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Hello everyone! My husband and I will be attending a one week cooking class in Montepulciano this June. From there we will be traveling to Venice to board a cruise ship. Every trip that we planned for years seems to all be happening at once. My question is: can someone please provide advice as to how to negotiate train travel both to Venice as well as to Montepulciano from either Rome or Florence (not sure which we’ll fly into.) Thanks very much.

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Ciao Kim! First of all, your trip sounds AMAZING!! You'll have to share information with us about the cooking class and let us know how that goes. We are always looking for local experts to recommend to our members!

It sounds like you are the perfect candidate for our free 30-minute travel planning session. @Erin Meadows36 is our resident train expert and would be happy to help you plan this out. You can book a session (absolutely no obligation - this is just a perk we offer our ItaliaPass community members) on her calendar here37. If you decided to purchase, you could book directly with Erin who handles itineraries with our partner brand ItaliaRail.com32, which is directly affiliated with Trenitalia, the national railway in Italy.

In the meantime, however, here are a few considerations/questions:

  • Flying into Rome probably makes the most sense in terms of cost and convenience, when you consider the price of the flight over, plus airport transfers once you arrive. What are the factors you're looking at in terms of your decision between Rome and Florence airports?
  • Getting from Rome up to Montepulciano by train is rather simple, just one change from Termini. However, being a hill town, on the way up to Venice it does require a bit of back-tracking in order to get out to the main line in Florence first (two changes). 
  • Does the cooking class host offer transportation to/from the Florence train station and/or Florence airport?
  • Does your Venice cruise end elsewhere, or do you need to consider transport from Venice to the airport for your flight out of Italy?


Sandra L. FerrettiLocal Expert
Relais Ortaglia B&B Montepulciano

Ciao Kim!

sounds fantastic… I am a local expert and would love to help you. … Where are you staying? What hotel? And what cooking class program will you be on? I am just trying to figure out how best to help you… So I would like to see where you will be located… And if the cooking school be providing three meals a day and transportation. Then I can help you figure this out… Cheers, Sandy

CEO - ItaliaPass Team

Hi Kim - I have a  good friend Sandy who runs Relais Ortega59 with her husband in Montepulciano and I have just sent her a link to this thread - hopefully she can weigh in!

Train travel is relative easy and straight forward, using either Florence or Rome.  I've never been on train to Montepulciano, but you can look all that up on TrenItalia.com31 or other. In the case of longer train rides (e.g., to Venice), printable Tickets with seat reservations are available on line from the comfort of your own home.  Also, check your travel times... The Leonardo Express connecting Rome Fiumincino (well outside of central Rome ) to Roma Termini (in central Rome) will be part of your travel solution - there is a train every few minutes but don't forget that transit time.  

NOTE:  When selecting your train to Venice, please be advised to select destination as Venezia Santa Lucia ... NOT Venezia Mestre which is a significant transfer station in Mestre, across the lagoon from Venice.  The Cruise line presumable offers information about how to get to the Docks from your arrival point (assumed to be Santa Lucia station).  

I'm jealous of your cooking adventure.  We did one a few years ago in Toscana, just outside of Firenze and it was a phenomenal experience!


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