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Rome to Florence and back


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We have decided to do a day trip to Florence from Rome. I am looking at the schedule from Rail Europe and put in the times I feel are appropriate. Going, will not be a problem, but say we book an 8:00PM train back to Rome and we miss it for some reason, or want to return a bit earlier, what are our options? Do we lose our ticket and have to rebook, can we just go on the next train back to Rome? It is hard to book an exact train coming back in case we want to spend some extra time in Florence.

Again, what are our options?

Cheers

Len

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The Freccia trains on Trenitalia are booked per specific train at a specific time. If you miss that train, you do lose your ticket UNLESS you have purchased one of the premium tickets, called the Base Ticket. Here is a little of the "how to" on the Trenitalia site:

"Access to other trains

If you want to travel on a different train from the one you booked and you have not changed your ticket, you can do it from 1 hour before up to 1 hour after your train departure by paying a surcharge of 10 euros and the difference between the full price applied to the train used and the sum already paid."

So, if you buy the expensive ticket and not the economy fares, it is possible, but it will still cost you more.

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Well, the first thing to say is don't book with Rail Europe. Go right to the source - Trenitalia's own website: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

 

Trenitalia's fare structure is similar to that of airline tickets, with a variety of fares with different restrictions and conditions. The cheapest fares are non-refundable and non-changeable, next cheapest are non-refundable but allow changes with a fee, and finally the base fare is fully flexible.

 

If I were you, I'd be tempted to lock in the cheaper price on your going train as soon as bookable (usually 3 months out), but purchase the return on the day - it'll obviously be more expensive than advance purchase, but you won't have the stress of worrying about times and changing your tickets.

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Ok, I appreciate the great advice, but I just can't get it. I went to the site, put in Rome and up came a list of places I never heard of. I entered one and put in Florence as to where I want to go, and it came up invalid.

so what am I doing wrong here?

Cheers

Len

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And for stations use Termini for Roma and Santa Maria Novella for Firenze.

 

I agree with the others...Rail Europe is just a middle man that adds a fee and it's site doesn't show all the choices.

 

 

It is also deceptive for many rail networks....many people do searches and think they are getting the official site, when they are actually getting Rail Europe.

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I would buy the ticket as per OP, direct from Trenitalia.

 

Unless you are travelling on a holiday weekend the only reason to buy a ticket in advance is if it is discounted. Nor is there any real advantage to going first class.

 

You might want to get on the Trenitalia website and understand what you options are in terms of price and schedule. Also, find out where the closest station is....it may not be Termini depending on where you are staying.

 

Get a list of the return train times. Florence is wonderful. When you are ready to come home just buy a ticket. I would also say that we very much enjoy Florence at dusk. Sipping wine in an outdoor cafe watching the lights twinkle as the sun sets. Florence train station is within easy walking distance of all the sights. You can also pre book entry times to Acamdemia (tour group entrance) and Uffizi if you so desire.

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A discounted ticket cannot be used on any other train other than the one it was purchased for, so if you want the flexibility of making an on-the-spot decision about your return time, wait and buy your ticket at the station. There's zero chance of it being sold out.

 

You can split the difference and purchase your outbound morning ticket in advance to save money, but you need to be committed to going on that day, no matter what. Would you go even if it was pouring rain that day?

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Thank you all who have responded. I did get to the site and am in the process of booking. We are traveling in November, so I really had to take into account when the sun sets also and when it does get dark in Florence.

Just one more question on the trains, when asked to book on the site that was recommended, it asks if there are any discount code--are there? Are there any discounts for seniors, veterans etc?

Cheers

Len

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Thank you all who have responded. I did get to the site and am in the process of booking. We are traveling in November, so I really had to take into account when the sun sets also and when it does get dark in Florence.

Just one more question on the trains, when asked to book on the site that was recommended, it asks if there are any discount code--are there? Are there any discounts for seniors, veterans etc?

Cheers

Len

 

I did a quick Google search and it appears that Italian senior discounts are similar to Spain (which I am familiar with). You must have a card which costs Euro 30. Unless you are taking a number of trips, the numbers don't work, given what you are planning.

 

We used one in Spain, but we had a number of trips, and

wanted to remain somewhat flexible. In Spain, one had to buy the card in the country and couldn't reserve ahead because the card number was needed. Since the train systems offer discounts for early booking, it negates the benefits of the age discount.

 

The age for discount was also lower in Spain...search indicates it is 65 in Italy. Hopefully, Eurocruiser will chip in if I've led you astray. I also have no idea if the card has to be bought in Italy, as is the case in Spain.

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The best discounts I've gotten have been by booking early and taking advantage of the special fares. As you get closer to your travel, these fares tend to disappear, so if you are considering booking in advance I'd pin down your plans and buy the tickets sooner rather than later.

 

If you prefer flexibility, as euro cruiser said, you can wait and purchase your return tickets on the day of travel. You'll pay full fare, but you will get a seat. (Trains honestly do NOT sell out except on the odd holiday or very peak of tourist season perhaps on popular routes....)

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