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Traveling by train in Italy is a great way to explore this beautiful country.  First time train travel in a foreign country can be a little daunting to some.  Making sure all of your base are covered allows train travel to go smooth as possible.  Our first train trip was without any issues.  If you’re planning the same, make sure to keep reading!

Arrival and Boarding

You can book in advance online and print out your tickets or in some cases keep them electronically.  Doing so means there are no problems with the language barrier, seats are guaranteed, and there’s no need to validate your ticket once you arrive at the station.

Upon arrival at the station, look for the arrivals and departures board at the station.  It’s easiest to find your train number as opposed to searching by city. The final city of the train’s destination is listed on the board. So if you’re stopping somewhere before the final destination, you will not see your stop listed.  For example, if you are going to Florence like we were, but your train’s final destination is Milan, that is what will be listed.  Again, search for the train number and even the train type as opposed to the city.  We made sure to arrive early enough to check everything out and figure out what we were doing.

If you do not see your departure listed, don’t panic. The board updates continuously and oftentimes departures are listed no more than 20 minutes out.  You can always ask staff for assistance.

Find your platform using the assigned numbers as soon as you can. Sometimes there is limited time between the platform listing reflecting on the board and the actual departure time.

Once they begin boarding, the train cars will be numbered. Find your car and take your seat!

Enjoy the ride! 

If you are on the bullet train, they go incredibly fast. Ours topped out at 248 km/h!  The seats are super comfortable, spacious, and clean. We far enjoyed this method of travel as opposed to airplanes.  You’re also free to get up and move around during the trip, including using the bathrooms which are located in between each car.

An espresso is a perfect way to enjoy an early morning Italian train ride!

There will be a dining car,  as well as a basic service cart that passes through the train cars during your trip. Offerings are very affordable and they go about their work quickly.  Sit back and enjoy the views!!

 At The Station

When it’s time to get off at your stop, it’s best to do this quickly as they do not allow a lot of time.  You should also be courteous to people who are trying to get onto the train as well.  Be sure to scope out the train station a little once you’ve arrived.  Being familiar with it will make it easier to navigate when it’s time to leave again!  City maps can be found at vendor stalls outside the train station.  However, be sure to also have a general idea where the train station is as well.

Our early morning train to Florence was nearly empty, but the returning train to Rome was packed.  After experiencing how easy, fun and clean it is to travel by train in Italy, it’s easy to understand why so many people travel this way. We are planning to use this option even more for future travels down the road.

 

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. Similar to my first time in Italy, it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Glad you had a good time! 🙂

  2. I can’t believe it has been 11 years since I traveled by train in Italy! Arriving in Bari after an overnight ferry from Greece, we took the train to Rome then to Florence and Venice as the trip continued. Back then, we all had Eurail passes since we were students who had wrapped up a semester studying in Germany. Even with a Eurail pass, I had to reserve a seat on the train in Italy. It sounds much more convenient now with being able to reserve online and print ahead of time. I remember loving the train rides through Italy. They were so scenic. Taking the train is such a relaxing way to travel, and I hope to train through Italy again someday. Sooner rather than later! #WeekendWanderlust

    1. I loved reserving online in advance. We got to the station and walked right on to the train! It is such a great way to travel!

    1. I traveled overnight by train from Paris to Nice and it was a great experience. I hope you’ll enjoy it in Italy when you get the chance!

  3. Great tips and links on traveling Trains in Italy. The train station is a busy place and I like how it is so much easier to book your tickets ahead of time. I loved traveling all through Italy by train and your right it helps to be familiar with the station. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

  4. This seems easy enough! Surely I couldn’t screw it up too badly! Pinned for our next trip to Italy.

  5. Rail travel is super easy in majority of Europe and is actually a great way to see the continent – there are rail passes you can get that save you quite a bit of money. Great post and useful tips for anyone thinking of exploring the country by train!

    1. We are now planning a bigger train trip throughout Europe and have been looking at the rail passes. Can’t wait!

  6. I do love to travel by train. We did a 4 city of Spain last year and traveled by train and this year in France we’ve been trying to travel as much as we can by train except for when the train strike scuppers our plans. It looks like we’d enjoy train travel in Italy too. This train looks super smart and clean.

    1. I was very impressed by the speed and cleanliness of this train, plus we got great service! Train travel is definitely the way to go!!

  7. I’m a big fan of train travel and am looking to experience more of Italy. Great information and good to read that the trains are modern and clean.

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