General Information about Italian Rail
The high-quality rail network and transportation infrastructure have made trains one of the most popular ways to travel in Italy for work or pleasure. From popular destinations and train routes to information about Italian train companies and how to buy cheap train tickets, this page provides an overview of everything you need to know about train travel in Italy. Alternatively, if you are planning on taking multiple train trips you can choose to purchase a Eurail pass for train travel in Italy.
Everything you need to know about Italian train companies
There are two main train companies that operate throughout Italy, Trenitalia and Italo. Trenitalia, which was Italy’s national rail provider until 2011, still covers most Italian train routes. Italo currently only offers high-speed train routes between major Italian cities like Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Milan, Turin and Bologna. Trenitalia Frecciarossa and Italo’s NTV are high-speed trains, which run routes between Italy’s largest cities.
|Trenitalia: Trenitalia is Italy's main train company, traveling between 200 cities in Italy. Trenitalia also operates Intercity Night trains between distant Italian cities.|
|Trenitalia Frecciarossa: Trenitalia's Frecciarossa and Frecciarossa 1000 trains are the fastest trains in Italy, reaching top speeds of 300 km/h and 400 km/h respectively. Frecciarossa trains run along 4 routes in Italy:
|Trenitalia Frecciargento: Trenitalia Frecciargento trains are the second fastest type of train in Italy, reaching top speeds of 250 km/h. Over 50 Frecciargento trains travel through Italy every day. For example Frecciargento trains travel from Rome to Verona in 2 hours and 50 minutes and from Rome to Venice in 3 hours and 19 minutes. The newest Frecciargento train route travels from Rome to Bolzano in 4 hours and 30 minutes.|
|Trenitalia Frecciabianca: Frecciabianca trains are the third fastest type of Trenitalia train. Frecciabianca trains run 86 routes in Italy every day, primarily between large and medium sized cities. For example, Frecciabianca trains travel from Milan to Ancona in 4 hours and from Genoa to Rome in 3 hours and 30 minutes.|
|Italo: Italo is a high-speed train company created in 2011 as an alternative to Trenitalia. High-speed Italo NTV trains travel up to 360 km/h and travel along 4 routes in Italy:
Many companies operate modern fleets with comfortable, reclining seats, wifi and air-conditioning. Compare the services available.
Further facilities and services may vary according to the transport company and country of operation. For more detailed information about providers, please refer to our comprehensive list of luggage restrictions.
Most Italian cities are linked by rail. The most popular train routes in Italy are between major cities like Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan and Naples. All large cities are connected by Trenitalia’s Frecciarossa and Italo’s NTV high-speed trains. Regional and scenic routes are also quite popular given Italy’s undeniable beauty. Specifically, there are two train journeys worth noting for traversing some of the most scenic landscapes in Italy - the Bernina Express between Italy and Switzerland, which journeys across the Alps, and the Trenino Verde or Little Green Train, one of the longest tourist rail routes in Europe traveling through 404 km of wild and unspoiled scenery on the Italian island of Sardinia.
Taking the train is one of the most popular ways to travel in Italy. Trains are often more convenient than taking flights since they usually depart and arrive in city centers and do not require lengthy waiting times at the airport. Trains also usually allow more luggage when compared to flights.
The train network covers Italy's 20 regions with upwards of 16,000 kilometers of railway tracks and more than 2000 train stations. Italian trains transported over 854 million passengers in 2013. Traveling by train in Italy has grown in popularity by over 100 million yearly passengers over the past decade. The opening of European train markets to private business has resulted in competitive prices between companies. Travel search engines like GoEuro are a valuable tool for finding the best deals on train tickets.