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Train Ticket Guides How to Buy Tickets on the Trenitalia website

How to Buy Tickets on the Trenitalia website

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Once you're used to using Trenitalia.com, booking tickets becomes a blissfully simple 4 step process.
However, to keep those booking steps to a minimum Trenitalia packs a lot of features and information on to each stage of making a booking.
And if you're not used to booking tickets on Trenitalia's website, these additional features can be easy to miss.

Selecting Your Language

How to Buy Tickets on the Trenitalia website

  1. As can be seen Trenitalia offers English, French, Chinese and German versions of its website.
    All of the examples below have been taken from the English language version.

Also worth paying attention to on the home page
2. Trenitalia offers an Advance Search option (click on the 'Others/Best Price' arrow which you'll see under the 'To' station box) , which doesn't add much complexity to the booking process, but does it make it easier to find the optimum ticket (see below).
3. Before proceeding with a ticket booking it can be a good idea to check out the offers, which are a permanent feature of the Trenitalia home screen, particularly if:

  • you will travelling as a couple or with a group of friends
  • taking the train for a weekend break
  • travelling with a mix of adults and children

Though the terms for using child tickets broadly are as follows:

  • On Italian trains children aged 3 and under travel for Free.
  • Children aged 4 - 11 receive a 50% discount.
    However, on long distance AV and IC trains the 50% child rates in the offer are calculated against the full 'Base' ticket price, but 'Super Economy' tickets can be often be discounted by more than 50%.
    So if these tickets are still available for your journey, it can be worth paying the adult rate for a child aged 4 - 11.

The adult ticket price applies to children aged 12 and older.

Using the Advance Search Options

The key feature you can access by selecting the Advanced Search is the ability to apply a filter, so that the journey search results you will see will only then feature direct journeys.
Though to access the other key Advanced Search features you need to click on the 'Other Search Options'; do so and you will then see...
How to book on Trenitalia
...including only seeing the cheapest options on the search results (though you will also be able to sort the full search results by cheapest price).

Something else worth being aware of is the slightly clumsy translation of 'Main Solutions', which in effect means all the types of train available on the route will be included together in the search results.
How to use the Trenitalia website
Though as can be seen, if you know that you'll want to travel on a Frecce train, regardless of price, you can be proactive and ensure that the search results will then only feature search options by this type of train.

Selecting the From & To Stations:

On the non-Italian language versions of Trenitalia.com, the names of the stations/cities remain in the Italian language.

When using Trenitalia.com the names of the MAIN stations are:

  • Bologna = Bologna Centrale
  • Florence = Firenze S. M. Novella
  • Genoa (east of the city centre) = Genova Brignole
  • Genoa (west of the city centre) = Genova Piazza Principe
  • Milan = Milano Centrale
  • Naples = Napoli Centrale
  • Rome = Roma Termini
  • Turin (west of the city centre) = Torino Porta Nuova
  • Turin (north of the city centre) = Torino Porta Susa
  • Venice = Venezia S. Lucia
  • Verona = Verona Porta Nuova

Usually the trick is not to rush to type in the English name...
How to use the Trenitalia website
...in this example, once 'Rom' has been entered, the stations in Roma/Rome will automatically become available to select.
However, if you were to rush at it and type 'Rome'...
booking with Trenitalia
...you wouldn't then see the main stations in the Italian capital.
Though for some locations you need to take special care to type in the Italian name; Firenze for Florence and Torino for Turin being popular examples.

The stations tend to be listed in alphabetical order in the drop down menu; so when cities have more than one station, the first station listed may not be main station.
'Centrale' is a reliable indicator that a station is the main station in the city m though as can be seen above, this is not universal.

Cities with more than one station

Genova, Firenze, Milano, Roma, Torino and Venezia are cities with more than one station used by long distance trains.
So it can be a good idea to use Google Maps to work out which stations in these cities are most convenient for your start/end location(s) - and then search for these stations on Trenitalia.

You need to book tickets between the specific stations for your ticket(s) to be valid; if you book from Venezia Mestre, your ticket won't be valid from Venezia S. Lucia etc.
Though as can be seen below, in these locations, it's possible to select the equivalent of an all the stations option, but proceed with care; in SMTJ's experience, this option typically defaults to the main station.
How to book with Trenitalia

Key features on the journey search results:

Having clicked the red 'Search' button, you will then see the options for taking your chosen journey, but this is a screen on which it will pay off to take the time to make use of the info you are being provided with.
The first two things worth paying attention to have been highlighted above; and they are...

  • The default is the order will be by departure time; based on the time you entered on the home page
  • But there is an option to sort the results by 'Price' so that you can most easily access the cheaper journey options (on routes shared by the cheaper IC trains and the more expensive Frecce trains, it can make the much less frequent IC departures easier to track down).

The other key features of the Trenitalia search results page have been highlighted below...
Choosing a departure on the Trenitalia website
...as will be seen they are:

  1. The specific type of train used for each departure will be indicated (a Frecciariossa 1000 train is very different to a Frecciarossa train, despite their similar names).
  2. There are opportunities to check the details of the journey...
    Journey details.jpg
    ...though as can be seen above, the core info isn't translated into English, but it gives an opportunity to check info such as how many station calls a train will be making.
    And if non-folding bikes can be taken on board, having purchased a bike ticket, the bike symbol will be shown.
  3. If you click these down arrows by the price shown, you an can access the full range of tickets and their respective prices, without leaving this page.
  4. To access the later departures you now simply scroll down the page, sounds logical, but on the previous version of the Trenitalia site, there were earlier and later buttons to click, but they're no longer needed.

Exploring the ticketing options

Having clicked on a price on the journey search results, in order to book tickets for your chosen departure,you will be at this key step of the booking process, with options to:

  • choose different types of tickets (the more expensive types have less restrictive terms and conditions);
  • select the class of coach in which you will be travelling;
  • additional options such as choosing a specific seat.

What has been highlighted above is:

  1. This column on the left is to do with the type of ticket; 'Base' is listed first, but it is the most expensive type of ticket because it has the fewest restrictions; 'Base' is referencing its basic terms and conditions and not basic price.
  2. Super Economy are the cheapest, most heavily discounted tickets, but they also have the most restrictive terms and conditions; and note how in most travel classes on this particular departure, they have sold out, despite thus journey being looked up more than two weeks ahead of the travel date.
  3. These 'Young' tickets can only be used if you have a Cartafreccia card, which only Italian citizens can purchase; and are aged 30 and under.
  4. These 'Senior' tickets can only be used if you have a Cartafreccia card and are aged 60 and over; so if you'll be visiting Italy you'll have to ignore these options.
  5. If you click on these 'i' buttons you can access the terms of using each type of ticket...
    Terms per ticket on Trenitalia
    ...as can be seen the terms are translated into English; and it's worth making the effort to seek out this additional info.
  6. If you click on these 'i' buttons you can access details of the features in travelling in each class on the train,
  7. Frecce trains don't offer 1st and 2nd class; instead they offer four classes of accommodation; Standard, Premium, Business and Executive.
  8. Quiet coaches (Silenzio) are available in Standard and Business Class and you can specify that you want to sit in these coaches when selecting tickets.
  9. The key terms of using the selected type of ticket will be available here (Trenitalia will automatically pre-select the cheapest ticket price available on the departure).
  10. You can opt to select specific seats...
    Choosing specific seats on Trenitalia...
    but note that selecting a specific seat incurs a surcharge of €2.
    Also worth knowing is that isn't possible to select forward facing seats; Frecce trains reverse direction when making intermediate calls at the main stations in Florence, Rome, Naples and Milan.

An option to upgrade a ticket

Something to look out for is that Trenitalia may alert you to the price difference of upgrading your ticket to a superior travel class.
Though if you do see this screen, look out for the fact that a tad cheekily, Trenitalia assumes that you will want to proceed with the upgrade, so that can be the default red button.
So if you want to stick with the travel class you initially selected, you need to be proactive and switch the options.

Before checking out:

How to Buy Tickets on the Trenitalia website

This is the final page you will see before proceeding to the checkout, by clicking the 'Add Trip' box below the price on the right hand column.

The TWO key features to note on this page are

(1) you don't have to register with Trenitalia to make a booking - you can select 'go on without log in'.
Though if you select this, you will still have to enter the circled passenger information.

(You will be given the opportunity to register on the booking page; and doing so can speed up the process when making future bookings).

(2) If you didn't choose seats on the preceding page, you can check the seats you have been automatically assigned, by clicking 'seat info' over to the right.
However, note that terms of the ticket you have selected, are not visible on this page; which emphasises the importance of checking the terms of your ticket on the preceding page!

Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

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