Roma / Rome to Parma by train

How to travel by train from Rome to Parma

Parma was by-passed when the Bologna to Milano high speed line was constructed, so all but one of the Frecce trains between Roma and Milano inevitably take that line, so don't call in Parma.

Hence when looking up a Roma to Parma journey on the ticket booking websites, nearly all of the options you will see, involve connecting between two trains in Bologna.
However, if the timings suit there is a daily direct Frecce train, plus two slower Intercity trains, which avoid the need to make connections.

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Routes

Option 1: taking the direct high speed Frecce train

Travel Information

This direct Frecce train from Rome to Parma is primarily aimed at business travellers, hence its evening departure time.

It is usually scheduled to depart from Roma Termini station at 19:35 and it also calls at Roma Tiburtina station.

1 x train per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

This is the ONLY direct daily train from Roma Termini station to Parma and it is scheduled to depart daily from there at 19:35

If you use the 'other search options' link on the Trenitalia's booking service home page, you can access the 'solutions without changing' facility, which will make this direct train easier to find.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia from €24.90

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.
Italiarail from €24.90

Italiarail 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.

Users of InterRail and Eurail passes can also book seat reservations on the Frecce and InterCity trains without paying a booking fee,

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed

Good to Know

When looking up a Roma to Parma journey on the ticket booking websites, nearly all of the options you will see, involve connecting between two trains in Bologna.

Our advice is to pay attention to the time those connections will allow for changing trains in Bologna.

Bologna Centrale is a large station, so for a stress-free transfer choose a connection which allows a minimum of 25 mins to make the transfer - 10 mins to move through the station, plus 15 mins contingency in case the train from Rome to Bologna is delayed.

Though most of the connections will involve taking a Regionale train on from Bologna to Parma and because seats can't be reserved on these trains, it won't matter which of this type of train service you take on to Parma.
Though when booking journey options which involve taking a combination of Frecce + Regionale trains, you won't then be able to take an Intercity or Frecce train on from Bologna.

Option 2: taking the Intercity trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Milano

These trains also call at: Bologna and Modena

When looking up a Roma to Parma journey on the ticket booking websites, nearly all of the options you will see, involve connecting between two trains in Bologna.

However. taking these Intercity (IC) trains is cheaper than taking a Frecce train from Rome to Bologna and connecting there into another train on to Parma.
And these IC trains are always a (much) cheaper alternative to taking the faster, daily direct Frecce train.

2 x trains per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel date - usually

Take these Intercity trains from Roma to Parma and you can usually save at least €20 in comparison to taking the faster Frecce train.

However, these IC trains don't depart from the main central station in Rome - Roma Termini.
Instead they are usually scheduled to depart from Roma Tiburtina station at around 12:40 and 16:39.

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.

(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 Parma.

Using Rail passes:

If you will be travelling in Italy with a rail pass you can save €10 in rail pass reservation fees by taking these trains and not the Frecce train from Rome to Parma; or by taking a Frecce train to Bologna and connecting there for Modena.
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.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia from €15.90

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.
Italiarail from €15.90

Italiarail 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.

Users of InterRail and Eurail passes can also book seat reservations on the Frecce and InterCity trains without paying a booking fee,

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoNot High Speed

Good to Know

Note that these Intercity trains don't depart from Roma Termini, instead they're usually scheduled to depart from Roma Tiburtina station at around 12:40 and 16:31.

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 compared to making 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.

If you would:
(1) rather take a metro rom central Rome to Tiburtina station, than make a connection between trains at Bologna Centrale station;
(2) prefer to arrive in Parma in the early evening;
then that 12:40 train from Roma Tiburtina can be a particularly good option when travelling on this route.

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

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