The main departure hall at Milan's main station that sits behind the concourse

Roma / Rome to Milano / Milan / Mailand by train

How to take a rail journey from Rome/Roma to Milan/Milano

A sequence of two high speed railways enables high speed trains to rush from Rome/Roma to Milan/Milano
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 line.

Connections are available in Milano Centrale station for locations with no direct trains from Roma including towns in northern Italy such as Como and Stresa; and for Swiss destinations including Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Luzern and Zurich.

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Routes

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

Travel Information

Final Destination: Milano or Torino or Brescia or Bergamo

Most trains also call at: Roma Tiburtina and Bologna

Taking these trains to Milano Rogoredo can be a good option if your train journey from Rome will be concluding in Milan city centre.
The trains will call at Milano Rogoredo around 15 mins before they arrive at Milano Centrale.

Milano Rogoredo station is on Line M3 of the Milano Metro, the the same line also links Milano Centrale station to the heart of the city
But if you'll be heading to Duomo station which lives up to its name with a location by Milano cathedral, the end-to-end journey will likely be quicker if you make the connection into the Metro at Milano Rogoredo.

Milano Rogoredo is also connected to the city centre by frequent local commuter trains, which make calls at several stations including: Repubblica and Porta Venezia.

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 and Roma/Roma Termini and Milano Centrale 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 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
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.

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.
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 three different service patterns used by these 'Frecce' trains.

  1. Fastest are the non-stop trains to Milano on the direct route; these trains typically depart from Roma Termini at 06:25 on Mon to Fri, and at 09:25 and 15:20 and 16:25 daily/
  2. Some of the trains on that more direct route are 5 -15 mins slower because they make additional station calls.
  3. Slowest of all 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, but most of the trains which also call in Firenze, make up to four other station calls, hence they're up to 30 mins slower than the fastest trains.

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.

Flashing by the one of the many villages the train passes to the north of Rome Flashing by the one of the many villages the train passes to the north of Rome
From the right there are distant views of the Apennine foothills From the right there are distant views of the Apennine foothills
Racing over the river Paglia and entering Umbria Racing over the river Paglia and entering Umbria
The view from one of the many viaducts on the Rome to Bologna high speed line The view from one of the many viaducts on the Rome to Bologna high speed line
Travelling across the countryside in Tuscany south of Florence Travelling across the countryside in Tuscany south of Florence

This is a journey of three distinct phases:

(1) The high speed line between Rome and Florence is more scenic than most other high speed routes, it's not a beautiful journey, but there is a wow factor of travelling across the rolling landscape at more than 240 km/h.
This video taken from a travelling in the opposite direction showcases the journey experience.

The direttissima between Rome and Florence 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.

(2) Once the train has passed Florence it will speed up, but nearly all of the high speed line between Florence and Bologna is within tunnels.

(3) Between Bologna and the suburbs of Milano the trains will be travelling at up tp 290 km/h on the fastest route in Italy; which is fortunate as there's nothing much to see on this part of the journey.

Option 2: taking the Italo high speed trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Milano Centrale or Torino P.N or Genova

Most trains also call at: Roma Tiburtina and Bologna

Taking these trains to Milano Rogoredo can be a good option if your train journey from Rome will be concluding in Milan city centre.
The trains will call at Milano Rogoredo around 15 mins before they arrive at Milano Centrale.

Milano Rogoredo station is on Line M3 of the Milano Metro, the the same line also links Milano Centrale station to the heart of the city

But if you'll be heading to Duomo station which lives up to its name with a location by Milano cathedral, the end-to-end journey will likely be quicker if you make the connection into the Metro at Milano Rogoredo.

Milano Rogoredo is also connected to the city centre by frequent local commuter trains, which make calls at several stations including: Repubblica and Porta Venezia.

1 or 2 x trains per hour

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 5 months ahead of the travel date

The high speed (AV) train service between Roma Termini and Milano 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 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 *

Italo Guide

Omio *

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.

Trainline *

Trainline Guide

Happy rail *

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

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 Italo trains.

  1. Fastest are the trains which are non-stop to Milano; these trains typically depart from Roma Termini daily at 07:40, 12:10, 14:10; 16:20 and, 18:05; also at 20:05 except Saturdays.
    Though these fast trains all call at Milano Rogoredo station, before going on to Milano Centrale.

  2. Slowest 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, but most of the trains which also call in Firenze, make up to four other station calls, hence they're up to 40 mins slower than the fastest trains.

Flashing by the one of the many villages the train passes to the north of Rome Flashing by the one of the many villages the train passes to the north of Rome
From the right there are distant views of the Apennine foothills From the right there are distant views of the Apennine foothills
Racing over the river Paglia and entering Umbria Racing over the river Paglia and entering Umbria
The view from one of the many viaducts on the Rome to Bologna high speed line The view from one of the many viaducts on the Rome to Bologna high speed line
Travelling across the countryside in Tuscany south of Florence Travelling across the countryside in Tuscany south of Florence

These Italo trains take the same route as the Frecce trains.

Option 3: taking the Intercity trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Milano

These trains also call at: Bologna, Modena, Parma and Piacenza

These trains are more than 3hr 15 mins slower than the fastest high speed Frecce and Italo trains between Roma and Milano because they don't use the high speed lines between the two cities.
But they can be much cheaper, particularly when the cheapest 'Super Economy' tickets have sold out on the Frecce trains.

If you will be a using a rail pass, you can avoid the €10 rail pass reservation fee payable on the Frecce trains.

Mon to Sat = 2 x trains per day
Sunday = 3 x trains

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel date

Take these Intercity trains from Roma to Milano and you can usually save at least €20 in comparison to taking the faster Frecce or Italo trains.
Though if you want to easily compare prices with both of these services, you will need to look up this journey on the Trainline or Omio websites.

Therefore there are two options for booking tickets for these Intercity (IC) trains:

(1) If you will be travelling to Roma Tiburtina on the metro, search for 'Roma Tiburtina' as the departure station on the ticket booking websites - it will make these IC trains easier to find.
These trains are typically scheduled to depart from Roma Tiburtina daily at around 12:40 and 16:35; with an additional departure on Sunday only at 17:12

(2) Or book from Roma Termini as your departure station, your tickets(s) will then include both the train from Roma Termini to Roma Tiburtina AND the train on to Milano

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 remaining in the same seat for the entire journey, paying the optional €3 reservation fee is virtually essential.

However, this is a journey on which the balance  tips in favour of paying the supplement to travel on the Freece trains; you will save more than three hours of travel time and the journey will be more comfortable.

Target the faster Frecce trains if you have a rail pass; they won't cost you any more than taking the slower Frecce trains and will save you 20-25 mins of travel time.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia from €16 approx

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 €16 approx

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

Note that there aren't any Intercity trains from Roma Termini, the main railway station in the city, to Milano Centrale.
These trains have travelled north from Napoli, so they call at Roma Tiburtina station, which is some distance from the north of the city centre.

Accessing Tiburtina is particularly straightforward if the starting point of your journey is located along line B of the Roma Metro, take trains heading to Rebibbia.
This metro line also serves Termini, but it will typically be a time saver to make the transfer at Tiburtina, though the connection isn't step-free.

If you will be travelling with a Eurail or InterRail pass, you can hop on a Regionale train from Termini to Tiburtina station.

Take food and drink with you on this journey, there are no on-board catering facilities available on Intercity trains.

Between Roma and Firenze/Florence these Intercity trains travel through a similar landscape, the foothills of the Apennine Mountains, as the high speed trains, though their slower speeds allows more time to take in the scenery.
Though between Firenze and Bologna is the most scenic part of the journey by these Intercity trains; and the high speed trains travel between those two cities in a series of tunnels.

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