Get on Board in Italy
Italy has always been a favorite for American travelers, many discovering their heritage, not to mention their palates. It also happens to be an easy country to travel by train.
When traveling domestically, always go for a first class ticket. Although second class is very good on the Frecce and Italo trains, the first class trains connecting north and south are even better if you want to savor the wonderful views of Italian landscapes. For other local and regional services, first class is a must.
The most traveled routes include Rome to Florence (with fast and frequent service) and Venice (beautiful views). And, good to know if you land in Rome from North America, Fiumcino Airport is far from the city, but well-connected by the Leonardo da Vinci Express train. Plus, you can ride this train with any Eurail pass that included Italy (first class only; just use one travel day).
As in all European countries, some trains opt for open seating while others require pre-booking. But, there’s no need to worry if you’ve purchase your ticket from Rail Europe. We’ll get you a pre-assigned seat every time it’s possible. And, if you don’t get one, it means you can sit anywhere. If you already have a pass, and know where you want to travel, we’ll tell you when you need a pre-assigned seat—and will gladly book it for you. And now Rail europe offers the same Italian train tickets and fares in North American as are sold in Italy, including access to a vast schedule selection. For your convenience, e-ticketing options are also available.
Italy’s rail network is also extremely well connected to the rest of Europe: from Milan and Turin, the Frecciarossa travels through the Alps to Lyon, while TGV goes to Paris. Incredibly comfortable trains connect Italy with Switzerland. (Florence and Venice to Geneva or Zurich are the most popular routes.) Travel overnight and you’ll go even further with Thello trains linking Milan or Venice to Paris. And, you can also ride CityNightLine to various Northern European cities. You’ll rest in a comfortable compartment well equipped with private shower and toilets.
Traveling by train in Italy is marvelous: truly, there’s nothing more romantic than a lasagna-indulgence in the dining car, two hours after having left Rome. Then gliding though fishermen villages while the sun falls into the Mediterranean Sea. Good tip: when in Bari, take a fast ferry to Dubrovnic in Croatia, and enjoy a nice addition to your Italian experience.
And if your travel plans include extending your journey to Greece, consider the Eurail Attica Pass. This unique pass includes round-trip ferry travel between Italy and Greece, plus travel by ferry to the Greek islands once you’re there.
For more information on Italy contact the Italy Tourist Board.