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Old Mar 3, 12, 2:53 am   #1
 
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Train fares expensive in Italy?

So from my research, it seems that using http://www.trenitalia.com/ is the best way to get the cheapest fares for Italian trains. However, I'm shocked at some of the prices that I've seen and I'm pretty sure it's more expensive than travelling within France. It seems that I'm looking at about 50 Euros on average for Genoa to Bologna or Venice to Rimini or Florence to Rome. Is it really that expensive to travel by train in Italy or this is considered cheap? Unfortunately I don't qualify for any youth pricing, but I'm not sure if they'll accept international university IDs for student fares. Does anyone here know?
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Old Mar 3, 12, 3:28 am   #2
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please continue to follow this thread in our european rail travel forum

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Old Mar 3, 12, 6:04 am   #3
 
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this thread belongs in italy, not rail travel.

trains in italy are fast, on time and ca be cheap. the ES is expensive. es second class is fast and less expensive. service is better than acela in usa. the next step down is the the IC(i think) they are quite fast, and not expensive. then there is the milk run train. i forgot what they are called, but they can be really slow. for peace of mind, 3 rules.
for the ES, you must get a reservation
on the IC, punch your ticket
for peace of mind, get a bike lock(your luggage is way down at the end).

if you are trucking a ton of luggage, consider a porter, not too expensive, and some of the stations have a lot of stairs.

you can poke around here:

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD
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Old Mar 3, 12, 11:16 am   #4
 
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Trenitalia offers restricted Mini fares on many trains, with discounts of 10 to 70% on the full fare. Availability is limited, they're not available on Regionale trains (the old-fashioned, nonreserved trains), the amount of the discount is smaller the closer you get to the date of travel, and they're never available less than 2 days in advance. The main restriction--other than availability--is that Mini tickets are not changeable or refundable on or after the day of travel, though they can be can be changed once or refunded before that, with a penalty (50% for cancellation, but less for changing).

The site doesn't show you Mini fares on the first screen you get after searching for trains, which is probably why you're not seeing them. In my experience, you have to select a train and then click on Continue to see what, if any, Mini fare is available on that train. You can then click on Information to see the official word on restrictions.

I hope this helps (and I hope I've got it all correct!).
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Old Mar 3, 12, 12:06 pm   #5
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Back to the OP, yes it can be quite expensive. But if you take a series of regional trains rather than the fast intercity trains, it can be cheaper. Just go to the station and chat with the ticket office.
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Old Mar 4, 12, 1:08 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Giggleswick View Post
Trenitalia offers restricted Mini fares on many trains, with discounts of 10 to 70% on the full fare. Availability is limited, they're not available on Regionale trains (the old-fashioned, nonreserved trains), the amount of the discount is smaller the closer you get to the date of travel, and they're never available less than 2 days in advance. The main restriction--other than availability--is that Mini tickets are not changeable or refundable on or after the day of travel, though they can be can be changed once or refunded before that, with a penalty (50% for cancellation, but less for changing).

The site doesn't show you Mini fares on the first screen you get after searching for trains, which is probably why you're not seeing them. In my experience, you have to select a train and then click on Continue to see what, if any, Mini fare is available on that train. You can then click on Information to see the official word on restrictions.

I hope this helps (and I hope I've got it all correct!).
So I have to wait 2 days in advance to get the fare?
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Old Mar 4, 12, 1:09 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
this thread belongs in italy, not rail travel.

trains in italy are fast, on time and ca be cheap. the ES is expensive. es second class is fast and less expensive. service is better than acela in usa. the next step down is the the IC(i think) they are quite fast, and not expensive. then there is the milk run train. i forgot what they are called, but they can be really slow. for peace of mind, 3 rules.
for the ES, you must get a reservation
on the IC, punch your ticket
for peace of mind, get a bike lock(your luggage is way down at the end).

if you are trucking a ton of luggage, consider a porter, not too expensive, and some of the stations have a lot of stairs.

you can poke around here:

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD
What's considered to be cheap? I think the prices that I saw were anything but cheap.

I'm still a bit confused in how to get lower fares. I'm hoping I can get my fares to average about 30 Euros/trip.
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Old Mar 4, 12, 4:02 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
So I have to wait 2 days in advance to get the fare?
Look at this page. http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...003f16f90aRCRD
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Old Mar 12, 12, 3:06 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
So what should I do then? I'm just afraid that there won't be any mini fares available and I'll have to pay more for a fare than what I would pay if I book several weeks in advance.

I also read that I can save money by taking regional trains. How am I suppose to figure out which regional train to take if I were to say go from Venice to Bologna or Milan to Venice?
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Old Mar 12, 12, 5:25 am   #10
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I also read that I can save money by taking regional trains. How am I suppose to figure out which regional train to take if I were to say go from Venice to Bologna or Milan to Venice?
Just walk up to the station and ask. However if money is really an issue for you you should probably be taking the bus instead of the train. Buses generally cost a tiny fraction of train fares in Italy. A bus from one end of a region to another might cost only a buck or two. Search around on google.it and use the translator if you can't understand Italian. Or again, just ask at the station.
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Old Mar 12, 12, 5:35 am   #11
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There is an offer on currently for 9 EUR from Milano to Venezia:
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...008916f90aRCRD

In general, trains in Italy are less expensive or the same prices as within Germany for example. Look for promotions- there are usually deals to be had.
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Old Mar 13, 12, 2:05 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Just walk up to the station and ask. However if money is really an issue for you you should probably be taking the bus instead of the train. Buses generally cost a tiny fraction of train fares in Italy. A bus from one end of a region to another might cost only a buck or two. Search around on google.it and use the translator if you can't understand Italian. Or again, just ask at the station.
I'm not in Italy yet so how am I suppose to do this? Wait until I get there? If so, then I'm sure I won't be getting any decent pricing for the fares.
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Old Mar 13, 12, 1:10 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
I'm not in Italy yet so how am I suppose to do this? Wait until I get there? If so, then I'm sure I won't be getting any decent pricing for the fares.
Regionale trains only have walk-up fares, so the pricing you get is the same if you buy it at the station.

You can search on trenitalia.com for fares on these trains. For example, Venice-Bologna is €10.75 and Milan-Venice €17.95 (may need a change in Verona - which is well worth a stop in if you're there). These are very good fares, IMHO.

As noted above, though, you can beat them with advance purchase fares on the ES services, if you can find the availability and buy in advance.
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Old Mar 14, 12, 2:37 am   #14
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
Regionale trains only have walk-up fares, so the pricing you get is the same if you buy it at the station.

You can search on trenitalia.com for fares on these trains. For example, Venice-Bologna is 10.75 and Milan-Venice 17.95 (may need a change in Verona - which is well worth a stop in if you're there). These are very good fares, IMHO.

As noted above, though, you can beat them with advance purchase fares on the ES services, if you can find the availability and buy in advance.
Correct. I wouldn't take a regional service from Milano-Venezia however as it will take a long time and you may not get a seat.

For short hops like Venezia-Bologna- regional train is usually almost as fast (within 30 minutes) and is just fine as it is a short ride.

Last point- be sure to understand which train you want (study the schedule on the website)- as the operators may sell you the more expensive ES fares and also the automatic ticketing machines tend to default to the more expensive options (surprise-surprise). Example- I was heading from Vicenza-Desenzano (1 hour)- and I didn't pay attention to the automatic machine. I ended up paying 17.40 EUR instead of the 6.4 I could have payed for a train that arrived 15 minutes later. The reason? ES (Eurostar) vs. Regionale train- hardly relevant for a trip of ~100 km!
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Old Mar 22, 12, 4:25 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
Regionale trains only have walk-up fares, so the pricing you get is the same if you buy it at the station.

You can search on trenitalia.com for fares on these trains. For example, Venice-Bologna is 10.75 and Milan-Venice 17.95 (may need a change in Verona - which is well worth a stop in if you're there). These are very good fares, IMHO.

As noted above, though, you can beat them with advance purchase fares on the ES services, if you can find the availability and buy in advance.
Stut, if it's a walk-up fare, should I buy my fare when I arrive in Milan or I can just buy it on the day that I want to take the train? I kind of like this idea as it'll give me some flexibility. I'm just afraid that there may be no seats or even room for me to stand!
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