Any reports of how the new Italo service is? It looks nice from what I've seen, and I was thinking of giving it a try on an upcoming trip. Since there are four of us traveling together, we could splurge and share a private Salotto in Club service -- particularly as they have a special going where you can get a four-person Salotto for the price of three Club tickets.
Location: Washington, DC, USA : Starwood Gold, DL- no more :-(
September Florence to Rome?
I just tried to price out a ticket from Florence to Rome for the end of September, but it came back saying there were no trains available for that date. Do you think they just don't service that path during that time, or is it just too far out to book right now? My guess is it's the latter.
Programs: LH Sen, AF/KL gold, AB platinum, BA silver, HHonors diamond, SPG gold, ...
tried + tested
Just tried the "Italo" at a good rate (around 45 Euros pP) in the medium class. Seats were very comfortable (only three per row), luggage space decent and service with free drinks and small snacks a nice surprise after having to pay for coffee on DB (German Rail).
Speed was up to 300km/h most of the time and ride comfortable.
30mins delay of departure and arrival might have been a case of rare poor luck and although it cost us our onward connection is not really extraordinary for rail travel in Europe (quite common on DB and to my experience even worse all but the Scandinavian countries).
The waiting lounge in Rome unfortunately doesn't have enough seats (not even for on-time departure) and the passwords they give out for the free wifi aren't working.
Unfortunately there is no prior notice given, that the wifi on-board that ntv is advertising, is not yet functional and the aircon was not operational on some of the cars (this we also know fromDB), which spoiled the experience.
Four of us took the Italo from Rome to Florence today and had a very nice trip. I had pre-booked us in Club class, as they had an offer to buy 3, get 1 free if you were reserving an entire compartment. Since compartments seem less common on more modern trains today, I thought it would be a fun experience (and nice to try their top service).
The compartment was pretty comfortable, with power reclining, leather seats that still had that new-train smell. Leg room seemed a little tight when sharing it with the person across from you, but not unreasonable and it was nice to enjoy the trip in our private space. The on-board staff was very friendly and helpful, bringing us soft drinks and munchies when we departed, and finally carrying all our luggage to the door when we arrived in Florence. We left Rome a little late due to a sick passenger on the train from before, but still made it into Florence close to on-time.
A few notes from our trip:
- From Rome, the Italo trains depart from the new Tiburtina station, which seems to have just been finished. It's still lacking many services like shops and restaurants, so don't show up to that station expecting to have a meal before departure. Similarly, it looks like there will be a first class lounge above the departure area, but it's not open yet.
- On-board Wi-fi seems to be available on now; however, using it requires either an Italo frequent traveler card or having an activation code sent to your mobile phone. If this is your one trip on Italo and you're not traveling with a mobile for use in Italy, you're out of luck.
- Club service includes at-seat video, though the available content is very sparse (particularly when it comes to English language content). They offer an electronic newspaper, though that appears to be scanned copies of a print newspaper that you have to zoom in on to read -- the whole interface there seems very dated. However, with all the Italian scenery going by, I didn't really need the video system anyway.
In summary, the knocks are all pretty minor things compared to what matters more to me: fast service, stylish, comfortable trains, and friendly, attentive service.