Are you wondering about how to tour Italy by train ? Train travel is best for trips to and between Italy’s cities and larger towns. Save yourself the stress and hassle of city traffic, parking and high gas prices and take to the rails.
You now have two train companies to chose from. Trenitalia is the state run train service and has the most extensive network. Italo is a stylish new high speed rail company started by Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.
Right now the sleek Italo trains travel. between the Italian cities of Venice, Padua, Milan, Bologna, Turin, Florence, Rome, Naples and Salerno.
You have the choice of a simple “smart” fare with comfortable leather reclining seats and free wifi, car to a luxurious “club” car fare that includes meals served, free wifi and personal touch screens. There is even a cinema car!
The earlier you book on Italo, the better the price.
On Trenitalia you have many choices, fast trains, slow trains, and smaller towns with train service.
There are three different fast trains in the Trenitalia system
Frecciarosso – Turin and Salerno, cafe car and free wifi
Frecciaargento – Rome and Venice, Verona/Brescia/Bolzano, Bari/Lecce, Lamezia Terme/ReggioCalabria and between Naples and Venice. There is a cafe car.
Frecciabianca – Not technically a fast train this service operates 84 trains every day and connects 87 medium- and large-sized destinations, with departures every 13 minutes, from 5 a-m. to 9 p.m.
There are 42 trains departing every hour (half hour during peak hours), from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., between Milan and Venice and vice versa;
24 trains departing almost every hour and connecting Northern Italy to the main centers of the Adriatic coast on to Ancona/Pescara/Bari/Lecce/Taranto;
12 trains connecting 17 cities of the Tuscan and Liguria coast to the Capital, with intermediate stops also in small centres and some services continuing to Milan;
4 trains connecting Rome to the main cities in Campania, Basilicata and Calabria;
2 trains connecting Rome to the Adriatic coast (Falconara M.ma, Rimini and Ravenna).
InterCity and regionale trains are slower, and cost less. The routes make more stops and may experience delays.
With some patience you can buy a trenitalia ticket online and take advantage of promotional fares and “ticketless” travel. You will receive a code via SMS or email that you can give to conductor on your reserved train. You can now purchase tickets on regionale trains online.
It is possible to change a Trenitalia ticket (except regionale fares), the steps can be found here.
If you do not purchase your ticket ahead of time, but at the station, you must validate your ticket at a machine before you board the train.
Below is a list of names of major stations to help you with your search and planning
Roma Tiburtina (on B metro line – 3 metro stops from Termini station)
Roma Ostiense (on B metro line 3 metro stops to Termini station)
Firenze S.M Santa Maria Novella
Firenze Campo di Marta
Venezia S.L. (Santa Lucia)
Mestre (one train stop away from pedestrian access to the city of Venice)
You can read more about how to tour Italy here: