Traveling by Train in Italy
Italy is one of the most romantic and best places to visit when you’re on vacation. There is a lot of places to see, people to meet, food to taste, art galleries to explore, and breathtaking sceneries to gaze at. Most of the art lovers and artists, consider Italy a very inspiring place to take a sip of the true taste of art. From sculptures, to paintings, to pillars of great historic Greek churches, art is present everywhere making it an amazingly beautiful place to visit.
There are many ways to travel around Italy when discovering the place. Traveling by train in Italy is the best way to get around although it may be a little expensive than traveling by bus, but train travel in Italy is cheaper compared to surrounding countries. However, like any other means of transport, major rail lines in Italy tend to have huge number of people during ‘rush hours’ and seats can be hard to find on Italian trains.
Traveling by train in Italy can be tricky, but knowing how to travel by train will be a good place to start for you. First know the basic types of train in Italy; they are the Eurostar (ES or Treni Eurostar Italia), Intercity and the newer Intercity Plus trains, and Diretto and Interregionali (Direct and Inter-Regional Trains).
Italy’s leading train is the Eurostar that requires compulsory seat reservations. The Eurostar travels fast between major cities of Italy. The Intercity and Intercity Plus are relatively fast trains that run the length of Italy with stops at large cities. You can avail of first and second class seating, wherein first class coaches present slightly better seats and usually less populated. Intercity Plus trains require mandatory seat reservations and are included in the ticket price. The Diretto and Interregionali are the local trains and the Interregionali is the faster one of these two types. They are affordable and usually reliable but seats can be hard to find on main routes especially in August or holiday seasons. First class seating is less likely to be full.
When you’re traveling by train in Italy, make sure you know how to find your destination on train schedules. Train schedules are displayed in both white and yellow or orange in every train station. You can check the yellow or orange colored poster for departing trains and it will tell you the route, major midway stops, and the times the train runs. Always check on the notes column as schedule changes for weekends and holidays.
When buying a ticket for traveling by train in Italy, you can either go to a ticket window at the station ready with the time and destination of the train you want to take and the number of tickets you need including the class of ticket, or you can use ticket machines if the station has them as they are easy to use and long lines can be avoided, or you can also buy your ticket from a travel agent if they’re set to handle train tickets of course with an extra fee.
Traveling by train in Italy is a fast way to get around, just remember that buying a ticket buys you transportation on a train but does not necessarily mean that you’ll get a seat on that train. Just a tip, if your train is crowded and can’t find a seat on second class, ask a conductor if your ticket can be upgraded to first class.