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From the Netherlands to Italy

  • 12 September 2022
  • 6 replies
  • 127 views

Hi all,

 

My wife and I are planning to go to Italy to celebrate some holiday's. At the end of the trip I meet a couple of friends in Palermo to have a guys weekend. My wife will most likely go back home from Rome.

We want to see nature instead of cities. One of the places we want to visit are the Dolomites. Does anyone has any expierence on how to come there by train? When I look on the website of interrail I can only select large cities. So, I'm not quite sure of it is possible to go to the Dolomites by train. It might be that I need to search in a different way.

In total we have 12 days together and then I have a couple of days with friends. So we are not only going to the Dolomites, but we were also thinking about the black forest in Germany. Tips on how the get there would also be helpfull.

 

Thank you for all the responses!

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Best answer by Yorkie 12 September 2022, 12:35

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Userlevel 6
Badge +9

We have just done the reverse of your plan and suggest you head for Munich and then take the Euro City Brenner service towards Verona, There are several stations on the way for outdoor treckers.

Once you have done the Dolomites you can easily carry on via Verona to Bologna, Florence and Rome via Trenitalia Freccia high speed trains.

Returning from Rome can be done by the same route or via Milan towards Basel and then ICE trains to home.

For Palermo from Rome there are direct Intercity services or a faster Freccia service to Villa San Giovanni then ferry to Messina (about 30 mins) and then a regional train to Palermo (about 3 hours).

If you go via the IC service you will cross the Messina Straits on the last Boat-train in Europe. They really do take the train on the ferry.

If you use the IR planner (or any  other) there is a button to show stops for any train so if you check Munich to Verona on any day and choose one of the direct trains (Normally an EC 8*) it will show you the stops after Innsbruck into the Dolomites.

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +9

I am also confused by you saying the planner only allows you to search major cities, it should show any station in Europe, but sometimes the spelling can be an issue - try the English name. As you type it will bring up the most likely stations so you can look for the one you want in the list - useful if a town has more than one station - Try Amsterdam or any other place with many stations.

If you simply type in Amsterdam it defaults to a general search.

Once you know the separate legs of a journey it is always worth looking at the individual legs and routings for alternatives. So for example if your planner shows  A MS - Frankfurt - Munich always do a separate search for AMS - FRA and FRA - Munich as the planner only shows what it thinks is the best combination. FRA-MUN for example has a multitude of trains throughout the day by a few different routings.

Also the Brenner Pass is served by lots of regional trains stopping at the smaller stations bypassed by the EC trains.

Badge +4

Good ideas from Yorkie! Apart from the BRENNER line there is a fabulous cross country line from Fortezza (just South of BRENNER) to Dobbiaco and eventually into Austria. Use the Trenitalia site to find the trains as earlier this year RailPlanner didn’t have them! From Dobbiaco there is a bus to Cortina which connects with one of the trains (buy your ticket from the driver using cash). This line is a gem and I used it several times in April. All the towns in this area have twin names so do your research thoroughly especially for the bus times.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Good ideas from Yorkie! Apart from the BRENNER line there is a fabulous cross country line from Fortezza (just South of BRENNER) to Dobbiaco and eventually into Austria. Use the Trenitalia site to find the trains as earlier this year RailPlanner didn’t have them! From Dobbiaco there is a bus to Cortina which connects with one of the trains (buy your ticket from the driver using cash). This line is a gem and I used it several times in April. All the towns in this area have twin names so do your research thoroughly especially for the bus times.

keep in mind that on this line only the few Trenitalia trains on the line between Fortezza/Franzensfeste and SanCandido/Innichen accept Interrail. On the line there are same trains (whith the same colors) of the train operator SAD, they do not accept Interrail. Trains continues hourly also to Lienz in Austria. If the train is of SAD you can use Interrail from the border station of SanCandido/Innichen to Lienz, operated on this part by ÖBB. When it is a Trenitalia train, all the line in Italy and Austria it is included, because it is operated by Trenitalia and ÖBB.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

There are better ways to plan than using the Rail Planner, please read more below. 

Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 

 Planning

The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 

 Reservations 

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

https://community.eurail.com/train-connections-reservations-47/how-to-get-reservations-105

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass

During the activation process, when you choose the start day of the validity of the pass, the first day of the validity period is automatically made a travel day, even if you don't enter a journey, the advice is therefore not to activate the pass before the first travel day as you only can deactivate the pass before 00.00 on the day the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you will loose travel days if you have activated the pass in advance.

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

In the Schwarzwald (black forst-cuckoo clock land) most HTLs etc there will give you the free KONUS card-which allows free train+Bus travel whilst you stay there (not on arrival day)-but have to check which places wil do, not the major cities like Freiburg/Offenburg. Just google and spend some time to read it all-it will link to all places to accept RES to stay. But for just 12 days in total this may be a little too much. The trip alone from Sicily to Milano-a through overnite treni-will take > 20 hrs.

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