Trains in Italy

Tue, 23 Jul
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Trains Italy: FAQ

Trains in Italy

The Italian train network is one of the best ways to travel to and around Italy. Travellers can admire the beautiful scenery of the country as they pass through cities, mountains, countryside, lakes or by the sea. A few of the noteworthy routes with scenic views are the Bernina Express which goes from Italy to Switzerland crossing the Alps, the Trenino Verde, which travels across the island of Sardinia, and the Cinque Terre Express, which passes by all five towns of the Cinque Terre.

Most of the major cities in Italy have routes that directly connect (such as Turin, Milan, Florence, and Rome). Trains in Italy also offer routes that connect to neighbouring countries like Switzerland, France, and Germany. The Italian train network offers a variety of train types and train companies that visitors may choose from while planning their trip to Italy. The main trains in Italy are Trenitalia and Italo. These companies service high-speed trains, international trains, and regional trains.

With Omio, travellers can compare which train better fit their needs, for example depending on price and travel time, as well as see whether the train is high-speed or regional.

Top destinations in Italy by train

Trenitalia and Italo tickets can be booked directly with Omio

Omio makes it easy to travel around Italy by train. You can see daily live train timetables weeks in advance and book train tickets right there and then. If you prefer mobile tickets, you can use the Omio app for instant delivery to your mobile device.

When booking train tickets in Italy with Omio, you can plan your trips efficiently and smoothly, thanks to our journey planner. To book a trip, select where you want to travel to in Italy (you can do this for the rest of Europe, the US or Canada, too) as well as the dates for your trip. Then just press search and you'll see clear and up-to-date information on which options are available, including different train types.

Once you've decided the best route for your journey, you can then add on any personal discount cards and choose to pay in different currencies. Once booked, you will have access to your tickets for your journey directly on your phone—no printer needed!

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Train companies in Italy

Trenitalia and Italo are the two main operators offering train routes in Italy. Italo train trips are a combination of standard and high-speed journeys, while Trenitalia uses various sub-brands for its train services. These are Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca, all high-speed trains. It also runs a wide network of regional trains covering most of the country. Whether travelling in Frecciarossa Business, Frecciarossa Premium or Frecciarossa Executive, the main cross-country routes Frecciarossa operates are from Venice to Salerno, Turin to Salerno and Trieste to Turin. It also runs a busy route from Roma Termini Station to the city’s Fiumicino Airport (FCO). The Frecciargento trains cover many of the routes out of Rome, heading from there to other major Italian cities like Trieste, Verona, Genoa and Lecce.

The service with train operator Frecciabianca has routes such as Venice to Bologna, Milan to Lecce and Turin to Ancona. Italo has very similar coverage, travelling the length and breadth of the country. It connects the main cities, such as Venice, Florence and Milan, with Italo trains from Rome to Naples a very popular route. These trains also stop over in other cities like Bergamo, Udine, Naples and Balzano. Both companies offer different classes of train tickets – Trenitalia has First and Second class, while Italo has Smart, Comfort, Prima and Club Executive. For more general information on travelling in Italy, have a look at our online travel magazine, The Window Seat.

Trenitalia: Trenitalia is Italy's main train company, travelling between 200 cities in Italy. Trenitalia also operates Intercity Night trains between distant Italian cities.

Frecciarossa: Trenitalia's Frecciarossa and Frecciarossa 1000 trains are the fastest trains in Italy, reaching top speeds of 186 mph and 249 mph respectively. Frecciarossa trains run along four routes in Italy:

  • Turin - Milan - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples – Salerno
  • Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Termoli - Foggia - Bari - Brindisi – Lecce
  • Venice - Padua - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples – Salerno
  • Milan - Brescia - Verona - Vincenza - Padua – Venice

Trenitalia Frecciargento: Trenitalia Frecciargento trains are the second fastest type of train in Italy, reaching top speeds of 155 mph. Over 50 Frecciargento trains travel through Italy every day. For example Frecciargento trains travel from Rome to Verona in two hours and 50 minutes and from Rome to Venice in three hours and 19 minutes. The newest Frecciargento train route travels from Rome to Bolzano in four hours and 30 minutes.

Trenitalia Frecciargento: Trenitalia Frecciargento trains are the second fastest type of train in Italy, reaching top speeds of 155 mph. Over 50 Frecciargento trains travel through Italy every day. For example Frecciargento trains travel from Rome to Verona in two hours and 50 minutes and from Rome to Venice in three hours and 19 minutes. The newest Frecciargento train route travels from Rome to Bolzano in four hours and 30 minutes.

Italo: Italo is a high-speed train company created in 2011 as an alternative to Trenitalia for getting the train in Italy. High-speed Italo NTV trains travel along four routes in Italy:

  • Turin - Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Turin - Milan - Reggio Emilia - Bologna - Rimini - Pesaro - Ancona
  • Venice - Padua - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • Verona - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples

Popular destinations with trains in Italy

The most popular train routes in Italy are those between its most prominent cities, in terms of both size/domestic activity and world-famous tourist attractions. Italo and Trenitalia trains operate on these routes, which are Rome to Milan, Naples to Rome and Venice to Florence. The main train stations between which you’ll travel on these routes are Rome Termini, Milan Centrale, Naples Centrale, Venice Santa Lucia and Florence Santa Maria Novello. These are all large, modern stations with full accessibility facilities, shops and places to eat and drink.

Train to Italy

Rome to Milan

Trains from Rome to Milan vary in travel time, depending on the operator and type of train. It’s one of the high-speed train routes in Italy, and when you travel on these trains, it will take roughly 3 hours to 3hr 40min. The slower trains take roughly 8-10 hours to make the journey. Italo and Trenitalia both operate this route, with the first trains usually leaving very early in the morning and the last ones at just after midnight.

You’ll either depart from Rome Termini Station or Rome Tiburtina Station, heading mostly for Milan Centrale Station, with some trains arriving at Milan Porta Garibaldi Station. Trains leave roughly every 5-10 minutes during peak times in the morning, during lunchtime and in the evening rush hour. Outside of that, you can expect one every half hour or so. The vast majority are direct trips, with a few each day stopping in Grosseto for a change.

Naples to Rome

You can use our platform to book train tickets on another very popular Italian train route, from Naples to Rome. You’ll usually leave from Naples Centrale Station, with a couple of trains a day leaving from Napoli Campi Flegrei Station in the morning. You’ll arrive either at Rome Termini Station or Rome Tiburtina Station, both of which are busy transit hubs. All of these stations have comprehensive services for passengers with limited mobility, making use of the Sala Blu national support programme. There are baby-change facilities, shops, cafes and fast food outlets available, too.

This isn’t a very long journey, and you can expect the Trenitalia or Italo high-speed trains to take roughly 1hr 15min to get you to Rome. Other trains can take up to 3 hours. They leave throughout the day, from around sunrise till just before midnight, with well over 60 trains available at intervals ranging from 2 minutes during peak times, to about 20 minutes at other times.

Venice to Florence

The Venice to Florence route takes about 2hr 15min on high-speed Italo or Trenitalia trains, and between 3hr 30min and 4 hours on the slower trains. You’ll depart from either Venice Santa Lucia or Venice Mestre, heading for Florence Santa Maria Novella or Florence Rifredi. Most of these routes are direct, but a few involve either a single stop at Bologna Centrale Station or a stop there followed by another at Prato Centrale Station. They leave roughly 30 minutes to an hour apart during off-peak times, and about 15 minutes apart during peak times.

There are around 40 trains to choose from each day, with the majority operated by Trenitalia’s various sub-services and Italo making up the rest. The first one leaves in the early morning, and the last train departs in the early evening. Both operators offer First- and Second-class ticket types.

Train Platform

Popular train journeys in Italy

Popular International Routes by Train

Travelers that plan to visit Italy using the trains as their means of transportation will find that Omio provides a service that makes planning easy and efficient. Being located in the proximity of other countries, Turin and Milan are two of the main cities for travelers wanting to arrive in, or depart from, with trains in Italy. The most popular routes these cities offer are the following:

  • Milan: some of the direct international routes from Milan go to Zurich (Frecciargento and Frecciabianca) and to Paris (TGV).
  • Turin: a couple of the direct international routes from Turin go to Paris (TGV), and go to Lyon (SNCF).

International train travel is also available to other Italian cities, such as Florence and even Naples, although a change of train (or several) will be required. Other train providers that offer connections to and from Italian cities include SBB between Italy and Switzerland and ÖBB between Italy and Austria.

Best trains from Italy

Most Popular Trains to Italy

Main Train Stations in Italy

Italy by train: Tipping culture

If travellers decide to visit Italy they should know the following information. Although tipping is not a custom in Italy, many cafes and restaurants will have a coperto fee on the receipt. The coperto is not a scam for tourists, it is a normal fee that is always charged to locals and travellers alike. Many public restrooms require an entry fee (usually 50 cents or 1 euro), therefore travellers are advised to always carry a couple of extra coins in their pocket when travelling around the country.

Sustainable train travel in Italy

It’s far kinder to the environment if a large number of people take one train trip rather than travelling separately, and trains in Italy are continually being updated to use less energy and reduce carbon emissions. Both Italo and Trenitalia have sustainability programmes, using more recycled materials and designing more energy-efficient engines.

Discover the night routes and night trains

Both Italo and Trenitalia operate night trains in Italy on selected routes; many of them are longer cross-country trips. The latter has a dedicated night train service, Intercity Notte. They typically take a little longer than other trains, as they’re run on standard models. On the plus side, they don’t make any connections on the way, so you can completely relax or get your head down for some sleep. The most popular overnight routes in Italy include those from Naples to Milan, from Rome to Syracuse and between Rome and Palermo, down south in Sicily. On these trains, you can typically choose to book a night seat or a cabin that can accommodate up to three people. Some night trains also have sleeper coaches with more room for extra comfort.

Woman on a Train

Trains in Italy FAQs

Where can I buy my train ticket?

It’s simple – just buy your train tickets online through our platform. We make it easy to find the exact trip you want and book tickets immediately. It won’t take more than a few clicks, and you can safely pay with your credit card.

Do I need to print my train ticket?

That’s completely up to you. If you prefer physical tickets, you can book through us and print them out at a station ticket machine, with the card you used to buy them. Otherwise, download the Omio app and we’ll deliver an e-ticket to your mobile device, instantly.

Can I cancel my train ticket?

Yes, you can cancel any refundable ticket that you’ve bought through us. In your secure, private account section, you’ll find a record of all the train tickets you buy. You can simply select the one you wish to cancel right there.

Can I exchange my train ticket?

You will be able to exchange some types of tickets, depending on the operator. We can sort this out for you too – just submit a change request via our online Help Centre. You’ll need to do so at least 24 hours before departure.

How many pieces/pounds of luggage can I check on the train?

With Trenitalia trains, you can check in as many luggage items as you want, subject to space limitations on the carriages. The only restrictions are that you can carry it yourself and that your luggage doesn’t block aisles. The Italo train luggage allowance is limited to two items per person, subject to size restrictions.

What are the services available for people with reduced mobility?

Both Italo and Trenitalia subscribe to the Sala Blu assistance programme for passengers with limited mobility. This service ensures you’re met at the station and assisted to your seat, including a wheelchair hoist onto the carriage.

Are the trains adapted to persons with restricted mobility?

Trenitalia has trained staff on board to assist passengers with limited mobility during train trips. This includes moving around the train once you’re under way. Italo offers priority seat tickets for such passengers, located close to the toilets. Both operators run accessibility-adapted carriages as standard.

Can children under 18 travel by themselves?

In Italy, children between the ages of 16 and 18 can travel by themselves on trains. Those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult, who doesn’t have to be a parent. It’s recommended that in this case, both passengers carry photo ID.

Can I bring my bike on board the train?

With Trenitalia, you can bring a foldable bike or one that’s been disassembled and placed in an appropriate travel bag. Italo only allows foldable bikes and prefers them to be covered, mainly for the safety of other passengers.

How can I find cheap train tickets in Italy?

We make it easy for you to find the lowest prices on train trips in Italy. Once you’ve selected your route, you can filter the available tickets by price, which will put the cheapest tickets right in front of you. You can also set price alerts on our platform.

Can I make a group booking for train tickets?

The Omio platform allows you to book for up to five people at a time as a group booking. The only proviso is that the train company will not necessarily seat all of you together, so just be prepared for that.

When should I arrive at the station to catch my train?

In Italy, it’s best to arrive about 30 minutes before your train departs. This will give you enough time to check your luggage and make your way to the correct platform, without rushing or stressing. You’ll also have time to grab something to eat or drink, if you’re feeling peckish.

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