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It's so integral to see the full picture but it is so very often overlooked, resulting in one of the most expensive puzzle pieces you've ever seen. Alice Twain Updated by Andrew Everything you need to know about buying train tickets in Italy or online, when you need to buy tickets in advance, special train passes.Italian train tickets (except print-at-home or "paperless" reservations) must be validated before boarding the train.There are small yellow or green machines at the entrance to each platform marked .Italy’s train system is operated primarily by the state run Trenitalia. For the most part, ticketing networks handle both the private and public train systems so public or private ownership of the train/rails is not usually a concern for the traveler.Planning your rail trip: You can use the Rail Europe form above to check train travel duration, train schedules and price train tickets to most major destinations (see relationship disclosure).Slow Trav Note: One trip in England, Pauline and Steve purchased a train ticket for London from a small town train station.The clerk sold them a ticket for Langdon, a small town in the other direction, because no one asks for a ticket to "London", they say the name of the station (Pauline thinks it was "Tower Station").

However, we think the biggest unknown of the Italian train travel puzzle is the validation piece.

Simply present your ticket into the slot and wait for the machine to stamp them, the date and validation code will appear on the reverse of the ticket.

Travellers who board the train without validating their ticket may be subject to a fine on board the train.

(The Italian "Eurostars" should not be confused with the Eurostar trains running between the UK, France and Belgium.) High speed trains, the Intercity trains and the Euro city trains are more expensive than the Regional or Interregional trains but they will get you to the major destinations faster.

Eurostar and Inter City tickets are usually issued for a specific date and time, and as such should not require the pre-boarding ticket validation as described below.

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