What I love about traveling in Europe is how easy it is to get to another city or across the border just by hopping on a train. The railway system in Italy in particular works quite effectively and the frequent train schedule allows you to go for impromptu trips with the help of an efficient online booking system.You can purchase tickets from any one of these websites:
www.trenitalia.com (Frecciarossa Trains)
www.italotreno.it (Italo Trains Only)
Note that each website publish different fares even though the train operators and schedules are exactly the same, so just purchase the cheapest one available.
We had experienced the Business Class on Frecciarossa train from Naples (Napoli Centrale Station) to Rome (Roma Termini Station) on our way back from Capri Island and it was a very pleasant experience.
The main difference between economy and business class are the seats, business class has leather seats with a seating configuration of 2-1. Whereas economy seats are fabrics with a 2-2 configuration. The price that we had purchased was only £14 more expensive than economy so for us it was worth the extra buck after a long day out in the sun.
Business Class cabins also offers complimentary snack and beverage service, with a train crew who walks up and down the aisle with a little cart just like in an airplane.
Rome to Naples train prices, Economy £40, Business £54
If you want to know the difference between each train class (with seat photos), check out Seat 61 Guide on Frecciarossa Trains in Italy.
We booked our train tickets on the new Italo trains from Rome (Roma Termini) to Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella) only one day earlier and there was no trouble finding a seat in all classes. The train prices are quite affordable with some fares sold much cheaper at certain departure times and business class seats are sometimes just €10 more expensive than the standard seat.
Train prices from Rome to Florence from Italo (italotreno.it) – Smart is a Standard Seat, Prima is a Business Seat
The main train station in Rome (Roma Termini)
The added perk of purchasing business class tickets is the Italo Club Lounge access in Roma Termini.
A self-serve bar and complimentary champagne (even at 8am).
I found out after getting on board the Italo train that there are 2 intimate suites with a max of 4 passengers for each suite. You can book this suite online under Club Executive ‘Salotto’, you basically pay for 4 seats for the price of 3 which would work wonderfully for a traveling group or a family. I saw at one timetable between Rome to Florence this space was priced at €200 for 4 people.
Italo Club Executive ‘Salotto’ (Photo: Seat 61)
Our seats however was categorized as a ‘Prima’ seat, still in the same carriage as the Salotto (Coach / Carriage #1) but it’s an open cabin consist of only 11 seats. You’d feel how private it is if the cabin is not in its’ full capacity.
There was also complimentary snacks & beverages offered by the crew during the train ride.
Charging port (no USB, just power port), tray tables, cup holders, seat pockets were adequate making the 1.5-hour train ride thoroughly enjoyable.
The ‘Prima’ cabin certainly felt new and clean, definitely worth every penny.
Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train Station