Trains to Italy

How to get to Italy by train

the Eurostar trains make high-speed rail connections to Italy a snap
The Eurostar trains make high-speed rail connections to Italy a snap
Italy is well-connected to the rest of Europe by train—even with the Alps in the way. You can get much more information about train travel in Europe, plus research schedules, fares, and railpasses, online at Rail Europe (www.raileurope.comRailEurope).

The Italian state railway is known as FS (stands for Ferrovie della Stato); its site is available in English at

Somewhat more useful for inter-European travel—no matter where you are coming from—is the German railways site (also available in English)

For example, the Italian state railways site claims you simply can't get to Rome from London (oddly, none of the three London train stations it offers as potential departures—even though all end up saying "sorry, no route"—is St. Pancras, which is in fact the only London station from which you can catch the Eurostar train through the Chunnel to Paris or Brussels and, hence, on to Italy).

On the other hand, the site shows more than two dozen possible connections daily between London and Rome, showing all sorts of permutations though various connecting cities.

Should I take a low-cost airline instead?
Instead of a long train ride, you can always hop an inexpensive no-frills airline. Fast, cheap, and convenient? What more could you ask? Well, carefully consider the time cost involved.

To figure out how much of your travel time a plane journey will eat up, take the flight time (usually 90 minutes to 3 hours within Europe) and then add 3.5 hours: an hour on each end to get to and from the airports, plus the 90 minutes you need to arrive at the airport before your flight.

That means most flights will end up taking, in reality, at least 5 hours—and an overnight train may still be the best option.

Conveniently enough, the aggregator Momondo ( shows you both air and rail options in Europe: plug in your cities, it will find the cheapest airfares (and tell you how long the plane ride it) as well as how long/how much the train is. Nifty.
All of that is a bit academic, of course, since most people these days would opt to take a no-frills airline flight from London (and perhaps also Paris and a few other cities that are more than 12 hours away by train)—see the box on the right to help you determine if this is the wiser strategy.

But if you still want to ride the rails to Italy, here's the skinny.

Travel times between major European and Italian cities

Below is a handy dandy chart to give you a sense of how long your train connections will be connecting major cities elsewhere in Europe with the big cities of Italy.

Note that this is the quickest you can expect to make the journey, using the fastest trains and the closest connections should you have to change trains.

Note, however, that sometimes the fastest option is not the best. Frequently, for some reason, faster trips involve more train changes—which is a huge hassle if you've already settled into a seat.

Plus, every train change—especially tight ones—is another opportunity to miss a connection and end up stranded for hours until the next train comes along. Unlike back in the U.S., European on-time rates for trains are excellent, but it's still a risk.

What's more, sometimes it's wisest to draw your trip out longer on an overnight train. In fact, to maximize your vacation time, I would advise using an overnight train on any journey lasting longer than five hours—rather than spending most of one of your precious vacation days simply sitting on a train, speeding past (admittedly gorgeous) scenery when you could, instead, be sightseeing in your destination.

(Note that, for runs of medium length that are kind of borderline—the journey might seem a bit too short to merit an overnight train—there is often an overnight train scheduled that goes more slowly than the speediest run of the day. In other words, the super-fast Eurostar train in the morning might only take 5:13, but the overnight run takes a more leisurely 9:45, giving you plenty of time to sleep.)

The other option, of course, is a no-frills airline, but see the box above to the right for some thoughts on that.

  Brindisi Firenze Genoa Milano Napoli Palermo Roma Torino Venezia
Amsterdam 23:21RailEurope 13:56RailEurope 12:17RailEurope 11:46RailEurope 17:54RailEurope 28:44RailEurope 15:41RailEurope 9:44RailEurope 14:36RailEurope
Barcelona 25.14RailEurope 29:13RailEurope 14:48RailEurope 13:50RailEurope 23:45RailEurope 34:39RailEurope 20:06RailEurope 12:15RailEurope 19:41RailEurope
Berlin 13:42RailEurope 13:52RailEurope 14:21RailEurope 11:47RailEurope 16:17RailEurope 26:52RailEurope 14:51RailEurope 14:12RailEurope 13:42RailEurope
Bern 14:00RailEurope 5:25RailEurope 6:40RailEurope 2:55RailEurope 8:36RailEurope 19:53RailEurope 16:37RailEurope 6:03RailEurope 14:18RailEurope
7:06RailEurope 10:38RailEurope 8:27RailEurope 4:49RailEurope 13:09RailEurope 4:55RailEurope 10:23RailEurope 9:14RailEurope
Florence 7:06RailEurope
3:41RailEurope 2:10RailEurope 3:16RailEurope 12:39RailEurope 1:37RailEurope 3:46RailEurope 2:40RailEurope
Frankfurt 17:21RailEurope 9:55RailEurope 9:52RailEurope 7:30RailEurope 12:20RailEurope 22:55RailEurope 10:54RailEurope 9:06RailEurope 10:44RailEurope
Geneva 13:55RailEurope 6:15RailEurope 7:11RailEurope 3:47RailEurope 8:43RailEurope 20:18RailEurope 7:17RailEurope 6:34RailEurope 6:58RailEurope
GenovaRailEurope 10:38RailEurope 3:41RailEurope
1:32RailEurope 7:13RailEurope 17:54RailEurope 3:59RailEurope 1:43RailEurope 4:10RailEurope
London 22:34RailEurope 14:48RailEurope 12:08RailEurope 11:10RailEurope 17:53RailEurope 28:58RailEurope 16:27RailEurope 9:35RailEurope 16:08RailEurope
Madrid 29:29RailEurope 22:30RailEurope 30:52RailEurope 17:42RailEurope 32:20RailEurope 48:24RailEurope 24:15RailEurope 26:21RailEurope 23:40RailEurope
Milan 8:27RailEurope 2:10RailEurope 1:32RailEurope
5:35RailEurope 16:20RailEurope 3:59RailEurope 1.40RailEurope 2:23RailEurope
Munich 14:40RailEurope 7:52RailEurope 9:22RailEurope 7:24RailEurope 10:59RailEurope 22:29RailEurope 9:19RailEurope 9:29RailEurope 7:09RailEurope
Naples 4:49RailEurope 3:16RailEurope 7:13RailEurope 5:35RailEurope
8:46RailEurope 1:21RailEurope 7:11RailEurope 6:11RailEurope
Nice 13:54RailEurope 7:07RailEurope 3:13RailEurope 5:00RailEurope 10:17RailEurope 23:07RailEurope 8:52RailEurope 4:08RailEurope 7:47RailEurope
Palermo 13:09RailEurope 12:39RailEurope 17:54RailEurope 16:20RailEurope 8:46RailEurope
10:44RailEurope 20:15RailEurope 15:52RailEurope
Paris 19:35RailEurope 10:36RailEurope 8:09RailEurope 7:08RailEurope 12:28RailEurope 23:50RailEurope 11:35RailEurope 5:35RailEurope 11:16RailEurope
Prague 23:24RailEurope 14:48RailEurope 16:52RailEurope 13:51RailEurope 18:33RailEurope 30:21RailEurope 17:06RailEurope 15:56RailEurope 13:08RailEurope
Rome 4:55RailEurope 1:37RailEurope 3:59RailEurope 3:59RailEurope 1:21RailEurope 10:44RailEurope
5:40RailEurope 4:16RailEurope
Turin 10:23RailEurope 3:46RailEurope 1:43RailEurope 1:40RailEurope 7:11RailEurope 20:15RailEurope 5:40RailEurope
Venice 9:14RailEurope 2:40RailEurope 4:10RailEurope 2:23RailEurope 6:11RailEurope 15:52RailEurope 4:16RailEurope 4:15RailEurope
Vienna 18:11RailEurope 9:48RailEurope 13:19RailEurope 10:26RailEurope 13:40RailEurope 24:38RailEurope 11:43RailEurope 12:57RailEurope 7:54RailEurope
Zurich 13:02RailEurope 5:51RailEurope 5:33RailEurope 3:41RailEurope 9:01RailEurope 19:27RailEurope 7:27RailEurope 5:41RailEurope 6:31RailEurope


Tips & links

Useful links & resources

Share this page

Intrepid Travel 25% off


Useful links
Train tix

Shortcuts to popular planning sections:

Airfares, Cars, Trains, Tours, Packages, Cruises, Lodging, Itineraries, Info, Packing, Prep, Comm

Follow ReidsItaly
Follow ReidsItaly on Twitter  Join the ReidsItaly fan page  Follow Reids Italy Adventures blog