How to travel around Italy by Train

How to travel around Italy by Train


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Italy Travel Landscape

There is no better way to see a country than through the window of a train. Driving ties you up with directions and parking concerns. All you see from a bus is the highway or the person crowded in next to you, and flying may be fast and convenient, but it reveals nothing of the beauty of the countryside.


Why travel by train in Italy?

Take the train from town to town in Italy, and discover the country’s breathtaking colors. Bright green vineyards, purple fields of fragrant lavender, sparkling blue waters dancing in the sunshine off the rocky shores, pretty pastel homes in coastal villages; this country is a delight for the senses.

Taking a train is the perfect way to travel from Rome to Venice, from Florence to Naples, from Castelfranco to Capri.

A trip from Rome to Venice on the train not only eliminates the hassle of renting a car, driving, and finding a place to park in a city where all the roads are canals, it also gives you a chance to see the very heart of the countryside, while you sip a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio from your seat. The trip takes anywhere from four to six hours, passing through Florence and Bologna on its way.

Make sure to book a train that arrives at Venice’s Santa Lucia train station, or save money by choosing a train to Mestre station, but be aware, you’ll have a longer trip into the city from there.


Types of trains in Italy

Italy’s trains range from commuter trains to world class EuroStar Italia trains, with comfortable sleeper cabins for longer, overnight trips. Also, contrary to what you might have heard, the trains actually do run mostly on time. There are all kinds of packages and passes that you can choose from as well, from spur of the moment single tickets for a quick day trip, to one month rail passes that can have you touring the entire country from the Swiss border to Sicily.


Italy train tickets and reservations

You’ll find the price of train tickets depends on where you are going, what kind of train you are booking, and what class of seat you choose. The Eurostar trains (ES) are the fastest, and require that you reserve a seat ahead of time. Intercity trains are also quite fast, and offer both first class and second class seats. Reservations are required on the newer Intercity Plus trains. Regional trains (or Regionale) are cheap and efficient, but may be more crowded during the morning or afternoon commute. Keep in mind that your ticket on a Regionale train guarantees you the trip, but not necessarily a seat.

Check out the Trenitalia website (  for every kind of option, including booking passes, train tickets and even departure times ahead of time.


Boarding a train in Italy

No matter what kind of train ticket you have purchased, remember to validate that ticket once you arrive at the train station. Look for a yellow box on the platform and insert your ticket. This will print the time and date on your ticket, making it valid for your journey. Skip this step, and you may face a fine.

Once you’ve remembered to do this, just find your train, get on board and relax. Just lean back in your seat and get ready to experience all the colors and the beauty of the Italian countryside.