Travel by train in Italy
In Italy the extensive train network takes you from the ancient relics of Pompeii to the picturesque Umbrian countryside, along the spectacular Tuscan coastline or the beautiful islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
Visit Italy's most famous cities Rome, Venice, Florence and Milan by regional, high-speed or night train with a Eurail pass and get great views from the train window along the way.
Find out more: What is Eurail?
Train types in Italy
A range of Italian trains will transport you across the whole of Italy and its islands, and to and from other European countries by day and night. The majority of the Italian network is operated by Trenitalia. Use the Eurail train timetable (operated by the Deutsche Bahn German railway) or Trenitalia timetable to check times for trains in Italy.
Regional trains in Italy
Italy's regional and InterCity trains operate frequent services across the whole of Italy, including routes through the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. It’s on these trains that you’ll meet Italians going about their daily lives.
Regional trains in Italy:
- Trenord regionale trains cover the central northern region of Lombardy (Lombardia), which borders Switzerland.
- InterCity trains connect key cities like Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence. They are relatively fast and make fewer stops than regional trains.
On the Eurail timetable InterCity trains are listed as "IC", and Trenitalia regional trains as "R". Trenord regional trains are only shown on the Trenitalia timetable and not on the Eurail timetable. They are named "Regionale". Regional trains do not require seat reservations. Reservations are however recommended for InterCity trains during high season (May - September) and public holidays.
High-speed trains in Italy
Le Frecce trains (formerly known as Eurostar Italia) are Trenitalia’s modern and comfortable high-speed trains that get you to all the popular Italian cities. All trains have: air-conditioning, large luggage racks, power sockets for electronic devices, plus refreshments and usually a restaurant car.
TrenItalia operates 3 Le Frecce (Eurostar Italia) high-speed trains:
- Frecciarossa connects the main Italian cities from north to south.
- Frecciargento connects Rome to the main cities in the northeast and south of Italy.
- Frecciabianca connects Turin and Milan to Italian cities in the northeast of Italy.
On the Eurail timetable Frecciarossa trains are shown as "FR", Frecciargento as "FA" and Frecciabianca as "FB". The Trenitalia timetable lists the specific Italian name, e.g. "Frecciarossa". These trains always require a seat reservation.
Night trains in and between Italy
International night trains: Night trains connect Italy with Austria, Germany and Spain, saving you travel time and money.
These night trains operate to and from Italy:
- EuroNight Allegro:
Bologna – Florence – Milan – Rome – Venice – Vienna (Austria)
- EuroNight Toscana Mare:
Livorno – Klagenfurt – Venice – Florence – Vienna (Austria).
- City Night Line:
Rome – Florence – Venice – Innsbruck (Austria) – Munich (Germany)
The Thello night train connects Milan, Verona and Venice by night with Paris in France. Eurail passes are not valid on the Thello as it is operated by a private railway company.
Domestic night trains: Travel between the north and south of Italy by night, saving you precious travel time while you sleep.
There is a domestic night train operating in Italy:
- InterCity Notte: Milan – Genova – Pisa – Livorno – Salerno – Catania (Sicily). This is a unique journey as the train is transported by boat across the Strait of Messina.
Euronight Allegro and Toscana Mare trains appear on the Eurail timetable as "EN". City Night Line appears as "CNL". InterCity Notte appears on the Eurail timetable as "ICN". On the Trenitalia timetable it is simply listed as "InterCityNotte". You are required to book sleeping accommodation in advance.
Scenic train routes in Italy
There are 2 scenic train routes that cross into Italy:
- Bernina Express: Chur – Lugano (Switzerland) via Tirano (Italy)
- Centovalli Railway: Locarno (Switzerland) – Domodossola (Italy)
Reservations for Italian trains
Trenitalia regional trains do not require reservations. As for the InterCity trains you only need to reserve a seat during the busy summer period (May-September) and on public holidays. If you want to travel between Italy's cities on high-speed Eurostar Italia trains, you'll need to make a reservation in advance. Reservations are also required for night trains; prices depend on the type of sleeping accommodation you choose. All the trains listed above are included in the Eurail Italy Pass, you only need to make reservations for the trains mentioned.
Please note that the number of seats available for Eurail pass holders is limited on the following high-speed train:
- TGV (Paris – Milan)
Tickets for the TGV route between Milan and Paris can't be bought at Italian train stations.
There's a RailEurope office close to Milan Central station (Milano Centrale). Here you can book the TGV from Milan to Paris or get help finding alternative routes.
Address: Via Viturvio 1. 20214 Milano
Phone number: +39 0240 32 6435
The office is a 15-minute walk from Milan Central Station.
We recommend that you make reservations for the high season (May to September) and European holidays as soon as possible. Make reservations up to 3 months in advance. To check availability for the train, contact a booking center or visit a European railway station.
In case a train is fully booked for pass holders you can:
- Check our alternative routes.
- Buy a full-fare ticket (saving you a travel day if this is the only train you take that day).
For more information about reservations in Italy:
Rail and ferry connections in Italy
Popular domestic train connections in Italy
View approximate train travel times between Italy's top cities using regional and high-speed trains:
|From||To||High-speed train||Regional train|
|Rome||Florence||1hr 30min||3hr 30min|
International train connections to and from Italy
We suggest the following routes to travel between Italy and other European countries:
- France – Italy
Take the French SNCF regional train to Ventimiglia on the Italian border, followed by a direct InterCity train to Milan (4hr) or Genova (2hr), where you can connect to trains across Italy.
View more train routes between France and Italy.
- Switzerland – Italy
Travel by EuroCity (EC) train direct to Milan from the Swiss cities of Bern (3hr), Geneva (4hr) and Zurich (3hr 30min).
- Austria – Italy
Arrive in Venice from Innsbruck (7hr 30min) on the City Night Line night train, or take the EuroNight Allegro night train from Vienna to Milan (14hr), Venice (12hr) or Rome (14hr). There is also a EuroCity day train between Innsbruck and Venice (5hr).
Travel for free on MICOTRA trains on the route Udine – Villach. Read more about the MICOTRA trains.
- Germany – Italy
Travel from Munich to Venice (9hr) on the City Night Line night train, or travel by day on EuroCity between Munich and Venice.
- Slovenia – Italy
Take a regional train from the Slovenian city Jessenice to the Italian border town Gorizia, and connect with another regional train to Trieste (4hr) or Venice (5hr).
International ferry routes to and from Italy
You can also travel to and from Italy by ferry. Certain ferries are discounted or free for Eurail pass holders.
- Spain – Italy
Travel by ferry from Barcelona in Spain to Livorno, Civitavecchia and Porto Torres (Sardinia) in Italy with Grimaldi Lines. Get a 20% discount with Eurail Italy Pass.
- Greece – Italy
Sail with Minoan Lines from Igoumenitsa or Patras in Greece to Ancona on Italy's Adriatic coast. Get free and discounted travel with a Eurail Italy Pass.
- Tunisia – Italy
Go by ferry from Tunis to Palermo (Sicily), Trapani (Sicily), Civitavecchia and Salerno with Grimaldi Lines. Get a 20% discount with Eurail Italy Passes.
- Malta – Italy
Travel by ferry from Valetta to Civitavecchia in Italy with Grimaldi Lines. Get a 20% discount with a Eurail Italy Pass.
Italy rail passes
The Eurail Italy Pass lets you see all of Italy's great cities like Milan, Rome, Venice and Florence.
Rail pass options for Italy
- Eurail Italy Pass starting from US$195 – spend your whole vacation exploring Italy and its 2 islands by rail.
- Eurail Global Pass starting from US$501 – have the freedom to visit Italy along with the other 23 Eurail countries.
- Eurail Select Pass starting from US$318 – choose from a 3, 4 or 5 country pass that combines Italy with bordering countries.
- Regional Pass – focus on visiting Italy plus 1 other country. Here are your options:
Eurail Italy-France Pass starting from US$269 – travel around famed French cities like Paris, Nice and Lyons.
Eurail Italy-Spain Pass starting from US$269 – visit popular cities like Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid.
Eurail Italy-Greece Pass starting from US$250 – explore capital city Athens and the beautiful Greek islands.
Example route in Italy
Fit in Italy´s top cities for a truly memorable taste of "La bella Italia". You can follow the suggested route below using a:
Eurail Italy Pass - choose 5 days in 2 months, starting from US$242
Milan (Milano) is Italy's cosmopolitan and cool northern city with a splendid cathedral and non-stop shopping opportunities.
Venice (Venezia) is a unique city made up of small islands separated by charming canals and linked by bridges.
Pisa is a must – head straight to Piazza dei Miracoli, home to the leaning tower and other great Romanesque buildings.
Florence (Firenze) is Italy's art capital with spectacular museums and galleries showcasing Italy's Renaissance prowess.
Rome (Roma) is brimming with top sites like the Colloseum, St Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums.
Naples (Napoli) is just over 1 hour away from Rome – a city rough around the edges and beaming with Italian soul.
For more route ideas for your Eurail trip, check out our European highlights itinerary.
Train stations in Italy
Italian hub stations
Italy's 2 main hub stations are Rome's: Roma Termini and Milan's: Milano Centrale. From these train stations it's possible to connect to trains to most of Italy's main cities.
Stations in Italy usually have excellent facilities, often including:
- Luggage lockers
- Foreign exchange desks
- Restaurants and cafés
- Tourist information offices
- ATM cash machines
- Elevators and escalators
- Access for disabled passengers
Extra benefits in Italy
Free and discounted ferry travel is an extra benefit of the Eurail Italy Pass. Get free and discounted ferry travel from mainland Italy to:
- Sardinia and Sicily (Italy)
- Spain and the Balearic islands
Eurail pass holders also travel for free on these international bus routes:
- Venice (Venezia) – Villach – Klagenfurt in Austria
Spelling of Italian cities
Italian cities on timetables
On Italian train timetables and at stations you'll usually find the local spelling of Italian cities and stations.
Here is the local spelling of some popular Italian cities:
- Firenze = Florence
- Genova = Genoa
- Milano = Milan
- Napoli = Naples
- Padova = Padua
- Pompei = Pompeii
- Roma = Rome
- Sicilia = Sicily (island)
- Torino = Turin
- Venezia = Venice
Train info for bordering countries
Get train information for the countries bordering Italy: