Going on vacation to Italy? Want to know about train services in the country? Whether it’s internal train travel or across the borders, our guide to train travel in Italy gives you information on train types, timetables and ticket purchase.
When you are in Italy the best way for inland traveling is by train. Not only does the country have one of the best inland railway systems it is much more cost effective for the traveler. When you compare the cost of traveling by train within Italy to that of the surrounding countries you will realize how much cheaper the fares are in Italy. However there is a slight downside to traveling by the train in Italy. The thing is that everybody knows that traveling by train is most cost effective so finding a seat in the peak rush hours can be next to impossible. However there are many train services that can help you to overcome this hurdle.
Types of Train in Italy
The train service of Italy is very well developed and there are a number of different kinds of trains to facilitate the people. They vary according to their speed and the cost. The premier train of Italy is the Eurostar. But if you are looking to travel through this swift rail car then you will have to make reservations in advance. Then there are those intercity and newer intercity plus trains that cover almost all the large cities of Italy. You will be able to find two different classes in these trains with the first class offering you slightly better service and seating. These are generally the least crowded ones. Nonetheless you will be required to make bookings in advance for the Intercity plus Trains. A third category is that of Direct and Inter-Regional Trains also known as Diretto and interregionali. These are basically local trains that have a seasonal influx of passengers. The rates often fall down in the off season which is usually around August. Apart from that these trains are usually full of people commuting within Italy.
Reading an Italian Train Timetable
Italy’s train stations have a rather unambiguous way of displaying train schedules. They have the schedules displayed on white as well as yellow/orange posters. If you are looking for departure trains that you will need to look at the yellow/orange posters that will give you the complete details about the route, major stops along the way and the times on which the trains turn. Each schedule poster has a notes column which indicates timing changes for weekends and other important things like rates etc.
Buying Train Tickets in Italy
You will not have any trouble buying a train ticket because there are a number of ways through which you can get yourselves a ticket in Italy. First up you can go straight to the ticket window at the station. But be sure you know which train ticket you need, how many and what class. To make things even easier the train stations in Italy have ticket machines. By using these machines you will save on the time that you would otherwise have to spend waiting in the long queues outside the ticket window. Then there are the travel agents who can help you book the train tickets but this may have an extra fee attached to it. Many train operators have started functioning online which gives you the opportunity to book yourselves an eticket which is the most convenient out of all these options.