How to Travel Italy by Trains

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When I set off for Siena, I wasn’t sure the best way to get there. I thought about renting a car, taking the bus or taking the train. Honestly, each option has its pros and cons, but I ended up opting for the train. It would be the most comfortable, even if it wasn’t the fastest option.

The route from Rome to Siena involves a stop and train change at Chiusi. For €17 one way on the local train it takes about 4 hours to get from Rome to Siena. It could take longer if there are delays or if there is a long layover when switching at Chiusi.

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You can always opt for faster trains, they just come with a cost. I did not mind the time it took because I enjoyed reading on the train and looking out at the Tuscan countryside as we rode along.

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One of the perks of finding a hotel close to Termini Station is that if you plan to leave Rome on your trip, it’s easy to navigate the trains! You can search for train times online (I just used Google) and then you’ll know what time to arrive at the station. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure to make sure you have enough time to buy your ticket and find your platform!

Termini is a huge train station. It’s the main hub in Italy and Rome is a busy city. It will take time to ask around and read the boards. I felt totally lost trying to figure out which platform my train was departing from, so if you experience this just ask! You’ll see plenty of workers in uniforms with lanyards. You can also ask locals, although they may be in a hurry and unwilling to help you. I experienced this, which is totally understandable as people are always on the go! I just went up to another person and tried again. 8/10 times people will be very willing to point you in the right direction.

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Once you’re on the train, just relax. I listened to Ed Sheeran and read a book while we were traveling.

Travel Tip: One problem I experienced was pressure on my ears as the train entered tunnels just outside of Rome. This is a very common problem with fast trains, and unfortunately there is nothing to fix this. Yawning and chewing gum are some of the best remedies for this.

If you’re pressed for time, opt for a bus ticket. It’s not as comfortable but it is a direct route. If you’re feeling adventurous, try renting a car and exploring on your own. I was happy I took the train because I was able to relax, and it’s not a popular form of transportation in the United States. If you do it once, you can do it anytime from any station.

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