TrenItalia manages the railway systems in Italy, together with few other private railway companies. The rail network is well developed and widespread, especially between major urban centres and tourist areas. The fastest services operate between the major cities, while all other services (Espresso, Regionale) connects the smallest towns, and even if much slower they are affordable and reliable.
Train types and classification
Alta Velocità (formerly known as Eurostar Italia) - The cream of the Italian trains, these are services running at high speed connecting all major Italian cities. Some of these services are making use of the newly opened High Speed tracks, operational on the new Turin - Milan - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Napoli lined since the beginning of 2010. Reservation is always compulsory, and services include 1st and 2nd class travel, air conditioned coaches, soundproofed music, mini-bar service and/or restaurant car. Passengers travelling in 1st class coaches get a welcome drink and a small snack on boarding the train, the newspaper of choice and have exclusive access to the Club Lounge at the station.
Intercity - Comfortable and fast services connecting main cities and towns. Services include 1st and 2nd class seating, air-conditioned and no compulsory reservation requirement; however for passengers wishing to secure their seats in advance this can be done right here on this site, or at any Italian station, for a minimal extra charge.
IntercityPlus - Modernized & refitted services, with more comfortable seats than regular IC, sockets for laptops in 1st class and better designed tables, connecting main cities and towns. Services include 1st and 2nd class seating, air-conditioned coaches, mini-bar and restaurant car. The compulsory seat reservation requirement is included in the ticket price at the time of purchase.
Eurocity - Intercity day services when in Italy, these are effectively trains coming from bordering countries connecting main cities across Europe. They might not be run by Trenitalia, and they do not require a compulsory reservation once in Italy.
IntercityNight - Intercity services travelling long distances overnight across Italy, they carry comfortable sleeper accommodations, from a couchette (bunk bed) in a 6-berth compartment to the new ‘comfort’ 4-berth compartments; from double and single sleeper cabins, with proper beds and washbasin with hot and cold water.
Espresso - Usually travelling long distances overnight, mostly 2nd class only with couchettes and sleepers available.
Regionale - Local services stopping everywhere, they can take you to the most rural location and most of them have 2nd class coaches only.