How to move around Italy:
Our recommendation is to combine car and train.
You will have much more flexibility by car in terms of timetable, it is more economical (especially if 3 or 4 people are travelling together) and the journeys are not too long (never more than 4h). In Italy there are a multitude of car-hire firms and most of them allow you to pick up the car in one city and drop it off in the next, which makes it very practical. Every day on our Smart Route we will tell you on which Smart Link you can reserve your car at the best price and where you have to collect it and drop it off.
Remember that in Italy they drive on the right (the steering wheel is on the left!). The roads are in good shape.
To rent a car in Italy, you'll need a valid driver's license from your own country and an International Driving Permit in the case you do not beling to the EU. Apply for the latter at least 4 weeks in advance at the General Directorate of Traffic where you live or through an automotive and drivers association in your country.
To make driving easier, we recommend using a GPS navigational system, which you can bring with you from home (don't forget to download maps of Italy) or rent along with the car (though it ends up being cheaper if you buy one, and also you'll be able to use it on future trips.
For those of you who do not want or can´t drive, as well as for some specific journeys, we recommend that you also use the extensive Italian train network (on our Smart Route, only the trips to the small towns in Tuscany and those of Lake Como are not accessible by train). On each day of our Smart Route we will give you the details you need to book your transport. These reservations, while not essential, are very convenient as they ensure you have a seat whenever you wish and at the same time they offer you the chance to change your ticket (even after the train has departed) and the possibility to cancel.
To make these bookings online at ItaloTreno everything is intuitive. Just take into account that if you select a sit with extra-space, food o cinema you will have to pay an extra fee.
With Trenitalia (the official web page of the Italian state railway service) the first thing you have to do is register, simply giving your name and email address. Once you have done that, you will receive an email with your password, which you must change on the link that will come attached with the same email.
To make reservations you will have to go to the search engine and mark:
- Type of journey (One way // Return Trip)
- Town or city of departure and arrival
- Approximate day and time of journey
Once you have been given the alternatives, choose the most convenient option and continue with the process of buying the ticket.
On the following screen you will have to choose:
- Number of passengers and class (we recommend 2nd)
- Price: we recommend the Base or the Promo (if it is available). They give you the chance to make two changes to your reservation, one of them up to 3 hours after the train has left (in case you miss it).
- Preferences for the journey: window or aisle
Click on "continue" and on the next screen you will have to put your details and type of ticket (go for Ticketless with payment receipt via email).
Following screen: check travel details and proceed to payment.
You will receive an email with your ticket details and the PNR code (booking reference number), which you will need to print out and show in order to board the train.
You can cancel these tickets on the same web (on the main menu that appears when you register) but always before the train departs.