Italian train offers and how to find them
Italian trains even at full price represent a good value for most travellers. They allow you to travel at high speed from virtually all the large city centres. Avoiding traffic, road tolls,parking problems and potential traffic tickets. But the offers on Italian trains can be exceptional. Italian train offers can reach 60% off the already low price. Those sort of discounts mean you can travel between cities for less than a cheap lunch.
Your question is how do you find these offers? For once social media can actually help. Both of the highspeed Italian train companies have social media presences. On Twitter National Train company and Italo Treno. On the web Italo train in English and Trenitalia in English. On Facebook Italo Treno on FB and Trenitalia on Facebook . If those aren’t enough both companies have smartphone apps. At least the Italo one announces offers .
The two companies routinely have offers. The offers will span a range of dates. They normally apply to a limited number of seats. The offer may only apply to a certain class or may be limited by time of day. Pay close attention to the details of the offer announced. If your travel dates and times match up the offers can be well worth the effort.
The first obvious offer is the Bimbi Gratis. Or kids free Unfortunately these tickets normally require the adults to buy full price tickets. Bimbi Gratis Having the adult pay full price can end up costing you more than paying for the children. If there are two adults and multiple children it can work for one adult to buy the Bimbi Gratis offer while the second parent buys a normal ticket. Having both adults take up the Bimbi Gratis offer almost never works out cheaper.
The same day return ticket also rarely saves you money. The one advantage it provides is free time changes. But if your schedule is fixed that’s not worth much. Once again read the terms closely and ignore the 50% discount which only applies to the full ticket price.
One thing tourists can look for is off peak times. The normal commuter times (Morning and evening rush hour) tend to sell much better then the 10am trains. That leaves the 10-2pm trains cheaper. For most tourists this works well. You can have breakfast and check out of your hotel at a reasonable hour before heading to the train station. The very early trains are also likely to arrive too early for you to check in at your next stop.
st. lucia station venice
Torino Porta Nuova
Rome Termini station
Search accommodation in Florence
Most tourists on their first trip to Italy will want to visit the three most touristy cities. Rome,Florence and Venice. Fortunately all three are on the high speed train line served by the two different companies. This makes travel time between the three cities fairly brief. Rome to Venice for example is less than four hours. Florence of course is in between the other two cities.
There are a number of cities off the high speed train lines. Some like Pisa are fairly easy to reach even with the slower regional trains. Florence to Pisa is roughly an one hour trip with a fixed price of less than €9 at the moment. Other towns can be harder to reach. For the smallest towns you might actually want a car. But few tourists visit towns so small on their first trip.
If you do need to take a regional train make sure you understand if your ticket needs to be validated and how to validate it. Not validating a ticket can lead to an expensive fine. High speed train tickets are all reserved seating and do not require validation.
If you are heading to a smaller town it may make sense to look at the local bus services. The regions all have buses that provide additional transport options. They may not always be convenient when it comes to scheduling but it is an option to consider.
I’m going to try to update Travel offers with new offers from the train companies when I can. But it’s best if you follow the hints above . I may miss an announcement.