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EuRail Global Pass in Italy Avoiding Seat Researvations

  • 21 November 2023
  • 12 replies
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I have (already) bought a Eurail Global Pass (coming first time to Europe with spouse). Budget is my BIG concern & I want to take full benefit of this pass (for cheap travel wherever possible).

I am concerned about traveling to (& within Italy) on this Pass. The major routes that I want to travel (on different days) using this pass include; I want to avoid seat reservations where ever possible and I welcome all any advice.

  • Lucerne to Milan (Dec 23rd) - I’d like to visit nearby attractions like Lake Como on Dec 24th. 
  • Milan to Florence (Dec 25th) - Maybe visit Pisa/Cinque Terre on Dec 26th
  • Florence to Naples (Dec 27th) - I know time’s a concern and if I could, I’d love to see Amalfi coat or any other southern towns
  • Naples to Rome (Dec 28th) - I’m in Rome for 3 days before I fly back on 31st Dec.

So my questions are:

  1. I need help/guidance to find a cheap/free train from the above locations (or some nearby location) till Rome while utilizing Eurail Global Pass.
  2. Suggestions if I can add a manual route in the app (like if there is a nearby major station with better train options)
  3. Any other suggestions/tips to fully utilize (as much possible) the Eurail Global Pass within Italy (on my required routes)
  4. Any other alternate (cheap) option to travel between the locations I mentioned above.

These are the routes I found on the rail planner along with some manual entries.

 

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Best answer by Al_G 21 November 2023, 10:03

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Userlevel 7
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In Italy trains that are listed as R and RV/RE, (Regional) do not take reservations so are free to use just with your pass.

Reservation compulsory trains are listed as IC (Intercity), €3 to reserve and FR at €13, international EC trains also require reservations in Italy.

If you are only going to use R/RE/RV in Italy it may well be cheaper not to use a pass at all as regular tickets are pretty cheap and there is also the “Italy on tour” ticket from Trenitalia. https://www.trenitalia.com/it/treni_regionali/promo-italia-in-tour.html

The best place to check train schedules, types and prices is the Trenitalia website

https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html

Userlevel 7
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For Lucerne - Milan the non-reservation option is to take the EC train only to Chiasso (on this section reservations are not needed) and change to a R/RV/RE to Milan.

Thank you so much for your response! I found a route milan-florence with 2 transfers, please see below. Would you know how I can book this with my eurail pass?

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

As I said above, R/RV trains do not take reservations.

Just add them to your pass before boarding and take any available seat along with all other passengers.

Oh, sorry and thank you for saying that again. This maybe another silly question, what are the chances that the train is full considering it’s Christmas time? What would be my alternatives?

 

Again, I appreciate your responses a lot! Thank you in advance!

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Trains might be busy but nobody will have a reservation so it works in a first come first served basis. You might have to stand for a bit but it shouldn't be that bad.

As a general tip : go to train ends as people are lazy and board in the middle.

Lucerne - Milan is easily done reservation-free as advised : take any train to Lugano and switch the hourly RE (not longer than the expensive ECs !). Since the Gotthard Base Tunnel is currently closed you'll take the scenic old route !

Between Milan and Florence you could choose a route either via Cinque Terre or Bologna. The latter being particularly boring for the most part along the Po plain. I'd no doubt spend 3€ for an IC train to fasten the journey but you don't have to. Itinerary example (using current timetables, more below) :

- RE Milano Centrale - Sestri Levante 07:25 - 10:28

- R Sestri Levante - La Spezia Centrale 10:42 - 11:46

- R La Spezia Centrale - Firenze S.M.N. 13:35 - 16:08

Option 2 :

- IC Milano Centrale - Pisa Centrale 08:05 - 12:23 3€

- RE Pisa Centrale - Firenze S.M.N. 12:32 - 13:33

Regional train timetables have not been published yet. There's the yearly timetable change coming up on 10th December and Trenitalia is always late in that regard.

If I were you I'd visit Cinque Terre and Pisa along the way to Florence. It would be a long way to come back the next day and Florence deserves a full day ! It's easily done : simply add the regional train you'd like to take right before boarding.

Be aware that Naples - Sorrento is not included in Eurail but tickets only cost a few € anyway (it wouldn't have been worth using a pass day).

Userlevel 7
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Sorry, I couldn’t even guess at how well loaded those trains would be on a normal day, never mind Dec 25.

If all seats are taken when you board then you stand and if/when people leave at intermediate stops standing passengers take the seats they vacate.

As a rule the ends of trains, particularly those away from the platform entrances tend to be less crowded than the middle as more people congregate close to the entrance/stairs.

 

Lucerne - Milan is easily done reservation-free as advised : take any train to Lugano and switch the hourly RE (not longer than the expensive ECs !). Since the Gotthard Base Tunnel is currently closed you'll take the scenic old route !

 

- IC Milano Centrale - Pisa Centrale 08:05 - 12:23 3€

- RE Pisa Centrale - Firenze S.M.N. 12:32 - 13:33



​​​​​​How do I book both of these? Rail planner app?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Timetables for regional trains have not been published yet. You'll need to log (not book) each train you'd like to take : this can be done at any time before boarding. There's no need to do it right now.

You can already book a seat on the IC on oebb.at to avoid Eurail booking fees : add Eurail as a discount and select one-way tickets.

Btw I'd seriously consider stopping en route in Cinque Terre and/or Pisa to avoid 3h travel time the next day.

Thank you! I’ll give en route Cinque Terre a thought, I was pushing it to day 2 because I’ll have 2 check-in size luggage with me and that may make it different to enjoy the place.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Do not pack too much ! Make use of lockers whenever possible too.

Haha! I’ll try my best. I’m packing for a 18 day winter trip xD

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