Let's assume such a scenario - you decide to go on a dream bike vacation in sunny Italy. You are flying by plane (how to transport a bicycle by plane I wrote here), or maybe by bus, who takes you to a specific place. You have a week, 10 days or two weeks, you want to see as much as possible, but you want to take the time to explore your dream region, and not waste time traveling. What are you doing in Poland? You often use the train to transport your bike. And how does it look like in Italy?
Because in recent years I have been moving around Italy a lot by bicycle and with a bicycle, I have prepared a bicycle and train guide about this country.
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).
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…).
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 have fun folding the bike into a bag, so that it does not resemble a bicycle, baggage only, etc, – once I carried a bike this way on the route Sicily – Rome and back, but i had another, smaller bike at that time. Transporting bicycles on trains in Italy is allowed in the first three - i.e.
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 volunteers. I will quote the recipes behind 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 go up 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.
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.
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, which entitles you to UNLIMITED TRAVEL on regional trains throughout Italy (With few exceptions). This is a very bargain price and although there is probably a small chance, so that any of you are planning such extensive train rides, but I took advantage of this promotion twice (this time due to the Black Friday promotion for half the price, i.e. 14,50 EUR) and I went through all of Italy on my way from Trieste, on 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, It paid off, and it was super comfortable.
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 does not depart from the main station ie. 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 chance – I bought a ticket without a bike ticket at 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, the train was almost empty - the conductor was not happy, I didn't even check my ticket.
PS. What is this connection – pandemic – we do not transport bicycles??? What an absurd
My favorite on long journeys! It was a very pleasant surprise AD and quite a novelty 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 in Polish IC.
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.
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 possibility appears at the end 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
Here's a note:
– 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||Bicycle transport is free of charge|
|BIKE IN THE TRAIN - RULES BY REGIONS IN ITALY||Bicycle transport is free of charge|
|Bolzano||In 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.
|Campania||Ticket for bicycles 2 €; Only one trip on the chosen day . Bicycle transport is free on Saturdays and public holidays.|
|Emilia Romagna||Bike ticket 3,5 € is valid on TPER trains on the FER network in the Emilia Romagna region.|
|Liguria||Bicycle transport is free of charge|
|Marche||Bicycle transport is free of charge|
|Apulia||Bicycle transport is free of charge|
|Sicily||Bicycle transport is free of charge|
|Tuscany||The 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|
|Trento||Bike 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:
INTERCITY ticket purchase 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.
Where to check, whether the train takes bicycles in Italy, what app to use?
Of course it is on the Trenitalia website, you have to click on the description of the composition, 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, Does the train have space for bicycles?.
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.
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?