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Trains Italy: FAQ

Trains in Italy: General Information about Italian Rail

The Italian train network is one of the best ways to travel to and around Italy. Travelers can admire the beautiful scenery of the country as they pass through cities, mountains, countryside, lakes or by the sea. A few of the noteworthy routes with scenic views are the Bernina Express which goes from Italy to Switzerland crossing the Alps, the Trenino Verde which travels across the island of Sardinia, and the Cinque Terre Express which passes by all five towns of Cinque Terre. The majority of the main cities in Italy have routes that directly connect (such as Turin, Milan, Florence, and Rome). Trains in Italy also offer routes that connect to neighboring countries like Switzerland, France, and Germany.

The Italian train network offers a variety of train types and train companies that visitors may choose from while planning their trip to Italy. The main trains in Italy are Trenitalia, Italo, and Thello. These companies service high-speed trains, international trains, and the regional train. With Omio travelers will be able to see which trains better fit their need, for example depending on price and travel time, as well as see whether the train is high-speed or regional.

Book your Italian Train Ticket with Omio

When booking tickets for trains in Italy using the services Omio has to offer, travelers can effortlessly plan their trips. If travelers wish to use Omio, they first must start by selecting the location of the departure and arrival, as well as the desired departure dates. Once these details have been selected, travelers will be granted access to a webpage which will provide them with clear and valuable information needed to plan their trip to Italy. On this webpage, travelers will have the option to choose between specific currencies with which they wish to purchase the tickets, insert any discount codes they may have, as well as decide how to sort their travel preferences (i.e. lower price or fastest travel time). After the tickets have been purchased, travelers will be able to directly access their tickets straight from their mobile phones.

  • Online booking: You can book your e-ticket online directly on Omio or the website of the train company. To book a train in Italy you can do it with Trenitalia or Italo depending on the company you have chosen. To buy your train ticket in English, and to compare over 300 train and bus companies on the Omio app.

  • Purchase tickets at the train station: You can also buy your ticket directly at one of Italy's many train stations. You can buy your ticket at one of the station's sales offices, in advance or directly on the same day. In general, it is more advantageous to buy your ticket in advance when it comes to high-speed trains.

  • Printing e-tickets at the station: Some electronic tickets must be printed on the automatic terminals, be careful when booking online. With Omio, you will not need to print your e-ticket and you can travel by train directly to Italy with your phone. To collect your tickets in the automatic stations, you must bring your reservation code received by mail. You can also buy your tickets directly at the stations at the automatic stations until 5 minutes before the departure of the train. Payment is made by cash or credit card.

Train Companies in Italy

Italy has two main train companies which offer routes going all over the country. Trenitalia is the main train company in Italy and it provides both high-speed and regional trains, as well as airport transfers (Malpensa Express & Leonardo Express). Trenitalia is divided into a few services, Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, and Frecciabianca. Frecciarossa has routes that go from Venice to Salerno, Trieste to Turin, Turin to Salerno, and Roma Termini to Fiumicino Airport. The Frecciargento routes lead from Sibari to Bolzano, Fiumicino Airport to Udine, Rome to Trieste, Rome to Verona, Rome to Mantua, Rome to Genoa, Rome to Lecce, Rome to Reggio Calabria, and Naples to Bolzano. The Frecciabianca has routes that go from Milan to Lecce/Taranto, Venice to Bologna, Rome to Reggio Calabria, and Turin to Ancona.

Another Italian train company is Italo, which only offers high-speed trains and exclusively provides routes from Milan to Salerno and Turin to Venice. These routes include stops in various cities such as Bergamo, Florence, Rome, Udine, Bolzano, and Naples. Lastly, travelers have the choice of using the train company Thello (a joint venture between SNCF and Trenitalia), which offers night trains and operates between Italy and France. The routes that Thello provides go from Venice to Paris, and from Milan to Marseille.

Trenitalia: Trenitalia is Italy's main train company, traveling between 200 cities in Italy. Trenitalia also operates Intercity Night trains between distant Italian cities.

Trenitalia Frecciarossa: Trenitalia's Frecciarossa and Frecciarossa 1000 trains are the fastest trains in Italy, reaching top speeds of 300 km/h and 400 km/h respectively.
Frecciarossa trains run along 4 routes in Italy:

  • Turin - Milan - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Termoli - Foggia - Bari - Brindisi - Lecce
  • Venice - Padua - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Milan - Brescia - Verona - Vincenza - Padua - Venice

Trenitalia Frecciargento: Trenitalia Frecciargento trains are the second fastest type of train in Italy, reaching top speeds of 250 km/h. Over 50 Frecciargento trains travel through Italy every day. For example Frecciargento trains travel from Rome to Verona in 2 hours and 50 minutes and from Rome to Venice in 3 hours and 19 minutes. The newest Frecciargento train route travels from Rome to Bolzano in 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Trenitalia Frecciabianca: Frecciabianca trains are the third fastest type of Trenitalia train. Frecciabianca trains run 86 routes in Italy every day, primarily between large and medium sized cities. For example, Frecciabianca trains travel from Milan to Ancona in 4 hours and from Genoa to Rome in 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Trenitalia Thello: Thello is an Italian railway company created in 2010 by Trenitalia and Transdev following the end of the partnership between Trenitalia and SNCF. Thello trains connect major Italian destinations with the main cities of southern France. Thello operates two lines between Italy and France:

  • Marseille - Nice - Milan
  • Paris - Venice

Italo: Italo is a high-speed train company created in 2011 as an alternative to Trenitalia. High-speed Italo NTV trains travel up to 360 km/h and travel along 4 routes in Italy:

  • Turin - Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Turin - Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Rimini - Pesaro - Ancona
  • Venice - Padua - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Verona - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples

Trains in Italy: Most Popular Routes

Trains to Rome
Trains to Venice
Trains to Florence
Trains to Milan
Trains to Naples
Trains to Bologna

Popular International Routes by Train

Travelers that plan to visit Italy using the trains as their means of transportation will find that Omio provides a service that makes planning easy and efficient. Being located in the proximity of other countries, Turin and Milan are two of the main cities for travelers wanting to arrive in, or depart from, with trains in Italy. The most popular routes these cities offer are the following:

  • Milan: some of the direct international routes from Milan go to Zurich (Frecciargento and Frecciabianca), to Paris (TGV and Thello), to Nice Ville (Thello) and Genève Cornavin (Thello).
  • Turin: a couple of the direct international routes from Turin go to Paris (TGV), and go to Lyon (SNCF).

International train travel is also available to other Italian cities, such as Florence and even Naples, although a change of train (or several) will be required.

More Information about Trains in Italy

Most Italian cities are linked by rail. The most popular train routes in Italy are between major cities like Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan and Naples. All large cities are connected by Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa and Italo’s NTV high-speed trains. Regional and scenic routes are also quite popular given Italy’s undeniable beauty. Specifically, there are two train journeys worth noting for traversing some of the most scenic landscapes in Italy - the Bernina Express between Italy and Switzerland, which journeys across the Alps, and the Trenino Verde or Little Green Train, one of the longest tourist rail routes in Europe traveling through 404 km of wild and unspoiled scenery on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Trains Italy: Most Popular Trains to Rome

Rome, is one of Italy's best connected cities by rail. With all high-speed trains passing through Roma Termini, it means exploring Rome and different parts of Italy couldn't be simpler!

Trains Italy: Most Popular Trains to Venice

Venice, is known for its many interwined canals. The main station is located just outside the heart of Venice and can be reached by foot or boat. Once there, you're in the perfect position to jet off to another part of Italy.

Trains Italy: Most Popular Trains to Florence

Nestled in the heart of the Italian countryside. Florence is famous for its Renaissance buildings, in particular the Santa Maria del Fiore. Well connected to the rest of Italy by train, Bologna and Rome are just a few hours away. Florence's main train station, Santa Maria Novella, is located in the center making it easy to reach from any part of the city.

Trains Italy: Most Popular Trains to Milan

Milan, known for being Italy's fashion capital, is a must-see for any fashionista. Even the train station, Milano Centrale, is a stylish destination with its stunning design, its the perfect place to wait for the train to your next adventure.

Trains Italy: Most Popular Trains to Naples

If you like pizza then Naples is the Italian town for you. Famous for its rich history as well as for sitting in the shadows of Mount Vesuvius, it really the hidden gem of Italy. Like all major cities in Italy, Naples is well connected to the rest of the country by train, with Rome just being over an hour away.

Trains Italy: Most Popular Trains to Bologna

Bologna is the gateway to the North of Italy, from Bologna getting the train to Turin, Venice or Florence takes just a matter of hours. Just make sure to try the infamous Ragu (otherwise known as spaghetti Bolognese) before you leave!

Trains in Italy: FAQ

Italy is one of the most popular countries in Europe for travelers from North America, offering many famous cities, vacation regions, and smaller towns. Visitors to Italy will find that taking the train makes traveling through the country easier. Here are four things you need to know when taking the train through Italy.

What are the advantages of taking the train in Italy?

Taking the train is the easiest way to explore Italy. All of Italy's major cities are connected via high-speed rail, and booking a ticket to the Italian countryside is simple. Choosing express trains provides a fast way to travel between Italian cities, carrying you from Rome to Naples in under two hours. Cross-country trips from Venice to Reggio Calabria offer views that you would miss otherwise. Italian trains allow you to sit back in a comfortable seat and avoid confusing roads that you would encounter if traveling by car. Book your train tickets online and enjoy the beautiful scenery as you travel through Italy.

What should I keep in mind when booking train tickets in Italy?

Booking train tickets in Italy offers a seamless transaction, whether at the train station or through the internet. Keeping in mind that train stations are abbreviated will help you avoid any initial feelings of intimidation or uncertainty. Longer train trips may be perfect for meeting locals, whereas express trips will help you keep it short but sweet. Your train date and time may be changed if you prefer. Regardless, save paper by keeping your confirmation email on your cell phone if possible.

What are some useful travel hacks when taking the train?

  • Start off by purchasing your train ticket in Euros, the local currency of Italy. Nothing makes losing money easier than converting currencies. Bringing local change with you to the train station is worth the extra step if you're carrying other bills.

  • Although some trains offer a cart selling food, stop by a local restaurant or shop on your way to the train station. Fresh cuts such as bologna or bread baked that very morning are great snacks to have.

What are good train routes to take when traveling through Italy?

One can imagine an endless trip through Italy, so picking where to visit can be difficult. Although all of Italy is good for a visit, some quick itineraries are best for sightseeing and ideal for those who want multiple compelling stops. Begin in the north of Italy with Milan, then tour along the southern route to Rome for destinations filled with history, fashion, and nature. A stop at the Colosseum is a favorite of many, followed by pizza tasting in Naples and village exploring in Cinque de Terre. Take the ferry to Sicily once you reach the southern coast, then continue on rail. When it comes to booking your train ticket in Italy, follow our tips for a convenient booking experience you'll never forget. Learn more about Omio's suggested tour of Italy.

Travel Italy: When Arriving

If travelers decide to visit Italy they should be aware of the following information. Firstly, although tipping is not a custom in Italy, many cafés and restaurants will have a coperto fee on the receipt. The coperto is not a scam for tourists, it is a normal fee which is always charged to locals and travelers alike. Secondly, many public restrooms require an entry fee (usually 50 cents or 1 Euro coin), therefore travelers are advised to always carry a couple of extra coins in their pocket while traveling around Italy.