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Getting There By Rail

Italy - Getting There By Rail

Travelers who can't fly to Italy need not spend several hours driving down in case they are not inclined to do so. The railway network that connects Italy to some of the countries in Europe is second to none . Some of the main advantages of getting to Italy by rail include the great scenic route, ample breathing space, room to move around, free baggage, lavatory services and free travel for children below the age of 4. Travelers also skip security queues, 2-hour check-ins and airport taxes when they take a train to Italy.

There are many rail travel options available to travelers from all across Europe, which include fast trains, slow trains, direct trains, sleeper trains and daytime services. Moreover, people can make their outward journey using one route and come back through another, without shelling out anything extra. There are several train operating companies that have regular services scheduled between Italy and other European countries. Some of the common service providers include Eurostar, Artesia, TVG, Frecciabianca and Frecciarossa. The frequency of trains to Italy for some of these companies may be higher as compared to the others. While some may have more than one service every day, others may have no more than 3 trains to Italy in the entire week.

Travelers from Austria, Germany and Spain can save themselves time and money, by traveling to Italy on an international night train. Some of the most popular night trains to operate to and from this country include EuroNight Allegro (Bologna - Florence - Milan - Rome - Venice - Vienna), EuroNight Toscana Mare (Livorno - Klagenfurt - Venice - Florence - Vienna), City Night Line (Rome - Florence - Venice - Innsbruck - Munich) and Thello Night Train (Paris - Milan - Verona - Venice and Paris - Florence - Rome). There are also 2 scenic routes that can get travelers from Switzerland into Italy, on the Bernina Express (Chur and Lugano via Tirano) and on the Centovalli Railway (Locarno to Domodossola).

The average train duration to Rome from Paris is 11.5 hours. The most highly recommended route from Germany is Munich to Venice on the EuroCity or the City Night Train (9 hours). A train ride from London to Rome can take anywhere between 17.5 hours and 19 hours. The duration from London to Naples is around 19 hours, to Florence is about 16 hours and to Venice is approximately 17.5 hours. The train ride from London to Milan is a bit shorter, as it lasts for a maximum of 14 hours. Some of the services from the UK have only one change at Paris, but most require 2 or perhaps even 3 changes per journey.

The cost of a ticket from London to Italy would depend entirely the season as well as the availability. However, an adult may pay between 160GBP (€196.00) and 240GBP (€295.00) for a single journey, during the non-peak season. It is possible to get cheaper fares by booking advance tickets (90 to 120 days prior to the journey) or by using a railcard. The Eurail Italy Pass also offers some good deals on Italy via France, Spain, Greece and the UK. For more information on recommended routes and discounts, visit http://www.eurail.com

While there are many international railway terminals located all across Italy, the most common hubs are Roma Termini (with 32 platforms) and Milano Centrale (with 24 platforms). Passengers can connect to all major international and intercity trains through these terminals. The facilities available at the international train stations may vary a bit, but generally tend to include -

Ticket offices
Car rentals
Luggage lockers and left-luggage services
Lost and found department
Tourist information desks
ATMs, foreign exchange and banking services
Cafes and restaurants
Access for disabled passengers
Parking (paid)
Security TV cameras and detectors

The major railway stations are also well-connected to different cities through a network of bus services.

Some good-to-know contact numbers for passengers who plan to travel to Rome by trains include -

Roma Termini or Stazione Termini
Address: Piazza le dei Cinquecento, 00185 Rome, Italy
Website: http://www.romatermini.com/en
Number: +39 06 4546 40100

Milano Centrale
Address: Piazza Duca D'Aosta, 20124 Milan, Italy
Website: http://www.milanocentrale.it/en
Number: +39 02 667 3511

Napoli Centrale
Address: Piazza Garibaldi, 80142 Naples, Italy
Website: http://www.napolicentrale.it/en

Firenze Santa Maria Novella Railway Station
Address: Piazza della stazione, 50123, Firenze, Italy
Number: +39 06 478411

Venezia Mestre Railway Station
Address: Piazzale Pietro Favretti, 30171 Venezia, Italy

Venezia St. Lucia Railway Station
Address: Fondamenta Santa Lucia, 30121 Venezia, Italy

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