I'm now fairly set on going to Italy next month, taking along a tent and camping gear. I'll be travelling with Interrail ticket, starting in Sicily and working my way north.
I am now considering is to take my bike along, mainly for shorter trips from camping sites a bit off the road to the train stations and for rides around the cities, plus as a convenient way to carry my luggage.
What I need to know now are the rules for taking bicycles on trains in Italy. Like: on which trains is it allowed, what does it cost on top of the interrail, do I need to reserve, where and when do I reserve, etc.
I feel sort of frustrated with the trenitalia site, because I do not have the patience in me to find the information there. I did find this link, but somehow I'm too dumb to understand what it says.
i didn't understood, too, but in the linked pdf (in italian) it's better explained.
You can bring your bike with you only on the trains where you find a bike-sign (you can check on the timetables or via web if it is there that sign).
Anyway you can never bring your bike mounted on long-distance trains (Eurostar AV, Eurostar, Nuovo Pendolino,Pendolino, ICPlus, IC).
For the tickets there are differences regarding the kind of train:
Regionali, Diretti, Interregionali: you can buy an extra-ticket for 3,5 euro, and it is valid for 24h from when you use it for the first time.
If your trip is short you can alternatively buy a 2nd class ticket for the bike, so that you pay less than 3,5€ (but it is valid only for the specified trip).
On International trains the extra-ticket is 5 euro for the national trip (it includes also the previous and next trips on eventual regionale/diretti/interregionale train) and 10€ if you continue the trip abroad.
It is suggested to ever ask the trainconductor where you can locate the bike on the train.
You can also partially dismantle the bike to bring it for free as a normal baggage (if it doesn't exceed the allowed misures) if it is your case i can read that pdf better and translate that part.
I hope my english was not too bad ;-)
in short terms: travel with a bike on trans in Italy is quite messy, don't take so much care about what Trenitalia website says, they're improving in a very good way their image (website, new design and marketing) but not so much has been done to really improve services.
Trains with a designated place to carry bikes are scarse and probably nobody at the ticket counter in small station will know anything about this..
I checked also the PDF in Italian and my best suggestion is to try to carry the bike dissasembled (in a bag), basically the PDF says: "Ok, we have some trains on which you can carry bikes, but if you manage to put it in bag (and found a place on the train for it) for us it's just fine".
This means you should try to get not so crowded trains where you can find a place for you and your big-bag, regionals trains in my area are ok, execpt in the early morning and late afternoon (workers and students moving from small towns to the bigger city and back), but I don't know situation in other regions, you should wait tips from other users.
Hope this can be helpfull for you, all the best for your trip