Travelling by Train, Italy, TRAVELLING IN ITALY

 
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TRAVELLING IN ITALY >> Travelling by Train, Italy

Travelling by Train, Italy

To use the metro rail system inside the larger cities such as Rome, tickets are sold at train stations and at the tobacco shops - Tabaccheria, - daily tickets and weekly passes can be bought. They need to be validated at entry to the platforms. Check your local tourist guide for local discounts and specials.

There are many different types of trains in Italy outlined below:

Eurostar Italia - ES
This is the top of the range train travel in Italy connecting all major cities.
The first-class service includes a welcome drink and a daily paper on the morning trains.
A recently-reviewed cleaning service operates on the trains using ad hoc cleaning personnel. Catering services are provided by coffee bars or restaurant car.
The trains ETR 460, 480 and 500 have seats and bathroom facilities for disabled customers.

Your ticket includes seat booking charge. Your ticket shows the information on your journey and the seat you have booked.
Eurostar offers its customers the Ticketless facility: Trenitalia's electronic ticket. There are also special deals e.g the Eurostar Club Card, Corporate Travel cards for Companies and T-Biz cards for business who aslo need pick up hire cars etc and where one has access to elctrical sockets for connecting a laptop or recharging mobile phones.. see www.trenitalia.it for details.
On the trains no smoking is allowed.
There are also Venice - Naples express trains and Milan- Rome which save greatly on time so see timetable for these. Also there are also special deals for Saturday travel.

There are also a lot of special offers varying monthly depending on the season so check the following website for these

For information and ticket purchasing and special monthly offers: www.trenitalia.com Trenitalia Call Centre (89 20 21 without area code from land-line phones, option 2) or Telephone Ticketing Service (199 166 177 from land-line and mobile phones).

Intercity Trains IC
Intercity trains travel throughout the Italian territory, covering the entire primary railway system and connecting cities beyond just the regional capitals while bringing a highly efficient exchange service. These trains connecting the towns that Eurostar doesn't reach, as well as offering a cheaper method of travelling between major destinations. They are slower and less comfortable than Eurostar but this is reflected in their prices. For some journeys covered by both types of train, the saving is very large compared with the extra time taken. There is usually a caf? bar on board and mobile trolley serving snacks and soft drinks travels down the carriages, however prices of course are much higher than normal.

Intercity - IC Plus
l90 trains - 53% of the total of 168 Intercity trains-carry the designation of IC Plus, with completely renovated interiors. In addition to the standard services on board IC trains, Intercity Plus trains also offer a number of advantages to create a modern, bright environment with good air conditioning and designated areas for disabled passengers.
First class seats are equipped with electrical outlets for laptops and cell phones, with better designed tables for working and reading. There are also separate bathrooms for men and women.

Intercity
Intercity train cars, either operate with or without compartments, first and second class, offer air conditioning, a public address sound system for important information, and, on most trains, Bar Bistro or Minibar service. Intercity trains are frequently divided into compartments seating 6 people, with a corridor alongside. They are shabbier and services like air-conditioning aren't always that reliable. Seats are numbered and reservations are usually displayed on the window between the corridor and the compartment. There are first and second-class carriages ? first isn't amazingly luxurious but it is more comfortable and usually much less crowded.
Some Intercity trains are equipped to accommodate disabled passengers, check for the signs on the outside of the carriages.

Diretti
Further down the scale come the trains which serve provincial destinations. Diretti and interregionali connect smaller stations. They are cheap, but not as reliable or fast as the Intercity or Eurostar trains. Local trains only have second-class seating and don't offer seat reservations. The usually stop at every town or village making it a slow journey to your destination. However one can see more of the countryside and the villages this way.

Buying Train Tickets
-By Ticket Office - usually a lengthy process, best avoided
-By Vending Machines - The most efficient way to buy tickets is from the automatic machines in stations. The ones in Rome, and at most other major stations, are plentiful, efficient, multi-lingual, take credit cards. This saves you from waiting in a long queue for a surly assistant behind a glass window.
-On-line - It's also possible to buy tickets online from the website www.trenitalia.it Their terms and conditions state you must be resident in Italy to use the service, and to register you need an Italian tax code (or try contacting their helpdesk for registration assistance). If you do use the online service, you can collect your ticket from an automatic machine in any station.
-By Phone - Telephone Ticketing Service (199 166 177 from land-line and mobile phones).

Validate your ticket by stamping it in the machines provided on platforms. Inspectors can be very hard on anyone travelling without valid tickets, and they don't always take pity on bewildered tourists (it's always worth a try though). If you absolutely can't find a machine that works - this goes for buses as well - try writing the date and time on the ticket yourself. This shows your good intentions.

Group Concessions
There are discounts offered for groups of 6 people and over travelling together, familiy groups - with two adults paying children under twelve travel free, and school groups see www.trenitalia.it

Disabled Travellers
The Assistance Centres for Disabled passengers (C.A.D.) are found in 255 stations. On passengers' request, they organise assistance while at the departure/arrival stations.
There is a blu card for discounts offered for disabled italian residents.
Two equipped places are reserved for wheelchair passengers on the medium- and long-distance trains. Also, on the trains marked with a special sign, you can obtain extra help with getting on and off.

Hints:
As strikes in Italy can happen frequently, keep abreast of the local news for train strikes, bus , air and taxi strikes, blackouts etc. Never catch a train from one city to another just before a flight as it might not arrive on time. Allow yourself at least a day for international flights as this well save you a lot of anxiety and money.
The conductors check tickets, so if you do not have one, you will be charged a higher fee for the ride.
It is best to avoid travelling late Friday afternoon or Monday mornings on Intercity trains as they are often full in second class and you might have to stand the whole journey. If you have to travel these times, make sure you pre-book a seat!
Make sure you know the name of the station you have to get off at e.g. Napoli has three railway stations on the Intercity at which it stops. Stazione Centrale pronounced stats-zee-orn-e Chen-trarl -e is the Italian name for Central Station.

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