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Italy by train - Interrail vs. point-to-point

Travel Forums Europe Italy by train - Interrail vs. point-to-point

1. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

t_maia has indicated that this thread is about Italy

Could anybody with more experience on the Italian train system please check whether the prices on the link below are still accurate. They seem relatively low to me.

http://ricksteves.com/rail/italy.htm

I'm also having problems in tweeking the trenitalia site to show me the lowest fares for point-to-point tickets. Any tips on how to find it for a certain day? Do I need to book in advance over the internet or can just walk up to ticket counter at the train station and still get a good fare?

With the new Interrail pass I am looking at a price of 32-37 EUR per day of train travel in Italy. I'm trying to figure out how many days I need on the Interrail pass, for what city to city distances using Interrail would be worth it and where I would be better off with point-to-point. I will be flying to Naples and leaving from Venice. I intend to visit Florence and Rome and maybe Siena and Sicily.

Also, what about seat reservation? How do I figure out which trains are local and for what trains I need to reserve seats? Any surcharges for Interrailers for reserving seats? How early do I need to reserve seats?

THanks everybody for answering!

2. Posted by stuthkfl (Budding Member 115 posts) 9y

hi,
in this web site if a train says there is a supplement for it, or mandatory to make reservation then you should pay these fees.
See the end of this page, for supplements.
http://www.seat61.com/Railpass.htm#reservations or pay supplements
actually this page probably gives you all answers you need ;)

http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html here you can see the prices by searching for certain days.

interrail gives free travel only on a seat in slowest day trains. :D

3. Posted by stuthkfl (Budding Member 115 posts) 9y

means pay a bit supplement for fast trains in long distances but from venice to bologna to florence in one day and florence pisa florence in another are needless to upgrade.

or turin venice turin genova etc.

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

Quoting stuthkfl

http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html here you can see the prices by searching for certain days.

No, I can't - that is the problem. I am trying to find the cheapest fare for a certain route on a certain day, but I don't know what to enter and on what links to click to get there. The site first gives me a list of trains out of which I have to pick one, without any clear indication what kind of train it is - fast or slow, cheap or expensive. Then it asks me to select a fare out of a drop-dow list for this train. :(

My questions: Which train symbols can I click on to get the trains without supplements? What fare should I choose?

5. Posted by edipo27 (Budding Member 18 posts) 9y

Dear Maja,

here you have the symbols you may need to check the cheaper trains.

R means regional train, they stop everywhere on the line, they cost less than all the others and they are not always slower than inter-regional or inter - city. This is because the italian railways is not always the most modern one.

IR means Inter - regional, they stop a bit less than previous one but the tariff if the same. You often find one or the other on a certain line. See above for comments on the time you will need.

IC means inter - city, they stop less than previous ones but not always, in certain cases they stop as much as IR trains... see case by case. They more expensive than the previous solutions, but if you do not mind to stand in the corridors (sometimes they are really busy) you do not need to pay the reservation.

EC means euro - city, those are similar to IC, the main difference is that their trip starts or ends in another european country.

ES euro - star, those are the fast trains, the most expensive and for these trains you need reservation (compulsory)...

When you look on trenitalia website you mainly find direct connections from one city to the others... if the trip is a long one you often find only IC or ES trains because they are faster (in this case I suggest you to take an IC or a ES) because the other trains may take hours and require lots of changes...

If the trip is relatively short you will find several solutions, including R, IR etc...

You can go and by your ticket at the train station shortly before leaving, but only if you do not want or need reservation (in the case of ES for example). Be careful only when it is a special holidays day and all Italians are travelling...

This is what I can say for the moment...
Have a safe and nice trip...
Elisa

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

if you are NOT doing Sicilly, then point to point will be much cheaper. Trains are cheap in Italy, and especially if you aren't pushed for time, you can take cheaper/slower trains for very little money. Sicilly is a bit different because of the extra distances for a return trip involved and there it might save you money with an Interrail.

But for a fairly basic Napoli - Roma - Siena - Firenze - Venezia (which also has other places on the same route worth seeing for a stop off at the least), i'd go point to point.

Oh - FYI: Trenitalia no longer advertise which seats are reserved, so on many Intercity etc, you might have to move multiple times on a journey. However, two carriages (i think always coaches 7 and 8, but it's been a while) are non reserved, so aim for them first.

Also, on certain routes, Intercity can be almost double the IR price, but be barely 5 or 10mins quicker and stop as often.

Finally, If in doubt as to the cheapest trains, use the "English language" rule of thumb - If the type of train has a name which works in English (Intercity, Eurocity, Eurostar etc) you will be paying more than something which has a good Italian sounding name

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 17, 2007, at 9:59 AM by Gelli ]