trains in Italy and Tuscany
Travelling to and within Italy by train is not a bad option.
Train travel is a great way to enter Italy from within
Europe. In Italy coaches and buses lines are numerous
and frequent, but can't really compete with the convenience
of the train: a rail ticket over a long or short distance
will normally be cheaper than a coach fare, and the journey
will be quicker.
Ferries connect the country with Greece,
Turkey, Tunisia, Malta, Albania, Egypt and Spain. And air
travel within Italy is not cheap. The railway system, on
the other hand, is good and inexpensive. It's owned by
the state, and called Ferrovie
dello stato (abbreviated FS) (see
The rail service in Italy is good, the trains are generally
on time, clean and the tickets are not expensive, you
can not always use Credit Card for payment.
13 major Italian railway
stations (click to enlare this map)
From wherever you are making your journey within Italy the
Italian State Railways have an excellent web site
that allows you to search timetable (versions in English
The trains that are
commonly found are: the Eurostar(ES) which travels between
Italy and the rest of Europe, and Eurocity(EC) and Intercity(IC)
which are more Italian-based and are cheaper than ES trains.
When traveling to large cities
such as Rome for two or three nights we recomend you use
the train, First class is not that much more and is extremly
Reserving a seat is advisable when travelling long distances
over the holiday season, since trains are constantly full
around holiday seasons. Santa Maria
Novella Station's booking office offers a free seat reservation facility and there
are other facilities around the station which include: 24-hour
pharmacy, Hotel Booking Office, stalls selling international
magazines, and a bank or exchange facilities.
There are two types
of train tickets. First class
seats often recline, there are fewer seats per car, and
there is more space for luggage. On some Premier Trains,
the price of a first class ticket includes a meal. Second
class accommodation are less expensive, but not as spacious,
as there are more seats per car.
A ticket allows you to board the train, but does not guarantee
you a seat. You must make a seat reservation to have a guaranteed
seat on the train.
For certain trains, such as fast trains or Inter
City, there's a supplement to
be added to the ticket price.
In Italy, you have to purchase your train ticket before
getting on the train. It's not acceptable to buy it on the
train, and if you're found without ticket you'll be fined.
There are often long queues at the ticket office of the
The train prices vary according to type
of class, destination and type of train. The prices are
relatively more expensive than driving across. A three hour
trip can cost about 30 euro.
However, Italian Railways offer special discount prices
for kilometre tickets. For example, you can buy a 3000 km
ticket at a discount of approx. 20% and you can accumulate
the kilometres each time you travel until you reach the
maximum kilometres. You also find special cards for very
young children, old-aged people(over 65) and groups on sale.
Ask for special cards and tickets at the station's Information
An important Tip:Train tickets have to be timestamped for
validity before entering the train. The timestamp machines
are located in the train station next to the train tracks/bins.
The travellers outside of Europe might not be used to the
standard of locating trains numbers, destinations and times.
The train name, number, time and the track/bin number are
written on the train announcement boards. The platform number
should be written in white to show that it is valid for
the period of your travel.
Train timetables change at the beginning of autumn and the
end of winter (September and March) so make sure you are
using the right train timetable.
Validate your train
ticket before boarding !.
Booking is an obligation but the Station Information Service
does give refunds to those who missed their trips for
specific reasons. An Italian dictionary or phrase book
might be of good use when asking for information. An alternative
is booking at the travel agent, most of them sell train
tickets for all destinations. Expect to pay more for a
ticket bought through an travel agency.
You must validate the ticket by stamping it in one of the
gold-colored machines, located at the front of the platforms.
Ticket dispensing machines can luckily be found on the
platforms of train departures sometimes, but not always.
For this reason it's more practical
and often cheaper to buy train tickets or make your seat
reservations before, so you can avoid fully booked trains.
The simplest way to do so is online, through the Internet.
in the train stations ?
tickets and all the support you needs?
"Ferrovie dello Stato" train
company in Italy phone 147/888088
and ask about the last services in all the train stations.