Get your summer back on track with our Travel Checker

Trenitalia
Italo

The best prices from hundreds of train and coach companies

Join millions of people who use us every day

Travel to thousands of destinations in 45 countries

Train travel in Italy – train tickets, top routes and destinations

The aim of this guide is to give anyone considering travelling by train in Italy a solid understanding of rail travel in the country. We’ve covered the basics, including the types of Italian train tickets available and how to book them online with us, so that anyone who reads this page from beginning to end can travel by train in Italy with confidence.

This information is intended for anyone and everyone – not just rail geeks! Planning a holiday with the family? Check out our Top Destinations section. Student on an Erasmus year? Learn what discounts are available with railcards and loyalty cards. Business traveller? See what Business Class looks like in our Train Classes section. While the best way to learn is by experiencing Italian trains for yourself, reading this guide from beginning to end is a pretty good place to start.

Here's a quick summary of what’s below – simply click on one of the topics you’re most interested in to jump straight to the relevant section. Plan your journey ahead and book your Italy train tickets with us.

Italy train map

Just a glance at our Italy train map will show you how easy it is to get around by rail. You could wake up in Milan and enjoy a traditional pastry for breakfast, and, before you know it, be in Rome in time for lunch and some sightseeing. No planes needed!

High-speed - Red routes

Cross-border - Blue routes

Regional - Green routes

The Italian train network is so extensive and modern that it connects all the major cities, so you can easily travel to and around the country. The main trains in Italy are operated by Trenitalia, Italo and Thello, which provide high-speed, international and regional trains.

Choose any route in the map above and follow the links to see ticket prices and journey times, you’ll also be able to see which routes have high-speed trains (they're in red).

Staying in France, Switzerland or Germany and want to continue your train journey in Italy? We've got you covered. Our map also shows you the most popular routes between Italy and the neighbouring countries (they're in blue).

High-speed to maximise your time sightseeing or regional trains to maximise your savings? The choice is yours.

Train companies in Italy

Train travel in Italy involves travelling on one of the most extensive and sophisticated high-speed networks in the world. For journeys within Italy, there are two main train operating companies - Trenitalia and Italo. For cross-border trips into France, you’ll find yourself on Thello trains. This section will give you an overview of each company, including which routes they operate on and the train types they use.

  • Main train operator in Italy 
  • High-speed and regional trains
  • Airport transfers

Trenitalia is the main operator of rail services in Italy, formed by the Italian government and entirely state-owned. The types of trains that Trenitalia run can be split broadly into two categories – high-speed trains and regional trains. High-speed trains – knows as ‘Le Frecce’ services in Italy – connect the country’s major cities at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph), alleviating the need to drive or fly across the country for intercity travel. Regional services are slower and make more stops at regional stations.

Trenitalia tickets

There are four different types of Trenitalia tickets – Super Economy, Economy, Base and Ordinaria. While the Super Economy, Economy and Base tickets are available to travel in all classes on both high-speed and Intercity trains, the Ordinaria fare is only valid on regional trains.

  • High-speed trains only 
  • Run exclusively on Milan to Salerno and Turin to Venice routes

Italo is the name given to the trains run by the private train operating company NTV. Starting service in 2012, Italo trains were designed to compete with Trenitalia in the high-speed rail market. As such, Italo runs exclusively on high-speed routes from Milan to Salerno and from Turin to Venice. They compete with Trenitalia’s flagship high-speed trains for speed and comfort. When you book your tickets, we’ll show you Italo and Trenitalia trains to help you decide.

Italo tickets

Italo offers three ticket fares – Low Cost, Economy and Flex. With these tickets you can travel in all classes (Smart, Comfort, Prima and Executive) at any date and time. Ticket prices may vary based on the class, travel date and number of seats available.

  • Night trains 
  • Operate between Italy and France
  • Budget-friendly (save on a night's accommodation)

Thello is a joint venture between Trenitalia and France’s state-owned railway company, SNCF. It runs cross border services between Italy and France, so it’s unlikely you’ll be taking a Thello train for travel within Italy. Thello operates just two services: a day train from Milan to Marseilles and a night train from Paris to Venice. Designed as an alternative to budget airlines, Thello sleeper trains are a cost-effective way of travelling to Paris, Marseille, Venice or Milan.

Thello tickets

Two ticket types are offered by Thello – Smart and Flexi – and can be used to board both day and night trains. Remember that all tickets are named so, at the time of booking, make sure your name, surname and date of birth are accurate and match with your ID.

 

Italian trains (high-speed and regional)

As mentioned earlier, there are two main train companies in Italy, Trenitalia and Italo, which cover all domestic routes, and one train company, Thello, which operates on cross-border routes between France and Italy. While Trenitalia provides both high-speed (Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca) and regional services all over the country, including airport transfers like the Leonardo Express and Malpensa Express, Italo mainly offers high-speed services from Milan to Salerno and from Turin to Venice. Keen to learn more about trains in Italy? Keep reading for more details about the different Italian train types, and the main routes they cover.

Frecciarossa: Trenitalia's Frecciarossa and Frecciarossa 1000 trains are some of the fastest trains in Italy and can reach speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) and 400 km/h (248 mph) respectively.

Frecciarossa trains run along 4 routes in Italy:

  • Turin - Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Bari - Lecce
  • Venice - Padua - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Milan - Brescia - Verona - Vincenza - Padua - Venice

Italo: The private Italian train company offers high-speed trains running at 360 km/h (223 mph).

Italo trains operate 4 lines in Italy:

  • Turin - Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Turin - Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Rimini - Pesaro - Ancona
  • Venice - Padua - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Verona - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples

Frecciargento: Frecciargento trains are the second fastest type of the 'Frecce' trains, reaching top speeds of 250 km/h (160 mph)

Frecciargento trains run along 3 routes in Italy:

  • Rome - Florence - Bologna - Padua - Venice - Trieste
  • Rome - Caserta - Benevento - Foggia - Barletta - Bari - Brindisi - Lecce
  • Naples - Rome - Florence - Bologna - Verona - Rovereto - Trento - Bolzano

Frecciabianca: Frecciabianca are the third fastest type of the 'Frecce trains' and can reach speeds of up to 200 km/h (120 mph).

Frecciabianca trains serve 3 routes in Italy:

  • Milan - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Bari - Lecce
  • Venice - Padua - Bologna
  • Rome - Naples - Salerno - Lamezia Terme - Reggio Calabria

Thello: Thello trains connect the main Italian cities with major French destinations.

Thello trains run along 2 routes between Italy and France:

  • Venice - Paris
  • Milan - Marseille

Malpensa Express: The Malpensa Express is an airport transfer operated by Trenitalia which connects Milan city centre to Malpensa Airport.

Malpensa Express trains run along 2 routes in Italy:

  • Milan Central Station - Malpensa Airport
  • Milano Nord Cadorna - Malpensa Airport

Leonardo Express: the Leonardo Express is an airport transfer operated by Trenitalia which travels between Fiumicino Airport and Rome city centre.

Leonardo Express trains cover the following route:

  • Roma Termini - Fiumicino Airport

Cinque Terre Express: The Cinque Terre Express is a fast regional train operated by Trenitalia and connecting the coastal towns of Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre Express trains serve the following route:

  • La Spezia - Riomaggiore - Manarola - Corniglia - Vernazza - Monterosso - Levanto

High speed vs regional trains - what's the difference?

Italy's rail network is made up of both high-speed lines and regional services. But what's the difference between the two? Learn more about each below.

High-speed trains

In broad terms, high-speed trains are for fast, city-to-city travel. Run by Trenitalia and Italo, high-speed trains run on special rail lines designed to facilitate speeds of up to 400 km/h. The main high-speed line runs north to south from Milan to Salerno, connecting major cities such as Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.

The high-speed rail fleet in Italy consists of Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa (“Red Arrow”), Frecciargento (“Silver Arrow”) and Frecciabianca (“White Arrow”) trains, each capable of travelling at 400 and 300 km/h, 250 km/h and 200 km/h respectively. Italo’s fleet includes its AGV and EVO trains, both capable of up to 360 km/h.

High-speed trains are more expensive than regional trains. There are usually three or four classes on high-speed trains, modern interiors, vending machines (occasionally a restaurant carriage) and WiFi. Tickets for high-speed services include a carriage number and seat reservation, meaning you will have to catch the exact train which you have booked. You can’t simply turn up and jump on the first train that arrives.

Regional trains

Regional trains are much slower, stopping much more frequently and serving smaller stations in towns and villages. They are run exclusively by Trenitalia. In the Lombardy region, regional trains are run by Trenord, a subsidiary of Trenitalia.

Tickets are cheaper for regional trains, but the onboard facilities are more basic. There is normally only one class and seat reservations are not mandatory, passengers sit where they want. The price of regional train tickets is fixed, so it will cost the same on the day as it will in advance. Your ticket can also be used for any train within a four-hour window. Whilst the quality of trains can vary quite wildly on regional trains, they are by far the cheapest rail option in Italy.

Air-conditioning is not always guaranteed on older regional trains. In hot weather, make sure you bring a bottle of water with you.

 

Italy train tickets

Generally speaking, there are three ticket fares in Italy – the cheapest, the semi-flexible and the most flexible one. Read on for more information, we’ve broken down the different ticket types for you.

Best tickets for... travelling on a budget

In general, the earlier you book, the more you’ll save – the cheapest ticket fares tend to sell out way faster than the more expensive ones, so make sure you buy your tickets in advance. This is especially true for long-distance trains (Frecciarossa, Italo, Frecciargento, etc.) for routes like Rome to Florence, Milan to Rome or Milan to Venice.

If you want to save money and you know the exact date and time you want to travel, you can choose one of the tickets below, depending on the train you’ll be boarding:

  • Super Economy – It’s the cheapest fare to travel on all Trenitalia trains except for the regional ones and can’t be exchanged nor refunded
  • Economy (Trenitalia) – still quite cheap and is valid to travel on all Frecce and Intercity trains. You can modify your booking only once
  • Low Cost – this is the cheapest option to travel on all Italo trains. It allows you to change your travel date or time, but at the cost of half of your ticket price plus the difference of the new ticket
  • Economy (Italo) – still a cheap option, but it allows you to change or cancel your ticket at a lower price than the Low Cost fare
  • Smart – it’s the cheapest ticket offered by Thello and can’t be changed nor refunded.

Best tickets for... travelling flexibly

If you’re not 100% sure about your travel date and time and don’t mind spending a little more, you can buy one of the following train tickets:

  • Base – this Trenitalia ticket allows you to delay your day of departure for one or more days – perfect if you're enjoying the city you're in and you decide last-minute to extend your stay. Indeed, you can change this ticket as much as you want to travel on Le Frecce and Intercity trains
  • Flex – it’s Italo’s most flexible and expensive ticket fare, you can make changes to your booking as many times as you want at no extra cost
  • Flexi – with this Thello ticket, you’re free to change your departure date and time and you can ask for a full refund up to 24 hours before departure, minus a €10 fee.
  • Ordinaria – this ticket has a fixed priced, which is based on the distance between the departure and arrival points and the class you travel on, when available. For example, a one-way ticket to travel on the Leonardo Express – the regional train which connects Roma Termini to Rome Fiumicino Airport – always costs €14. For this reason, you don’t need to book your Ordinaria ticket too much in advance, unless you want peace of mind.

How to book train tickets in Italy

Buying train tickets at the station

There are two ways to buy your tickets at the station in Italy, either via a Trenitalia or Italo ticket counter at the larger stations across the country, or by using ticket machines which should be present at most stations (except for very small ones).

How to book train tickets in Italy with us

  1. Enter your departure and arrival stations of choice into either our App (see screenshots) or Journey Planner at the top of the page. If you don't know the station name, you can also search by city. 
  2. Enter the date you’d like to depart (and return if you're buying a return ticket), along with any relevant Railcards/Loyalty cards you have and number of passengers
  3. If you're looking for tickets on our website, hit Search times and prices if you're on our app hit Find times and prices to start your search. 
  4. Choose a train time and Class option from our search results. Once you’re happy with your choice, continue to choose your seat preference
  5. On web, enter an email to send your ticket confirmation to, along with the full name of each passenger you’re booking tickets for (the name must match their IDs).
  6. Continue to the checkout and book your tickets!

Finding cheap train tickets

Want to know how to save money when buying your train tickets? Read our guide to cheap train tickets in Italy, including when the best time to buy is and other savings tips. 

How to validate paper tickets

If you’re travelling with a paper ticket on a regional train in Italy, you must validate your ticket using one of the validation machines in the station. Here’s how you do it.

The first thing to say about ticket validation is that if you book with us, we’ll give you a ticket on your phone which you don’t have to worry about getting validated! But as much as we’d like everyone to use our mobile tickets, it’s important you know what to do with a paper ticket.

If you’re travelling on a regional train with a paper ticket, you must validate it using a validation machine. You’ll find these machines within the stations or on platforms. Ticket inspectors don’t take too kindly to passengers with unvalidated tickets and you can be fined for travelling with one.

How do I validate a ticket?

Firstly, locate a validation machine. They’re small green and yellow machines that look a bit like parking meters. Insert your paper ticket into the slot and wait for the machine to stamp it. This will mark the date and validation code on the ticket. At that point, the ticket is valid for four hours – or put differently, you must get on a train within four hours of validating the ticket.

The same slot on the ticket validation machine is used for older (airline-size) tickets and newer small tickets. Put the small tickets in on the left side of the slot.

Why do some tickets require validation?

Validating the ticket stops unscrupulous travellers using the same ticket for multiple journeys. Most regional train tickets can be used on any service on a given date of travel, so validating it stops someone using the same ticket for multiple journeys throughout the day.

 

Italy train classes

We’ve given you lots of information on Italian trains so far, but what are they actually like? What’s onboard? We can’t show you every train, but below you’ll get a flavour of the interiors of the main trains in Italy, including Trenitalia’s and Italo’s high-speed trains.

Italo Smart (Standard Class)

Save money without missing out on the great service on board Italo Smart. Enjoy leather seats in rows of 2+2 with tables and plenty of legroom. There’s even a cinema carriage playing current movies, spicing those long trips up!

Best for

  • Budget travellers  
  • Families 

Italo Prima (First Class)

Enjoy wider and more comfortable leather armchairs in Italo Prima. All seats come with power sockets, a table, reading lights and a glove compartment in each carriage. You can also select the single-seat option if you feel like you need more privacy.

Best for 

  • Extra comfort 

 

Loyalty cards and offers

There are loads of ways to save money on train travel in Italy. Each Italian train company offers a variety of deals and discount cards for rail travel on their services. Whether you're travelling as a family, a group or on a budget, we've found the available discounts and loyalty cards for you.

Offers

Offer Valid on Benefits Who can use it?
Bimbi Gratis Trenitalia services Children under the age of 15 travel for free and the rest of the family with a Base ticket in 1st and 2nd class on all trains (except for Frecciarossa Executive and night trains) Families of up to 5 people, with at least one child under the age of 15
Italo Famiglia Italo services Children up to 14 years old travel for free in Smart class and the rest of the family with a Flex ticket Families of up to 4 people
Bimbi Gratis Italo services Children under the age of 3 travel for free if a seat is not assigned to them Families of  up to 4 people

Offers

Offer Valid on Benefits Who can use it?
Offerta Insieme Trenitalia services 30% discount on Base tickets to travel in 1st and 2nd class on all trains, except for regional trains and Frecciarossa Executive Groups of 2-5 people
Mini Group Thello services You can change your ticket free of charge and get a 90% refund should you opt not to travel. Groups of 2-5 people

Offers

Offer Valid on Benefits Who can use it?
Speciale 2x1 Trenitalia services Get 2 tickets with the price of 1 Base ticket on all trains except for Frecciarossa Executive and regional trains to travel on Saturdays Everyone
A/R weekend Trenitalia services 30-50% discount on Le Frecce trains (except for the Executive class) if you buy a return ticket for the weekend Everyone
A/R in giornata Italo services 50% discount on your day return ticket  Everyone
A/R Milano - Roma Italo services 50% discount on your day return ticket for this route Everyone
Vado e Torno Italo services 10% discount on your return Flex ticket to travel in Smart, Comfort or Prima Class and on your Economy ticket to travel in Prima Class Everyone
Promo Thello Thello services It allows you to take a Frecce train in combination with a Thello night train. It secures your seat on the Thello service and gives you a discount of between 30% and 50% on your Frecce ticket. Everyone

 

Loyalty cards

Loyalty cards Valid on Details
Italo Più Italo services You can accumulate points and buy discounted tickets to travel on Italo trains, as well as get free access to Italo Club Lounge

Offers

Offer Valid on Benefits Who can use it?
Italo Senior Italo services A 40% discount is applied automatically when you buy the Flex fare in Prima class People over 60

 

Loyalty and discount cards

Loyalty/discount cards Valid on Details
CartaFRECCIA Senior Trenitalia services CartaFRECCIA Senior is available for passengers who are over 60 years old. It applies a 30% discount on the Base ticket
Carta Argento Trenitalia services It's a discount card for people over 60 and costs €30 per year. It allows you to get a 15% discount on the Base fare to travel on all national trains, including couchette and bed-cabin, as well as Frecciarossa Business, Premium and Standard Classes

Loyalty and discount cards

Loyalty/discount cards Valid on Details
CartaFRECCIA Young Trenitalia services If you’re under 30 years old, opt for a CartaFRECCIA Young – this loyalty card will give you a 30% discount on the Base fare, and you can travel in all classes on all national trains, except for Frecciarossa Executive
Carta Verde Trenitalia services It's a discount card for people aged between 12 and 25 years old and costs €40 per year. It allows you to get a 10% discount on the Base fare to travel on all national trains, including couchette and bed-cabin, as well as Frecciarossa Business, Premium and Standard Classes

Discount cards

Discount cards Valid on Benefits Who can use it?
Carta Blu Trenitalia services It allows you to buy one Base ticket for both the person with the disability and their caretaker to travel on all Intercity and Frecce trains.

Travellers with disabilities who have a photo of evidence of eligibility. 

Top Italy destinations

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.

Rome

The capital of the country, and historically one of the most important cities in Europe, Rome has it all. Visit the Colosseum to savour the history of the city that formed the bedrock of the Roman Empire. If you’re travelling on a Sunday, make sure you head to the Vatican at noon and catch a glimpse of Pope Francis while he’s giving the Angelus Prayer. And if you need a bit of luck, don’t forget to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and make a wish – you never know, your luck might be in.

You can easily reach the capital by train from any Italian city thanks to the many high-speed and regional services provided by Trenitalia and Italo daily. If you’re flying to Fiumicino Airport, you can take the Leonardo Express – Trenitalia’s fast-regional train – and be in central Rome in about half an hour.

Trains to Rome

Main train stations

Airport transfers 

Venice

Famous for its canals and Gothic architecture, Venice is perfect for a city break. Known the world over, taking a ride along the canals of Venice and passing under beautifully crafted bridges is the best way to take in the history and culture of the city.

To experience the vibrancy of the city, visit St Mark’s Square with its stunning Renaissance buildings, cafes and restaurants on all four sides.  Whether it's the crab dish moleche or shrimp dish scampi alla veneziana, there's plenty of local food and drinks for you to enjoy.

You can easily get to Venice from the main Italian cities – Italo and Frecciarossa provide plenty of high-speed services to Venice every day.

Trains to Venice

Main train stations

Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre consists of the towns of Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, each of which is best reached by train – Trenitalia provides a fast-regional service called Cinque Terre Express, which runs frequently between these colourful coastal towns.

During your visit, make sure you hike along the famous Via dell'Amore (‘Road of Love’), a hiking trail popular with climbers and trekkers all over the world – it seems almost carved into the hard rock of the Ligurian coast and winds along the rocky wall overlooking the sea.

Trains to Cinque Terre

Main train stations 

Florence

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited cities in Italy due to its rich history, art and culture, Florence is a must-see when travelling to Italy.

Getting off at Firenze Santa Maria Novella (Florence’s main train station), you’ll find all the main landmarks within walking distance. Visit Florence Cathedral, which is famous for its iconic brick dome, the largest of its type still built today. Have a walk along Ponte Vecchio and grab a souvenir from one of the local shops. If you love art, don’t forget to go to Galleria dell’Accademia, which hosts the world-renowned sculpture of David by Michelangelo.

If you’re flying to Italy, the best option to get to Florence is to fly to Pisa Airport and take the train – you'll be in the city centre in about 90 minutes with one easy connection at Pisa Centrale.

Trains to Florence

Main train stations

How to get to the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii by train

If you plan to stay in Naples or Rome for a couple of days and are looking for a day trip, the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii are the perfect destinations for you. Learn more about how to get there by train.

How to get to the Amalfi Coast

Planning to go to the Amalfi Coast and not sure how to get there? Vietri sul Mare is the only city on the Amalfi Coast that has a train station, so you can take a regional train from Naples or Salerno and then get to the rest of the coastal towns by bus – the service is operated by SITA SUD and takes you to Cetara, Maiori (Erchie), Maiori Centro, Minori, Atrani and Amalfi. A one-way ticket to any of these towns costs €2. If you want to get to Sorrento, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from Naples – the journey time is about an hour. From Sorrento you can also get a SITA SUD bus to Positano.

Buy train tickets to the Amalfi Coast

Main train station

How to get to Pompeii

If you're travelling from Naples, you can either take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompei Scavi station or the Trenitalia train to Pompei station – the difference being that the Circumvesuviana train takes you right next to Pompeii's ruins and is an older train, while Trenitalia's regional train is a newer service and can be pretty empty even in the tourist season.

If you're travelling from Rome, instead, you can take Italo, Frecciarossa or Frecciabianca from Roma Termini, stop in Napoli Centrale and continue your journey towards Pompeii.

Buy train tickets to Pompeii

Main train station

 

Good to know

Wondering if you should buy an Interrail/Eurail pass or how much luggage you can take aboard Italian trains? We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about train travel in Italy, so you can find the answer you're looking for easily.

Buying train tickets

Yes, you can. If you book with us we’ll give you the option of receiving your ticket as an eticket. We will email this to you on the address you provide. Just present the ticket’s barcode (in our app) when asked. You’ll also have the option of printing the ticket at home or showing the six letter reference code to the ticket inspector, which they can use to look up your ticket.

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.

Children on Italian trains tend to get a reduced fare, while young children and toddlers are usually allowed to travel for free. Again, the rules for children vary across train company, train type and route. On Trenitalia Le Frecce services, children up to the age of 4 travel for free (sat on the lap of a parent), children aged 4-14 pay 50% of an adult fare, and kids over 15 pay full fares. On regional trains the threshold for discounted fares is slightly lower – children 12 and above pay full price.

Trenitalia do offer some great deals on travelling with children, such as the Bimbi Gratis fare. This allows children under 15 in a group of 2-5 to travel for free. You’ll find more about that above. Check out our full guidance for child travel on Trenitalia.

On Italo, children aged 3 and under travel for free on a parent’s lap. There is also a child travel offer with Italo: if you opt for an Italo Family fare, children aged 14 and under can travel for free in the Smart Class (or Smart ‘Ambience’, as Italo call it). The group size can’t exceed 4. Otherwise under-14 child fares usually cost the same as the cheapest adult fares.

All Italian train companies release their tickets a few months in advance:

  • Thello tickets are available to purchase 4 months in advance
  • All Trenitalia tickets are released 3 to 4 months in advance
  • Italo train tickets are released 3 to 6 months in advance.

On the train

Seat reservations are required only on high-speed train services – although we recommend you also book your seat on Intercity trains (especially if you're travelling during public holidays).

Generally speaking, there's no luggage limit on Italian trains – you can take as much luggage as you can carry, and 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.

All Italian trains have toilets. On newer trains such as Le Frecce and Italo services, the toilets are similar to what you would find on an airplane, with running water, soap and hand towels. On regional trains, it can be a different story. They’re usually much more basic and won’t be as well looked after. If you’re travelling on the latter, pack some spare toilet paper and hand sanitiser, just in case!

In general, small dogs are allowed on board Italian trains, free of charge. On Trenitalia services they must be kept in a pet container no bigger than 70x30x50cm. The rules are slightly different on Italo services; dogs under 10kg travel for free (they must also be in a container). Larger dogs can travel with you on most trains but you will have to keep them muzzled and on a leash. You will have to buy a ticket for your pet, however; the price ranges from 30% to 50% of your fare depending on the carrier. Note that you can only buy tickets for pets in the station, not online.

The only trains on which dogs are not allowed to travel are Trenitalia regional trains between 07:00 and 09:00 on weekdays – presumably to maximise space on busy commuter services. Guidedogs are allowed on all trains for free in Italy. For all animals, make sure you have their documentation handy (i.e. their “pet passport”). If you can’t produce it when asked, you might be asked to leave the train.

Most high-speed trains provide free WiFi. Frecciarossa and Frecciargento trains have internet access, as do Italo trains. On the former, you’ll have to pay a €0.01 charge (the lowest possible fee – required for tracing purposes as per Italian law) to access the internet; on the latter, you will need to enter your ticket code which you’ll find on the e-ticket we send you.

For guidance on how to connect to Trenitalia’s Wifi, visit our dedicated information page.

Miscellaneous

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.

There are several high-speed trains in Italy, operated by Trenitalia and Italo. The fastest high-speed train – the Frecciarossa 1000 – can travel at speeds of up to 400 km/h (around 248 mph).

Intercity trains operate over medium to long distances in Italy, connecting major cities to smaller destinations that aren’t on the high-speed network.

For regional trains, nothing! If bought at the station, a regional (‘Ordinaria’) ticket is valid for the whole day. However, for more expensive high-speed journeys, there can be consequences if you miss your train. This depends entirely on the type of ticket you have bought, as the cheapest tickets usually require you to catch a specific train (at a given time), while more flexible – but costlier – options give you the option of changing which train you intend to take.

To illustrate, Economy and Super Economy Fares on Trenitalia services require you to catch a specific train; if you miss that, tough luck! You will have to purchase a new ticket for a different train. However, if you’ve paid the Flex fare on Italo, you can change the train you plan to get up to 3 minutes before departure (in a situation where you know you’re going to miss it) and you have up to 3 hours to organise a seat on the next train. Similarly, with the Base fare on Trenitalia, you can change which train you intend to catch up to an hour after your original one (which you missed!) departed.

The Italian phrases you should know

Know your buongiorno’s from your arrivederci’s? Then you’re off to a good start! For your trip to Italy, we thought it might be a good idea to help you brush up a little further so that you never have to get into any difficulty while travelling. See some of the most common and useful-to-know phrases in Italian below!

Basics

Hello/Goodbye – Ciao (Chow)

Good morning – Buongiorno (Bwon-jawr-no)

Good evening – Buonasera (Bwona-say-ra)

Thank you – Grazie (Gra-zee-a)

Please – Per favore (Pair fav-aw-ra)

Excuse me – Mi scusi (Me scoo-see)

Useful phrases for travelling by train

Where is my train? – Dov'è il mio treno? (Doh-vay eel me-oh treh-noh)

Where are the toilets? – Dove sono i bagni? (Doh-vay soh-noh ee bahn-yee)

Where is the main train station? – Dov'è la stazione centrale? (Doh-vay lah stah-zee-oh-neh chen-trah-lay)

Where is the baggage check area? – Dov'è il deposito bagagli? (Doh-vay eel deh-pah-zee-toh bah-gahl-yee)

Do you speak English? – Parli inglese? (Pahr-lee eng-lah-sah)

I don't speak Italian – Non parlo italiano (Non pahr-loh ee-ta-lya-noh)

 

Italy itineraries by train

In need of some inspiration for your trip? Our Italy travel inspiration hub is full of itineraries, travel tips, destinations to visit and things to do. We've highlighted some of our most popular articles below.

Learn more about Italian train travel

So, you've reached the end of our guide to travelling in and around Italy by train. We've covered the types of train you can travel on, their classes and who operates them. You should now also know how to buy Italian train tickets and which ones are the best for your budget.

We've shown you must-visit destinations, popular routes and even a few handy Italian phrases to help you along the way! 

If you feel ready to book, why not start a search in our Journey Planner at the top of the page? If not, we've got plenty more travel guides to inspire your travel in Italy and beyond. 

Europe’s leading train and coach app

We help customers across Europe make more than 172,000 smarter journeys every day.