Evening lovelies! Riding the trains in Italy were such an experience. It was the convenience of a flight with a little charm thrown in. I like flying and enjoy looking at the clouds as we fly to our destination, but there's something about looking out the window and seeing the Italian countryside that really made the trip feel a little more authentic.
In Europe, the train can be a great asset. It is quick, comfortable and can be cheap if you book in advance! Before our itinerary changed, I had planned on taking the Eurostar from London to Paris. It's only a two hour ride and its 70 USD one way pp. The Eurostar is also a great choice if you are traveling through northwestern Europe (Amsterdam, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany). Since we didn't go that route, I didn't do too much research but this is a very detailed and helpful site called Seat 61 for any questions you might have about traveling by train in Europe.
We flew between countries, but took the train within Italy itself. Here is how it went down:
VENICE TO FLORENCE
We didn't have any scheduled plans and weren't sure what time we would want to leave Venice, so we decided to just buy our tickets to Florence at the Santa Lucia terminal once we were ready to leave. I was a little scared the prices would be super inflated, but they were pretty reasonable. We ended up spending about 63 USD pp and traveled on Trentitalia. I had heard some bad reviews but it ended up being a wonderful experience. It was roomy and comfortable, the seats had a built in outlet for charging electronics, and there was a on train snack bar that was decent but pricey.
Once we got on the train, I realized we should've stopped and picked up some meats and cheeses before getting on the train to save a little money. We sat in this quaint little arrangement where the seats faced another set of seats with a table in between. This woman and her young son sat in front of us. YOU. GUYS. Kids that speak another language are the most adorable things I've ever seen. The whole time we were on the trip I would eavesdrop on kids just to hear them talk. One time in an airport I even heard a little english kid say "Mummy, can I have some sweets?". That was definitely a huge London bucket list item for me! (I know. I'm a little strange..) But anyway, this kid was Italian and adorable. Don't believe me? Check it for yourself. This is a mini tour of our seats on the train, a long train ride out of Venice and then me being a creeper on the little kid. Don't judge that or my poor videographer skills, prego.
This woman was so nice and spoke pretty decent english so we had a nice little chat on our ride. Jon befriended the little boy by sharing snacks which is international kid speak for friendship. I digress.. bottom line, if you are going to be traveling by train in Italy, I definitely recommend Trentitalia. They are even having a 2 for 1 sale right now on Saturdays so plan accordingly to sweep up this deal!!
We booked the train from Florence to Rome in advance through Italo for 42 USD pp. I knew what time we would be heading to Rome so this was easy to book in advance. I was pretty excited for this train ride because I had read excellent reviews about this train company which was supposed to be new and modern. I was a bit disappointed because we got put in seats that weren't laid out how I had chosen. I had booked two seats facing each other similar to the ones from Venice but we got stuck in seats laid out like an airline. This wasn't a huge deal, but didn't have the same magical feeling as the first train. If this had been our only train, I would have felt like we missed out. This train also had the plugs in the seats and were pretty comfy, so it wasn't a complete bust. But if you get the chance, choose seats facing each other! Trust me! I know this was the most basic of train reviews, but we just didn't have a ton of experience with them. Hopefully you were able to get something out of this review that can help you plan your trip! Even if you didn't, you got to see an Italian kid say "Ciao, Venezia!" and that is a gem in itself. :)
Until next time!