The main street entrance to Napoli Centrale station, by the taxi rank

Bologna to Napoli / Naples by train

How to travel from Bologna to Naples/Napoli by train

A sequence of three connected high speed railways enables high speed trains to rush from Bologna to Napoli.
This high speed route is shared by 'Frecce' services operated by the national rail operator, Trenitalia, and competing Italo services.

For those who favor cheapest price over journey time, there is also the opportunity to save money by taking the much slower Intercity trains which still snake their way along the older 'classic' railway lines.

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Routes

Option 1: taking the high speed Frecce trains operated by Trenitalia

Travel Information

Final Destination: Napoli or Salerno or Reggio de Calabria or others

All trains also call at: Roma Termini
These trains reverse direction on departure from Roma Termini station.

Some trains also call at: Napoli Afragola; take care book tickets to Napoli Centrale if you're heading to the city centre.

All of these trains will depart from the AV binari/tracks/platforms (16-19) at Bologna Centrale,
So if you will be heading to Bologna Centrale by taxi, tell the driver to drop you at the AV station.

1 - 3 x trains per hour

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date; though this period of time can be shorter, particularly when searching for journeys more than three months ahead during October and March.

The high speed (AV) train service between Bologna and Napoli/Naples is provided by:
(1) these Frecce trains operated by Trenitalia and
(2) alternative Italo trains

Tickets for the Trenitalia Frecce trains are placed on sale around 4 months in advance, but the Italo train tickets are made available around 5 months ahead.
Trenitalia does not sell tickets for the Italo trains - and Italo does not sell tickets for the Trenitalia trains.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

If you're booking no more than 4 months ahead and have no particular preference for the train that you will be taking, the price and departure times of the Frecce and Italo trains can be directly compared on with Trainline or Omio, though look out for the fact that both of these services will charge a booking fee.

Rail Pass Users:

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass, you will need to reserve prior to boarding these trains, either at the station (using a Trenitalia ticket machine or ticket desk) OR by booking them online.

How to book the rail pass reservations online is included on our guide to using rail passes in Italy.

If you will be travelling with a rail pass, it's worth targeting the faster trains, as the reservation fees are the same regardless of which Frecce service you travel by.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia from €29.90

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.
Italia rail from €29.90

Italia rail Guide

Italiarail lives up to its name by selling tickets for rail journeys within Italy and the core feature of its service is that it is primarily designed to be used by international visitors to Italy.
So the English translations of place names are used when looking up journeys and the terms and conditions for using each type of ticket are clearly explained.
It also clearly points out the additional costs of upgrading to other classes and types of tickets while spelling out the additional benefits of doing so.
Though Italiarail will charge a booking fee, typically of around €3.

The Early Bird service

Italiarail has launched an 'early bird' pre-booking service for journeys by Frecce trains.
Tickets can be booked up to a year ahead of travel at a flat-rate price per route, before the tickets have been released for sale by Trenitalia.
If when they are placed on sale, the price is cheaper than what you have already paid to Italiarail, it will automatically refund the price difference.
Conversely, if the price is more expensive, you won't be charged the price difference.
You can also have the peace of mind of securing your seat(s) on the Frecce train(s) when you are first planning a trip.
If before the tickets are placed on sale, you decide to change your plans, you can request a refund; but once the tickets are released for sale, you will then be bound by the terms and conditions of the ticket(s) you have booked.

Trainline from €29.90

Trainline Guide

Omio from €29.90

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Save A Train from €29.90

Save A Train Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed (total journey)

Good to Know

When looking up this journey it's worth paying attention to the journey times as there are in effect two different service patterns used by these 'Frecce' trains.

  1. Fastest are the trains which only make one station call at Roma Termini, where they reverse direction, so are non-stop between Bologna and Roma (there are fewer of these fast trains on Saturdays).
  2. Slower are the trains which divert off the direct route to call in Firenze/Florence, where they also reverse direction.
    This diversion to the main station in Florence/Firenze adds around 10-15 mins to the journey time.

The Frecciarossa 100 trains are more likely to be used on the faster services, but when you look up the journey on Trenitalia or ItaliaRail, you'll be able to see which specific type of train will be used on each departure.

Italo high speed trains operated by NTV, compete with the Frecce trains operated on Trenitalia on this route, but they aren't sold by Trenitalia.

Racing through Tuscany as the train heads south from Florence Racing through Tuscany as the train heads south from Florence
The Castello di Sammezzano can be seen on the left shortly after departing from Florence The Castello di Sammezzano can be seen on the left shortly after departing from Florence
The view from one of the many viaducts on the Florence - Rome high speed line The view from one of the many viaducts on the Florence - Rome high speed line
Racing over the river Paglia and leaving Umbria Racing over the river Paglia and leaving Umbria
Looking towards the Apennine foothills from the left of the train Looking towards the Apennine foothills from the left of the train
Heading south from Rome to Naples at more than 280 km/h Heading south from Rome to Naples at more than 280 km/h

This is a journey of three parts:

(1) From Bologna to Florence the train will be mainly travelling through tunnels.

(2) The high speed line between Florence and Rome more scenic than most, it's not a beautiful journey, but there is a wow factor of travelling across the rolling landscape at more than 240 km/h*.

*The direttissima between Florence and Rome was the first high speed railway line to be built in Italy, so it has a slower maximum speed than the other Italian high speed lines.

(3) The fastest part of the journey is when the train travels on the high speed line between Roma and Napoli.

Option 2: taking the Italo high speed trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Napoli or Salerno

All trains also call at: Roma Termini
These trains reverse direction on departure from Roma Termini station.

Some trains also call at: Napoli Afragola; take care book tickets to Napoli Centrale if you're heading to the city centre.

All of these trains will depart from the AV binari/tracks/platforms (16-19) at Bologna Centrale,
So if you will be heading to Bologna Centrale by taxi, tell the driver to drop you at the AV station.

11 x trains per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 5 months ahead of the travel date

The high speed (AV) train service between Bologna and Napoli is provided by:

(1) these Italo trains
(2) alternative Frecce trains operated by Trenitalia

Tickets for the Trenitalia Frecce trains are placed on sale around 4 months in advance, but the Italo train tickets are made available around 5 months ahead.
However, Trenitalia does not sell tickets for the Italo trains - and Italo does not sell tickets for the Trenitalia trains.

If you're booking no more than 4 months ahead and have no particular preference for the train that you will be taking, the price and departure times of the Frecce and Italo trains can be directly compared on with Trainline or Omio, though look out for the fact that both of these services will charge a booking fee.

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

Eurail and InterRail passes can't be used on Italo trains.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Italo from €29

Italo Guide

Trainline from €29

Trainline Guide

Omio from €29

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Happy rail from €29

Happy rail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed (total journey)

Good to Know

Travellers have a choice of train services on the Bologna to Naples route:

(1) These Italo trains, which compete with Frecce trains operated by Trenitalia on the high speed route between the two cities,
Tall divert off of the direct route in order to call at Firenze S.M. Novella and Roma Termini stations.
They reverse direction on departure from both stations.

(2) Frecce trains, which take the same route as these Italo trains.

(3)Less frequent, but faster Frecce trains, which only make one station call in Roma/Rome.

(4) Much slower, but cheaper Intercity trains which don't use the high speed lines.

The view from one of the many viaducts on the Florence - Rome high speed line The view from one of the many viaducts on the Florence - Rome high speed line
The Castello di Sammezzano can be seen on the left shortly after departing from Florence The Castello di Sammezzano can be seen on the left shortly after departing from Florence
Racing over the river Paglia and leaving Umbria behind Racing over the river Paglia and leaving Umbria behind
Looking towards the Apennine foothills from the left of the train Looking towards the Apennine foothills from the left of the train
Heading south om the Rome to Naples high speed line Heading south om the Rome to Naples high speed line

These Italo services take the same route as the Frecce trains, which travel via Firenze/Florence and Roma/Rome.

Option 3: taking the Intercity trains

Travel Information

These trains don't depart from the AV station at Bologna Centrale, instead they use the main part of the station, so are most easily accessed from the main entrance.

Final Destination: Napoli

These trains also call at: Roma Tiburtina

These Intercity trains don't use the high speed lines between Bologna and Naples, but they do save time by not diverting off of the direct route in order to call at the city centre stations in Florence or Rome.

Monday to Friday: 2 x trains per day
Saturday: 3 x trains
Sunday: 2 x trains

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel date

These IC trains to Naples are usually scheduled to depart from Bologna Centrale at 09:18 and 17:18, so target those times when looking up this journey, if you want to travel by these trains.

Take these Intercity trains from Bologna to Roma and you can save at least €15 in comparison to taking the faster Frecce trains also operated by Trenitalia.
Though to compare prices with both the Frecce AND the Italo trains, you can can look up this journey on the Trainline.

Using rail passes

Target these IC trains if you want to save €10 on rail pass reservation fees.
Though if you'll want the peace of mind of being able to remain in the same seat for the entire journey, paying the optional €3 reservation fee is virtually essential.

However, this is a route on which the balance can tip in favour of paying the more expensive rail pass reservation on the Freece trains; you can save more than 3 hours by taking the Frecce trains and the journey will also be more comfortable.

If you do so target the faster Frecce trains they won't cost you any more than the slower Frecce trains and will save you around a further 20-25 mins when taking the journey.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia from €14.90

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.
Trainline from €14.90

Trainline Guide

Italia Rail from €14.90

Italia Rail Guide

Italiarail lives up to its name by selling tickets for rail journeys within Italy and the core feature of its service is that it is primarily designed to be used by international visitors to Italy.
So the English translations of place names are used when looking up journeys and the terms and conditions for using each type of ticket are clearly explained.
It also clearly points out the additional costs of upgrading to other classes and types of tickets while spelling out the additional benefits of doing so.
Though Italiarail will charge a booking fee, typically of around €3.

The Early Bird service

Italiarail has launched an 'early bird' pre-booking service for journeys by Frecce trains.
Tickets can be booked up to a year ahead of travel at a flat-rate price per route, before the tickets have been released for sale by Trenitalia.
If when they are placed on sale, the price is cheaper than what you have already paid to Italiarail, it will automatically refund the price difference.
Conversely, if the price is more expensive, you won't be charged the price difference.
You can also have the peace of mind of securing your seat(s) on the Frecce train(s) when you are first planning a trip.
If before the tickets are placed on sale, you decide to change your plans, you can request a refund; but once the tickets are released for sale, you will then be bound by the terms and conditions of the ticket(s) you have booked.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoNot High Speed

Good to Know

If you will be booking tickets, then these Intercity trains are a cheaper alternative to the faster Frecce and Italo services.

If you will be a using a rail pass, the rail pass reservation fee, will be €7 cheaper than on the Frecce trains.

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