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What do you need to know when travelling in Italy?

Every day thousands of people come to Italy to discover the most beautiful country in the world. Every day these thousands of people catch buses, subways, trains, flights and go trough routes and highways, from North to South, understanding the distance with them countries.

One of the problems that many travelers spot, arrived in Italy, concernes distance among towns and districts.

Main public transportation are trains, buses and flights, above all if you would arrive to Sardinia and Sicily from Milan, Rome, Florence or Venice.

Today, with the same example, I would like to explain why travelling in Italy could be expensive for timing and economic burden.

If you have set to visit the North of Italy and you are based in Milan, the fashion and shopping capital, the best vehicle to move with is the train.

The railroad is managed by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), called with the name of Trenitalia, which manages all districts and national lines, included high speed trains, Le Frecce (i.e. the arrows), that work from Turin to Reggio Calabria, in the South. These trains connecting the main Italian cities and some of these outclass famous local flights, for example from Milan to Rome, because of the convenience of having a high frequency of travel and the opportunity of getting directly in the center of the city.

Since 2006 Trenitalia has a competitor for its high speed trains, the private company Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV) known as Italo Treno, than I favor for timing, customer assistance and special offers, especially in advance.

The only differences with Trenitalia concerns railroad stations, that aren’t often the “Centrale” (Railroad station) of big cities but that are well connected by subways and buses.

So, when you choose to travel to the North of Italy consider to take the train: you will save money and time.

Different matter if you visit southern Italy from Naples to Bari (Puglia) or Reggio Calabria before leaving for Sicily and Sardinia. The railroad network doesn’t have good connections and you’ll extricate yourself with local buses company.

Living in Sicily and working in hotel, a lot of travelers ask me to visit the opposite side of the island and come back in one day: well, forget it! Unfortunately, the districts of southern Italy don’t have modern raildroads and you’ll risk to spend a lot of time to go from one place to another. Personally I suggest that you travel by bus or rent a car, especially for scheduled journeys.

For example, for a coast to coast trip of the island, about 300 km, you will not spend less than 4 hours due to the lack of highways.

Italians know to be the “Bel Paese” but still can’t meet basic needs as trasportation.

So, if you plan to visit a lot of cities during your trip in Italy:

  • Check distances and trains on Trenitalia and Italo Treno official websites.
  • Write an email or call your hotel, b&b in Italy and ask how to arrive there saving your money
  • Check local municipality’s websites
  • Check the Italian Official Tourism Website: how to move across the country

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I'm a Italy lover, mom of two, living in central Italy and I love travelling. I have a degree in Tourism economics and management and now I'm a consultant helping businesses working in tourism.

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