How To Travel Italy By Train

Italy Train Travel - Cinque Terre

Travelling overland is always far more exciting than catching a flight. You get more of a feel for the country you’re visiting when you see the suburbs and countryside between the flashy cities. And if you’re lucky, you may even discover a hidden gem of a destination enroute!

Italy Train Travel

So on a recent trip to Italy I decided to travel by train between my destinations. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not only easier to navigate than I had imagined, but it’s also super affordable. See as follows for a list of the journeys I undertook and how much they set me back…

Italy Train Travel - Bonnassola

Italy Train Fares

  • Genova – Levanto
    Slow train taking almost 2 hours = €6,80 (approx £5)
  • Cinque Terre Card
    Unlimited travel between Levanto and La Spezia, including the 5 Cinque Terre towns, for 24 hours = €10 (approx £7.50)

Italy Train Travel - Cinque Terre Card

  • Riomaggiore – Pisa
    Fast train that took 1 hour = €16,60 (approx £12)
  • Pisa – Florence
    4 stops taking 1 hour in total = €8,10 (approx £6)
  • Florence – Pisa
    4 stops taking 1 hour in total = €8,10 (approx £6)
  • Pisa – Genoa
    Slow train taking 2hr 30mins in total = €20 (approx £15). I upgraded to first class for an additional €6 (approx £4.50)
  • Genova Piazza Principe – Genova S P Aeroporto (Genoa city centre to the airport)
    15 min journey = €1,60 (approx £1.20)

Italy Train Travel - Tickets

Not too bad is it? I spent a total of €77,20 (approx £58) on train travel throughout the trip and got to explore amazing places such as Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence and Genoa! Pretty cheap really when you consider how far that would get you in the UK (one train from London to Birmingham).

Italy Train Travel - La SpeziaItaly Train Travel - Second Class

So how do you go about it? Here’s my top tips for travelling by train in Italy…

Italy Train Top Tips

Buy your tickets from the red machines at the station. They are incredibly easy to use, with English translations and train times for your destination. This is really handy in smaller stations when the train times aren’t advertised on the platform.

Italy Train Travel - Buy your ticket from the red machines

Validate your ticket. If your ticket isn’t validated, it basically doesn’t count. All you have to do is pop your ticket in the green pods on the platform and it will print the date on the side of your ticket. Validated.

Italy Train Travel - Validate Your Ticket

Avoid peak times if you can. I did the 2 hour journey from Genoa to Levanto in peak time and it wasn’t pleasant. Be warned.

Italy Train Travel - Busy in Cinque Terre

If you have a long journey, the first class upgrade is worth it. More room, much more comfortable and lots of space to stow your backpack. For an extra few euros it’ll save you some hassle.

Italy Train Travel - Manarola

Locate luggage space. My backpack didn’t fit in the overhead luggage rack so sometimes I had to be creative. No one wants to be that dick taking up a free seat with their bags. Luckily there was either space under the seats, space between the seats or a mini table to perch it on. Be space savvy.

Italy Train Travel - Don't put your bag on a seat!!

Sit by a window. You won’t regret it when the rolling hills and Cyprus trees of Tuscany come into view.

Italy Train Travel - Gorgeous views!

Overall I really recommend travelling by train in Italy. It’s not as daunting as it may sound! Let me know how you get on! Have you ventured into inter-railing in Italy? What did you think? Leave a comment below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!

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