On our recent trip to Italy, we used trains to get from the cruise port to Rome to Florence to La Spezia and to Venice.
Would you believe there are now "train attendants"?... Yep, there is a new player in Italian train service called Italo... the official Italo site.
Seems the owner of Ferrari decided there had to be a better alternative than the government run, Trentalia train company...DUH, private enterprise versus the government?.
At any rate Italo services the major cities, and we found them to be fast, cheap, extremely comfortable, with extremely helpful employees... On your next trip to Italy strongly consider using them for your transportation needs.
If you want to see the major cities in Italy, train travel is the only way to go... Not only is a rental car much more expensive, but finding a place to park, especially in a town like Florence, is very difficult.
Save yourself the hassle, and go by train... For instance you can be inside the Coliseum in Rome in 10 minutes from the central train station in Rome... For $2.00 a person.
Remember, gasoline costs upwards of nine dollars a gallon in Italy... And train travel and eliminates dodging all the motor scooters.
We rode the Italo train from Florence to Venice, I happened to look up at the speed indicator... 300 km/h while we were in a tunnel... We were going over 200 km/h in the countryside.
Our train ticket from Florence to Venice cost us €30 a piece, or $40... From the center of Florence, to the transportation hubs to visit Venice, 10 minutes to the cruise ships.
All in very comfortable seats with friendly, helpful attendants.
The total cost of all of our train tickets, from the Rome cruise port, to Rome, to Florence, to La Spezia (Cinque Terre), to Venice cost $220 US for the two of us.
You make the most of your time in Italy, if you avoid airports and rental car agencies... Not to mention saving a bundle of money.
No security hassles, no standing in line, no wasting time while you could be seen the sights of Italy.
We also found that the Italo personnel speak very good English and are more than willing to be helpful whenever they can... Nearest grocery store, where do we catch the bus, etc. we always found them extremely friendly and helpful.
Every company, Italian or otherwise, could learn from Italo's approach to customer service.
Here is a great resource for overseas train travel
Thanks for reading about Italian train travel...Ciao