Often, in the Internet you can find a lot of cheap flights to Milan, Bologna and Rome, which are distant from your chosen destination. Offer great, so let’s seize the opportunity. At the airport, of course you can rent a car (how to do it with a discussion read here – link non active jet) to reach your destination or travel around the country. However, there are people who want to visit cities such Naples, and are afraid of traffic in the city center or simply booked a room there for a few days and renting a car simply does not fix. In such situations good to have The Italian Railways.
How effectively use The Italian Railways I will present in two texts. Below the first one dedicated to the fastest trains – Le Freccie.
Le Freccie are divided into three types:
White arrow. The slowest of the high-speed trains. It operates on routes from Reggio di Calabria and Lecce in the south, up to Torino, Milan and Udine in the north. The train moves at a maximum speed of 200km/h and 250km/h depending on a configuration. Don’t be surprised, the route still have sections where train slows below 140km/h. The advantage of the train is the lack of frequent stops and friendly service like in polish Inter City trains.
foto Italia Rail
Tickets on this type of train are only available with seat reservation and are divided into class 1th and 2nd.
Silver arrow. I must say it’s a very nice train :)We had the opportunity to travel this type of fast train from Bari to Rome. We decided on this train for several reasons:
- driving on the route Bari – Rome is long and tiring – 457 km highway;
- spontaneous cost of renting a car is about € 100 per day (including collision damage waiver and full coverage);
- having with us two large and heavy suitcases eliminated the Panda class cars;
- journey time of the train and the car is comparable and is approx. 4 h;
- plus the fuel, which at the end of March costing 1.4 € / l, the cost of the highway and the possible spontaneous photo fee – Frecciargento fared exceptionally well.
Some handful of raw data. The train moves at a maximum speed of 250km/h. Don’t be surprised, the route from Bari to Rome still have sections where train slows below 100km/h! As in the case of Frecciabianca tickets on this type of train are only available with seat reservation and are divided into class 1th and 2nd.
Traveling experience is fantastic! The first pleasant surprise was not so much difference in the ticket price between 2nd and 1st class. Initially, I was determined to buy a seat in 2nd class, but the hardships of travel in the form of carrying each 32 kg bags and 10 kg backpack, meant that over the economy won convenience, which large part of influenced has seats with reclining mechanism and comfort in carrying suitcases in a carriage (the first class has seats in a 2 + 1 module in cross section, and the 2nd has 2 + 2, which significantly reduces the width of the transition between the seats).
Below presentation of the first-class carriage.
Steward, who supports the carriage, spreads daily newspapers and coffee, tea, juices and snacks.
I would like to add, that the bar was really tasty.
A few words about the restroom. Honestly, I was surprised almost exemplary purity and the fact, that the first-class carriage service regularly, every 40 minutes cleaned and refresh the place.
Red arrow. The fastest of the Italian trains and at the same time our first experience with an Italian Pendolino. We had the opportunity to travel in Standard Class on the route from Rome to Naples. Traveling on the route Termini Roma – Napoli Centrale takes only 70min.
Time for a handful of raw facts. The train moves at a maximum speed of 400 km/h on the way to Naples speed was 302 km/h. The train is divided into four classes: Standard – nice when you have a small luggage, that you can put on the overhead storage, luggage rack is provided separately, also has special space between some seats. Point is the lack of seats with reclining mechanism and a narrow passage between the seats in 2nd class 2 + 2, which in practice makes it very difficult to move with a large, two-wheeled suitcase, but it would not be no problem with the “four-wheeled” suitcase carried sideways.
Frecciarossa also offers classes of passengers:
- Premium – seats with reclining mechanism, morning press , drinks and snacks;
- Business – seats with reclining mechanism, morning press , drinks and snacks, legroom, adjustable headrest;
- Executive – full pleasure, the seats including feetrest reclining mechanism, longitudinal spacing about 1.5m;
All Le Frecce, both in the first and second class, have sockets near seats to charge your phone, tablet or laptop.
Unfortunately, on our way from Rome to Naples, and from Bari to Rome Wi-Fi in a carriage was not available.
Despite the higher prices on a long routes I recommend the first class in trains types Frecciargento and Frecciabianca and class Premium or Business in Frecciarossa.
How to buy a ticket?
Tickets can be purchased in two ways: at the station and on the Internet. In this post I will describe buying a ticket at the station. Case study of purchase a ticket over the Internet I will present in the second text about traveling with a trains along Italy.
Tourists can use the three fare tickets:
- Super Economy, available only on the Internet, will be described in the next, second text;
- Economy, available only on the Internet, will be described in the next, second text;
- Base, this type of a ticket we bought at the box office.
and a lot of promotions i.e. 2×1 and 3×2 which are available for Saturdays and Sundays travels.
So, at the train station ticket can be purchased at the box office labeled “Le Frecce” and in the ticket machine.
We chose an automatic machine. Ticket machine is almost identical to those which are available on the Polish railway stations. Switch language to English, and the machine takes us almost by the hand. Finally we confirm the entered data, choose the payment method: credit card, or cash (banknotes shouldn’t be creased and crumpled because the machine can spit them out, then you should straighten creases, especially the corners of the note), then pick up a ticket.
A ticket for La Freccia is printed for each passenger separately and includes a seat.
A few words about the ticket, important information – Case Study.
In the header the ticket contains information about the chosen fare, in this case:
- Base, which gives us the right to make change in the ticket before the train departs. Kindest lady at the box office assured me, that even when I’m late for a train, I’ve max an hourafter departure to change of my reservation – only one time.
- Partenza – departure from (date and time are printed on the left side), in this case Bari Central;
- Arrivo – arrival (date and time are printed on the right side), in this case arrival to Rome 23.03 at 17:20;
- Treno 9354 – in the middle of a ticket – very important information about the train! That”9354″ with the word Roma Termini we are looking at an array of departures. After finding the line with our train we’re looking for the numbers placed in the column binario – this is our platform;
- Carrozza 001 posti 1D finestrino – carrier 001, 1D place to seat near the window;
- bottom right corner is of course the price for one person in the class 1 on the route Bari – Rome – posto 1 classe.
Frecciarossa, is it worth it?
Frecciarossa is quite different from ordinary trains, both in terms of travel comfort and time spent in it. Personally, I would recommend this type of train, especially when is combined with low-cost airlines. The cost of a ticket of low-cost airline at the regular price (not to mention the promotional prices of tickets for 19 zł, 49 zł or 119 zł), together with the purchase of a ticket for Le Frecce is much lower than the standard airlines, trains are fast, really run frequently. They combine Bologna, Milan and Rome with all major urban centers in the north and the south of the country. Therefore, when someone asks: Frecciarossa, is it worth it? I’ll answer definitely YES!