The high-quality rail network and transportation infrastructure have made trains one of the most popular ways to travel in Italy for work or pleasure. From popular destinations and train routes to information about Italian train companies and how to buy cheap train tickets, this page provides an overview of everything you need to know about train travel in Italy. Alternatively, if you are planning on taking multiple train trips you can choose to purchase a Eurail pass for train travel in Italy.
The first step of taking a train in Italy is by booking your train ticket. But there are already many questions: where to book your ticket, online on the company's website or directly in the railway station in Italy? How to book a cheap train ticket in Italy?
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.
There are two main train companies that operate throughout Italy, Trenitalia and Italo. Trenitalia, which was Italy’s national rail provider until 2011, still covers most Italian train routes. Italo currently only offers high-speed train routes between major Italian cities like Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Milan, Turin and Bologna. Trenitalia Frecciarossa and Italo’s NTV are high-speed trains, which run routes between Italy’s largest cities.
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:
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:
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:
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.