Taking the train in Italy

February 25, 2022
How To Read An Italian Train

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.

High-speed Italian trainFiguring out the differences between Italian trains

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.

Rail station in Salerno, ItalyWhat 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.

Machine for validating your rail ticket in ItalyTaking advantage of Trenitalia’s promotional fares and discounts

When you’re looking at tickets online, don’t forget to check out (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 .

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?

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.

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Source: www.walksofitaly.com
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