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5 replies
Reservations for Italian Trains
bjam2
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Has anyone here made reservations on Italian trains? I know you can do it at the train stations in Italy but what if I’m not in Italy? I’ve found places online that will make reservations for you but they charge crazy booking fees.

I have a Eurail Pass and just need the reservations now, any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

oldlady
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In my experience, reservatiions are a hassle in Italy.  It’s very expensive to buy them on-line from the railpass websites as they charge inflated prices plus shipping and handling.  There are sometimes long lines to buy reservations at the train stations in Italy.  You can buy most reservations at any major train station in Europe.  I’d recommend that you buy them at a train station — perhaps all at once so you only wait in line once and maybe elsewhere in Europe to save time.

Italy has a very extensive rail system.  If you’re flexible you can avoid the trains that require reservations by taking slightly slower (because they make more stops) local and regional trains — although these are very crowded during tourist season.  Reservations for specialty trains in Italy (like EurostarItalia trains) are very expensive — sometimes up to 19 euros.

travelista
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Old lady is right as usual.  Once I arrive in Europe I get myself to the nearest train station and make my reservations all at once.  In my experience overnight trains that run on the weekends tend to fill up quickly,  that might be the only instance in which I could justify reserving online and paying all those extra fees.  Otherwise you’re fine just to make your reservations when you get there, and as old lady mentioned the local, or Intercity trains in Italy, don’t require reservations at all. Good Luck!

lothario
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was just there a couple weeks ago or so. Italy (Venice anyhow) did have the longest lines of any I stood in. Not all the stations were as bad though. Milano (don’t bother) and Verona (very nice) were better. To be honest though, the night trains were disappointing for the most part and rather over priced. If it is a matter of schedule though, it saves wasting a day peering out a dirty window.

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What other countries/cities will you be in? I was able to get basically all train related stuff done in Barcelona and Munich, and I’d assume most big cities shouldn’t be much different. I will say the crappiest train I was on in all of Europe was the one from Bolzano, Italy to Innsbruck, Austria. The damn thing broke down twice!! I don’t speak Italian, but both times the guy on the loudspeaker said something like “PROBLEMO ELECTRICO!”
 
Makes you wonder why you have to reserve on such crappy trains anyway. Kinda like how you need a key to get into disgustingly messy gas station bathrooms…
 
Anywho, I got my reservations there and back into Italy while in Germany. No troubles at all.

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djbritto
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Travelista noted that InterCity trains in Italy don’t require reservations at all.

This is true. BUT, you can make reservations on these trains if you prefer too. And I woud recommend it if you will be traveling on a Sunday evening or anytime before or after a popular holiday.

I was on an InterCity train on a Sunday night from Florence to Padova, about a 2 hour train ride. I was in a group of 3 or 4 other people, and we all had to stand between the cars the entire trip because it as so crowded and a lot of people had made reservations for seats and we hadn’t.

They are usually pretty cheap on the InterCity trains, and based on the possibility of standing for an entire trip, I would usually recommend spending the money to get the reservation…