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Travel Italy by Train: How to Make It Easy

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

Italy has proven to be such a treasure of a country. So much beauty and variety of pleasures for the eyes. Italy sees TONS of tourists and is well catered to getting tourists around and serving them, making it easy to travel Italy by train. Don’t even get me started on the food! Deliciousness, like I have not tasted anywhere else, has blessed us in our travels of Italy.

travel italy by train: a picture of my kids

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If you plan to visit, I highly recommend getting around this beautiful country to see a few different places. We made our home base Rome, which was wonderful, but if I were to do it again, I would have split our time amid at least one other place.

Best places to go in Italy:


• Florence

• Venice

• Sorrento (Amalfi Coast)

• Naples

• Milan

• Cinqueterra

• Lake Como

As we were lucky enough to train from Rome to Amalfi Coast, then up north to Florence and Venice, I wanted to share some of the things we learned. There isn’t much of a learning curve, but we gathered a few nuggets that would be helpful to know beforehand.

Tips to Travel Italy by Train like a PRO:

1. Two main train lines are available. TrenItalia and Italo Treno. We rode both on different sections. TrenItalia has lots more options, so we pretty much always went with that one. Their self-service kiosks were simple to use, and they had trains every 15 minutes. However, Italo is a bit cheaper (or was in my experience), so if the timeline works for you, it’s a great option.

2. No need to buy tickets in advance most of the time. We tried to buy tickets online before we left, but the search engines were clunky and difficult to navigate in English. We decided (being kid-free) to just show up. It was perfect! There are trains multiple time per hour to many of the popular destinations with hundreds of seats. It’s unlikely you need to even buy in advance. The only time we needed to be going from Venice to Rome on a Saturday morning as it had other big destinations on this route (Florence and Naples), and those sections could sell out.

3. There are different sections on the train. However, I think the differences are quite small. Some sections it seems you get a drink and snack, but all sections have tables. In the more expensive sections, seats are bigger (4 per row versus 6 for example), but it’s pretty minimal.

4. Pricing. Trains are not dirt cheap, but the convenience and ease were amazing to us. We always opted for at least the business section, which averages about $70-100 per person, depending on the length of the section. I think base sections can be around $30 per person.

5. Bathrooms are available and are decent for a train. No promise it’s totally clean, but they maintain them well as the staff uses them also. I used it multiple times.

6. Food is available. There is a little “restaurant” section of one of the cars, but it’s really basic and has only a handful of food options. There is also a “snack bar” of sorts, which only could accept cash. Really, it’s best to bring your own food, which is completely acceptable or eat before or after.

7. Wifi is pretty terrible. Both train lines tout free wifi and both have it, but good luck actually using it for anything helpful! It was pretty rough trying to work with it and I finally just gave up.

8. They WILL check your tickets. While you could just walk into trains in most Italian cities without a ticket, it’s a guarantee they will come around to check your ticket. I don’t know what the penalty is for not having one, but I’m guessing it is pretty steep. Keep that ticket handy!

travel italy by train: my husband and I enjoying the nightlife of Italy

9. Security is very minimal. No one ever checked a passport and they only have security in two cities: Florence and Venice. This “security” is just checking you have a ticket. No metal detectors, no bag searches.

10. Rules are pretty lax. There was a “silent business” section of the train when we bought tickets, but otherwise rules are not strictly enforced for noise. Unlike some of our trains in Japan, where noise is forbidden, and in China, where noise is expected and LOUD, Italy was a good medium. Plenty of conversations, but don’t be watching your movie at full volume 🙂

travel italy by train: a picture of my husband and I

I fully plan to travel to Italy by train again! Italy is incredibly built out this way, and you can see the entire country easily. Enjoy your future travels to this super fun country.



Book your next flight to Italy with Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

Find affordable hotels in Italy from Booking.com, Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com)

Discover fun travel activities from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator

Need a car? Rent one on Expedia Rental Cars

Get your family’s travel insurance from World Nomads

Want to have a photo shoot while traveling? Check out flytographer!

Capture your best family memories in Italy while traveling with a GoPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

Check out other travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

Additional Reading

How To Conquer Training Around Europe With Kids

10 Important Things To Know When Traveling From Italy to Switzerland By Train

10 Best Things To Do During Your Day Trip To Chartres, France with Kids

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