Buying Train Tickets in Italy

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Updated: September 15, 2020

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Buying train tickets in Rome train station.

The train station in Rome. The board will show what track your train departs from. There’s a similar board in all large train stations.

What is the Best Site for Booking Train Tickets in Italy

ItaliaRail.com is the easiest and best site for booking Italy train tickets. It’s cheaper then Trenitalia.com if there are 2 or more passengers. It’s an online website that sells Trenitalia tickets in Euros, Pounds, and Dollars.

ItaliaRail.com is a better, cheaper, more efficient online booking site than Trenitalia.com in many ways. ItaliaRail.com shows a full day’s trains in the search results (not just an hour or two like other train booking sites), can book up to 20 people at a time (Trenitalia only books up to 5 people), and highlights the cheapest trains for each route. When 1st class tickets are cheaper than 2nd class tickets as a free upgrade those options are shown too. Although both sites access the same information, ItaliaRail.com can be cheaper for 2 or more people traveling together because it can combine the last remaining tickets at a cheaper price level with tickets at a higher level within the same booking. Trenitalia can’t, so will ignore any remaining tickets at the cheaper price level if there aren’t enough tickets for all the passengers traveling.

Boarding a train in Italy with ticket purchased in advance.

If you’ve bought your tickets in advance you can go directly to your train. It’s very easy to find your train and you don’t have to worry about line ups to purchase tickets.

Seats between the major Italian cities do sell out so book train tickets in advance for routes between Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, and Naples.

You can always try to buy train tickets at your train station of departure. There are ticket kiosks that accept credit cards and are fairly easy to use (though a little intimidating the first time as you’ll have a line of impatient Italians queuing behind you).

As a general rule, it’s always better to buy tickets at an online ticketing website within that country rather than a ticketing site for all of Europe. So buy Switzerland train tickets on a Swiss ticketing site, buy Germany train tickets on a German ticketing site, and buy France train tickets on a French ticketing site.

How to buy train tickets in Italy.

If you don’t buy tickets in advance you’ll need to buy them at the train station using a ticket kiosk. It’s not hard to do once you get the hang of it but the first time is sort of intimidating. There can be a long line of people behind you, just take your time and don’t feel rushed.

Should I Buy Italy Train Tickets in Advance?

Trains can sell out on the most popular routes between Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, and Naples. If your hotel is already booked for your next destination it’s usually best to purchase train tickets online and in advance.

Buying Italy train tickets in person.

If you show up at a train station in Italy without a ticket you’ll often be approached by people wanting to help you purchase tickets. These are nearly always scammers looking to trick you or steal something from you. They aren’t dangerous but it is annoying. Only accept help from someone with a TrenItalia badge.

Buying food and tickets onboard an Italy train.

Once you’re onboard train travel is easy, relaxed, and the best way to get around Italy.

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