Booking trains in Italy

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mnichols
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Booking trains in Italy

Postby mnichols » 9 Sep 2019, 8:03pm

Does anyone have any advice or experience on booking trains in Italy?

Specifically Pisa to Lucca, Lucca to Florence, Florence to Siena, Siena to Pisa

I've been on trainline and it looks pretty straight forward and cheap - do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up?

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ConRAD
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby ConRAD » 9 Sep 2019, 9:40pm

mnichols wrote:... any advice or experience on booking trains in Italy? ...

I do suppose that you're travelling by bicycle.
If so, IMO you don't need any booking or whatsoever reservation.
To see timetable and available trains go to trenitalia.com, select "REGIONALI", input ORIGIN and DESTINATION and then click "CERCA".
All REGIONAL TRAINS carry bicycles.
At this point to buy tickets just show-up at the railway station, go to the counter and pay. That's it.
Then go to the departure platform and while the train is arriving carefully watch for the "bicycle" display.
Personally I always used this system ... maybe primitive but definitely working.

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mnichols
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby mnichols » 9 Sep 2019, 10:31pm

ConRAD wrote:
mnichols wrote:... any advice or experience on booking trains in Italy? ...

I do suppose that you're travelling by bicycle.


Yes, and No. I have cycled through all of these places on various trips: End to End of Italy, Coast to Coast of Italy and Pisa to Girona, but this time I'm going back with the wife, back packing for a weekend on the trains

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Sweep
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby Sweep » 10 Sep 2019, 6:42am

Do you still need to pay for the bike carriage though in italy conrad?

If so can you remind us of the rates?

Always micturates me off, though of course rail fares in italy are cheap and sensible compared to the UK.
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honesty
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby honesty » 10 Sep 2019, 8:36am

Used trains a lot in Italy (though never with a bike I have to say) and have never needed to book a space. Trains there are cheap, efficient and usually pretty empty. Just remember to validate your ticket on the platform before you get on the train!

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ConRAD
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby ConRAD » 10 Sep 2019, 9:22am

Sweep wrote:... do you still need to pay for the bike carriage ...

In the "continental" Italy yes you pay, something like 3.5 Euro regardlessly of the mileage as far as I remember, last time was Nov 2018 from Salerno to Villa San Giovanni to take the ferry for Sicily. I'm not sure whether I paid for the ferry.
In Sicily the service is totally free, I've been using it several times, also with a tandem without any problem at all.
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Sweep
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby Sweep » 10 Sep 2019, 9:39am

ConRAD wrote:
Sweep wrote:... do you still need to pay for the bike carriage ...

In the "continental" Italy yes you pay, something like 3.5 Euro regardlessly of the mileage as far as I remember, last time was Nov 2018 from Salerno to Villa San Giovanni to take the ferry for Sicily. I'm not sure whether I paid for the ferry.
In Sicily the service is totally free, I've been using it several times, also with a tandem without any problem at all.


That's interesting Conrad.

Why free in Sicily?

You have to pay in Sardinia, even though the trains are usually very empty.
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Sweep
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby Sweep » 10 Sep 2019, 9:40am

honesty wrote:Used trains a lot in Italy (though never with a bike I have to say) and have never needed to book a space. Trains there are cheap, efficient and usually pretty empty. Just remember to validate your ticket on the platform before you get on the train!

Don't entirely understand your post honesty - if you didn't have a bike you wouldn't have had to book a space.
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ConRAD
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby ConRAD » 10 Sep 2019, 10:14am

Sweep wrote:... you have to pay in Sardinia ...

But Sardinia is not Sicily :wink:
However, according to a Trenitalia internal regulation updated May 2019 the transport of a bicycle on Treni Regionali is free of charge in the following regions: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Liguria, Marche, Puglia, Sicilia.
For all the other regions a charge variable from 2.0 to 3.5 Euro applies.
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Sweep
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby Sweep » 10 Sep 2019, 10:30am

ConRAD wrote:
Sweep wrote:... you have to pay in Sardinia ...

But Sardinia is not Sicily :wink:
However, according to a Trenitalia internal regulation updated May 2019 the transport of a bicycle on Treni Regionali is free of charge in the following regions: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Liguria, Marche, Puglia, Sicilia.
For all the other regions a charge variable from 2.0 to 3.5 Euro applies.


Yes I realise it's not Sicily Conrad - my question was why the difference.

It does seem odd.

And odder still with your extra info.

And there's not even a southern logic to it with the inclusion of Liguria.

What the hell happens if you dare to cross a regional border on a journey?
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ConRAD
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby ConRAD » 10 Sep 2019, 10:57am

Sweep wrote:... and what the hell happens if you dare to cross a regional border on a journey?

I go to the counter and ask.
The past November I first took the train in Salerno (Campania), crossed Basilicata and ended-up to Villa San Giovanni (Calabria). One ticket for myself+3.5 Euro for the bicycle.
Then on the other side of the strait, in Messina (Sicily), I had to buy another ticket, the bicycle was for free.
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby Vorpal » 10 Sep 2019, 2:43pm

I have only ever bought tickets at the stations in Italy.

I would advise to book in advance during busy times & routes, such as commuter routes, il carnivale, summer holidays (especially headed toward a coast), etc., or if you have a tight schedule.

Otherwise, I think the worst that is likely to happen is a delay for the next train.
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honesty
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby honesty » 11 Sep 2019, 8:30am

Sweep wrote:
honesty wrote:Used trains a lot in Italy (though never with a bike I have to say) and have never needed to book a space. Trains there are cheap, efficient and usually pretty empty. Just remember to validate your ticket on the platform before you get on the train!

Don't entirely understand your post honesty - if you didn't have a bike you wouldn't have had to book a space.


should have said ticket. We've always just turned up and got seats, always. never had issues with crowded trains :)

nirakaro
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby nirakaro » 11 Sep 2019, 8:36pm

We were touring in Italy in June/July, two of us with two bikes. We took them on about twenty trains without any advance booking, never a hint of a problem.

MarcusT
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Re: Booking trains in Italy

Postby MarcusT » 12 Sep 2019, 5:24am

mnichols wrote:Does anyone have any advice or experience on booking trains in Italy?

Specifically Pisa to Lucca, Lucca to Florence, Florence to Siena, Siena to Pisa

I've been on trainline and it looks pretty straight forward and cheap - do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up?

Tickets are usually not a problem, if you are not on the commuter/tourist routes.
AS far as the bike goes, the best plan is to go to the ticket booth and advise them you have a bicycle and for which train. The bike cars are usually the first and last car.
Remember that bikes are not accepted for the high speed trains (Frecce), but only as baggage.
I wish it were simple as riding a bike