Italian rail pass offer from TrenItalia
TrenItalia is now offering a train pass. The pass can be tailored for length of stay. Starting at seven days and going up to thirty days. Included in the duration is the possibility of three trips or up to ten trips. The cost of the pass increases with both the duration and the number of trips. In addition for a further increase in price you can select a pass for higher classes of seats.
Senior discount rail pass
The pass offers a slight discount for passengers over the age of 60. The discount depends on the ticket selected but can be only about 5% or can be just over 10% on the lowest cost ticket.
Youth rail pass
For riders between the age of 12 and 28 there is a larger discount. This discount can almost reach twenty percent.
The most obvious is the pass must be bought in advance. The offer allows you to buy the pass up to eleven months before activation. The pass must also be activated with the date you intend to first use it. If your schedule isn’t fixed you would want to wait to activate and set a starting date. If before activating the pass you decide to cancel your trip you can seek a refund for 80% of the pass price. The refund is only available during the eleven month period after purchase. You will be required to carry either a printed copy of the pass or show it on your TrenItalia smartphone app. Note this pass does not have a surcharge for seat reservations. The competing Eurorail pass requires a €10 reservation fee for each high speed seat booked. This alone makes the new TrenItalia offer more appealing.
On the plus side the pass allows up to children under the age of twelve to travel free with each adult pass holder. For a family this feature alone can make the pass a money saving option.
Who is this Italian rail pass for?
Like most rail passes it’s hard to make a case for the pass over selecting individual point to point seats. But in this case there are two groups that may find the pass appealing enough to consider.
The first group is families. A family that can take advantage of the two free children under the age of twelve may find this cheaper than individual tickets bought in advance. But even in this case the answer will depend on the type of rides the family is considering. For example one adult and two childrens tickets from Rome to Venice can end up more expensive than the pass if bought last minute. Longer rides on the high speed trains therefore may make sense. Shorter rides on the regional trains will not end up cheaper.
The second group that may find the train pass useful are those you value flexibility over price. By buying the pass the will be locking in a fixed price now that while higher than the cheapest possible advance purchase is much cheaper than the walkup price.
The surcharges to move up to higher classes are less likely to be attractive. The most basic seat on the high speed trains is nicer than the vast majority of airline seats. Selecting the executive class pass is a personal choice but you won’t get gaining a great deal.
Value for money
If you’re thinking of the rail pass to save money you should understand buying point to point tickets in advance will almost always end up cheaper. On the high speed lines TrenItalia has a private competitor that routinely runs discount offers but even TrenItalia itself charges much lower prices if bought in advance. Tickets bought in advance will have less flexibility but are much more economical.
The link below provides information on the weekly Italo sale offers.