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When to buy train tickets?

Grand Rapids...
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When to buy train tickets?

Hello,

I'll be traveling through Italy the last two weeks in October and I have my trip locations planned fairly well. Should I buy my train tickets online ahead of time, at the train station the day prior to my departure, or would I be safe buying them just before my departure?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: When to buy train tickets?

You will be unable to buy them in advance at the right price, as the Trenitalia web site is renowned for refusing to accept US credit cards. It is extremely unlikely that any trains will be sold out in October, so buy your tickets in Italy.

However, there can be large queues at the ticket counters at major stations, so allow plenty of time. You can also buy at any travel agent that displays the Trenitalia logo, or there are ticket machines. See http://tinyurl.com/buy-train-tickets

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: When to buy train tickets?

We found the ticket machines very easy to use, generaly bought 2 or 3 days before travel. Don't forget to validate your ticket on the machines on the platforms before boarding.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: When to buy train tickets?

Tickets for trains with reserved seats do not need to be validated, as they cannot be used on any other train. Tickets for Regionale trains can be used on any Regionale train, and must be time-stamped in a yellow machine at the station, after which they are valid for 6 hours.

Rome, Italy
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4. Re: When to buy train tickets?

The only time in this period that might be harder with crowds and trains would be closer to November 1st, which is a major holiday here so many folks will be moving around for a long weekend. Just get tickets ahead of time once here via the ticket machines in the station (you can get tickets more than just a few days in advance) for the days before and after this holiday if your traveling will be around this time to ensure you get the trains you want!

Darwin, Australia
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5. Re: When to buy train tickets?

What about price wise? Isn't there money to save by booking/buying them in advance?

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: When to buy train tickets?

Credit cards issued in USA, America, and many other countries are not accepted by the Trenitalia web site, so there is no way of buying discounted tickets for people living in those countries. Therefore these people do best to buy in Italy.

Darwin, Australia
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7. Re: When to buy train tickets?

What about australian or scandinavian cards as in my case? any idea if they are accepted?

Queensland...
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8. Re: When to buy train tickets?

Hi Samdex,

I booked my Rome to Florence tickets with Rail Europe which is a third party agent. This cost me about 5Euro more per ticket but gave me the peace of mind that I would be guaranteed a good seat. I'm glad I did it as the train was packed with commuters on the Tuesday morning that we went. I went against the popular vote to wait until I got there and I'm glad I did. You cant put a price on the peace of mind you get from being truly organised in advance. Thats my philosophy and my holiday to four destinations in 2 weeks went off without one single hitch.

Note: I tried booking on the Trenitalia website using my NAB Visa.. Forget It, its a complete waste of your time!

Cheers

Aussiemum

pittsburgh
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9. Re: When to buy train tickets?

Australian cards are not accepted by trenitalia. Some of the problems buying through raileurope or other resellers is they don't give you all the train options, they don't offer the pre-purchase discounts and you still have to pay the seat reservation fee on top of the price they charge you. Peace of mind is one thing, wasting money is another. The trains in Italy hardly ever sell out and with so many a day to the popular tourist cities you can always find one with seats. The 8 o'clock hour has 6 trains going from Rome to Florence and the 9 o'clock hour has 3 and the 10 o'clock hour has 4. With all these trains you don't have to worry about them selling out.

Donna

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: When to buy train tickets?

My post should have said that cards issued in USA, *Australia*, and many other countries are not accepted.

I am very surprised that RailEurope cost only about €5 more than a direct purchase from Trenitalia, and I don't know how it could guarantee a "good seat". Nor are there likely to be "commuters" on a train from Rome to Florence.