train tickets doesnt need to be printed out, that you can show conductor sms or email or PNR code. Later you write that there are yellow validating machines where you should validate a ticket. How do i know which type of ticket needs to be validated and which not? I have bought all tickets (long-distance and also short-trips like Florence -> Pisa online and have online tickets). How do i validate online tickets?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jessica,

      If your tickets have a specific date on them, then you do not need to validate them. Your online tickets likely have a date.

  • Gent Leman says:

    Hi, great blog you have here.. I wander is it possible to make a “seightseeing” stop between the start and end stations on the tickets without paying additional fee? We want to see a bit of Mantova on our way to Modena, from Verona. Is it pssible to get-off Mantova and take train again after 2-3 hours and continue our journey to Modena, on the same train ticket Verona- Modena , without paying an extra fee?

    Sincerely Yours,
    Gent

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Gent,

      Regional train tickets will have to validated, but how long you can stop somewhere depends on the ticket you purchase (cities selected/distance). Typically, it’s valid for 6 hours once validated, but you would need to ask as it can vary. The best option, is to simply buy a ticket from Verona to Mantova, and then another one from Mantova to Modena. The price should be the same if not very similar, and you won’t have to worry about time limits or confusion.

  • Helen Tait says:

    Hello

    I am travelling to Italy in August and will be doing 3 of your tours when I am in Rome. I am travelling to Reggio Emilia by train. If you are able to could you please let me know if there is a training station in the town Centre of Reggio Emilia and is it possible to catch direct train from Rome. Thanks for your help

  • Luca says:

    Great article!! Let me suggest you http://www.oraritreniitalia.com if you are looking fro trains schedules ;D

  • Raymond Rodriguez says:

    Hi,

    I am traveling from Rome to Foligno for a day trip. What happens if I miss my train? Can I just hop on another train to the same destination, or do I need to buy another ticket?

    Regards,
    Raymond

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Raymond,

      It depends what kind of train it is and what kind of ticket. Assuming it is a regional train, you won’t have a ticket with a seat number or time, meaning you can use it whenever. If you miss your train, you can take the next one going in the same direction as long asyou haven’t validated it yet. As soon as you validate your train ticket (getting it stamped in a little yellow box near the track) you have a time limit and must take a train within that time limit. Have a great trip!

  • Himanshu says:

    Hi,

    What a great and informative website. I wanted to ask a question. We are a couple with infant and luggage (2 suitcase, 1 backpack, 1 pram) with no knowledge of Italian. We need to go to Naples from Rome on 14th May by the Frecciarossa 1000 #9601 leaving at 7:35 AM.

    We are staying at Rome and plan to take the train from Trastevere station (15 minutes walk from our place of stay) to Roma Termini. However, being a sunday, the first train departs at 7 and it says that is reaches around 7:20 AM. Will this be sufficient time to change the platform or should I opt for a cab instead?

    Also, is there any option to take a bus?

    Thanks so much

    Regards,
    Himanshu

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Himanshu,

      Honestly, we think it’s probably best to take a cab, just to be absolutely sure that you’ll make it on time. It’s more reliable and will give you more time to move luggage and baby to the Frecciarossa. Your hotel can help you to hail a cab as well as tell you of the local bus schedule. Have a great trip!

  • Himanshu says:

    Also, if one were tobook a regionale / intercity train ticket online, how does one validate the same on the station?

    Regards

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Himanshu,

      The regional tickets bought online are already validated. There should be a time and date printed on the ticket, meaning that you can’t use it any other time (validating tickets simply stamps a time and date on them) so you should be fine.

  • Treni says:

    I would suggest you https://oraritreniitalia.com/ it’s in italian, but I hope that an english version will be available very soon!!

  • sammy says:

    Hello!
    Great blog, appreciate all the information. I will be traveling with my mother in Sept to Italy. We are going back and forth about buying train tickets ahead of time. We don’t want to be stressed having to be there at a certain time or if we miss a train. We will be starting in Rome then to Florence and then to the Cinque Terre and back to Rome. We are doing this over a 2 week period. Wondering if you have suggestions on weather to book ahead for the train or do so at the station on the days we are traveling.
    Thank you so much for your time!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sammy,

      We suggest securing your high-speed train tickets ahead of time. They will come with a seat number and a date and time, but ensure that you’ll be able to get a seat and that they won’t be sold out (September is still high season). So while you can wait to get your tickets from Florence to La Spezia (Cinque Terre), we’d book our Rome to Florence tickets right away to avoid any stress. Hope this helps!

  • Brian says:

    Hello:

    Your information is very helpful, but doesn’t address my primary question. Once I am already on board a regional train, how will I know what the next upcoming station is? I know on the fast trains they announce it in English, but what about the regional ones? Is there some sort of moving map screen or other type of scrolling sign, or do they just announce everything in Italian and you have to try and figure out whether what they said is what you want?

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Brian,

      Some train stations announce the station in both Italian and English, others in only Italian. Besides that, you can know the upcoming stations by studying the sign in the train station before you depart or looking out for the big blue train station signs out the window upon arrival in a station. Unfortunately Italian regional trains aren’t high-tech enough for now to have a screen!

  • THERESA LEE says:

    Good day!

    My husband and i are traveling from Zurich to Milan last stop Rome in October. We plan to stay in Milan for 2days. For the 1st day in Milan we will explore the city as you suggested and 2nd day we want to go to Venice for a day trip. Back to Milan we intend to travel to Florence for 2days and after that head to Rome for 2days before we go back to Manila. Would you recommend us getting a Eurail pass or buy our train tickets per trip?

    Would love to hear your valuable suggestion.

    Thank you and best regards,
    THERESA

  • Diane says:

    Hi there, great advice spot! I and a friend will be travelling to Amalfi from Rome on 9 October, in order to commence a hiking holiday. Accommodation is booked for that night in Amalfi. Do you have a suggestion for quickest most straightforward train option to get there – ie, Rome-Naples, then regional train to Amalfi? Or is there another route more direct? Thanks so much,

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Diane,

      Yes that’s right, Rome to Naples and then the Circumvesuviana regional train to Amalfi. Have a great trip!

  • Christine Tan says:

    Hello– I am planning to go to Amalfi on 31 May. Could you advise how to go to Amalfi from Rome Termini on 31 May.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Christine,

      Take the high-speed frecciarossa train from Rome to Naples, then the regional train from Naples to Amalfi.

  • Federico Brown says:

    Hello from Argentina!! I’m planning to go to Europe and more precisely, Italy next year. I found this article but I saw it’s from 2011. Are these informations up to date? I found your page very interesting and helpful. Thanks for the magnificent work you do!

    Federico Brown

  • Ann says:

    4 adults and 2 teenagers are staying a week in Florence. Is it okay to take the fast train to Rome for 2 separate day trips and return to Florence? Do you recommend a tour group in Rome?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ann,

      It’s ok, but it will be long and tiring! If you’re planning two separate day trips, we’d suggest simply staying in Rome for at least an overnight.

  • Sonali Kumar says:

    Hi
    This is the most informative site I have found for Train travel in Italy. However I still have one question. We plan to spend a week on Italy in July travelling from Venice to Florence and then Rome and Naples(if possible). what about Rail passes? What options do I have and how do these passes work?Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sonali,

      We suggest you compare Eurorail country pass prices to regular TrenItalia prices to decide which is more economically convenient.

  • Chris Carlino says:

    Ciao ~
    I am flying into Bari and then spending a few days in Lecce then Matera then Napoli. Do you know which trains I should take from Bari > Lecce, Lecce > Matera, Matera > Napoli? Should I buy in advance or will I be ok to purchase the days of my departures?
    Grazie,
    Chris

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Chris,

      We believe all the train lines between those areas are regional trains, but you can see what options you have by typing in your locations and departure dates/times at http://www.trenitalia.com. If they are regional, you can buy the day of your departure. Have a great trip!

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