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Validating train tickets in Italy.

Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
18 posts
9 reviews
Validating train tickets in Italy.

I am confused about this train ticket validation thing.

I have a ticket bought online for Termini to Florence SMN, so it is a printer paper ticket. Does it need validation before departure? How early or close to departure does it need to be validated? What color are machine to validate? (I have heard they range from yellow to green and white). Do the machine colors signify any difference ?

All machines can validate all types of tickets (paper print , metro, long distance), is this a correct assumption?

For the Roma Pass how to validate it for multiple use on buses and metro?

Do the responses for the above apply to all other major cities in Italy (Florence, Pisa, Milan?)

Thank you all in advance for your responses, I've been lurking this forum and learned so much from all of you!

Roma
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
14,112 posts
786 reviews
1. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

One must validate just the ticket that one doesn't book (the ones for regional trains). If you book, the date and the schedule are just shown on the ticket and you have not to clarify them by validating.

The machines to validate are either yellow (the old version) or green and white (the recent version). You can find both, and you can use both - if, just if, you have to take a regional train, of course.

These rules are valid for trains in whole Italy (Pisans will be very proud that you regard theirs as a major city...)

Edited: 2:40 pm, November 18, 2013
GAC
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
8,832 posts
23 reviews
2. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

Even for the unreserved regionale trains, you do not need to validate the ELECTRONIC-type ticket, versus the PAPER-type (which MUST be validated).

BTW, when you print out an ELECTRONIC ticket, you essentially have a paper receipt. The PAPER ticket for the regionale train is purchased in Italy at the train station, electronic ticket machine, or travel agency. The PAPER ticket is not purchased over the internet or telephone (these are electronic tickets).

ELECTRONIC tickets for the unreserved regionale trains are valid (in most cases) only for FOUR HOURS beyond the departure time of the train noted on the paper receipt. In the case of an ELECTRONIC ticket for the Rome AIRPORT trains, it is valid for only 90 minutes (not four hours). Also, in the case of an ELECTRONIC ticket for a regionale train, you may NOT board an EARLIER train than the one noted on the receipt. For these reasons, PAPER tickets for the regionale trains are preferable to ELECTRONIC tickets.

When to validate the ticket?: Once you arrive at the train station and are waiting to board your regionale train. Many/some Italians continue the practice of validating the ticket only once they see the headlights of the approaching regionale train (or if they see the regionale train sitting on the platform being prepared for departure). That is what I do. That way, the PAPER ticket continues to be refundable in case the train departure is cancelled and the customer does not wish to use the ticket for a later train (once validated, the PAPER ticket becomes unrefundable after only 30 minutes, which matters in the event that the customer wants to cancel the trip or depart more than six hours later). Also, that way the customer gets full use of the six-hour validity (in most cases, there are a couple of exceptions) of the PAPER ticket after it has been validated. Validating the PAPER ticket too soon only shortens the useful validity of the ticket (to less than six hours, which is however usually inconsequential).

Now you know more than you need (or perhaps even wanted to know)!

Edited: 4:13 pm, November 18, 2013
Le Marche, Italy
Level Contributor
37,738 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

To sum it up succinctly:

If you bought the ticket online, no matter what kind of ticket it is, you don't need to validate, and it wouldn't fit in the machine anyway.

If you bought it in the station, you don't need to validate it if it has a reserved carriage and seat number.

Regional train tickets bought in the train station have an open validity and no reservations, and so they have to be validated to establish when they'll be used so they can't be used multiple times.

Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
18 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

Great, this definitely cleared it up , thanks guys!

Edited: 7:49 pm, November 18, 2013
Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
193 posts
83 reviews
5. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

i believe the Roma pass is validated with the first use (it is good for three days). After that you simple scan it and you are good to go.

Level Contributor
1 post
21 reviews
6. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

Thank you! Whew!

Le Marche, Italy
Level Contributor
37,738 posts
29 reviews
7. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

I may be wrong, but I believe that the new Roma Pass is totally magnetic, and doesn't need to be validated, just scanned, at the first use.

Buenos Aires...
Level Contributor
64 posts
152 reviews
8. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

By the way, if you can't find a working machine, just ask one of the guards, they will validate your ticket by hand (happend to me travelling from Naples to Rome)

Le Marche, Italy
Level Contributor
37,738 posts
29 reviews
9. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

If you can't find a working machine to validate a ticket, you have to ask a ticket inspector immediately after boarding the train.

Most of the trains on the Naples-Rome line are reserved trains, whose tickets don't need validation.

Nowra, Australia
Level Contributor
3 posts
86 reviews
10. Re: Validating train tickets in Italy.

Thanks so much for all of this information. I have just purchased several tickets online here in Australia and was wondering about the validation issue.

Thanks again to all who responded.