Catching a high-speed train is a great way to get around Italy, but if you really want to get to know the country and experience “La Dolce Vita” for yourself, then why not try a slightly more relaxing option – the Regionale!
Regional trains might not always be the fastest way to travel around Italy, but they’re great for those on a budget – with low prices even compared to regional trains in the UK. Plus, for many smaller towns and destinations, they’re the only choice you’ll have.
Read on for our quick and easy guide to travelling around Italy by regional train!
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, operated by Trenitalia, that operate within the same region or between neighbouring regions. There are a few different names for regional trains in Italy – they are 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!
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 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 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. Bare 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!
With Trainline you can skip the queue and purchase your ticket directly online through our website or 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 .
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.
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 – 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.
The first-class option is available on fast regional trains. It is not possible to reserve your seat tough.
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.
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.
You can carry a folding bike for free on all regional trains in Italy, with a maximum size of 80x110x40. The bicycle must be folded and stored in a bag.
All refunds must be requested no later than 11.59 pm 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 Trainline, you can contact our customer service team, who will be happy to help.
In case there’s a strike on the 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 11.59 pm 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.