Country info: Italy (Italia)
Rail companies: FS (Ferrovie dello Stato)
Italo (Italo Treno)
Tourism: Things to Do in Italy
Train travel in Italy: train types, tickets, fares, discounts & other useful info
National Train Service:
Train types in Italy: Urbano, Regional (Regionale & Regionale Veloce), Intercity, InterCityNotte, Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, Frecciabianca, EuroCity/EuroNight & ITALO trains
- Urbano (marked 'Urb' on TrenItalia website): urban service around major Italian cities (e.g. Rome, Milano, Florence, etc.), no seat reservation required
- Regional (marked as 'R' & 'RV' on TrenItalia website): short & medium distance trains, no seat reservation required
- InterCity (marked as 'IC' on TrenItalia website): medium & long-distance intercity service on minor & certain major rail lines, seat reservation compulsory
- InterCityNotte (marked as 'ICN' on TrenItalia website): overnight long-distance service (mostly north-south Italy), seat/berth reservation compulsory
- Frecciarossa : premium high-speed (up to 300 km/h) service on lines Turin-Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples-Salerno, Venice-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples, Venice-Verona-Milan & Milan-Bologna-Rimini-Ancona-Bari (previously known as EuroStar Alta Velocità), seat reservation compulsory
- Frecciargento : high-speed trains connecting Rome to Venice, Verona, Bari/Lecce, Lamezia Terme/Reggio Calabria (previously known as EuroStar Italia), seat reservation compulsory
- Frecciabianca : fast trains connecting Milan with Venice, Turin, Udine & Trieste, Ancona, Pescara, Bari etc.; Rome with Genoa, Ravenna, Reggio di Calabria, etc. (previously were known as EuroStar City), seat reservation compulsory
- EuroCity / Euronight (marked 'EC' & 'EN' on TrenItalia website): international daytime & overnight trains connecting Italy with Switzerland, Austria, Germany & France, seat reservation compulsory
- ITALO: premium high-speed trains operated by private rail company (NTV), seat reservation compulsory on routes: Turin to Salerno (with stops in Milan, Reggio Emilia (Mediopadana), Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples) and Venice to Rome (stops in Padova, Bologna, Florence)
Discounts, special offers & ways to save money for passengers traveling in Italy (FS/Italo):
- Super Economy & Economy tickets (previously known as MINI): Italian Railways (FS) offer limited amount of discounted tickets (starting from only 9 euro) per each departure on all the InterCity, InterCityNotte and Frecce (i.e. Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, Frecciabianca) trains. Offer is valid for 1st and 2nd class ticket, in Business, Premium and Standard service & Couchettes and Sleepers as well. Super Economy & Economy tickets are available up to train departure (unless all the discounted tickets for chosen connection had been sold). Economy tickets cannot be refunded, but can be changed (passengers will have to pay the difference between Base standard fare and price they've payed), while cheaper Super Economy tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged.
- ITALO service on routes from Turin to Salerno (with stops in Milan, Reggio Emilia (Mediopadana), Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples) and from Venice to Rome (with stops in Padova, Bologna, Florence). While directly competing with state owned TrenItalia (especially Frecciarossa & Frecciargento trains) ITALO sometimes offers tickets cheaper then Italian Railways (FS), so potential passengers planning rail journey on those major Italian routes should always check ticket prices offered by both rail companies, compare which company has a better offer for your date & time and then decide train of which company suits you better.
- Same-Day Return offer: special fixed return fares for Frecciarossa, Frecciargento & Frecciabianca trains, tickets start from only 69 euro (2nd class), 89 euro (1st class) or 79 euro (Premium class). Same-Day return ticket offer is valid only for direct journeys made using single train and is not cumulative with other reductions. With Same Day Return offer date and ticket change, refund and access to different train from the one you booked are not allowed. Passengers can buy the same-day return tickets up two days before the train's departure.
- Weekend Round-Trip offer: special fixed return fares for Frecciarossa, Frecciargento & Frecciabianca trains, tickets start from only 69 euro (2nd class), 89 euro (1st class) or 79 euro (Premium class), offer is valid only for direct journeys made using single train and is not cumulative with other reductions. With Weekend Round-Trip offer ticket exchange is allowed.
- Special Family offer from TrenItalia: offer for journeys by family groups made up of from 2 to 5 persons of whom at least one is an adult and one is a child of less than 12. Gives children <12 years old 50% off (30% for couchettes and Wagon Lit) and 20% off (for other passengers) on tickets for overnight ICN (incl. couchette/sleepers). Ticket exchange and refund are allowed.
- Train category matters: another option to consider for train traveler in Italy is taking somewhat slower, but way less expensive trains. This might be especially valuable advice for those planning their trips last minute once discounted Super Economy & Economy tickets are already sold out and you left with the full fare tickets only. To give an example, lets take very popular journey from Florence to Rome (or vice versa): standard full fare ticket for any regional train (R or RV) on this route will cost only 21,45 euro, while tickets for the same journey with InterCity/EuroNight trains passenger would pay already 35,50 euro and finally with the most expensive high-speed Frecce trains (Frecciarossa & Frecciargento) cheapest full fare ticket is 44 euro. What does all this means? It means that potential passenger can save more than 20 euro by simply taking regional train instead of more expensive high-speed alternative. So if you aren't in a hurry, why not so save some money?
- If your travel plans might change or you simply don't want to purchase non-refundable Super Economy/Economy train tickets months before the journey, then it might make sense to think about buying Eurail (non Europeans) or Interrail (Europeans) rail pass. Keeping in mind rather high Italian domestic train ticket prices (stadard full fare) pass can actually make sense even if you make only couple long-distance trips.
- Passengers planning rail trips in Italy as well can take advantage of using SCIC-NRT international tickets for domestic journeys (for more info in Western Europe – how cheap it can be?). For example, SCIC-NRT ticket from Venice to Naples (via Bologna, Florence, Rome etc.) valid for 15 days & allowing unlimited stopovers on the way cost only 52,20 euro, thus basically such SCIC-NRT ticket can be a rail pass for the predefined route.
- In some Italian regions also available worthy attention local offers. For instance in one of the most tourist attractive region - Lombardy - offered so called "I travel everywhere in Lombardy" (io viaggio ovunque in Lombardia). Basically it is an intergrated ticket which can be used as pass for either 1, 2, 3 or 7 days & allowing unlimited travels on almost any public transport (urban/suburban buses, trams, trolleybuses, metro, cable cars, funiculars, suburban and regional trains) in the entire region of Lombrady. "I travel everywhere in Lombardy" for one day cost only 16 euro, for 2 days - 27 euro, for 3 days - 32,50 euro or 7 days for 43 euro. Ticket can be purchased at all the trains stations in the region, TreNord ticket machines or ticket sale outlets of the transport companies. Railways network map of Lombardy can be found here
International Train Service:
a) Regular discounts
Not available, unfortunately all the international tickets to and from Italy are 'Global Price' based offers
b) Special offers (SparSchiene)
Ticket offers with limited number of tickets per each departure (purchase in advance required):
- Spain: Barcelona from Milan/Novara/Turin (from 71 EUR) - discounted tickets should be bought >14 days before departure date. (rail service to Spain suspended)
- France (Smart Price): daytime 'Thello' EuroCity from Milan to Marseille (via Genoa, Ventimiglia, Nice) seats from 15 euro (2nd class) & 25 euro (1st class); from Rome, Florence & Bologna to Paris by 'Thello' EuroNight train (6 berth couchettes from only 35 euro, 4 berth couchettes from 55 euro), from Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, Milan to Paris by 'Thello' EuroNight train (6 berth couchettes from only 35 euro, 4 berth couchettes from 55 euro). The offer is subject to availability and has limited seats. Discounted tickets can be bought up to 7 days before departure (sale period starts 4 month in advance), but these tickets are neither changeable nor refundable.
- Switzerland : from Italy (Milan & Venice) to Geneva, Bern & Basel by EuroCity daytime trains (seats from 19 euro, Mini offer), from Italy to Lugano, Luzern, Zurich (seats from 9 euro, Mini offer). The offer is subject to availability and has limited seats. Tickets can be bought up to 21 days before departure. Once the seat availability is finished up to 7 days before departure available Smart Price tickets (start from 19 euro). Neither Mini or Smart price tickets are neither changeable nor refundable.
- Germany: from Venice, Bologna, Verona to Munich via Austria by EuroCity daytime trains (seats from 29 euro, 'Europa Offer') & from Rome, Florence, Bologna, Verona, Venice and Milan to Munich by EuroNight train (seats from 29 euro, couchettes from 49 euro & sleepers from 69 euro, Smart Price). 'Smart' tickets can be purchased up to 7 days before departure date, 'Europa Offer' up to 3 days
- Austria (Smart Price): from Venice to Vienna with OeBB EuroCity (seats from 29 euro) & from Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Venice to Salzburg and Vienna by overnight EuroNight trains (seats from 29 euro, couchette from 49 euro & sleeper from 69 euro), 'Smart' tickets can be purchased up to 3 days before departure date, exchange or refunded not allowed
Besides the above options for international trips, passengers can also conside using international SCIC-NRT tickets while traveling to/from Italy (for more details about this 'trick' see 'Western Europe – how cheap it can be?' section). For example, ticket from Prague to Rome (via Cesky Budejovice, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Verona, Bologna, Florence) valid for 15 days & allowing unlimited number of stopovers on the way costs 149,60 euro, basically it means that such ticket can be a rail pass for the predefined route
Passengers planning trips from Italy to Slovenia (Ljubljana, Nova Gorica, Sezana etc.) please see our Slovenia page for the travel details & ways to travel cheap between the countries.
How to Buy Train Tickets in Italy:
National (domestic) and many international tickets (incl. discounted & offers) can be purchased online using www.trenitalia.com
Do you still have further questions or want to share your own travel experience? You are welcome on our Forum page
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