Do you want to discover the beauty of Italy by train, but you're not quite sure where to start? Don't fret, we’ve got you covered. Below, you can find our complete guide to the Italian train network, including the types of tickets available, most popular routes and our top travel tips. Book your train tickets in advance with Trainline.
The easiest way to book train tickets in Italy is online. Check train times, compare fares and buy Italian train tickets on our website or via the Trainline App. When using the app, you'll receive a mobile ticket including a QR-code that ticket inspectors on the train can scan - no need to print out a paper ticket. You can also enter your age when searching for train times and tickets and we'll automatically display any available discounts such as child, youth or senior fares. When travelling by train in Italy on domestic routes, you'll either find yourself on a Trenitalia or Italo service, the two main rail companies in the country.
Trenitalia tickets offer different rates of flexibility, depending on your travel needs. There are four ticket types for Trenitalia: Regional, Super Economy, Economy and Base, with the Super Economy tickets being the cheapest but least flexible ones. Regional train tickets have a fixed price which is determined by the distance between your origin and destination stations and the class you travel. The most flexible tickets are the Base tickets, because you can change them for free as many times as you want before your departure.
For more information about these tickets and which one is best for you, visit our Trenitalia page.
Italo train tickets are divided into three ranges of flexibility: Low Cost, Economy and Flex. Much like with Trenitalia, the tickets range in price depending on levels of flexibility. For the best deals, Low Cost is naturally the right option, however, you won’t be able to travel on an earlier or later train than the one you originally pick. With the Flex ticket, there is greater leeway in when you can travel, but with higher ticket prices as a result.
If you're looking for more information about Italo train tickets, you can visit our Italo trains information page.
To find cheap train tickets in Italy using Trainline and the Trainline Europe app, you can select the "cheapest" filter when searching for the ticket (this allows you to always find the lowest price available for the selected route) and check the offers of Trenitalia, Italo and Thello. Remember that if an offer is available for your route, Trainline will automatically apply it to your journey.
|Offers||Who can use it||Benefits|
|A/R in giornata||Everyone||30-50% discount on Intercity and Frecce trains (except for the Executive service level)|
|A/R weekend||Everyone||30-50% discount on Intercity and Frecce trains (except for the Executive service level)|
|Speciale 2x1||Everyone||2 tickets with the price of 1 Base ticket on all trains except for the Executive service level|
|Insieme||Groups of 2-5 people||30% discount on one-way tickets|
|Bimbi Gratis||Families of 2-5 people, with at least one child under the age of 15||Children under the age of 15 travel for free and the rest of the family with a Base ticket in 1st and 2nd class (except for the Executive service level)|
|Offers||Who can use it||Benefits|
|A/R in giornata||Everyone||50% discount|
|A/R Milano - Roma||Everyone||50% discount for that route|
|Italo Famiglia||Groups of 2-4 people||Children up to 14 years old travel for free in Smart class|
|Italo Senior||Seniors (60+)||40% discount on the Flex fare in Smart class|
|Vado e Torno||Everyone||10% discount on return tickets (except for travelling on Friday and Sunday)|
Thanks to high-speed services on the Italian train network, you can reach iconic cities like Rome and Florence, seaside towns in the south and mountain regions in the north in just a few hours. Check our Italy train map and plan your journey with Trainline.
Whether you want to reach the centre of the main cities with high-speed Frecce trains or prefer a slower journey with the local regional trains, travelling by train in Italy is a fantastic opportunity to see some stunning scenery all from the comfort of your seat.
Trains in Italy are perfect for you if you want to reach your destination as quickly as possible while also saving money. Indeed, the connections between the main cities are usually faster and cheaper by train than by air. For example, a train journey from Rome to Milan by train lasts an average of 2 hours and 48 minutes which, compared to air travel, ends up being about the same duration (taking travel to the airport and waiting times into account) but with far less hassle. The train is also much faster than driving (a journey that clocks in at 6 hours).
If you do fancy taking the slower route, buses in Italy often offer great ticket prices – read our guide to find out more.
Train travel in Italy includes travelling on one of the most extensive and sophisticated high-speed networks in the world. With high-speed services from Trenitalia and Italo, travelling throughout Italy by train is easier and faster than you think. For more information on the different types of high-speed train and where they can take you, read on below!
Frecciarossa offers four different passenger classes: Executive, Business, Premium and Standard. The train service also offers WiFi, courtesy lights, power sockets at each seat, air conditioning, a bar-restaurant coach and priority seats for people with disabilities.
Frecciargento trains, operated by Trenitalia, can reach a maximum speed of 250 km/h, linking large and medium-sized cities such as Rome, Venice, Verona and Genoa. Onboard, passengers can enjoy reclining seats in both First and Second Class along with a whole host of other amenities. These include a bar-bistro service, air conditioning, WiFi, courtesy lights and power outlets at each seat as well as priority seats for those with disabilities.
With top speeds of 200 km/h, Frecciabianca connects large and medium-sized cities including Milan, Ravenna and Lecce. Frecciabianca trains are operated by Trenitalia and offer onboard services such as spacious seats, air conditioning, courtesy lights and power sockets at each place, as well as reserved seating for people with disabilities.
Italo trains are operated by the private company NTV and link large and medium-sized cities in Italy with trains travelling at a maximum speed of 350 km/h. With four ticket classes (Smart, Comfort, Prima, Club Executive) Italo offers travellers: WiFi, power sockets at each place, seats dedicated to people with disabilities, reclining leather seats and even a cinema coach to experience maximum comfort and relaxation while travelling.
Thello trains are owned by Trenitalia and operate night train services between Paris and Venice on a nightly basis. Leaving from Paris Gare du Lyon, Thello night trains travel down through France and into the heart of Italy. Stops include Milan, Brescia and Vicenza.
There are three different sleeper cabins to choose from when travelling with Thello. There are 4 or 6-person cabins you can share with family or other passengers. If you're looking for something a little more private, a 2-person sleeper cabin is available on each journey.
Why not make the journey a more memorable one and sleep in a premium sleeper cabin? These even come with their own toilet and shower!
Landing in one of the main Italian airports and looking for the best ways to reach the city centre? Read on to learn about the airport transfers available.
Do you want to get to Florence from Pisa Airport? Get to Pisa Centrale with PisaMover, the new and high-speed automated people mover service, and take a regional train to Florence. You’ll be in the city of art in about an hour.
Are you looking for inspiration for your next train journey in Italy? Click on one of the most popular Italian train routes below and check train times and other useful information to plan your journey in advance.
Travelling by train in Italy will take you on a journey of culture, history, architecture and endless scenery. The country has played an important role in European history for over a millennium and you can see that in every city you visit. With plenty of food and drinks on every corner, stunning cathedrals and works of art, Italy is a country that must be savoured. Have a look at our recommended cities for what to see during your visit.
A city full of architecture, culture and history, Milan is one of the most famous cities in Europe, if not the world, and there are plenty of things to see and do. The Duomo di Milano is arguably the most beautiful cathedral in the world, and certainly commands the attention of all visitors to the city. Taking over six centuries to build, no trip to Milan is complete without seeing its most famous site. Situated in the heart of Milan, travelling to and from the Duomo di Milano is easy from any direction. A short walk from the cathedral, you'll find Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest shopping mall, and most glamorous. Housing brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada, it is certainly one for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Despite the glamorous brands, this is still a popular tourist hotspot. Make sure to find time to visit this arcade, even if it's just to window shop!
Continuing with the rich culture of Milan, a visit to Pinacoteca di Brera will be one for those with a passion for the arts. Holding paintings from artists such as Mantegna, Bellini and Raphael, this public gallery is a great way to celebrate the renaissance period of the city and country, as well as marvel at these wonderful paintings.
And if you’re a football fan, don’t miss your chance to visit the San Siro, home to AC and Inter Milan, two of Italy’s most successful football teams and fierce rivals. A tour of the stadium is a must, but if you can also watch a game, there is no reason to say no. A great atmosphere and exciting football, this is an opportunity that’s too good to turn down.
The capital of the country, and historically one of the most important cities in Europe, Rome has it all. If you want to savour the history of the city that formed the bedrock of the Roman Empire, then visiting the Colosseum is a must. One of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, you can take a step inside and experience what it must have been like to witness the barbaric sports.
Rome is also the home to the Catholic church, the St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican being a pilgrimage for Catholic’s the world over. If you want to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis, then visit on Sunday at noon, as he gives the Angelus prayer. Free to visit and an opportunity to witness the most famous figure in the Christian religion, this is something that is not to be missed.
If you need a bit of luck or looking for some fortune, then a trip to the Trevi Fountain may be in order. There was over € 1 M thrown into the fountain in 2016. However, it is not known how many wishes were granted as a result of the coin throwing! Nevertheless, it is great to take part in one of Rome’s fun tourist traditions, and you never know, your luck might be in.
Famous for its canals and Gothic architecture, Venice is a cultured city that is fantastic for a romantic getaway or just a city break. There's plenty to see and do here, and it starts with a punt along its famous canals.
Known the world over, taking a ride along the canals of Venice is the best way to take in the history and culture of the city. As you pass under beautifully crafted bridges throughout the canal system I the city, you can begin to see why the city is viewed as the cultural and artistic centre of Italy.
Venice is also known for its food, and there are plenty of opportunities to take in some of the local delicacies. A coastal city, there is no better place to try Italian seafood than in Venice. Whether it is the crab dish Mołéche or shrimp dish Scampi alla veneziana, there is plenty of local food and drink for you to enjoy, and an experience you can’t enjoy at home.
To experience the vibrancy of the city, a visit to Piazza San Marco, also known as St Mark’s Square. Napolean once called it ‘The drawing room of Europe’ and you can see why. The courtyard is expansive and filled with tourists and Venetians alike, with renaissance buildings on all four sides of the square. With bars and cafes surrounding the square, this is somewhere to take in, and take in some history and architecture.
During the Renaissance period, Florence was one of the most influential cities in Europe. With many of Europe’s finest pieces of art and sculpture kept in the city, it's an art lover's delight. The most famous of these is Michelangelo’s David. A world-renowned sculpture, you can find this piece of art in the Galleria dell’ Accademia, which is just a short walk from Florence train station.
Splitting the city in half is the River Arno, one of the most important historical rivers in central Italy and the largest in the region. Walking along the Arno, stopping off in one of the many cafes or restaurants is highly recommended. Furthermore, a walk along the Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) is a unique experience. Built during the medieval times, the bridge is also a working high street. There are jewellers, art dealers and other exciting stalls. Grab a souvenir from one of the shops on this truly unique bridge.
As with many cities in Italy, no visit can be complete without visiting the cathedral, and Florence is no different. In the heart of the city, Florence Cathedral sits in the centre of the Piazza del Duomo. Built in the 13th Century, Florence Cathedral is iconic for it’s brick dome, the largest of its type still built today. Now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Florence Cathedral is one of the most revered and popular cathedrals in Italy and is something you must visit when in the city.
Known as the "Five Lands", take a train to Cinque Terre and experience a once in a lifetime journey through five sumptuous coastal towns. Known for their astounding beauty and wonderfully colourful seaside houses, each town is the stuff of a bucket-list traveller’s dreams.
The Cinque Terre consists of the towns of Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, and each of the five is best reached via train. Rail is also undoubtedly the easiest way to explore the region, as the rugged hillside terrain of the area means that cars are almost entirely cut off from being able to access each area.
During your visit, make sure to hike along the famous Via dell' Amore (road of love), a hiking trail popular with climbers and trekkers all over the world. Perhaps the most famous walking route of all the Cinque Terre, the Via dell' Amore is the section of the Sentiero Azzurro (a stretch connecting Riomaggiore and Monterosso) that stretches for 1km between Riomaggiore and Manarola. The path has a magical atmosphere: it seems almost carved into the hard rock of the Ligurian coast and winds along the rocky wall overlooking the sea. The history of the path of the Via dell' Amore dates back to the early 20th-century during the modernisation of the Genoa – La Spezia railway when railway workers needed a path to move between Riomaggiore and Manarola during the construction of the tunnel between two villages.
The biggest city in the south of Italy, the coastal city of Naples is packed full of Roman history, fantastic food and wonderful architecture. In the Gulf of Naples, you will immediately be struck by the awe-inspiring Castel dell’Ovo. The oldest standing fortification in Naples from the Roman era, the site sits on the very edge of the coast, providing its occupants over the years of a huge tactical defence site. You can walk the grounds and walls of the amazing castle and see just how important it has been for the city.
Just outside the city is the famous Mount Vesuvius, one of Italy’s largest and most destructive volcanoes. The Vesuvius is known for destroying the city of Pompeii in AD 79, covering the city and the surrounding areas in lava and ashes. The ruins of Pompeii are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the southern region of Italy and we highly recommend it as part of your trip to Naples.
If you want to take in the local culture and cuisine of Naples, a stroll along the Mergellina area is one we recommend. The harbour and coastal feel mean there is always going to be some fantastic seafood to try at one of the many restaurants in the region. With boats coming and going on a seemingly hourly basis, you can see how the city of Naples works, and what this historic city was built on, the sea trade.
When travelling to the major cities of Italy by train, you'll come across some stunning train stations along the way. A mixture of both modern and historic building depending on where you're travelling to, the train stations in Italy are a landmark in themselves. Click on one of the stations below and find out more about what types of train go there and what other landmarks are nearby.
Wondering if you should buy an Interrail/Eurail pass or how much luggage you can take aboard Italian trains? Read on to find answers to all your questions about train travel in Italy.
Trains in Italy are cheap compared with other countries in Europe. Therefore, a Eurail or Interrail pass might be worth only if you plan to visit several cities and if you plan to travel on many more expensive high-speed trains. If you've come across the term 'Interrail' and are wondering what the difference between Eurail and Interrail is, it's quite simple: both passes offer the same options. Interrail is simply the name of the rail pass available for European residents, while for travellers from outside of Europe, such as the US, it's called Eurail. If you'd like to book a Eurail pass, visit our Eurail page. You can book your European rail pass with Trainline - simply choose the best out of the many available options.
Yes. Trains are a very safe option for travelling around. As long as you follow common sense, such as not leaving your luggage unattended and keeping your valuables with you at your seat, you shouldn't run into any problems. Also, keep an eye on your luggage when navigating your way through busy train stations to avoid pickpockets as you would in any large city. Most big train stations are open 24/7 and are monitored by CCTV or onsite security. Should you have any concerns or problems, there's usually a police officer somewhere at the station and an information desk with English speaking staff to help you out.
One of the benefits of travelling by train versus plane is that there aren't any immediate luggage restrictions. If you're only taking what you can carry, you'll be fine on most trains. There's plenty of storage space on Italian trains, both around the entrance of the carriage and under and above your seat. You'll usually find large luggage racks for suitcases near the doors as well as in the middle of the carriages. Hand luggage and coats can be stored on a smaller rack right above your seat or in the footwell.
Seat reservation is required only on high-speed train services - it’s suggested on Intercity trains (especially if you're travelling during public holidays).