Travelling by train in Italy – transport of a bicycle. Practical guide

Practical guide

by Ewcyna

Are you planning a bicycle trip in Italy and wondering, how to transport a bicycle by train? I've been in a similar situation too.

I live in Italy for a few months of the year, north and south, I've ridden many routes by bike and with a bike, discovering less and more known corners of this beautiful country. Now, enriched with experience , I am giving you a handful of practical tips – here is a comprehensive guide to traveling with a bicycle on trains in Italy. In this article you will find information about trains, which are adapted to transport bicycles, approximate costs of such a trip and a number of practical tips, that will help you plan your trip efficiently.

Discover Italy by bike. It's an amazing country.

First, the good news is:
In Italy, you CAN transport bicycles by train

The Italian rail network offers various options for travelers with bicycles, From high-speed trains to regional railways, Each of them has its own specific requirements and capabilities.

And now for the details:

Types of trains in Italy

– Regional (regional, symbol RG)

– Regional fast (fast regional, RV symbol - does not stop at all stations)

– Intercity – between regions over long distances (the equivalent of Intercity in Poland)

 – Freccia (for example,. Frecciarossa, Freciabianca) - super fast, an equivalent of Polish Pendolino train

The carriage of bicycles on trains in Italy is allowed in the first three – ie. Regional, Regional high-speed and Intercity (Reservation is obligatory in this one).

Let me add, that in Italy, in addition to the national carrier Trenitalia, there are also local ones, e.g.. in Lombardy, Puglia. Every region has its own rules (yeah, we know it very well from our own Polish ground…).

Low-floor regional train

It is NOT possible to transport a full, NON - dismantled bike on the fastest trains called Freccia (Frecciarossa, Frecciabianca) or the equivalent of the Polish Pendolino or in Intercity night. Of course, you can play with folding the bike into a bag, so that it doesn't resemble a bicycle, baggage only, etc, – I once transported my bike from Sicily to Rome and back, but i had another, smaller bike at that time. Well it's a hindrance.

Taking a bicycle in regional trains

As in Poland, bicycle carriage is allowed on MOST regional trains (usually without reservation).

Here is the link to the subpage on the website of the national carrier in Italy, i.e. Trenitalia (the equivalent of Polish Railways PKP) where you can find the rules. And perhaps this could be the end of the, however, there are many nuances.

Taking a bicycle on a regional train is the most reliable choice, but it can fail in high season or on weekends, when there are a lot of takers. I will quote the regulations from the Trenitalia website:

..."On regional trains marked with a special symbol and limited to available seats, each passenger can take an assembled bicycle, by purchasing an additional bicycle ticket, which is valid up to the hour 23:59 on the date indicated on the ticket or alternatively on another second-class single-use ticket.

Train crew may not allow passengers to carry bicycles onto the train in the case of, when the transport of the bicycle is considered to be detrimental to the train crew.".

A large part of regional trains are low-floor trains, Some, however, (mostly Regionale Veloce) these are not very new , where the bicycle compartment is at the end of the train and you have to climb the stairs (“yeah, "bravo.."”). You should also be careful, because on some regional trains it is officially not possible to transport bicycles – These are usually very old trains (two-car diesel trains) on very local lines.

There are stairs on many trains – or to the entrance, or to the bicycle compartment (…)

Up we go!…

Here's a comment based on my current experience - just such an old, and what can I say, terrible trains are now running on the route I sometimes use, i.e. Chianciano Terme – Siena and Grosseto – Siena in the center of Tuscany. I have never been refused transportation, the conductor did not react at all, but fellow Italians talked about cases, when they were forbidden to board (region Veneto). There is no luggage space, not to mention space for a bicycle, there are stairs to get on the train and just carrying an empty bike is a challenge for me - it's so high up, that I always have to ask for help. I have to stay in the vestibule most of the time, even though the train is empty (weekend in winter) I put it in the compartment.

in winter at the weekend
train, which I usually ride in central Tuscany. Nightmare.

A friend let me know, that they were recently refused to transport a bicycle by a similar train in the Veneto region.

It's good to know about Trenitalia promotions: It is possible to buy a ticket 3 (29 EUR) or 5 Day (49 EUR), which entitles you to UNLIMITED TRAVEL on regional trains throughout Italy (With few exceptions).

Italia in tour promo

It's a very bargain price and although it's probably a small chance, In order for any of you to plan such an extensive train ride, I took advantage of this promotion three times (including once because of the Black Friday promotion at half the price i.e. 14,50 EUR) and I crossed the whole of Italy on the way from Trieste, at the border with Croatia, to the very end of the heel, i.e. to Lecce in Puglia. I was going 1,5 day. It paid off, and it was super comfortable, because I could get on/off as I wished.

Unfortunately, I also had an unpleasant and unexpected surprise – a regional high-speed train from Rome to Florence, which several times earlier in 2019 r. I had no problem riding my bike because of the pandemic (???!!@) has a detached wagon for transporting bicycles and already at the station in Rome (By the way, it turned out, that it does not depart from the main station, i.e. Roma Termini as it used to be) It turned out, that I can not go. I had to get to Tuscany that day (1,5 h by train) And I took a risk – I bought a ticket without a bike ticket from the machine and just got on the train. It was Monday, the train was almost empty - the conductor was not happy, when he saw me, but he said something and went away, without even checking my ticket.

PS. What kind of addiction is this – pandemic – we don't transport bicycles??? What an absurd

Taking a bicycle in fast trains

Intecity train

My favorite on long journeys! It was a very pleasant surprise AD 2021/2022. When I was in Italy 3 years ago, it was not possible to transport bicycles by high-speed trains. Now all Intercity trains are equipped with a separate modern wagon, where in its part there is room for 6 bicycles (hooks) and plenty of space for luggage. It is always wagon no 3 and it is worth booking a sitting place there when buying a ticket – the system doesn't do it automatically, as it can place you in another wagon.

Bike ticket MUST be BOOKED when buying (how to do it? you'll find my guide at the end of the post). 

Unfortunately, as in Poland, this means, that tickets, especially in the high season, may be sold out and must be purchased in advance.

bicycle compartment on an Intercity train in Italy – cool!
that tickets, especially in the high season, may be sold out and must be purchased in advance

I took this type of train several times, on long journeys (more than 4 - 8 hours) for example,. Taranto in Puglia, in the very south of the country to Rome. I was alone in the compartment with the bike, But that was mid-January, did it in March too, just a few people. I also went north from Ventimiglia to Grosseto with a change in Livorno and from Salerno to Chianciano Terme. .

One more note about Intercity trains – the ticket price depends on the time, When we buy it. We can buy a ticket much earlier (more than a month) and the price can be 4-5 times lower than on the same day! Let me give you an example – the Taranto – Rome route can cost from 11,90 EUR up to several dozen EUR. Knowing your plans, decide earlier and buy for 1 EUR refundable (the opportunity arises at the completion of the transaction).  

PriceBicycle transport by train in Italy by region - fares

The standard fare for a bike on the train is 3,5 EUR. The ticket is valid up to an hour 23:59 same day

A note here:

– in some regions, that is: Apulia, Sicily, Abruzzo bike can be transported for FREE (see the table below)

– There are also regional regulations, which was very difficult for me to reach (standard - nobody knows anything).

– In Tuscany, where i'm most of the time lately, as it turned out, a kind seller at the Siena train station informed me, the following rule applies, that "the ticket costs 3,5 EUR, BUT in hours 9-16.00 during the week and at weekends the ticket costs only 1,5 EUR and you can move around on a train all day within a given province ". That sounds much better right? The problem is that, that no one else knew about it and, that the ticket machine (and most of the smaller stations only have vending machines), does not give this option.

– in the north in Lombardy (for example,. Milan, Bergamo, Lake Como area), if you are traveling with the local Trenord carrier, ticket costs 3 € and is valid for 24 hours. This ticket is only valid for travel within the region.

BIKE IN THE TRAIN - RULES BY REGIONS IN ITALY

BIKE IN THE TRAIN - RULES BY REGIONS IN ITALY
BIKE IN THE TRAIN - RULES BY REGIONS IN ITALYBicycle transport is free of charge
BIKE IN THE TRAIN - RULES BY REGIONS IN ITALYBicycle transport is free of charge
BolzanoIn price 3,50 € per day (can be used indefinitely on the selected day) for Alto Adige Pass holders, Alto Adige Pass or Euregio Family Pass Alto Adige families and for holders of season tickets for students and seniors with paid functions;
A daily bike ticket worth 7 € for people traveling with a travel ticket or season ticket other than those listed above.
CampaniaTicket for bicycles 2 €; Only one trip on the chosen day . Bicycle transport is free on Saturdays and public holidays.
Emilia RomagnaBike ticket 3,5 € is valid on TPER trains on the FER network in the Emilia Romagna region.
LiguriaBicycle transport is free of charge
MarcheBicycle transport is free of charge
ApuliaBicycle transport is free of charge
SicilyBicycle transport is free of charge
TuscanyThe ticket for accompanying bikes is equal to a fully-paid 2nd class ticket, corresponding to the first kilometer interval (10km); can be used for multiple journeys within the following validity period: On weekdays (Monday - Friday ) in hours from 9.00 to 16.00 and from 19.00 to 12.00 and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The Trenitalia Terms and Conditions apply to all other time periods from Monday to Friday
TrentoBike ticket 2 €. Passengers of age below 18 years of age traveling free of charge, using the discount on the Family Card, can transport the bike free of charge, if they are accompanied by an adult with a bicycle ticket. Free transport for working students and pensioners with semi-annual and annual extra-city passes and for holders of annual passes in urban areas of Trento, Rovereto and Pergine.

Because the process of buying a ticket with a bicycle ticket online is complicated and not intuitive, here is my picture tutorial:

Buying an INTERCITY ticket in Italy with the option of transporting a bicycle – step by step

(Remark – I'm still working on this section of the post).

At the end of the bonus! This is not a piece of cake. It took me a while to decipher this puzzle, Maybe someone will save the trouble.

We start with Trenitalia websites and search for the route we are interested in. Here, for example, the Rome route – Bologna.

search for a route that interests you
Options appear – You choose either regional, or Intercity, i.e. IC
You can preview, Is there an option to transport a bike. Remark! on the bottom right in front of “Continue” there is an option to select your seating place, that is “choose seats” . yes we want it!!
click on the course and enter your details (or create an account on the Trenitalia website)
Only after entering the data at the very bottom of the page shows the option to add a bike! you add of course.
you confirm
if you do not preselect the seat beforehand, you can be assigned a seat in a different compartment! Just like here. The compartment with the bicycle is a wagon 3 and gave seats in the carriage 5.

Where to check, whether the train take bicycles, Which app to use?

Of course it is on the Trenitalia website, you need to click on the composition description, but the Trenit app works best. Not enough, that shows connections and prices, this adds platforms and delays in real time. When entering a given connection, it shows us, whether the train takes bicycles or not.

So, you can handle it?

By the way, I invite you to my entries from Italy (the same tasty morsels) – Apulia – dolina Itrii, Apulia – practical guide and Toskania – Val d'Orcia – the most beautiful landscapes of Italy and Tuscany, Dante's lands - Mugello region.

Knock Knock!

I wrote this text with others in mind and it took me a lot of time to prepare. , maybe you can consider buying a coffee or a donation?

Buy me a coffee at buycoffee.to

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12 comments

Szymon - Znajkraj 28 March 2022 - 07:08

Cool, dzięki 🙂

When I think of trains in Italy, I immediately think of South Tyrol. The region has its own transport company, which also includes trains. And because it's the north of Italy, This could be the first region, with which Poles will have contact.

And so, it is worth knowing that you can travel through almost all of South Tyrol by train or from San Candido (Drawa Bicycle Trail), or from the Brenner Pass (Transalpine route Munich-Venice), and then through Bolzano to Merano (Via Claudia Augusta). More – some regional trains from the Brenner Pass start all the way from Innsbruck, so they can definitely be a good stage of such a combined journey, that you mention.

The majority (or all of them) With trains, it's convenient, modern Stadler Filrt with large bicycle compartment.

https://www.znajkraj.pl/files/styles/f/public/regionalne-pociagi-poludniowego-tyrolu-poludniowy-tyrol-2019-szymon-nitka-8469.jpg

Hugs! 🙂

Reply
Ewcyna 28 March 2022 - 07:29

Thanks Simon! Silently, I was counting on your 3 comment, because I haven't traveled to that region at all.
One thing is certain- The type of train and the rules in Italy are not uniform.
Maybe I will be able to check Tyrol
Ciao!

Reply
chmaraa 28 March 2022 - 08:41

Just in time for this post, because I'm going to Sicily and I'll probably have to take the train a bit, due to limited time. By the way, do you have maybe some routes to recommend there?

Reply
Ewcyna 29 March 2022 - 16:42

Hi, well, that it will come in handy. I remember, that I once took the train twice in Sicily.
I do not undertake to recommend routes, although I used to live in Sicily and I was there by bike for a long time, in 2006 year and I cycled more or less around. I liked it the most in the south, You could find smaller roads and nice beaches – Though now as far as I know they're shitty. I feel like going back to Sicily, but to the mountains. I would also explore the west, But as you probably know, most of the interesting places are in the East, south and north. The north is crowded.

Reply
Paul 17 May 2023 - 00:03

You are awesome! thank you for the info. Greetings from Slovakia

Reply
Ewcyna 20 May 2023 - 17:41

Happy it has helped you:)

Reply
Jack 1 March 2024 - 20:22

Hi, wiesz może czym różnią się te ceny za dodatek rowerowy dodawany w ostatnim kroku?
Mam pociąg łączonynajpierw jest Intercity – 580 – i tu jest jedna opcja, jasna dla mnieBICICLETTASupplemento bici – 3,5 EUR.
Ale potem mam pociąg Fast Regional – 3972, i tu już są 2 opcje do wyboru:
Supplemento bici giornalieroSupplemento bici – for 3,5 EUR
Supplemento bici biglietto signoloTransporto bic – for 14,20 EUR,

Reply
Ewcyna 1 March 2024 - 21:30

Nie mam pojęcia o co chodzi z tym drugim.. nigdzie we Włoszech nie ma przewozu roweru za taką cenę.. A w zasadzie w tłumaczeniu i to i to bilet dzienny.
Jeśli masz wątpliwości to ten regionalny można dokupić na miejscu. Ważniejszy IC

Reply
Jacek Rudziński 1 March 2024 - 21:55

Dzięki wielkie. So regional does not mean reserving a space for a bike, you will probably be able to buy it locally? Not like our Intercity, there is a limit 4-6 for the train?

Reply
Ewcyna 1 March 2024 - 22:04

What route is this?? Apparently there is sometimes a problem in the regional area on weekends. I've never worried about anything in my life.
What route? Although I don't know all of them anyway.

Reply
Jacek Rudziński 1 March 2024 - 22:07

Florence – Venice (first there is intercity to Bologna, then this Regio to Venice) – deadline 17 May.

Ewcyna 1 March 2024 - 22:12

As a side note, you have direct IC from Florence to Venice
The price of the Regio is definitely that 3,5

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