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Train from Rome to Lucerne

Akron
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Train from Rome to Lucerne

We'll be landing in Rome (Leonardo di Vinci Airport) in the morning on Saturday, March 29. I've read of all the possible delays with getting through customs, etc.

Should I "gamble" and buy our tickets after we arrive at the airport (some of the six trains we would be on state "reservation required"), or should I use a service (and pay the extra fee) and buy the tickets now. And if I use a "service", which company should I do this with.

Thanks.

Philadelphia...
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1. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

Lucerne is quite some distance from Rome! I take it flights to Zurich or Geneva - even Milan - were not an option? If you're committed to this route, I would buy tickets on your arrival. They will be more expensive, but I would much rather take a train on arrival and not have to worry about missing a train.

Adelaide
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2. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

If you strike a delay anywhere, your tickets could be worthless. While general consensus on these forums is usually to buy in advance (direct from the operators - not through an agency), the exception to this is when you're coming in on a long haul flight where delays can throw everything out.

It will be more expensive to buy when you arrive, but not as expensive as having your tickets become wastepaper because your flight is 4 hours late. Plus Rome to Lucern is a long and fairly complicated routing, so the potential for anything to go wrong is certainly there.

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

The issue is merely whether to risk buying in advance (in particular Rome-Milan which would normally be your first train after the Leonardo Express) or to leave purchase until you know for sure what time train(s) you can take: of course the second is more expensive than the first, but it's a lot less expensive than effectively doing both, if you miss the trains you bought the first set for!

I fail to see why the advance-purchase option needs to involve using any sort of "service"! If you were to purchase in advance, why wouldn't you do that directly from the train operator, as you would when purchasing on the spot? The problem with buying in advance is the possibility of missing the train(s), and buying through an agency would do nothing to prevent that. However, the Italiarail (ticket agency) site is certainly easier to use than that of Trenitalia.

Unless you are choosing to stop off somewhere, I also don't see why this would involve 6 trains, as it seems to me that this journey can be done with 3 (Leonardo Express, Rome-Milan, Milan-Luzern - admittedly only once a day, with 11:00 departure from Termini), 4 (LE, Rome-Milan, Milan-Arth-Goldau/Lugano, Arth-Goldau/Lugano-Luzern) or maximum 5 (via Brig and Bern, or with Chiasso in addition to Arth-Goldau)!

Finally, it is not "getting through customs" that might delay you at FCO, but the "etc", i.e. passport control (immigration) and, especially, baggage delivery! Once you have collected your bags, walking through the green ("nothing to declare") channel at Customs will take you no more than a couple of minutes.

Akron
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4. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

I appreciate, so much, all of your comments. We all love adventures, especially when you can predict the outcome. Although we could fly to Switzerland, I thought, what the heck, let's do the train. If we end up, sitting in some train station over night, so be it. The "boss" (my wife) likes to yell at me anyway, and this would give her a valid excuse to do so.

And so, when we arrive in Rome, this 24 hour "adventure" begins.

Thanks, again, for everyone's input.

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

If you're arriving in Rome in the morning, I doubt you'll be stuck in a train station overnight. If you're up for the adventure, as you say, I'd suggest one of the two following plans:

- Consider a stopover that first day. I'm one of those people who's happy hopping on a train my arrival day in Europe, but even for me 7+ hours of train travel is a lot for that first jet lagged day. Particularly since I presume you're not going to have a direct flight to FCO. So breaking up the journey will let you rest up and not be drained from the long train journey. Milan is a logical stop transportation-wise, and a half-way point, but a smaller town or city might be easier for a quick stop: Como, Lugano, or maybe Bellinzona are good choices.

- If you are committed to the trip to Lucerne the first day, you could buy the Milan ticket as a walk up fare, then plan on a time from Milan into Switzerland that you can purchase ahead of time at a discount fare. Give yourself enough of a cushion, and if you have time to kill in Milan, you can check your bags and walk around a little. As qaminari, there's only one direct train Milan-Luzern, at 2:10pm, so that might be an option, or might be cutting it close. Alternately, there are trains to Arth-Goldau, and you can just get the remainder of the journey when you're in Switzerland.

The walkup fare Rome to Milan is about 86€ so you'll have to decide whether it's worth it to pay more for the convenience and time saved, or if you want to wait around Rome for a pre-bought ticket. Since your travel is only a week away, discounts are selling out fast if you want to prebook anything. Good luck.

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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6. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

Certainly not worth booking Milan-Lucerne or Milan to Arth-Goldau in advance, as there are never any discounts available less than seven days in advance, the best discounts are not available less than 14 days in advance, and both these discount types usually sell out before the 7/14 day limits anyway.

Reservations are not required for trains between Arth-Goldau and Lucerne, so advance purchase is unnecessary.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

perilizia, at least as of now Trenitalia is showing 22-32€ Smart fares for that route on Mar 29.

8. Re: Train from Rome to Lucerne

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