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Trains

Minnesota
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Trains

Hello,

We will be traveling by train from Florence, to Cinque Terre, and then on to Rome by train. I have a couple questions about the trains in Italy.

1. Should I buy the tickets in advance?

2. Are there any luggage restrictions?

3. If I purchase a ticket in advance is that the same as making a reservation? Is there a difference between making a reservation and purchasing a ticket?

Thanks for any help!

Jennifer

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Italy
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1. Re: Trains

What kind of train?

Longer runs you can get special fares if you book in advance. Regional trains I don't think there is a reason to book in advance

Edited: 18 April 2014, 17:33
Minnesota
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2. Re: Trains

Thank you for your quick response. We are looking to take the fastest train option possible. In some cases, we will have to take regional trains.

Do you know anything about reservations?

Italy
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3. Re: Trains

I'm not sure what you mean by reservation.

Regional trains don't have reserved seats if that's what you're asking.

Ocean City, MD
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4. Re: Trains

You can't book the regional trains in advance, you can purchase them there - don't forget to validate it in the machine. The train(s) between Florence (Firenze S.M. Novella) is regional with no reservations.

www.trenitalia.com for schedules.

There are no luggage restrictions per se, you'll have no help so only pack what you can easily handle, the steps are narrow and steep into the train.

The trains between Rome and Florence have 2 operators, www.trenitalia.com (Roma Termini) and www.italotreno.it (Tiburtina Station).

If you are sure of your dates, you can make reservations on line and have a e-ticket which will have a reserved seat on a carriage, no need to validate. If you get a discounted fare, these can't be changed. Second Class is perfectly fine, it's only 1.5 hours between Rome and Florence. The base fare purchased at the station is 43 Euro for 2nd Class.

In the Florence Forum, look to your right for CT information.

Edited: 18 April 2014, 18:06
GAC
Los Angeles, CA
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for Sardinia
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5. Re: Trains

Jennifer:

1. Buy tickets in advance ONLY if you want to save money and ONLY for the RESERVED trains. Do NOT buy tickets in advance for the UNRESERVED regionale trains, nor if you want to maintain flexibility to make changes. From Florence to the Cinque Terre, you'll be taking regionale trains (except perhaps between Pisa and La Spezia). From the Cinque Terre to Rome, you may want to book the reserved Frecciabianca train from La Spezia to Rome.

2. Yes. You can't bring large furniture on board the train, nor big luggage trunks which block the aisle. Otherwise, there are no limitations. You should avoid bringing any luggage which you yourself cannot lift up the stairs of the train.

3. Yes, there is a difference. You COULD purchase an advance ELECTRONIC ticket for an UNRESERVED regionale train (which I do not recommend). You could also purchase a PAPER ticket for an UNRESERVED regionale train once in Italy (recommended). Any ticket purchase (whether electronic or paper) of a RESERVED train carries an automatic seat reservation.

In your case, you may indeed wish to purchase an advance ELECTRONIC ticket on the reserved Frecciabianca train from La Spezia to Rome in order to save money (the cheapest fare on this route is 19 Euros, but this fare is non-refundable and non-changeable). The regular, undiscounted fare from La Spezia to Rome on the Frecciabianca is 54 Euros (this is the fare you would pay if you purchased the ticket on the day of travel, or otherwise purchased the "BASE" fare). With the "BASE" fare, you are allowed to make changes without premium or surcharge, and the ticket is refundable minus a 20% service charge. If you want to pay only 19 Euros, look for the SUPER ECONOMY fare (non-refundable and non-changeable) on this train on this route. At the moment, you can book seats on this train only through August 3.

Edited: 18 April 2014, 18:18
GAC
Los Angeles, CA
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for Sardinia
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6. Re: Trains

BEWARE:

If you decide to go ahead and purchase an ELECTRONIC ticket on the Frecciabianca train from La Spezia to Rome in order to save money with the SUPER ECONOMY or event the ECONOMY fare, be sure to allow at least a 15-minute (and possibly longer) connection TO this train FROM the unreserved regionale train you take from the Cinque Terre to reach La Spezia. That way, if you MISS the Frecciabianca train because of a late-arriving regionale train, you will be "protected" and allowed to take a later Frecciabianca to Rome, without premium or penalty. If your connection time is less than 15 minutes, you risk FORFEITING the ticket for the Frecciabianca if you miss it. You are "protected" only if the reason you missed the connection is attributable to Trenitalia (e.g. late connection) or to bad weather or to a rail line accident, but NOT for other reasons (e.g. you arrive late at the station because you woke up late, or your taxi or local bus to the station gets stuck in traffic, etc.)

Minnesota
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7. Re: Trains

Thank you so much for your help....you answered all my questions and more. I did not see you last post until just now regarding the 15 minutes in between trains...this is very helpful!

8. Re: Trains

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