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Taking Trains in Italy - Tips & Tricks

Updated: Mar 27



Taking trains in Italy makes travel so easy but its not the best way to get around Tuscany. Check out my blog post about traveling by car in Tuscany for more info BUT knowing many travelers coming into Tuscany are also traveling other parts of Italy, I wanted to provide some tips and tricks.


How & When to Buy Your Ticket

There are many ways to buy train tickets which include buying at a kiosk directly at the train station or using a phone app. I use both the Trenitalia app and also an app called "Train". The TrenItalia app as you can imagine shows you all trains specific to Trenitalia (note there are many different train companies in Italy including Italo, Frecciarossa, Intercity, etc). Trenitalia is the biggest. I like the app Train because it shows all ways of getting to a destination which include bus and different train companies. For example, if you arrive in Rome and you want to catch a train to Arezzo to pick up your rental car for the Tuscany portion of your trip, you will need to take the connector train from FCO airport to Roma Termini or Roma Tibertino and then switch to catch your train to Arezzo. The Trenitalia app will not show you the route that includes the connector train. It will only show you the timetables from Roma Termini or Roma Tibertino.


You can typically buy your ticket the day of especially if it is a common route. For example, trains from Arezzo or Castiglion Fiorentino to Florence go almost every hour of every day. You can always purchase these last minute. For trains coming from Rome into Tuscany, I recommend travelers check the schedule before you land so you understand how often the trains are running. The train might fill up or you may want to skip the snack line after landing and walk straight to the train platform so you can make that afternoon train to get to your destination. Otherwise you might be sitting in the airport for a few hours waiting on the next train to depart.


Checking In / Validating Ticket

Whether you buy the ticket at a kiosk and get a paper version or you buy an e-ticket in an app, one thing you MUST remember is to CHECK-IN. This is a relatively new piece of the process and only certain trains require a check in - usually just regional trains. However, always check to see if it is asking you to "Check in". If you do not check in, when the conductor checks your ticket he will know you did not check in and write you a ticket which is typically an additional 60 euro. Yes... 60 euro. I have gotten a ticket before because it was not obvious that I needed to check in nor was it obvious how to check in. In the app, even though they give you a QR code immediately, there will be a button that says "CHECK IN". Click this button and then a green bar will show under your QR code that says "validated". You may have to click back a few screens to see it (especially in the Train app). If you buy a paper ticket at a kiosk, be sure to time/day stamp this ticket prior to getting on the train. The ticket stampers are all along the platform or in the train station.


Below is an example of an e-ticket that has been "checked-in". Note the green line under the QR code and the word "validated".





Changing a Ticket

If you need to change the time of your ticket or destination, make sure you check the rules and conditions before you purchase, especially in the app. Some tickets will allow changes and others do not. If you have any questions or if you bought a paper ticket, the best option is to go to a ticket booth or train assistant on the platform and ask if and how you can change your ticket to the desired time.

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