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While high-speed trains (Italo and le 'Frecce') are usually the best option to travel around Italy, they don't reach all Italian cities. Many smaller towns and destinations are served by Trenitalia's regional trains (in Italian Treni Regionali), which are often older and slower trains.

In addition to being a more relaxing option to get around Italy, regional trains are also great for those on a budget – with low prices even compared to regional trains in the UK. Read on for our quick and easy guide to travelling around Italy by regional train!

 

Regional trains in Italy

Most regional trains only have second-class services and require no reservations, and may or may not be air-conditioned. It pays to verify these details before booking to enjoy the type of travel you prefer.

Regionale” is a service category that identifies trains in Italy which operate within the same region or between neighbouring regions. There are a few different names for regional trains in Italy – they're usually identified by the R or REG on train schedules, but you can also find other abbreviations, including IR (Interregionale), D (Direct) or E (Express). Don’t be fooled by words like Direct or Express: all regional trains are slower and usually older compared to high-speed trains, and even if they call themselves “Express” it doesn’t necessarily mean that your journey will be any faster! The maximum speed is around 100 km/h (62 mph), and these trains tend to stop at every single station between two larger cities. If you catch the “Fast Regional” though – known as RE – you’ll usually have fewer stops and get to your destination faster. Keep reading to find out more info, or head to our Italy train map page for more details about some of Italy's most popular routes.

Rock and Pop trains – Trenitalia’s new regional trains

Higher performance, quality and comfort, onboard WiFi and eco-sustainability – this is what you’ll find on Trenitalia’s new regional trains, Rock and Pop. Read on for more details.

Rock Train

Rock trains are Trenitalia’s new regional trains built by Hitachi Rail Italy. They’re commuter trains that can reach speeds of up to 160 km/h and accommodate about 600 people, just like a metro train. Thanks to their new features, they can contribute to a 30% reduction in energy consumption. More reliable and with high-security standards, Rock trains come with:

  • 600 seats
  • Video-surveillance cameras
  • Onboard WiFi
  • Bike racks
  • Luggage racks
  • Power sockets

Pop Train

Pop trains are electric single-deck trains built by Alstom. They can also travel at a maximum speed of 160 km/h and can accommodate about 300 people. Thanks to their new technology, they hardly make any noise and can also reduce energy consumption by 30%. Here’s what Pop trains offer:

  • 300 seats
  • Video-surveillance cameras
  • Onboard WiFi
  • Bike racks
  • Luggage racks
  • Power sockets

Regional train tickets in Italy explained

Looking for information on how to buy your regional train ticket in Italy? Or do you want to know how to validate your ticket properly? Find all the answers below.

Regional ticket validity

Regional train tickets can be purchased online, at ticket machines, at authorised sales points and travel agencies, or ticket offices at the station. The paper tickets must be used by 11:59 pm on the day indicated on the ticket. The train journey must always end within 4 hours of the validation – subject to exceptions specified by regional prices. If you purchase an e-ticket, you won’t have to validate it at the station (go straight to your train instead), and it’ll be valid for 4 hours. It’s possible to buy or validate paper tickets on board by informing the conductor at the time of departure, but a surcharge may be applied to the ticket. It’s also not possible to reserve your seat on regional trains

Regional ticket prices

Regional trains only offer one standard price, called Ordinary. The price of Ordinary tickets is based on the distance between the departure and arrival points and the class, first or second, when available. The regional train tickets bought online are valid for 4 hours from the departure of the chosen train and do not require validation. Children under 4 travel for free and children between 4 and 12 only pay 50% of the cost of the adult ticket. Bear in mind that e-tickets are nominative, so you will need to carry an ID with you at all times in case it's required!

Travelling paperless on regional trains

With Trainline you can skip the queue and purchase your ticket directly online through our website or App.

Use the app

Thanks to our smartphone app for Android and Apple you can conveniently buy and show the ticket on your mobile device. You’ll need to bring with you a valid ID, as tickets are nominative .

PDF Format

After purchasing your ticket, you’ll receive an email confirming your order with the ticket attached as a PDF. You can choose to show the ticket directly from your mobile phone or to print it out.

No validation required

If you buy an e-ticket, you don’t need to validate it at the station. You can show the ticket on the screen to the inspector. We suggest you keep ID with you at all times.

Fast Regional Trains Explained

Fast regional trains – known as RE, Regionale Veloce are a category of train that operates between two neighbouring regions. This category can also apply to trains operating within the same region but making fewer stops than a regular “Regionale” operating on the same route – those trains are indicated by the abbreviation RV or RGV – making your journey faster.

First class on Regional trains in Italy

The first-class option is available on fast regional trains. It is not possible to reserve your seat tough.

Express Trains to Airports in Italy

The Leonardo Express is a fast-regional train that connects Roma Termini station to Fiumicino airport in only 32 minutes, with departures every 15 minutes. The Malpensa Express is a fast-regional train that connects Milano Centrale or Cadorna with Malpensa Airport in 50 minutes, with departures every 15 minutes.

Train to Cinque Terre “Cinque Terre Express”

The regional train to Cinque Terre, known as the Cinque Terre Express, allows you to reach all the main spots of the Cinque Terre National Park. With the Cinque Terre Express, you can travel from Levanto to La Spezia at a fixed price throughout the tourist season in summer and spring, reaching the beaches of Monterosso, Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Trenitalia offers up to 99 trains a day, seven days a week, every 15 minutes. Travel to the Cinque Terre Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and easily reach the most beautiful beaches in the region without worrying about traffic or parking. Visit our Cinque Terre Express page for more information on train times, costs and which connections you can make.

Good to know

Yes, you can carry a folding bike for free on all regional trains in Italy, with a maximum size of 80x110x40 cm. The bicycle must be folded and stored in a bag.

All refunds must be requested no later than 23:59 on the day before the date indicated on the ticket. It can be requested at any ticket office. If you have an electronic ticket purchased with us, you can contact our customer service team, who will be happy to help.

In case there’s a strike on the regional line, essential services will be guaranteed during the Fascia Protetta – or Protected Time Slot – from 06:00 to 09:00 and from 18:00 to 21:00 on weekdays. Some long-distance trains or airport transfers are usually guaranteed, on weekdays and on public holidays.

You can request to change your ticket by 23:59 on the day before the date indicated on the ticket. To find out what changes you can make and for info on modification costs, contact our customer service team. If you buy an electronic ticket, you can modify only the date or time of travel.

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