Buying Train Tickets in Italy

SDItaly › Train Tickets
Updated: April 28, 2022

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Italy train ticket showing arrival, departure, time, and price.

A train ticket purchased at the Rome Termini Station, showing arrival and departure stations, time of train, and price of ticket.

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.

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.

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 online and in advance for routes between Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, and Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

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, Germany train tickets on a German ticketing site, and France train tickets on a French ticketing site.

Tip: Train is the best way to get to Florence from Milan, Venice, and Rome, but to see the Tuscan countryside or stay at a Tuscan Agriturismo it’s best to rent a car in Florence.

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.

What is difference between Trenitalia and ItaliaRail?

Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy and is owned by the Italian government. ItaliaRail is a private agency that sells Trenitalia tickets. Both companies sell online tickets to the general public.

What is the difference between Italo and Trenitalia?

Italo is a private train company in Italy that operates high-speed trains on a limited number of high-traffic routes. Trenitalia is Italy’s national train company and operates almost all other trains throughout Italy.

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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio. Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loved Greece, travel, and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers, mapmakers, videographers, and researchers on a mission to deliver the most helpful travel content on the internet. We specialize in Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece and recommend the best hotels, best neighborhoods, and best family hotels in top destinations around the world. We also make hotel maps and travel videos. I can be contacted at dave@santorinidave.com.