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TrenItalia

I usually wouldn't mind buying all my train tickets in Italy, but for a few reasons I wanted to buy the ticket for my first train ride (Roma-Lecce) the day I arrive. I didn't want to be stuck without at ticket at the train I wanted, and by buying in advance, you can take advantage of the 20% cheaper Amica fare.

But from reading Slow Talk, I got a little worried - there were many threads were people lament not being able to buy tickets on the TrenItalia website with US credit cards. Two of the latest threads were these: Trenitalia booking tix b4 you go and TrenItalia online tickets. The last thread provides a link to a post on the Fodor travel forum: Trenitalia – How I Successfully Bought Train Tickets on the Web, where a poster by the name of Michael explains step by step how he was able to buy tickets - and it seemed extremely difficult!

So Sunday morning I armed myself with a US credit card, a Norwegian credit card, and determination. I registered, got a password on email (right away), and started the purchasing process. I found the train I wanted, clicked on it, selected my class and fare, entered my card information - and that was it. I was the holder of a second class reserved seat ticket from Rome to Lecce.

I don't know if I was extremely lucky but none of the bad stuff happened - and I did not use a CitiBank card, as recommended, or call my credit card company to tell them that I was going to buy from an Italian site, or any of the other things that were supposed to guarantee success. I did do the process in Italian but I can't imagine that makes a difference. Edited to add: I used the American credit card, a Visa card from a smaller bank.

I plan to buy tickets for another train ride as well, because it is on May 1 (Labor Day) and because I want to get the Amica fare. I am crossing my fingers that it will be as easy!!

Comments (7)

Jane:

Hi E, which credit card did you use? The Norwegian or the US?

Jane, good question! I forgot to say that I used the American credit card. Regular visa card from a smaller bank.

I can just picture you "armed with your credit cards" :) Glad it worked. I bought a ticket a couple of years ago (first ticket after landing in Italy) with success. I also used the Italian language site. I wonder if that is the big difference? I didn't try the past couple of years after reading about all the problems. Maybe I should try again.

It would probably be good to buy a ticket for May 1st even if you did not get the Amica fare (but I am crossing my fingers for you that you do).

I can't wait to hear about your travels by train to Lecce. I have wanted to go there but have been a little discouraged by the train travel (being so long) and also not knowing if traveling in that area without a car would be workable.

ps...sent you an email about my hotel questions.

sandrac:

Chiocciola, you've inspired me! I had been discouraged by all the forum chat over how hard it is to use the TrenItalia website. But I think I'll try it myself.

I've been going back and forth over whether to try to buy a ticket for my first train trip after I arrive in Italy. (I'll be landing in Rome and want to immediately take the Eurostar up to Parma.)

Like you, I usually just buy tickets at the station as I need them. But a Friday afternoon in June might be busy on Eurostar, so I think I'll get this ticket in advance.

OK I totally jinxed myself! I tried buying more tickets today and now the payment doesn't go through! Grrr...

Well, I am glad your "first" experience was easy. I never even attempted buying tickets online because of what people say on the forums.
Hang in there though, one day it will work again for you, I am sure, just like it did the first time:)


Thanks for the encouragement, Candi!

This is a very back and forth tale - today I used my Norwegian visa card to buy more tickets. I got a great rate from Bolzano to Munich, only 19 dollars for a four hour train ride. However, the site looks different from this weekend and I can't seem to find the Amica fare anywhere! Very confusing, that's for sure.

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