Where is it better to look for train tickets in Italy and how to buy tickets at trenitalia.com so as not to spoil your own vacation and travel experience. Today BlogoItaliano will talk about little-known moments of the main railway site in Italy, the nuances that beginners often encounter, and how to get around them so that the trip goes as comfortably and safely as possible. All the same, trains were and remain the most popular way of traveling around the country.
Features of buying tickets on the Trenitalia website
Before we go directly to the online ticket purchase process, it is important to note the following: tickets for trains in Italy can be purchased at the station itself. This can be done both at the box office and the machine. Here, however, there are several “But”:
- The closer to the departure date, the more expensive the ticket usually costs. Immediately before sending the train, the travel document is the most expensive. Therefore, the sooner you purchase it, the more you save.
- In a number of popular destinations, a situation may arise with the lack of tickets before departure. Still, Italy is a popular country, and the capacity of trains is limited.
You can buy tickets ahead of time on the official website of the Trenitalia.com railway, where locals are predominantly purchased, or on the Omio portal link, which is mostly used by Russian-speaking travelers. The reasons why tourists often prefer Omio to the official website of the railway are related to their unwillingness to risk their holidays, as well as the desire to save money.
Not a single training
Of those who have never used Italian railways before, few people know about it. But Trenitalia is not the only railway operator in the country. Along with it, no less high-speed and comfortable Italotreno trains run on many popular routes.
Since these are 2 completely different companies, their schedules, ticket sales and various promotions for passengers are also different. So when planning a trip, it makes sense, at a minimum, to study both operators.
Ticket ... did not come
Yes, that could be quite. You chose a trip, paid, and an electronic ticket did not come. Talking with Trenitalia tech support can take weeks, not weeks, given language barriers and all that. Therefore, despite the fact that you can buy tickets without registration, we strongly recommend that you register. Then, even if the tickets do not come to your mail, you can simply download them in your personal account. But registration is also not easy.
"Troubles" with registration
Registering on the Trenitalia website to get all the benefits is quite simple, but not quite. The first thing our compatriots "stumble over" is need to enter your residential address ... in Italy. This is only necessary so that the accumulative CartaFRECCIA card is sent to you by mail.
But you do not need it, since only residents of Italy can use it. The solution may be to enter an arbitrary address or the address of the hotel where you live or intend to reside, so that your card does not come to any Signor Francesco in a Sicilian village.
The second "misunderstanding" is the passport data. Here it is necessary to indicate, in addition to the number and date of issue, the authority that issued the document. And also Italian. You can get out the real number of your passport, the date of issue and expiration date, and the rest can be chosen arbitrarily.
Finally, the most "delicious" - "Codice Fiscale" - your TIN in Italy. Yes, it is in Italy. It can be obtained officially at the Italian consulate. Ready to try it? If not, then on Omio you can do without all these difficulties and additional documents, but more on that below.
In the meantime, for those who decided to mess with the hotel address and Italian TIN, we will understand the purchase process on the official Trenitalia website.
Buying tickets on the Trenitalia website
So, in order to buy a train ticket in Italy, we go to the official international website of the state carrier - www.trenitalia.com.
Trenitalia.com homepage in Italian
We illustrate the search and purchase of tickets online on the Trenitalia website by the example of a conditional trip from Rome to Milan. The first thing we see on the website that opens is the ticket search request form. Let's go through in detail all the fields of the form:
TUTTI I TRENI - all trains;
FRECCE - high-speed trains ("Arrows");
REGIONALI - regional trains ("trains").
SOLO ANDATA - one way;
ANDATA E RITORNO - "there and back";
Da - from where;
A - where.
In the departure and arrival fields, we type the first letters of the places we are interested in, and then we can choose a specific place from the list that appears. It should be borne in mind that the names of the Italian railway stations on the site are in Italian, regardless of the choice of site language (at the time of writing, the Italian, English, French, German and Chinese versions are relevant). Also, in many cities there is far from one station, and this also needs to be taken into account when planning a trip.
Next, we select the departure date and the time from which the search will be carried out within the specified date.
In the fields "Adulti" and "Ragazzi" we note the number of adult passengers and children, respectively. Children under 4 years old travel free of charge, from 4 to 12 years old - with a 50% discount.
Press the "CERCA" (search) button, which will take us to the page with the search results. Redirecting to the lefrecce.it website will be carried out - let it not bother you, there is no “substitution” here, you just switched from the international site of Italian railways to the local one.
Search results are presented in tabular form.
We got a list of possible options for the trip we need, indicating key parameters. By default, 10 offers are displayed per page, and if there are more in total, you can switch between pages using the arrows at the bottom of the table, or click the "Altre solucioni" button to display all the offers on the specified day.
The column "Partenza" indicates the time of departure and place, in the column "Arrivo" - time and place of arrival, "Durata" - travel time; “Treno” is the type of train (here regional trains and high-speed trains can go in random order), “Offerta” is the type of ticket, and “Prezzo” is the price.
Each column in the table is collapsed. By expanding the appropriate column, we will see a number of additional options within one specific route.
Choose a ticket type and class of car
Here we can change the type of ticket and class of the car. The main types of tickets offered by Italian Railways are Base, Economy and Super Economy. The last type is the cheapest tickets. They are being bought the fastest. A little more expensive - Economy and even more expensive - Base. The difference in price is formed on the terms of return or exchange. So, for example, a ticket like Super Economy can neither be returned nor changed, which makes it as cheap as possible.
Options for choosing a car class depend on the type of train. So, for example, in Frecciargento and EuroCity there are two classes - the first and second. They are not much different in principle, but the difference in price can be significant.
There are more classes in the FRECCIAROSSA (Red Arrow) trains - Standard, Premium, Business Salottino, Business Area Silenzio, Business, Executive. Detailed explanations about the advantages of a particular class of wagons in Trenitalia trains can be obtained by simply hovering over the “i” icon in the column of interest.
Having finally decided on the type of ticket and the class of the car, put a tick in the appropriate place for our choice and click "CERCA".
A page opens where we need to specify the personal data of passengers and choose a payment method.
Enter the personal data of passengers. Do not forget to follow the time counter
Choose a convenient payment method
From the moment we go to the reservation confirmation page, the time allotted for this procedure begins to “click”. Confirm purchase and make payment need to be in 10 minutes. The widget in the upper right part of the screen will constantly remind us of this.
The reason for this restriction is obvious - for the time you confirm the reservation, the selected offer is “frozen” and no one can buy it before you. This is especially true for trains and wagons with the ability to select specific locations.
By the way, the choice of location is quite simple with an accessible visualization of the car and the layout of the seats. Free spaces are marked in green, you can select them with a simple click.
It’s not difficult to choose a place in the car: just click on any free one marked in green
We remind you that in the budget option - in regional trains of Italian railways, there is no possibility of choosing a seat, and if you go into the car and you don’t find a free seat, this does not mean that you were sold a ticket in excess of the “norm”, thereby infringing your rights. You just have to ride while standing, this is normal.
Back to the booking confirmation. If you are not registered on the Trenitalia website, select the "Proseguo senza fare il login" field. A form will open in which you will need to indicate your data - name, surname, email and contact phone with the country code, but without a "plus" at the beginning.
Note - this is a form for filling out your data as a ticket buyer. The passenger data form is immediately below it. If you are one of the passengers, you do not need to fill in your details a second time - just check the box "Sono anche un passeggero del viaggio" (I am also a passenger) and your data will be duplicated in the form below.
Next, fill in the data of all passengers - name / surname, date of birth, email, phone. We do not pay attention to the fields "Codice Azienda" and "CartaFRECCIA" - this is for Italian citizens.
Now we go down below, where the list of payment methods is presented. Choose the appropriate one and click "Continua".
At this stage, fill in the payment data and make the payment.
In an electronic ticket, the most important PNR code
After successful payment, tickets should actually come to your email inbox. They will be in pdf format. This pdf-file will need to be printed out and taken with you on a trip. The most valuable thing in such an electronic ticket is the PNR code. Actually, this is the only thing that will interest the controller.
In emergency cases, you may not even have a printed file, but just show the ticket controller on the smartphone screen. He will request a ticket using the PNR code in the database, and this will be the end of the control. The process takes a matter of seconds. Of course, it is not necessary to register somewhere or, especially, to compost an electronic ticket.
How to buy tickets easier: an alternative way
If everything described above seems to you too complicated or you are not yet ready to communicate with Trenitalia support in Italian, you can use the Omio service. Here you can check the current schedule and book tickets for Trenitalia trains without an Italian address, TIN, passport, etc. complications.
In addition, Omio keeps track of the schedule of not only Trenitalia trains, but also Italotreno and other companies. And since they use the same stations, but each one has its own prices, promotions and “buns” for customers, then you will have a much greater chance of buying a ticket at a bargain price.
Finally, if you have not used Omio before, you can get a 10 Euro discount on your first purchase. To receive a coupon you need to register in the system by a special invitation link. The discount becomes available immediately after registration. The only condition is that the purchase amount must be more than 40 Euro.
More details about this little-known life hack BlogoItaliano wrote in a separate article How to get a 10 Euro discount on trains in Italy in 5 minutes.
Prices are similar to ticket offices at the station. In RuNet, Omio has created perhaps the most convenient such solution. Previously, to check the prices of all operators at once, I had to use similar resources in English. At the same time, they often had such commissions that all convenience came to naught.
The system interface is intuitive and there are no restrictions on the number of tickets purchased. It is enough to enter the necessary data, pay for the purchase and receive the treasured travel document by e-mail. It remains only to print and take with you to the station.
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Other useful articles:
- Italian Railways: Things to Know When Going on a Trip
- Italian Railways: train schedules and ticket purchases
- How to get from Milan to Venice and / or from Venice to Milan
- How to get from Milan to Florence and from Florence to Milan
- How to get from Rome to Naples and from Naples to Rome