Travel from the dreamlike to the substantial with a train trip from Venice to Milan.
Leaving the otherworldly city of Venice to get on a modern train and head for the fast-paced city of Milan may be a little difficult, but at least the trip itself isn't. Besides, Milan has some incredible attractions that not even Venice can match.
You could cover the 167 miles (268 km) in about 3 hours by car if you drove straight through, and if you're planning a winding route to visit the lakes en route then the car might be a good idea. For efficiency and cost-effective travel, however, the best choice isn't just the train—it's the Trenitalia AV trains.
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Frequent Trains from Venice to Milan
The route from Venice's Santa Lucia train station to Milano Centrale is so popular that 117 Trenitalia's high-speed Alta Velocità (AV) trains leave the canal city bound for Milan every day. There are 1-2 every hour during most of the weekday, and the fastest trains make the trip in just over 2.5 hours. The first trains leave Venice for Milan at 5:40 a.m., the last at 7:50 p.m. Ticket prices on this route range from $25-60.
Some of the slower trains, many of which require a train change along the way, take closer to 3.5 hours. Keep this in mind when you're looking at train schedules.
While Italo trains serve both Venice and Milan, there is no direct route connecting the two cities. You would have to take a train from Venice to Bologna (5 trains per day, 1.5 hour travel time) and then from Bologna to Milan (13 trains per day, 1 hour 20 minutes travel time), making the total travel time (not including time spent in the Bologna station) roughly 3 hours. In other words, it's possible to travel by Italo from Venice to Milan, but Trenitalia offers a better schedule—at least for now.
Note that weekends and holidays typically mean less frequent service and sometimes longer travel times.
Direct Trains from Venice to Milan
There are plenty of direct trains from Venice to Milan on the weekdays, with slightly fewer to choose from on weekends. Some routes that require a change are simply slow regional trains from Venice's Santa Lucia train station to its Mestre station, followed by a high-speed train to Milan. With lots of direct trains to choose from, you should be able to find one that suits your schedule—just pay attention to make sure you're not accidentally booking a ticket that requires a train change.
Amenities on Trains from Venice to Milan
The top of the line AV trains are Frecciarossa, and these train cars all come with air-conditioning and power outlets in the seats for your convenience. There are both 1st-class and 2nd-class cars (1st-class passengers get a free drink and a choice of newspaper), and a cafe car that's available to all passengers.
On the Frecciabianca trains, there are also both 1st-class and 2nd-class cars. As with Frecciarossa trains, 1st-class passengers get a free drink and a newspaper. Frecciabianca trains sometimes have a cafe car which all passengers can use, and power outlets are in both class cars at each seat.
Venice and Milan Train Stations
Venice has two stations, though one—Mestre—is on the mainland. Pay attention so that you don't get off too early. The station on the islands, where most people are going, is called Venezia Santa Lucia (sometimes abbreviated as S.Lucia), and there's a vaporetto water taxi stop right outside the station on the Grand Canal. Some trains stop at both Venice stations, while others stop at only Santa Lucia.
Milano Centrale, the city's main train station, is also a local transportation hub with buses and trams stopping outside and a Metro (subway) stop in a lower level of the station itself. Porta Garibaldi station is a smaller station, though it also has a Metro stop and several bus lines stop nearby.
See below for details on traveling from Venice to Milan by train.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Train Travel in Italy
From seat assignments and luggage space to the different types of tickets, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about train travel in Italy.
Arrival and Departure Train Destinations
Read on for information about Venice to Milan train stations.
Venice Santa Lucia
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