With Italy reopening to vaccinated Americans without quarantine, many may want to fulfill their dreams of visiting the bel paese or go back to taste some more la dolce vita! When you’re traveling, now more than ever, you will probably want to plan ahead. I want to take a minute to remind my readers of our partnership with ItaliaRail since traveling by train in Italy is my preferred way to get from place to place.
Italian train travel is:
We enjoy traveling by train when in Italy, especially by first (or business) class (which can be quite affordable). ItaliaRail offers many benefits for travelers:
- Seamless ticketing system/experience with direct (real-time) connectivity to the Italian Rail reservation system—Trenitalia.
- Ability to see a whole day worth of trains in the search results and not just a couple hour block.
- Clearly-stated duration of trip (very helpful when trying to make it somewhere on the quickest train).
- Online support through their help desk with extensive rail knowledge, guidance, and expertise.
- An all-English website with 24-hour customer service with English-speaking representatives. If for any reason you can’t get a hold of their customer service, you can take your eticket to any Trenitalia counter.
- Competitive prices with minimal booking fees. One ItaliaRail benefit for pricing is that they pass any discounts that the train system is offering on to customers. And they combine promotions if possible, so if there is only one seat left at lower price (and you need two or more), ItaliaRail will book that lower price and then buy the next ticket(s) at higher price. Trenitalia only shows you higher prices if there isn’t the full number of tickets at lower price. ItaliaRail also allows you to fairly easily see the cheapest trains and where 1st class is a good value.
- A competitive foreign exchange rate and customers can pay in USD, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, British pound, or Euro so they aren’t charged foreign transaction fees.
- Ability to buy “Rail Aid” protection policy for decent rates which includes the following benefits: trip changes and cancellation, trip interruption, access to VIP Italiarail lounge, and a dedicated toll-free line.
- Most of the time, passengers get etickets so don’t have to worry about losing them or having them delivered.
- Group discounts and the ability to book up to 20 people at a.
- Travel deals in Italy through their ItaliaPass, which offers special benefits and discounts on tours, transfers, car rentals, and more.
If you want to know more about ItaliaRail, please visit this link: https://italiarail.2lka.net/eG03z and go to their “Frequently Asked Questions” page in the “Help” section of their website. Even if you just need tickets for the Rome to Florence train, ItaliaRail can help get you situated.
Here are some other tips to help make your Italian train travel experience as enjoyable as possible:
- Do book in advance when possible. I find that by buying Italy train tickets in advance makes first-class quite affordable.
- Do evaluate the price v. time savings between fast trains (freccia) and slower trains. Generally, the faster the train the more expensive it is. On a shorter distance, a faster train may get you there only 15 minutes earlier, which might not be worth the extra cost for a “freccia” train. For other distances, the saving of time might be more important than the saving of money.
- Don’t assume that a rail pass in the best option. Price out how expensive it would be to get point-to-point tickets versus a rail pass. ItaliaRail’s website provides good information on the subject: https://italiarail.2lka.net/eG03z.
- Don’t stand in line for a ticket. Either book online in advance (best bet) or use a kiosk at the train station. There are two main train companies in Italy: Italo (a private company with fewer routes) and Trenitalia (the state-run system that has trains reaching all over Italy).
- Don’t turn up too early to train stations (unless you have lounge access). Train travel is not like air, you don’t need to be there well in advance of departure—if you already have purchased your tickets and reserved your seat. The train won’t be listed on the departure board until about 20 minutes before it leaves (sometimes much less). Even with security screening, you shouldn’t need to be there too far in advance. If you have lounge access though, then it’s a whole other story—enjoy the luxury.
I highly endorse train travel in Italy…and much of Europe for that matter. If you would like an easier time of it, I recommend purchasing your tickets through our ItaliaRail link: https://italiarail.2lka.net/eG03z Happy travels!
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