I’ve always been a huge fan of train travel in Italy. In fact, traveling by rail is my favorite way to tour the country. It’s efficient. And green. And fast. New lines are always being added. The cars are comfortable. Travel times from point to point get shorter and shorter.
Perhaps I’m not being clear. So, I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment while I shout this from the rooftops….GAWD I LOVE TRAIN TRAVEL IN ITALY (and France). Thanks, I feel better now.
Up to this point, train travel in Italy has been a government run operation, that company being Trenitalia.
But, not so fast. There is a new game in town. A new high-speed rail service owned by none other than Ferrari. It’s called Italo.
And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the sleek, modern trains sport a Ferrari red color. The spacious cars with panoramic windows and leather seats, offer built-in TV screens, direct cable TV, and free wifi throughout. Giddy with excitement I am! Dare I say, jumping for joy?
Service began on April 28, and last week, Italo made it’s first trip from Rome to Naples, traveling at speeds of 186 MPH, in a mere 70 minutes!
Note : The Rome to Naples train leaves from Tiburtina station, not Termini station.
Currently, the trip on the high-speed Frecciarossa train (which leaves from Termini) is 39€ for second class. As best I can tell, the lowest price on the new Italo train is 20€ for Smart Class. Me likey. Me likey alot.
Right now Italo has eight routes, with more planned for the future, which will form a Y-shaped map between Turin (left fork), Venice (right fork) and Naples (bottom of the Y). Three classes of cars include Club, Prima and Smart. Cinema cars have large screens and meals are served by smartly-dressed attendants and catered by Eataly.
Current cities served are Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples. Venice, Turin, Padova and Salerno will be added later.
Tickets can be purchased online, at self-service ticket machines or at Casa Italo – part office, part club, which are both at rail stations. There is also a frequent-rider program called Italo Più.
I think their website is beyond fantastic! Helpful, easy to navigate, prominently featured specials, true to life virtual tours and a ‘best price’ calendar, so if you’re price sensitive, it’s easy to find the best deal.
Let’s just say, if their trains and service are as good as their website, than color me impressed!
Tip: Find cool virtual tours of the different cars, lounge, cinema and Casa Italo here.
I’ve emailed the company to obtain more information about how booking works from the U.S. I’ll make sure to keep you updated as soon as I get some of my questions answered.
I’m pretty excited about what this means for train travel in Italy. I think in this case, competition is good, but I am also reserving my judgement until we hear more reports. So far though, it looks very promising. VERY. PROMISING.
And you bet your bippy I’ll be hopping an Italo train the first chance I get!
Are you as excited as I am? Would you ride the rails in style on Italo?
- Need help deciding on a rail itinerary or booking train reservations for Italy? Get in touch, I’d love to help!