How To Travel (The Easy Way) Around Italy By Train

The best way to travel around Italy is by train.

How To Use Trains In Italy

Italy has the most amazing train network, it runs like clockwork, connects all the major cities and gives you high speed access to the entire country. If you are traveling in Italy the train system opens up so many opportunities to you – you can buzz around and take quick day trips that would otherwise take hours to drive. The fast trains have comfortable leather seats that allow you to sit back and enjoy looking out at the majesty of this gorgeous country through huge panoramic windows.

How To Travel Italy By Train

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The fast trains in Italy are amazing. Super clean and efficient, they glide you in comfort across the country at 280 kph. (Why don’t we have trains like this all over America???) The fast train from Rome to Florence, which is roughly the same distance as Phoenix to Las Vegas or maybe Phoenix to Los Angeles, takes an hour and 15 minutes.

There are two main train companies operating across Italy. Trenitalia and Italo. Both are excellent, but if given the choice I use Italo.

How To Use Trains In Italy

If you can plan your train travel ahead of time you can make it super simple and save yourself lots of money.

I normally buy train tickets as soon as the online ticketing is available, 3 months ahead of the travel date. I use the Rail Europe website, because although it costs an extra $7 per ticket I find the website to be less glitchy and easier to maneuver than the Trenitalia and Italo websites. Also Rail Europe is all in English.

Rail Europe (Americas)

The trains have various classes – Executive, First, Second etc and are priced accordingly, although sometimes it makes no sense. I’ve bought first class seats before that have cost less than second class seats. Train travel is really quite inexpensive though, and is such a genius way to get around. It is much faster and much less expensive than renting a car or flying, and just so easy.

If you buy your tickets online you can just print out your boarding pass and it doesn’t need to be validated. (More on validating ahead.)

If you are purchasing your ticket in the train station you have 2 options, the self-serve kiosk or the ticket counter.

How To use Trains In Italy

The kiosk is really easy to use, but will either just serve Trenitalia or Italo. You can select English and then just follow the prompts. If you are unsure of what to do or don’t know which train company to use you can go to the counter and get help. There are also representatives of each train company in the concourse, and they are always happy to help you use the kiosk. They are always in uniform – don’t get help from non-uniformed folks hanging around, they may be nice folks or they may be pickpockets. (I actually learned the Italian train system by random people helping me in train stations 

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Once you have your ticket in hand you need to figure out which Binario or platform your train is departing from. Your ticket will have the train number on it. In this picture it is train 9521. You can look for that train number on the departure board, and  next to it will be the name of the final stop.

How To Use Trains In Italy

Let’s assume you are in Rome and are traveling to Naples, and you just bought a ticket on the 9521. Using the picture above it tells us that the 9521 starts in Milano and ends in Salerno. Even though you are traveling to Naples (Napoli) the departure board won’t say Napoli, it will say 9521 to Salerno.

How To Use Trains In Italy

The departure boards will be easily visible, and will be in several places in the station.

How To Use Trains In Italy

You need to look at the board that says Partenze this means departures.

Arrivi means arrivals. Don’t get them confused!

How To Use Trains In Italy

Remember that the name of the city will be in Italian, not English. Naples is Napoli, Florence is Firenze, Venice = Venezia etc.

In some train stations you need to show your ticket as you pass through from the main concourse to the platforms side of the train station. Others you need to show your ticket as you pass through security on the platform itself.

If you bought your ticket at the station, either at the kiosk or at the counter you will need to validate it before getting on the train.

The validation machines are all over the place and look like this.

How To Use Trains In IItaly

It’s a good idea to go ahead and validate it as soon as you buy it, just in case you end up running for your train and don’t have time. The train conductor will check your ticket while you are en route. If you haven’t validated it you will face a heavy fine, tourist or not.

If you bought your ticket online and printed out the boarding pass you don’t need to validate it.

Your ticket has some other important information on it. It tells you which carriage number you are on (Carrozza) and what your seat number is. (The little local trains don’t have assigned seating but the fast trains trains do.)

How To Use Trains In Italy

10 minutes before your train departs the departure board will tell you which platform it is departing from. Now as you make your way along the platform there will normally be screens along the way telling you where each carriage/coach number will be stopping. Your train may already be on the platform, or it may be arriving any minute. Find the number that corresponds to the carriage number on your ticket.

When the train pulls in you will see that each carriage has a door at either end. On the door it will tell you rows 1- 13 or 14 – 28 (or whatever row configuration that carriage has.) It doesn’t matter if you get on at the wrong end, but if you are dragging luggage around it helps to get on at the end your seat is on.

When it comes to luggage there are different options. Some trains have a luggage bay at one end of the carriage. Europeans travel much lighter than Americans do, so the luggage areas often aren’t designed for giant American suitcases. That means you need to hustle and get on the train quickly before all the space is gone!

There will be overhead racks for your carry on bags, and many trains have a space between the rows of seats where your suitcase can slide in.

In the picture below you can see the large overhead space for luggage, and if you look behind the conductor’s legs you can see the wheels of a suitcase poking out from between the space between the seats.

How To Use Trains In Italy

You need to move quickly and get you bags put away, because the train will get moving right on time. It is super annoying when you are trying to get to your seat and there are tourists in the aisles with their bags, putzing around, not knowing which way is up! Get to your seat, put your carryon on the rack above, slide your suitcase into the space between your row and the row behind yours, and get out of the way.

How To Use Trains In Italy

Keep your ticket on hand. The conductor will move from carriage to carriage checking all the tickets.

How To Use Trains In Italy

Sometimes these dudes are just ridiculously handsome!

You will be served a coffee or cold drink plus a snack on most intercity trains. There will also normally be a buffet/restaurant carriage on the train. The bigger trains stations have really good food options, so we often buy a panino or a salad to eat on long train trips. If you are in the executive or club car they will serve you a meal on longer trips.

Related Post: How To Rent Cars In Europe

I really hope you will use the fast-trains in Italy to travel between cities. It is such  fun, easy and efficient way to get around the country.

If you have any train tips that I may have missed, please add them to the comments section below.

If you felt the information in this post was helpful, please share it on your Pinterest and in your social media!

My new book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is now available worldwide on! It is full of helpful tips, guides, translations and advice for anyone traveling to Italy. I hope you will get a copy and use it to help you while you are traveling in Italy!

Related Post: Learn to speak and understand Italian confidently, whether it’s for an upcoming trip to Italy or just for fun! See THIS POST

Related Post: 10 Things You Absolutely Must Do In Rome

Related Post: 10 Things You Absolutely MUST Do in Florence

Rail Europe (Americas)

How to use the trains in Italy. A step by step guide to using trains in Italy
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  1. Andrea
    March 26, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    hi,i want to know how much of anticipation do you have to be at the station?

    • Corinna B
      March 28, 2018 / 3:36 pm

      Hi Andrea,
      They normally announce the platform about 15 minutes before departure, but I always get there earlier, especially in the big cities where the stations get very busy. If they are checking tickets when you leave the main concourse I go through earlier and wait to see the platform number on that side of security. If they are checking them on the platform, I want to be able to get there as quickly as possible.
      If you have luggage and are going to have to move it across the station and onto the train I suggest getting there 30 minutes before. If you already have your ticket and don’t have luggage maybe 20 minutes before.
      If you have to buy your ticket it doesn’t hurt to get there early, just in case there are lines at the ticket booths.
      I hope this helps!

  2. Andrea
    March 29, 2018 / 8:07 am

    Thank you si much,you saved me !

  3. Gülşah
    April 3, 2018 / 11:44 pm

    Hi Corinna,
    I am from Turkey. Thank you for information. I am also planning an Italian vacation in summer with my family. We’re planning a train journey.
    Where do you recommend staying? We must make an economical holiday with limited budget.
    Thank you

    • Corinna B
      April 4, 2018 / 9:09 am

      Everywhere in Italy is wonderful! Make your plans based on the types of things you want to see and do, whether its art and churches and architecture, or shopping and beaches, or a combination of everything. If you want some beach time and are on a budget, Puglia is just wonderful!
      I always stay in vacation rental apartments, as they are very much less expensive than hotels and give you a chance to immerse yourself into local life.
      If you type “Italy” into the search bar on the blog you will see lots of posts about things to do in Italy. On Pinterest (@Corinnamakeup) I have many boards all with information on different parts of Italy. I also have a book coming out hopefully in June that is all about how to travel Italy!
      Let me know how your trip planning goes!

  4. Shari Cahill
    April 4, 2018 / 7:11 am

    Thank you! This is great information! My husband and I will be traveling to Italy this summer for the first time and will be going from Rome to Naples to Capri to Sorrento and back. Any additional ideas for us will be great too. Thank you again so much for posting this! 🙂

    • Corinna B
      April 4, 2018 / 9:17 am

      Hi Shari,
      How wonderful! I have many posts here on the blog about all those places! If you type “Italy” into the search bar they should start coming up, also go to my Pinterest (@Corinnamakeup) and you will see many boards specific to each region.
      Depending on how much time you have in the Naples/Sorrento area you may want to do a half day to Paestum to see the Greek temples. Hardly anyone knows about them and they are just spectacular! I have a blog post on Paestum that you can read.
      Also, you are right by Pompeii (its a suburb of Naples) so you may want to do a half day of visiting Pompeii and then Herculaneum. It gets very hot so wear a hat and take water!
      One of my favorite places on the Amalfi coast is the little know (by tourists) Salerno, a medieval town on the water at the bottom end of the coast road. You can get there by train from Naples. I have blog posts on Salerno too. I also have a book coming out this summer about how to travel Italy, so keep check back because I will be advertising it here on the blog!
      I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

  5. Mary
    April 24, 2018 / 11:38 am


    Thank you so much for the train info!! We are traveling this Aug for the first time to Italy and will be using the trains! Quick question…we will be there for 2 weeks so we have the large American suitcases. Looking at the picture you posted of the suitcases stashed behind the seats, they look small. Will the big ones fit in those spaces?

    Thanks for your insight!!!

    • Corinna B
      April 24, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Hi Mary,
      How wonderful! You will love Italy. I take a 25 inch suitcase, which is the normal size case, and that fits in just fine. If yours don’t fit, there is a luggage section at the front of most train carriages on the AV/fast trains. From memory the intercity trains and the regional trains don’t normally have a luggage space, but I haven’t been on one with a suitcase so could be wrong.
      Try to pack light. It will be very hot in August, so only take lightweight clothing. Some train stations don’t have elevators, and dragging a heavy suitcase up and down flights of stairs is just hell. (been there, done that).
      Check out my Pinterest @Corinnamakeup. I have lots of boards about Italy and all the different places to go and things to see. You will find some great tips there too. They all link back to the blog, but it is an easier way to find info that is pertinent to your trip.
      I have a book coming out hopefully in July, about traveling in Italy. You will love it – it is filled with really helpful info, especially for first time travelers to Italy. If you sign up on the blue ribbon that pops up at the top of each post, or the sign up box on the About Me page, you will get advanced notice about the book and a chance to get one of the advance reader free copies.

      Have a really fabulous trip!!


  6. Sandy
    May 9, 2018 / 6:15 pm

    Hello – I will be going on a trip to Italy this September that will end in Verona and want to go to the Prosecco Road area for a couple of days after the end of the tour. I’m wondering what the best way is to get there from Verona – train, bus, ?? And then what would be the best place to return to US from, being in that area?

    Thanks so much

    • Corinna B
      May 9, 2018 / 10:58 pm

      Hi Sandy,
      This sounds like a wonderful trip! As far as I know you can do day tours of the Prosecco Road. You could contact some of those companies and get their advice on transport from Verona, or find a place to stay and ask them. There are multiple trains per day from Venice to Conegliano if you choose that as your starting point.
      Your closest major international airports would be Milan and Venice. I know American Airlines runs flights out of Venice through the end of September, and am sure other airlines do too. Another option is to route from Venice to another European airport, and fly to America from there. Most direct flights from Venice tend to be very expensive. If you are looking at Milan as your departure base remember there are 2 airports, Malpensa and Linate. Both are very user friendly and small, and you can find some fantastic flight deals out of each of them.
      All direct flights to US depart before noon, so you may need to stay overnight in your departure city, as it is really hard to get there in time for an early check in.
      Hopefully this helps?

  7. Mike
    June 28, 2018 / 4:08 am

    I have traveled throughout Italy this year by train. I used Trentitalia throughout. 2nd class is a nightmare as it is nearly always over crowded. Buting a 1st class ticket is a must if you are traveling longer distance and isnt expensive.
    The downsides:
    Italian trains leve when the driver wants so get there early ie 30 mins early.
    Trains always arrive late so be prepared to platform hop at the last minute as they slot late teains in.
    Always always double check you have the right train before bording. There are often local and national trains with the same destination. If you get on the wrong train expect a fine of €100 per person. The conductors get a commission for each fine so are red hot.
    The trains always arrive late so allow plenty of time if using connections.
    A lot of stations dont have lifts or trolleys so beware of heavy cases. They ALWAYS have plenty of stairsCar hire is rediciously cheap and Italy is easy to drive around so, if there is 2 or more traveling, compare prices. Especially when you factor in the fines you will pick up.

    • Corinna B
      June 28, 2018 / 10:12 am

      Hi Mike, I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience! I travel Italy all the time and lead private tours there. We use the high speed/ AV trains and I have never had a problem. I just got back from a month in Italy and none of the trains were late.
      You need to use the train number, not the destination when boarding your train. I agree with leaving enough time between connections and also with being prepared to use stairs everywhere – I learned that one the hard way!
      I have driven the length and breadth of Italy and just love driving over there except in the big cities. Be aware that any traffic violations (driving in a ZTL, speeding etc) won’t show up on your credit card sometimes for as long as 18 months. Also, although the daily rental rate can be really cheap it is a good idea to get the super cover insurance. Most major rental car companies will charge 3000 euros deductible on any damage, including the littlest scrapes. I heard (on TripAdvisor) of people having their passports held until they paid the deductible, so I err on the side of caution….

  8. Rose Patterson
    September 4, 2018 / 4:58 am

    We are on a cruise, tendering into Portofino at the end of Oct. I hope to take the train to Cinque Terre on my own.
    Any suggestions very welcome
    Should I buy tickets ahead?
    First time in Italy, very excited
    Also considering taking train to Pompeii from Port of Civv…, wondering about time needed for that one
    Not familiar with public transit, but willing to give it a go
    Great website

    • Corinna B
      September 4, 2018 / 5:47 pm

      Hi Rose1
      How wonderful! You will have a fabulous time.
      First Portofino-Cinqueterre. Does the cruise ship stop by Portofino? Its a very tiny harbor. I’m not sure if there is a train station in Portofino or not but there is one in the next town, Santa Margherita Ligure. To go there by train is super easy an efficient. The train takes you to Monterosso and then you change trains to go to the rest of the Cinqueterre. If going by train I would advise going all the way to Riomaggiore first and then working your way back.
      You don’t book these trains in advance – they are the little local trains, so you just buy tickets at the station. I think it costs about 9 euros each way.
      Another option is to take the ferry. From Santa Margherita Ligure it stops at Vernazza, Riomaggiore and Monterosso Al Mare. Either way it is very very lovely.

      Pompeii is just fantastic. You can take the local train to the Pompeii Scavi stop which is immediately outside the front gate, or the cruise will probably have buses available to you.
      You should have time to do both Pompeii and Herculaneum. Do Pompeii first, then jump on the train and go 3 stops to Ercolano (Herculaneum). From the train station you walk a few blocks to get there. After seeing Pompeii and getting an idea of what happened when Vesuvius erupted, Herculaneum is fascinating because it is still vertical, so you can see how high they built and also all the frescoes are still there.
      Wear good walking shoes and also take a bottle of water and then fill up from the various water fountains inside Pompeii. It’s fresh, cold aqueduct water.

      If you go to my Pinterest @Corinnamakeup you will find boards with links to all my posts for each area. Portofino etc are in the Liguria Travel Tips board and Pompeii is on the Amalfi Coast and Naples board. There is a ton of information for you – just click on a pin, such as the one for 18 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pompeii, and it will open up that blog post for you.

      Have a really wonderful trip and thank you for taking the time to write to me!

  9. November 26, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    Hi !
    My wedding is in March, me and my fiance we’re planning a “HONEYMOON TO ITALIA” it’s our first time there. We’re gonna spend like 5 days in Rome and 5 days in Milan. What’s you posted about train it’s very helpful, so can I get more advice or orientation about my honeymoon please

    • Corinna B
      November 26, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Hi, congratulations on the upcoming wedding! Have you seen my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy? Its available on and pretty much answers every question you could possibly think of when it comes to planning a trip to Italy as well as help for when you’re there.
      Was there a reason you wanted to spend 5 days in Milan? There are lots and lots of amazing and beautiful places to go to in Italy that you may prefer to Milan. Have a look on my Pinterest @Corinnamakeup and you will see boards for multiple regions in Italy and pins that direct you back to my blog posts. There are so many places you can get to by train too.
      Let me know if you need any ideas, but read the book first – it lays it all out for you.

      Have a gorgeous, fabulous, fun honeymoon!


  10. Susan
    November 27, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Hello Corrina!
    Thanks for this great information on trains in Italy. My family is flying into Rome in March and plan to immediately go from Rome to Naples by train enroute to final destination of Sorrento. Would like to book trains ahead if possible but I worry that customs and transporting to main station in Rome that it would be hard to select a departure time. Is it safer to just book the fast train after we arrive in Rome? Thanks!!

    • Corinna B
      November 28, 2018 / 11:01 am

      Hi Susan,
      How fantastic! I love Sorrento. Do you have a driver picking you up in Naples? The drive is fabulous. It is much cheaper to take the local train from Naples to Sorrento, but all my friends in the area advise against it because of thieves working over exhausted tourists. I have a great driver if you need one – just email me from the contact tab on the blog and I can hook you up.

      As for the trains, I plan on it taking an hour to get through customs. It is generally quicker, but this summer I had some Glam Italia Tour ladies take more than an hour and a half to get through.
      The Leonardo Express takes 30 minutes to get from the airport into Termini station, and runs every 30 minutes, so you need to factor in some extra time there too.
      I use the Italo trains between Rome and Naples, but Trenitalia is also good. When you book your tickets they will give you price options. The cheapest is for no changes or refunds, the others go up in price but do give you the option to change your train ticket, from losing a percentage of the fare to being able to do a straight swap.
      If you allow 3 hours between landing and getting on the train to Naples I would think you should be fine. I would probably allow that or a little more, but I tend to be overly cautious. If you are on a direct flight from the US to Rome you are probably going to arrive in the morning anyway and the trains run all afternoon and evening.
      Look on the website to see how full the trains are as the time gets closer. During high season they get full but i would be surprised if you can’t get a last minute ticket in March. The only problem is they cost much more on the day you travel than if you book in advance.
      I recently heard that they are opening up high speed trains from Rome Fiumicino Airport to the major cities, so you may even be able to skip the express train to termini and go direct from the airport. I don’t have all the details on that yet though.

      Have a wonderful time in Italy!


  11. December 20, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    Hi Corinna…. thank you for your super useful article! I’ve saved it and will be back often! My hubby and I from Australia are doing a cruise from Rome to the Greek isles in July 2019. So we are looking at taking the fast train to somewhere close to the Lake Como area and spending some time up there after the cruise. I have a couple of questions if you have time? 1. Is it easy to get from the cruise terminal to the Termini for trains? 2. Should we go via Milan? 3. What’s a great town to use as a base in the Como area? 4. Id there much difference between the train classes? Ie do you think it’s worth going first class or will we get the same experience anyway? Sorry that’s probably too many questions! But thanks for this awesome article!

    • Corinna B
      December 21, 2018 / 9:37 am

      Hi Linda,
      How exciting! So from the cruise terminal you can get a train into Rome, and I think it goes to Rome Termini, which is the big station. From there take the fast train to Milan. Ideally to Milano Porto Garibaldi station instead of Milano C.Le. From Milano Porto Garibaldi there is an hourly regional train to Como San Giovanni. There are regional trains from Milano C.Le but they are fewer and further between.
      For the fast train I normally use Italo trains where possible. I like them better than the Freccia trains, but both are excellent. I always get 1st class tickets. Most of the time you can get them for the same price or close to the same price as second class. I think Rome to Milan is around 5 hours, so you want as much comfort as possible and with little or no difference in price it is worth it. Ideally buy your train ticket for Rome – Milan as soon as possible. They open up ticket sales about 3 months in advance. The price moves up the closer you get to the day of travel.
      You can go online and see the timetable for trains to Como San Giovanni, and just buy those tickets at the station – no need to purchase in advance.
      Where is Aussie are you from? I’m from NZ and I have 2 brothers living in Sydney. I spend quite a decent amount of time in Aus! Also, this past summer I met so many Aussies in Italy. Everyone had flown Etihad and they said the flights were amazing and the pricing was fantastic, so if you don’t have tickets yet it could be worth looking into.
      If you have any other questions feel free to email me directly. I think the contact info is in the “About Me” page at the top of the blog.
      Have a lovely Christmas!

      • March 11, 2019 / 6:40 pm

        Hi again! Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply… I sat on the information for a while, but we are now getting into the proper planning stage. We’ve booked 4 nights in Varenna as it is on the train line, and hope to use it as a base.
        We’ll definitely try booking our train tickets early (when they open).
        We are on the Central Coast of NSW, so about an hour north of Sydney. Actually Im off to Auckland in a few weeks too.
        Once again, thank you so much for replying! Have a lovely day.
        Linda D

        • Corinna B
          March 14, 2019 / 10:58 am

          Have a fabulous trip!!

          • June 6, 2019 / 4:03 pm

            Hi Corinna,

            Thank you so much for your really useful reply. I am now in the process of buying train tickets…. I am wondering if there is a website that you prefer to use? There seem to be so many! And I noticed that the Italo site I visited does not seem to go to Milano Porto Garibaldi, but rather Milano Centrale instead?

            We have rented an apartment for 4 nights in Varenna, and one last night in Rome before we head back home to Sydney airport. I am super excited for this holiday…. visiting places I’ve always wanted to go!

            By the way I purchased both of your books on Amazon and I wanted to thank you for all your careful thoughts and helpful information about getting around Italy. I will definitley be making good use of them!

            Thank you

            Linda D

          • Corinna B
            June 23, 2019 / 7:06 pm

            Thank you Linda!
            I normally book through Italo for the high speed trains. They only go to Milano C.Le, not Garibaldi. They only do high speed trains, and possibly don’t go to Varenna?
            The trenitalia site is also good, but I sometimes find it a bit glitchy. If I am having trouble with it I use Rail Europe. They have a $7 fee per ticket, but sometimes its worth it just for the simplicity. Who ever you use, order print at home tickets.

            I am so thrilled that you bought my books! Half my family is in Sydney, so I go there often. This past trip to Italy I met a couple from Sydney on the Leonardo Express train from the airport into Rome. They had my books with them and I was so excited!

            Let me know how you get on with the train bookings,


  12. Jeremy
    January 2, 2019 / 5:25 am

    Hi Corinna,

    Thank you for sharing on how to use the trains in Italy. My wife and I are going to Italy, starting with Rome. We are going to Assisi, Siena, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre (Varnazza), Florence, Venice, Padua, Verona, Lake Grada and then back to Rome before flying home after 22 days. Is it cheaper to buy the Eurail Pass or should I buy single trips? I see that some trips when I check the website that there is 1 or 2 connection stops before reaching my destination with very little time to switch trains. I am rather anxious that we may not have enough time if the platforms are far apart? In some cases, the time for the changeover is like 10 mins, how will I know what is the right platform to go to especially if there is a change?

    • Corinna B
      January 3, 2019 / 5:34 pm

      Hi Jeremy,
      What a fabulous trip!
      I don’t use the eurail passes because I tend to find it cheaper to book the trains individually. Most of the trains you will be using will be small trains and intercities, so you will buy those tickets at the station.
      You would use a fast train from Rome to Florence so can buy that in advance,and Florence to Venice but I’m not sure on Verona and Padua. Depending on where you are traveling from they could be intercity trains or they could be on the high speed route.

      From Florence you can take a day trip to Assisi using the train. If you are going to Siena from Florence it is actually quicker and easier to go by bus. I think it is only 40 minutes and the bus goes from the back of Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence right up to the walled city in Siena, which is where you want to go. I have only driven it myself so am not sure which bus line it is but suggest you look at Flix Bus.
      San Gimi doesn’t have a train. Your closest station is Poggibonsi, but then you have to get up the hill to San Gimi from there. It is much easier with a car, and is beautiful territory to drive through.
      Vernazza is a trek to get to. From Florence you will probably go to La Spezia and then change trains. It is 2 1/2 hours to La Spezia and then another 24 minutes to Vernazza. You do have to do some train changes but its not difficult. These are smaller train stations and just the little local trains, so you don’t buy tickets in advance.
      Are you planing on doing Vernazza as a day trip or are you going to stay in Vernazza?
      You just have to watch out for the platform number – some will say platform 2 and others might say platform 2 west or 2B etc, these are little platforms off to the side of the main platforms. There is normally someone floating around who will help you – Italians are very friendly people.

      I try not to have really short connections, especially if I have suitcases with me. The small stations don’t have elevators, so you can be dragging suitcases up and down staircases, which an be stressful if you are racing to catch a train.
      When you arrive into a station there should be a TV screen on the platform with a list of the trains and which platforms they are leaving from. Unless the station you are going to is the last stop on the line the screen may not say its name, so you need to look for the train number, or find out the last stop. It might say the 2230 to Buonconvento is leaving from platform 4, and you are going to Siena on the 2230. Siena is a big enough city that it would probably be named, but the screen might just say Buonconvento if that is the last stop.
      Don’t be anxious – it is much easier than it sounds and if you are friendly and smile the locals will help you.
      Let me know if this was useful or not. Hopefully it makes sense!

      Have a fabulous trip,


  13. Bianca Young
    January 6, 2019 / 5:58 am

    Do most trains have toilets onboard in Italy? I know I would worry about getting on a train trip thats an hour / hour and a half not knowing if there are toilets available.

    • Corinna B
      January 6, 2019 / 4:04 pm

      Hi Bianca,
      They for sure have toilets on the high speed trains. I’m not sure about the little local trains or the Intercity trains, but I imagine they will too.

  14. Sherry
    January 6, 2019 / 7:22 am


    Your article is so very helpful and I will be reading more before my trip to Italy in March. We are booked on the fast trains from Rome to Florence, Florence to Verona and then Verona to Venice. We have selected second class bookings, but a previous post made me think I should change to first class… what are your thoughts?

    • Corinna B
      January 6, 2019 / 4:03 pm

      Hi Sherry,
      I always go first class. Normally if you buy tickets online you can get them for almost the same price as 2nd class, if not the same price.
      The seats are a little more comfy and they bring you a drink and a snack. If the price isn’t much higher (and it shouldn’t be) try for first class. If you end up in 2nd it will still be good!
      Also check out my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy. Its on and has answers to everything you can possibly think of! I have a new book coming out in the next couple of months, this time specifically about amazing things to do in Rome.
      There are tons of posts on this blog about Rome, Florence and Venice that you may find helpful. I have Pinterest boards with all of them separated out, which makes them easier to see. My Pinterest is @Corinnamakeup.
      Have a really fantastic trip!!

  15. Kristin
    January 6, 2019 / 6:42 pm

    We will be traveling October 2019, we are starting in Naples then heading to the Amalfi Coast then north to Rome, Florence and Venice. We are planning to get a Eurail pass, is that the correct route for tickets that we should go? From Venice we want to go to Paris, are there high-speed over night trains that you have had experience with? And is that separate from the eurail pass?

    • Corinna B
      January 7, 2019 / 8:37 pm

      Hi Kristin,

      I have found the Eurail pass hasn’t been a benefit for me in Italy, but you may want to double check the pricing and see if it is cost effective for you. The individual tickets would be Naples Cle – Rome, then Rome – Florence SMN, then Florence SMN – Venice S Lucia. All are easy trips and can be very inexpensive if booked ahead of time. I do these over and over every summer with my tours. I normally use Italo trains whenever I can.
      I haven’t done the overnight train to Paris but I did look it up for you. You can either go out of Venice S. Lucia or out of Milan C.le. They arrive in at Gare de Lyon around 9:30 am. The sleeper carriages look to be around $195 for 2 people.
      The eurail pass might be beneficial with the Paris leg added in, but I would price it all out before buying one.

      Your trip is going to be fabulous!

  16. Kristin
    January 8, 2019 / 6:03 am

    Thank you so much for all the information!! Extremely helpful! I see that you use rail Europe to purchase tickets however I have been seeing poor reviews online for rail Europe that customer service is unreliable and the ticket/seat reservations have been canceled on some people. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • Corinna B
      January 8, 2019 / 11:11 am

      I have never had a problem with them. I used to use them to book all my tour groups because the Trenitalia site was quite glitchy for a time, but I haven’t used them for a while now. Also Rail Europe has a $6 or $7 surcharge per ticket.
      I mostly book directly with Italo. My Glam Italia Tours do the Naples – Rome-Florence-Venice almost every trip and I love using the Italo trains.
      Also you may want to check into flights from Venice to Paris. They are much quicker and not expensive. In saying that though I love the idea of taking a train through the night! I has an Orient Express kind of mystique to it…

  17. Theresa
    March 22, 2019 / 10:49 am

    So i have purchased most of my train tickets/itinerary online for Trenitalia. It’s our first trip to Italy. But I noticed my friend spelt my bf name wrong on the tickets/itinerary print out. Is that going to cause a huge problem? If so how do I fix it? Will i have to purchase a whole new ticket?

    • Corinna B
      March 28, 2019 / 8:13 pm

      No they probably won’t even check it. They will look at your tickets or if you have the print out they will check that. I have never had them check the names against passports, and if they did chances are they wouldn’t pick the difference in spelling. You will be fine!
      When do you go? My book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy has tons of help for you with every aspect of your trip from planning it to help on the ground. It is available worldwide on Amazon.
      If you will be spending time in Rome I have a new book coming out in a few weeks called Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome. If you join the newsletter (There is a link at the bottom of each blog post) you will get all the info ahead of time, plus lots of cool travel tips for Italy.

      Have a really wonderful vacation!!

  18. Kat
    April 29, 2019 / 3:10 am

    Hi just wondering if its possible to buy on open end ticket online. Im not sure what time im departing each city and am worried if ibug the trajn ticket onljjne snd am late for the departure I’LL loose my seat.

    • Corinna B
      April 29, 2019 / 10:54 am

      I have only bought specific timed train tickets, and haven’t seen open ended tickets, however if you want to pay more you can get exchangeable tickets. You may want to just buy tickets at the station when you get there. It is more expensive but will save you some stress. This applies to the high speed AV trains, the intercity and local trains you just buy at the station. So if you were traveling Florence to Venice that would be on an AV/high speed train but if you are traveling Florence-Pisa-Genoa that is on intercity trains, so just buy at the station.
      Does that help?

  19. Andrea
    June 9, 2019 / 9:36 am

    I’m studying abroad in Florence this August and we have a train ticket from Rome to Florence, however I purchased my ticket through an app! Do I need to print out the ticket, or do they scan it? Or what does that process look like?
    Thank you!

    • Corinna B
      June 23, 2019 / 6:54 pm

      Hi Andrea,
      I tried emailing you while I was in Italy but am not sure if it went through or not. (I couldn’t access the blog while I was away). I always print out just in case. If your phone freezes or if you can’t get access to the ticket it is good to have a back up. Its all very easy though and you won’t have a problem.
      Have a fabulous time!

  20. Sophie.L
    June 10, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    Hi! We are traveling to Italy in September with our daughters, they will be 9 months and 4 years old at this time. We are bringing a umbrella stroller with us and I’m just wondering where they put the strollers on the train? Any more advice or things to do with ou girls? We are going to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terrea and Venice. Thank you!

    • Corinna B
      June 23, 2019 / 6:51 pm

      Hi Sophie,
      I haven’t seen strollers on there for a while. On the trenitalia high speed trains there is room to fold and slide one between the seat rows – there is an upside down V shape where suitcases or strollers can slide in. Also if it folds easily there is ample room to put it above the seat. They may have something else organzed for strollers too – I haven’t really paid attention.
      Make sure to scope out some park spaces where your 4 year old can run off some steam or cool off if its hot. They are everywhere.
      Also, Italians love babies and children. You will probably find everyone is very helpful and kind.
      Have a fabulous trip!

  21. Nicole Stclair
    September 4, 2019 / 1:55 pm

    Hello, we will be going to Rome next month and plan on going to Pompeii by train. My husband and son also want to dive Baiae that same day. Is there a fast train to take that is priced reasonably for this? And I looked on the Euro rail website but couldn’t differentiate between the regular train and the fast train. It made me think the fast train was mostly for traveling to different countries and would run us over $500? We also wondered if there is a ticket you can buy that covers any day? We aren’t sure which day this far out will have the best weather to dive but it looked like you had to do an exact date/time to buy the ticket online ? Any help you give us would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, Nicole

    • Corinna B
      September 4, 2019 / 6:32 pm

      Hi Nicole,
      From Rome you can take the high speed train to Naples. Its not expensive – around 40-50 per person in 1st class. I always use Italo but Trenitalia is good too.
      From Napoli Centrale you take the circumvesuviana little train to Pompeii Scavi stop. It is very easy.
      Baiae can be tricky but you would be taking a small train there too.
      Another option is to have a driver pick you up at Naples and take you to Pompeii, then take you to Baiae. I have an excellent guide at Pompeii and a fabulous driver. It costs more but is definitely worth it as Baiae can be difficult to get to.
      October is still a busy month so you would need to book everyone asap.
      If you need referrals send me an email.

      Have a fabulous trip!

      • Nicole StClair
        September 5, 2019 / 8:07 am

        Thank you so much! You’ve been a great help. I’ll discuss all this with my husband. Thanks for the speedy response too!

  22. Anna
    September 5, 2019 / 4:03 pm

    What are your tips for purchasing tickets or passes online ahead of your trip? Do I need to do this for high-speed trains and do I get to reserve a seat ahead of time?

    • Corinna B
      October 8, 2019 / 1:59 pm

      Hi Anna,
      Hopefully you got my email reply while I was away!
      Yes, book your high speed trains in advance. They give you assigned seating when you book.
      I mostly use the Italo trains and book directly through their website.
      let me know if you have any problems.
      Have a fabulous trip!


  23. October 14, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    I have read your book and loved it. I am traveling to Rome with my daughter over Thanksgiving. Should I plan transportation to my hotel from the airport, in advance, or grab a cab at the airport?

    • Corinna B
      October 23, 2019 / 6:51 pm

      Hi Judy,
      I can’t tell whether or not you received my reply on this. Am sending you an email just in case!

  24. Randee
    January 4, 2020 / 1:02 pm

    Hi Corinna, I found your books on Amazon today and have already bought them for a trip my husband and I are doing in April and one with my niece in October. The train information is extremely helpful…thank you! I know you mentioned that first class train tix can sometimes be less expensive than second. With that being said, we will be taking the high speed train from Rome to Florence; do you have a recommendation on what class tix we should buy?

    Also, can you point me to where I can inquire about a Glam Italia tour with you; I’m not seeing that.


    • Corinna B
      January 4, 2020 / 6:59 pm

      Hi Randee,
      Yes you will use the highspeed / AV train from Rome Termini station to Florence SMN. I use Italo trains when possible. Go to their website directly and book tix. I often find 1st class cheaper than 2nd/smart class. It’s a great trip with beautiful views the entire way. I always get 1st class because even if it does cost more its only a little (but normally it is available for the same price or less) Sometimes I even wind up with executive class tickets for less than 1st class. It makes no sense but I’m not complaining!

      How exciting that you are going twice this year! Have you been before?

      Shoot me an email and I will add you to the tour list. I only do them in June and in September, so they sell out quickly.

      Let me know if you have any other questions about the trains,

      Have a fabulous trip,


  25. Cindy
    January 9, 2020 / 1:53 pm

    My friend and I will be on back to back cruises out of Venice to see the Greek isle as and Croatia. From the cruise port in Venice we need to get to the port of Rome the following day for yet another cruise. I’m starting to get a little confused on the best way to go however I am told it is fairly easy to travel by train from Venice to Rome. Any suggestions? We will be there in June 2020

    Thank you. We are so excited.

    • Corinna B
      January 10, 2020 / 11:16 am

      Yes your best way is to take the high speed train from Venice Santa Lucia station to Roma Termini. It takes about 3.5 hours.
      Then you need to get a local train from Termini to the port.
      I advise working backwards. See what time you have to be at the ship then figure out your best options for the local train. I think there are 2 or 3 per hour and they take approximately an hour or an hour 10 to get from Termini to the port.
      Allow yourself at least a half hour in Termini to get tickets, validate them and find the platform you will be leaving from (it may be downstairs) but I would probably advise longer just in case your Venice train gets delayed. Then work backwards to see which train you need to get from Venice.

      You will pretty much spend all day traveling. FYI there are some really good little sandwich shops at the Venice train station. We always buy sandwiches and coffees to bring on the train.

      Have a fantastic trip!

      • Cindy
        January 10, 2020 / 1:55 pm

        Thank you so much for replying so quickly!!!! We actually get back from our Greece cruise early Saturday and out next Cruise out of Rome leaves Sunday afternoon so I don’t think it’s a big rush. I just am not sure if flying is cheaper. The flights are pretty cheap but we will each have a large suitcase.

        • Corinna B
          January 11, 2020 / 11:23 am

          I always advise taking the train. Flights can be quite hairy – frequently delayed, more chance of your suitcase going missing etc. The trains are really easy, inexpensive (1st class on Italo will run you between 50 and 70 euros) and also you don’t have the time and expense of getting to and from the airport.
          I flew from Venice to Bari last summer and it was bit of a shit show. The flight was delayed and then my suitcase came on a different flight. In the end I arrived 4 hours late. I prefer the train any day…..

  26. Jeff D'Amelio
    January 30, 2020 / 5:29 pm

    Enjoyed the article, has more information about details than some of the others I have read. My plans are to fly to Fiumincino then trains to Lanciano/San Vito. Then moving from there to Atessa, my ancestral home, by some method involving rubber tires.

  27. Dayle
    February 15, 2020 / 3:59 pm

    Hi Corrina,
    We are four seniors travelling from the states. We will arrive in Rome in the early a.m. and take a train to Florence for a few days. From Florence we’re going to Montepulciano. The train stop is Chiusi. You mentioned in your article ( excellent, by the way), that the smaller stations have stairs. Three of us have mobility issues. I imagine we can drag our suitcases down the stairs but getting them back up, not so much. Our thought is to rent a car to take us in to Montepulciano for our stay and then drive up to Verona for a few days. We’ll return the car in Verona and take the train to Rome- our final destination. Do you know if the station in Chiusi has stairs? If they do not, we can cab it to Montepulciano for our stay and then go back to Chiusi and take the train to Verona. Our concern with the car is that there are our of us which means four suitcases and four backpacks. Any thoughts?

    • Corinna B
      February 17, 2020 / 1:56 pm

      Hi Dayle,
      What a fabulous trip!
      I have a couple of recommendations. I haven’t used Chiusi station so am not familiar with it but can almost guarantee it will have stairs. When you factor in luggage for 4 people as well as the stresses of driving over there if you are not used to it, renting a car may not be your best bet.
      I would suggest looking at Flix bus. It takes around 2 to 2 1/2 hours from Florence (I think). I have used Flix a couple of times and it has been excellent. When I’ve used it it has been big brand new buses and the driver helps with luggage. I think it is less then 20 euro per person.

      Another option is to make a day of it and have a driver bring you out. You could have a driver pick you up in Florence and take you to Montepulciano stopping at some other Tuscan towns along the way. It will cost about 400 euro for the day but can be really fantastic. I have a tremendous driver who does all my tours in Tuscany and can give you his details if you email me. He can take you to a winery for lunch and show you some lovely towns along the way. If you do get a driver it is essential that you use an NCC driver. I have a blog post about hiring drivers in Italy that you can look at, and also see Luca’s vehicle (I have a photo of it in there).

      I hope this helps? Email me from the About Me page if you have any questions.

      Have a wonderful trip!

      • Dayle
        February 17, 2020 / 3:22 pm

        Hi Corrina. Thanks for the quick reply. I did some searching and found that the Chiusi has an elevator. Yeah!!
        We love the idea that on the train we would be able to get up and move around a bit. After our long flight over , a train rather than a bus or a car holds much appeal.
        The way you described the train journeys made it sound like it would be a great part of our adventures.
        Thank You again,

        • Corinna B
          February 18, 2020 / 5:15 pm

          I absolutely love traveling around on the trains in Italy. It is such fun!
          The train to Chiusi will be the smaller local train or the intercity train. I’m not sure they have a luggage area like the high speed trains, so I would advise going mid morning after the rush hour so that hopefully you will have spare seating areas to put your luggage. I don’t remember if they have overhead luggage space.
          You will be taking the high speed train from Rome to Florence and Florence to Rome so will have a better situation for luggage and will be able to walk around a bit. They are just fantastic!
          The local trains aren’t quite so conducive to moving around.They also rock around like a normal train, so aren’t the smooth ride of the high speed train. If it is the bigger Intercity train it will be comfortable but you still wouldn’t walk around.
          The ride to Chiusi is around 90 minutes I think? The Flix bus is only about 20 minutes longer and has the advantage of the driver putting your luggage underneath and also having more comfortable seats than the local trains.

          They are all good options and either way you will have a wonderful time!

  28. Maggie Gray
    July 31, 2022 / 5:05 pm

    We are travelling to Italy in June 23, this info is great are there any apps now that I can download to buy train tickets and is the an option yet for using electronic ticket to save in my apple wallet ? Thanks

    • Corinna B
      August 2, 2022 / 7:53 am

      Hi Maggie,

      Sorry to be late in replying on this. I don’t know if you can apple wallet train tix? I never have myself.
      I hope you had/are having a fabulous time in Italy!

  29. Sonja Litwack
    August 1, 2022 / 7:21 am

    Hi Corinna,
    I just wanted to re-iterate everyone else’s comments. Thank you so much for posting this very useful article! My husband and I (in our 60’s) travelled through Italy for a month in June and thanks to you we felt quite comfortable using the trains. We used mostly Italo as they were super easy to book on line and as you said we didn’t have to fuss with validation. Italo trains seemed to be more modern and for the most part super clean! We used the train from Venice to Florence, Florence to Naples, Naples to Rome and Rome to Civitavecchia (Trenitalia) with ease (except the darn luggage!) We were travelling for a month (and going on a cruise at the end) so we thought we had to take our closet with us and regretted it on the first train ride! PACK LIGHTLY PEOPLE!! I wish we had a fast speed train system in Canada! Anyhow thanks again for your informative article!

    • Corinna B
      August 2, 2022 / 7:52 am

      Hi Sonja,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me!
      I am thrilled you were able to buzz around Italy on the trains stress free. It’s just the best thing ever!
      I too am a huge Italo fan and use them all the time. If only we had something like this in the American southwest!

  30. Pamela
    October 15, 2022 / 2:23 pm

    Hi Corinna, Husband and I are planning trip to the northern half of Italy next May. We would like to do a combination of train and driving. The part of the trip I am having the hardest time with is the Florence to Cinque Terre then on to Lake Garda. I have read about some parking options in Monterosso but also in Le Spezia however I feel like Levanto may be an option also. I do worry about not being able to secure this ahead of time and finding a spot will be left to fate. The other option I considered was not renting a car until after the Cinque Terre visit but looking at it, I get the idea my best option would be to take the train back to Florence to pick up a car. Can you give me any advise for this situation? Our plan is Rome, Florence, CT, Lake Garda (have yet to pick the landing spot there), on to Venice.

    Thanks for any input you might have.

    • Corinna B
      October 15, 2022 / 3:07 pm

      Hi Pamela,
      Personally I wouldn’t have a car while in the 5terre. I would recommend taking the trains instead. See more than just the villages – Liguria is fantastic and has so much to see and do. Once you’re done with that part of the trip head to Genoa and pick up a rental car at the airport. From there drive to Lake Garda. You may find you don’t need a car for the Garda part of your trip either, in which case you could take a train from Genoa to Milan and then on to Garda. (There are a variety of ways to get there).

      Also, I have taken the Flix Bus from Florence to Genoa and then had a driver pick me up and take me to Santa Margherita Ligure (I stay there instead of the Cinqueterre towns) The Flix bus is fabulous and only costs about €20. I find it easier than the trains with luggage, as the train stations you’ll be going through are little and most don’t have elevators/working elevators so it’s a lot of stairs with luggage. A driver from Genoa to Santa Margherita or to the Cinqueterre costs about €100. I definitely would avoid having a car for that part of your trip.

  31. January 16, 2023 / 7:42 am

    Hi Corinna!

    Thank you for this helpful article. My family of 4 is traveling from Rome to Ravello. We are looking at trains from Rome to Naples or Rome to Salerno. The prices/times are very similar, so I am having a difficult time choosing which to do. Do you have a preference between these two routes? Looking for something scenic/memorable while we are en route. We’ve head these train rides are beautiful and are looking to get the most out of your trip.


    • Corinna B
      January 18, 2023 / 4:17 pm

      From either you will need a driver to pick you up at the train and drive you to Ravello.
      Although Ravello is closer to Salerno, I would take the train to Naples. Be sure to book a driver now – don’t wait. Your hotel/airbnb should be able to give you some contacts, otherwise email me and I can help you out.

      The train from Rome to Naples is an hour and 15 minutes. The first hour is gorgeous but the last 15 minutes is riding through the housing projects. It’s only 15 more minutes to Salerno, but the ride isn’t particularly beautiful.

      If you have time while you’re down there be sure to visit the greek temples at Paestum. They are magnificent!

  32. Theresa
    July 4, 2023 / 2:04 pm

    2 questions- we will be traveling by train from the termini terminal to civitavecchia. I don’t believe this is a fast train and we will have 2 suitcases. Do the slower trains have a space for luggage. Also when we arrive at the civitavecchia train station what is the best way to get to the port. I have read there is a bus you can catch, hire a driver or we have thought about walking. What would you suggest?

    • Corinna B
      July 6, 2023 / 12:24 pm

      You’re right – there’s not a fast train to civitavecchia. The small trains don’t typically have luggage areas, but because this is the train to the port they may have something.
      I have never taken a cruise, so don’t know the cruise terminal set up. Normally they are huge and would be difficult to walk to with luggage. I would either try to hire a driver or see what the taxi situation is.

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