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Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

CapeTown
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Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

Time is not the factor ... cost is the factor !!!

Need to travel from Rome to Florence ... then from Florence to Bologna ... then from Bologna to Venice.

Reserved seats would be nice but has anyone had any experiences with using the regional trains and unreserved seats. Also what are the less crowded times to use them if that is an option.

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Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

If cost is your major factor and you have the time, there is nothing wrong with the regional trains. It's first come first sit so I would avoid commute hours and try for more mid-day trains. During commute times you would see larger crowds for different segments of the trip and if it is crowded when you first get on, you should be able to sit or move to more desireable seats within a few stops. Take a nice picnic on board to help fill your time.

If you know your dates of travel, also watch the trenitalia site for mini fare options and then you might be able to get on one of the fast trains for just a bit more than the regional trains. Just be aware that you would really want to catch that train as the mini fares are very restrictive.

GAC
Los Angeles, CA
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for Sardinia
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2. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

Between Florence and Bologna, there are hourly regionale trains, but they require a connection at Prato CENTRALE station.

As noted above, the LOWEST "MINI" fares for the FAST trains are sometimes cheaper than the fixed fare for the unreserved regionale trains (if you have the possibility of fixing your itinerary and schedule).

:

UK
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3. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

We never book our train tickets ahead as we prefer maximum flexibility and buy our tickets for the next train to our destinationon on the day of departure (the train times having been printed out by us in the UK).

As a result we often travel on regional trains - they may be slower but we've never had a problem with seating.

On the other hand members of our family booked and paid for a reserved seat in July this year from Rome to Naples. Not only could they not reach their seat because the isles were blocked with cases but they could see their seat was occupied by others. They spent the journey sitting on their cases.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

If you are taking regional trains - be absolutely sure to stamp your ticket in the yellow(ish) box that is perched on a pole on the train track. If you do not stamp it, you will be fined on the spot for not having done so by the conductor when he/she takes your ticket on the train.

You do NOT need to do this if you have a reserved seat on a train - only on those on which you do not have a reserved seat.

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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5. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

I often ride on regional trains. There is nothing wrong with them except the speed. As GAC said, it's hard to find the schedules for regional trains from Florence to Bologna, as all the direct trains are high-speed trains. The trip by regional train will take you nearly all day, because of the many changes of train. Here is an example:

Depart Rome 6:13 arrive Florence 9:48 cost €17.15

Dep Florence 10:38 arr Prato 11:06 cost €1.90

Dep Prato 11:38 arr Bologna 12:50 cost €7.05

Dep Bologna13:12 arr Venice 15:03 cost €10.65

If any one of these train arrives late, you may arrive considerably later. The total travel time is 8 hours and 50 minutes, and the total cost is €36.75. To compare, the fast train from Rome to Venice 3 hours and 45 minutes approximately and costs 76 euros. If you buy the ticket well in advance, you can get if for as little as 37 euros, or 25 cents more than the cost of the four regional trains. To get the very good discounts, buy about three months in advance and choose an afternoon train. As GAC says, you must not miss the train for any reason, or the discounted ticket will be worthless.

GAC
Los Angeles, CA
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for Sardinia
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6. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

You could ride the Frecciargento high-speed train from Rome to Venice in under 4 hours for as little as 29 Euros in second class with the "MINI" fare, which is LESS than the total cost of the several regionale trains for the same trip! Indeed, you could ride the single direct Intercity train from Rome to Venice (slower than the Frecciargento, but faster than the combination of regionale trains) for a mere 18 Euros with the "MINI" fare!!!

You can book up to FOUR MONTHS in advance (as long as schedules and fares have been uploaded to the Trenitalia website).

www.lefrecce.it

www.fsitaliane.it

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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7. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

In various trials of different dates and times, I haven't found any fares as low as 29 euros. I'm sure they exist, but they're not easy to come upon. On the other hand, I've easily found 39 euro fares three months out, by looking at afternoon trains.

Also, I've heard (maybe here on TA) that in theory you can buy tickets four months in advance, but if I look for tickets from Rome to Venice for four months from today, I see only the night train. The latest date for which the schedules are actually shown is May 6th, which is a very odd number of days, and not an even number of weeks or months, either. I've noticed this in the past, which is why I suggest three months, which is easier to calculate than 111 days, and, as far as I can see, guarantees a full complement of trains. Except near the dates of schedule changes, when the lead time shrinks dramatically.

GAC
Los Angeles, CA
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for Sardinia
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8. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

On www.lefrecce.it, I just found a couple of afternoon Frecciargento trains on May 16 from Rome to Venice for 29 Euros, as well as the Intercity train for 18 Euros. As of today, the last day out available for purchase is May 16, 2012 (four months on the dot!)

Montreal
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9. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

If you click on Le Frecce before entering your dates and times, you can click on Lowest fare and find the 29-Euro fare Rome to Venice. It's available for lunchtime and afternoon/evening trains.

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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10. Re: Regional Trains vs Fast Trains

Well, that's my problem. I was looking on the normal web pages of trenitalia. I don't know why they're not showing full schedules on their regular pages. Is it part of their effort to get people off the cheaper trains and onto the most expensive ones? For most purposes, I can't use the frecce website, because there are no frecce trains anywhere near where I live. We had some Frecciabianca trains until this year, but they took them away from us. So it looks as though I have to use two different web sites to find my trains.