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Train tickets for travel within Italy

Irvine, California
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Train tickets for travel within Italy

My daughter and I will be traveling to Italy and Austria in September and I'm totally confused about train tickets and reservations. We plan on taking trains between Rome, Florence, Pisa, Monterosso and Salzburg.

Does it save any money to book ahead of time? On the Trenitalia website I've noticed that some trains have Super Economy fares on some off peak travel. In general the fares (even the regular 2nd class fares) on their website are cheaper than Rail Europe and Eurail. But the Trenitalia website is a little confusing and some parts are only in Italian which I can't read!

So do I just book when I get there or try to figure it out ahead of time?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

Eurail Raileurope are resellers. Buy direct from Trenitalia.

Use www.trenitalia.com and then click on the English flag. Use the Italian names of the towns, so Roma Termini; Firenze SM Novella; Pisa Centrale, Monterosso al Mare.

The Super economy fares are advance purchase no refunds but are exactly the same seats as the full fare ones. Make sure you set date and TIME (24 hour clock) on the front page or you can end up buying tickets for the next day.

san francisco
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2. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

Hi TeriB, Yes. There are fares that are cheaper if you book earlier. They are called "minis" I am not sure what Trenitalia site you are on, but there is one that I use that is in English, I believe. I have used Eurail in the past, but i don't think I would use it again. I have found it better to just buy tickets separately. If you are a little patient, Sydney, the train travel expert will appear on this forum and answer your questions much better than I can. (or maybe he is from Sydney, I can't remember, but he is an Expert who knows his stuff.) Have a great trip.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

Perilizia knows far more than I do, but I'll have a go.

The "Mini" fares were discontinued at the start of 2012. There are now Super Economy and Economy discounted fares. As with airlines, the cheap fares have less flexibility than the full-price Base fares.

For the best prices, book direct with the train operator as far ahead as possible. Tickets go on sale 4 months before travel, and the cheapest tickets often sell out quickly. Discounted ticket prices keep going up as the travel date gets closer.

You can get train times and costs from www.trenitalia.com clicking on the UK flag to change to English and using the Italian names for towns. There is also a new operator serving Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Padova, Venice, Naples and Salerno: http://www.italotreno.it/EN

I have put together some information on buying Italian train tickets online. See www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/ItalyTrain.htm

san francisco
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4. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

See I told you he would be here. I have faith in you Sydney.

Imperia, Italy
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5. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

Monterosso to Salzburg is a long international journey, with at least three changes (two changes overnight), and must be booked on at least two different websites.

Buy Monterosso to Verona Porta Nuova from www.trenitalia.com ideally choosing a connection with just the one change in Milano Porta Nuova. This is cheapest 120 days in advance, but most trains from Monterosso in September are showing as sold out. This is not because they are sold out, but because they are not on sale yet as a temporary timetable is to be introduced because of tunnel repairs between la Spezia and Monterosso. Depending on your date of travel, you may have to wait for these trains to be put on sale..

Buy Verona Porta Nuova to Salzburg from http://www.oebb.at/en/ - from 92 days in advance. There is one change in Innsbruck.

If you wished to travel overnight, there is a night train which leaves Milano Centrale around 21.30 which calls at Kufstein around 05.30. This is best booked from reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query2.exe/en? from 92 days in advance. Reservation on onward trains from Kufstein to Salzburg is optional, but if desired, tickets can be purchased in advance from www.obb.at

The earlier you book, the cheaper it will be. If you are travelling on dates when Monterosso trains cannot be booked, it could be advisable to buy tickets from Milan to Salzburg now rather than waiting for Monterosso to Milan trains to be put on sale.

Edited: 10 July 2013, 11:00
Imperia, Italy
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6. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

Correction to post 5

<Buy Monterosso to Verona Porta Nuova from www.trenitalia.com ideally choosing a connection with just the one change in Milano Porta Nuova.> should read <..... with just the one change in Milano Centrale>.

Irvine, California
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7. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

Thank you all very much for the information! Perilizia, I went on the website to book the night train from Milano to Salzbug but it will only let me book as far as Kufstein on the Internet. So I went on the OB website but it keeps saying "an error has occurred, try later". Is is advisable to at least book the Milano-Kufstein now and either book the leg to Salzburg later or even when we arrive in Kufstein?

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

@Teri B

this gets a bit complicated, here are your options:

1. if you choose the Milan to Salzburg connection departing at 18:35, the sector from Milan to Treviso can be booked with www.trenitalia.com, the rest with www.oebb.at, where you can book either couchette or sleeper cabin

2. if you choose the Milan to Salzburg connection departing at 21:35 (via Kufstein), then the journey from Milan to Kufstein can be booked with www.dbahn.de, since this is a CityNightLine train operated by Deutsche Bahn. The rest of the journey from Kufstein to Salzburg can be booked with www.oebb.at, since it is a train operated by the Austrian railways

Irvine, California
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9. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

To all my new, train expert friends: I can't thank you enough for the wonderful information you have given me! I would've never been able to navigate all the websites without all your help. I just booked reservations and printed tickets for our Monterosso to Salzburg trip (including the night train) and am so excited!

Now the really tough part: how many pairs of shoes do I need for 2 weeks in Europe??

Best regards and happy travels!

Arlington, Texas
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10. Re: Train tickets for travel within Italy

(Two pair of comfortable walking shoes [in case one pair gets wet in the rain] and one pair of strappy sandals that go with anything you'd wear in the evening for dinner.) :) Resist the urge to overpack... you will be carrying that luggage everywhere. You can easily do two weeks with a 22-24 inch carry-on and a personal bag/backpack.

Have a great trip!