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Trenitalia driving me nuts!

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Trenitalia driving me nuts!

OK - Just wondering if there is anyone out there with an Aussie credit card (or, at least, a non-Italian or European issued credit card) that has successfully purchased a train ticket on the Trenitalia website?

I'm getting through to the purchase part, but it comes back "payment denied"

In any case...how easy are the self-service ticket booths? How early before a train should I book/ ie. do I need to purchase tickets the day or two days before, or can I do it half an hour before the train departure?

I'm travelling to Italy early December....

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1. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

Have just returned from Italy and used the trains from Milan to Como, Como-Venice,Venice -Ravena, Ravenna -La Spezia and then to Lucca and Florence. Like you ,found trenitalia difficult so we winged it and did not prepurchase-found tickets to be readily available on the regional trains but couldn't get first class eurostar-2nd class fine!Many regional trains do not have first class anyway.Automatic machines OK to use esp in Roma hwere multilingual instructions. Or I would prepurchase a day or two before or leave a good 1/2 hour as queues can be long and slow moving. Early Dec should be OK crowd wise. Travel agent may be able to get tickets for you if you want to be sure about tickets. Don't forget to validate ticket in the yellow box before you travel.Depends how flexible you want to be-schedules are up on every station so easy to see when next trains are. We found the trains excellent-punctual and most ticket sellers are kind and patient with tourist Italian speakers.

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2. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

Sensational - thanks for the help!

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3. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

I was in Italy the past few weeks and bought tickets at the stations (using the machines). We travelled Venice to Florence and then Florence to Rome, it was so easy, there was an english option and once you pressed that, no problems.

We bought our tickets on the day we travelled, just rocked up to the train station with our bags. The trains are really nice and there's always enough room. I would suggest though to be one of the first to board if you can, because the space for luggage fills up fast.

We used cash to pay as I had found in France that it wouldn't accept my Australian credit card and I didn't want to go through the process in Italy to have it denied again.

As the previous poster said and I can't stress enough, VALIDATE your ticket in the yellow machines (near the platforms) if you don't do this you cop a fine on the train (one of my friends travelling last year had to pay a 50 euros fine). So to summarise, buy your ticket in the ticket machine and then go to the yellow validating machine and validate it.

Enjoy your trip!

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4. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

AussieBecs, don't feel bad, thousands of us here in the States cannot purchase tickets on Trenitalia's website either. I tried numerous times, with numerous credit cards even different computers. I finally gave up. When I arrived in FCO, I went to their ticket office at the airport with a list of trains/dates and I bought all my tickets then and there. Purchasing your tickets a few days ahead of each trip, works well from all that I've heard.

I will be returning in mid-December - I expect things to be less crowded, except towards the end as I am returning to the states just before Christmas.

Relax and don't worry - it's all good in the end :-)

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5. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

AussieBecs, we had that problem with the trenitalia website and finally bought our tickets from Rail Europe because we wanted to have all our tickets when we got there. We had a problem with one of our reservations from Milan-Rome because we missed the train since it was announced to go to Napoli instead of Rome. Nobody was willing to help us because they kept telling us that because it was an internet reservation you had to call some number. Even the ticket counter said that. The number did not work. So it's best to buy your tickets when you get there. All the trains we took still had seats empty.

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6. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

I'm surprised to hear many had problems purchasing with their credit cards. Everything worked out smoothly when I got the tickets on my last trip. Did they change the system recently? I'm in the midst of figuring and deciding my route for a trip this month. I guess I have to cross my fingers and pray my payment won't be denied this time. ;(

AussieBecs, I did buy one of the tickets at the station when I got to Italy though. Maybe I was trying to travel in popular time or something, but the train I wanted (Eurostar) was all sold out. But they still had seats left for the later trains so we just got on the next Intercity train. It took a little longer but it wasn't too bad. Unless you're planning to travel very late in the day, you won't have much problem getting on whatever available at the time. Getting all the tickets as soon as you arrive as a previous poster said might minimize the fuss if you are moving from a city to city throughout your trip.

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7. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

<< I'm surprised to hear many had problems purchasing with their credit cards. Everything worked out smoothly when I got the tickets on my last trip. Did they change the system recently? I'm in the midst of figuring and deciding my route for a trip this month. I guess I have to cross my fingers and pray my payment won't be denied this time. ;( >>

I live in Italy, but I have an American credit card that I often use. I've used it for years to buy tickets on the trenitalia site. Recently it has stopped working; as reported by AussieBecs, it says that payment was denied. However, by going to the Verified by Visa website, I can see that it was approved. spent some time on the phone with trenitalia customer service last week, and they told me that they're having problems with international credit cards. He couldn't say if this was going to be corrected soon.

I try to buy tickets ahead of time for various reasons: the station I use is a small station and doesn't have ticket machines. The ticket window is closed in the early morning, late at night and when the agent is at lunch. If you buy tickets at least the day before, you can usually get an Amica fare, with a 20% discount (not available on all trains).

If you are not travelling during a holiday, or on a Friday or Sunday evening, you can almost always get a ticket at the last minute, If not in the class you want, then in the other. The worst that could happen is that you would have to take a different train. If possible, buy your tickets a day or two in advance, and ask for the Amica fare.

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8. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

Hi AussieBecs I am an Aussie who used an Australian credit card and got tickets through the Trenitalia website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes I do feel very special LOL! but it took a LOT of perserverance.

To start with do you have a credit card that has the Verify by Visa or Secure Code (for Mastercard)? Very few banks even offer that option in Australia and neither of my banks had even heard of it. I think the problems with Trenitalia seem to be related to these new security measures. If you have Verify by Visa then resetting passwords, allowing pop ups etc can sometimes work - do a search for details. If you don't have Verify by Visa then you just automatically get denied and it seems that there is nothing you can do! If you have an AMEX card then definitely give that a go. It doesn't have the extra security step. I still called AMEX before the transaction so that they would approve it.

What type of tickets are you trying to buy? How many people travelling and how flexible are you?

If you are alone or a couple, with flexible plans, and you are just wanting easy tickets like Rome to Florence etc then I think you should just wait until you get to Italy to buy your tickets.

However if you are in a large group, HAVE to catch a certain train or need overnight sleepers (this was my problem) then it would be worthwhile trying again and again and again with Trenitalia or paying the extra to buy with Rail Plus to guarantee your seats.

I was ready to buy with Rail Plus (overnight tickets for 4 from Rome to Nice) and was going to pay an extra 120 Euros when I finally tried my AMEX card.

Even though I was sucessful with that transaction I am buying my other tickets when I first arrive in Rome.

Good luck!

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Wenatchee...
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9. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

Can any of you give me an idea of that your train tickets cost? I am confused at buying a pass v. point to point. Mainly going to be in Italy, although we will definately go to Munich; perhaps Paris. Thanks!!

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10. Re: Trenitalia driving me nuts!

Italy has some of the lowest fares in western Europe. The fare varies by type of train, with the fastest, more modern trains costing more, of course. It also varies by whether you ride 1st class or 2nd class, and by whether you buy your ticket at least a day in advance, and by whether you want a "flexible" ticket, which allows you to change it without penalty *before* the departure of the train you reserved.

So it's hard to give an overall price, as you can see. However, on the route from Rome to Florence, the range would be 15.80 euros (2nd class on a regional train) to 56.40 euros (flexible ticket, 1st class, on an AV [very high speed] train). I would never buy that ticket, by the way. If I were traveling on a high speed train, I would choose 2nd class and would try to get the Amica fare, which has to be bought *before* the day of travel. This would be 26.40 on the high speed train.

You can use the following website to see schedules and prices, but at the moment they are having problems with international credit cards. Put in a hypothetical date in the near future, because they often don't have schedules posted more than a month or two in advance. However, the schedules don't really change much.

http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

You can see the price by clicking on the shopping cart, and then on the next page choosing the type of ticket. The only types available (for the most part) to tourists are: flexi, standard, and amica. The others require a special card available ony to Italian residents.

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