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Booking seat on train - confusion

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UK
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Booking seat on train - confusion

Having read many archives about paying for train tickets in Italy, I am now confused about buying a ticket and/or having a seat reservation on some or all routes.

I will be travelling from Pisa to Florence. Then Florence to Rome, then Rome to Naples. (not all on the same day!). I intend to use the automated machines to purchase tickets. However, I am confused as to whether I also need to purchase a seat reservation in addition to a train ticket? I think maybe some routes you HAVE to have reserved seat and other you don't I'm not fussed as its early June we travel, not 'peak season'

So can anyone tell me if I need to reserve a seat also and how I go about it if using the automated ticket machines?

Kamloops, BC...
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1. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

Your seat reservation charge will be included in the fare charged by Italian rail, if the train you select requires reserved seats. If the train requires reserved seats, it doesn't matter when you make your purchase, you'll be required to select your seats, and the fare, as I said, will include that charge.

The machine will walk you through the procedure, in English. Just follow the instructions. If the machine won't sell you a seat on a train that you know requires reserved seating, then the seats are sold out for that particular schedule, in that class.

I don't have a European credit card with chip, so I haven't used the machines for purchases. I witnessed a friend buying a ticket for a train that required reserved seating, but I haven't seen the procedure for non-reserved seating schedules, so I don't know exactly what it is.

You can predict whether or not the train will have reserved seating only, by the class of the train. The regional trains, for instance, generally don't require advance reservations.

Minneapolis...
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2. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

You can also pay cash at automated machines.

UK
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3. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

Thank you so much for clearing up my confusion.

With grateful thanks,

Mrs T

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4. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

The only trains where you need to book seats are Eurostars - which you will most probably be taking from Florence to rome and from rome to Naples. The automatic machines are very user friendly, with big colourful buttons. You can always go to a ticket vendor (you can buy tickets for all destinations from train station vendors or most travel agents).

UK
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5. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

Thanks for that Anon - it is all making sense now.

Trip Advisor is a fantastic source of info. To think, in my youth (BC - before children) I used to go travelling armed with one guide book! LOL. Where would I be without the internet?!

:o)

Mrs T

Cetona
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6. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

First:

In some period is really better if you reserve seats.

Second:

You need reservation for AV, ES and IC PLUS trains.

Third:

You don't need reservation for IC and Regional train.

From Pisa to Florence you have to catch a regional train.

From Florence to Rome, don't go with a regional train, or you need 3 hours.

Best way Euro Star or AV. But an Ic could be good and cheaper, probably more busy.

From Rome to Naples,same as Florence to Rome.

Have a nice travel :)

UK
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7. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

MaryCetona,

Thanks VERY much for those useful pieces of information! I will use all the information given.

With grateful thanks,

Mrs T xx

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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8. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

I just want to correct one piece of information: you don't need a European credit card to use the automated ticket machines. I can't really say about the chip, but my niece used her US credit card in the ticket machines last month with no problem. If US credit cards don't have chips, then you don't need them.

washington, dc
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9. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

We had a problem with the ticket machines in Roma Termini last month.

We were trying to change schedules returning to Florence, and we knew there were seats. The lines for the ticket office were horrendously long and moving very slowly.

The automated ticket machines repeatedly took us through the process all the way to the end, and then froze.

In the end, we missed the train we wanted to take, but the ticket office arranged for us to get on the following train.

I simply do not know if the problem was with the FS computers, the automated ticket machines, or our credit cards.

The bottom line: Allow extra time when purchasing tickets at the station on the day of departure.

UK
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10. Re: Booking seat on train - confusion

Oh dear. Poor you.

Well thanks for the top tip George!

Mrs T