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Asked a question 21 days ago

We are taking a fast train from Venice to Florence, Florence to Cinque Terre and then to Rome in October. Should we get a rail pass of some kind?

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Joanne,

Ciao.  I do not work for ItaliaRail.  I am a fellow traveler like you.  We are going to Italy in September.  We are a group of 6 and I purchased all of our rail passes last weekend on line.  We are traveling from Rome to Venice, Venice to Florence, Florence to Cinque Terre and back to Florence, and Florence to Rome.

I agree with Mike, the CEO, ItaliaPass team.  When I looked at passes, the passes seemed more for longer travel and seeing other countries.  

We have a friend who travels to Italy frequently, and he recommends purchasing the Business Silent tickets.  This means no cell phone use allowed.  He says Business class is more comfortable, and I did not find it too much more, all things considered.

I did make a double booking from Florence to Rome thinking that I was booking Florence to Cinque Terre.  It seems that the rail to Cinque Terre is regional transportation.  ItaliaRail has a toll free number in the United States and they have customer service reps available for most of the day on the weekends.  I did not have to wait on hold too long, and the rep, Nicole, immediately refunded one of my double bookings and assisted me with finding the regional route we wanted.

I was very pleased with both the website and customer service, and I was able to print all of our documents at the time of booking.

I recommend not waiting too long to book as I found the return to Rome from Florence was booking quickly.  Some of the route times we were interested in did not have available seating and Business Silent was not available and we paid extra to upgrade.  Seeing as that is our second to last day of a 3 week trip, we felt it was worth the comfort.

If you are hesitant to book yourself, I highly recommend contacting customer service directly for assistance.  It was some of the best customer service I have encountered in some time.

Sincerely,

Nanette 

Hi Joanne and thanks for your question! Some of our members as well as our CEO have weighed in on the question about the advantages of a rail pass. I'll copy some of their thoughts below, with the name linked to the original post so you can read their full answers:

Kay S Glass9: "Depends how many times you will be getting on and off the trains."

Alice A., ItaliaRail Traveler Experience Team10:  "A eurail pass makes sense if you are planning to do a lot of travelling within Italy."

Jeffrey Barone10: "I find the rail pass more economical because we travel while we are there and don’t stay in one place."

Mike, ItaliaRail/ItaliaPass CEO10: "The longer your stay in Italy and the more train travel days you use the more a rail pass may start to make better sense."

If you'd like to work directly with one of our Traveler Experience Agents to help you plan your itinerary and secure your bookings, please reach out to us! You can call toll-free M-F 9 am to 5 pm ET at 1 (877) 375-7245 or email info@italiarail.com5 for personal assistance in getting the best value for your planned trips.

Buon viaggio! I hope you have a wonderful time visiting Italy!

Mike
CEO - ItaliaPass Team

Hi Joanne - a rail pass probably doesn't make sense for your itinerary, they tend to make more sense when; a) longer trips are involved; and, b) longer periods in Italy are involved.

 The shortest pass for 3 trips averages to about $45 per trip the longest pass for 10 trips averages about $32 per trip.

For your itinerary I am currently seeing tickets as low as $25 in October for Venice - Florence; $22-$31 for Florence - Cinque Terre (Monerosso); and $25 for Cinque Terre - Rome; so your trip should come in around $75 - $85 and the cheapest rail pass is about $135. The savings in tickets vs a pass in this case would pay for a very nice meal (or two, or three) including wine ;-)