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Train Travel
Asked a question 9 months ago

What is the advantage of a rail pass? I will be travelling in April/May from Rome to Amalfi, Calabria and Sicily. We will be in Italy for 3 weeks. Should I purchase individual train tickets or a rail pass?

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I find the rail pass more economical because we travel while we are there and don’t stay in one place. So if we leave Rome and go to Florence, instead of paying 130 euro, it cost 10 euro just for the seat. It’s unlimited for 30 days depending on how many days you purchase. We figure out how many long trips we are going to take and then decide on the days. It usually cost around 450 euro bur when we figure out the regular cost, it’s a big savings. Ciao. 

Mike
CEO - ItaliaPass Team

Hi @Innocenza Catroppa Tuason 23 sorry for the delay in answering your question.

There isn't usually much of an advantage with a rail pass over buying individual tickets within Italy - especially if you know your exact itinerary; expect to stick to it; and, are only traveling 2-3 times by train.

A rail pass can make sense in certain circumstances but it really depends on what your itinerary is.

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.

There are two options for rail passes in Italy - both available to Members through ItaliaRail:

  1. a Eurail Italy pass - valid for 3,4,5,6 or 8 days of travel within a 30 day period. Prices is between €42 - €30 per day PLUS €10 extra for the reservation fee on a Freccia train. In this case if you are traveling in May from Rome to Amalfi (Salerno) on ItaliaRail 11the price is between €29 - €40 INCLUDING the reservation as of the time and date of this post. Much less expensive to buy an individual ticket than a use rail pass plus reservation.
  2. a Trenitalia pass - biggest issue here is that they have a shorter validity compared to the Eurail (3 or 4 travel days within 7 days; 7 travel days within 15; or, 10 travel days within 30) compared to the Eurail (3-8 days within 30 days). Better priced and value but ONLY if you are traveling extensively within a relatively limited amount of time. Even then the price is €43 per trip (3 days within 7) and for your itinerary it is still better to buy a ticket. A Trenitalia Pass sometimes might make sense to consider if you are going to be traveling between Rome-Florence-Venice and your overall trip is between 8-10 days and you want to have maximum flexibility - even then it's debatable.

Bottom line - it is usually better to buy individual tickets in advance rather than a rail pass for Italy; but it depends on your exact itinerary.