I am traveling between Venice and Siena end of May (a Friday). I'm trying to decide which train to take and if I need to book ahead of time. We only have a few days in each city, so I don't want to spend time waiting at train stations yet I would like the flexibility of not having to book a ticket ahead of time. Also, trying to book on the Trenitalia site looks very difficult (part of its in Italian, etc).
It looks like Trenitalia has a 4 hour train, and also through Rail Europe. If I arrive at station 30 min's in advance (there are 5 of us) am I fairly certain I'll get the train I want?
Last question - what's the diff between 1st and 2nd class? With 2nd class will our bags not be near us and do we need to worry about them being stolen? Is the main advantage of 1st class (along w/ larger seats, etc) that your luggage is near you?