Traveling from city to city in Italy with kids is often something that families wonder about as they start to plan a trip to Italy. Many families try to pack in cities like Venice, Florence and Rome during a trip, spending a few days in each city as a way to “see it all.” The question of how to get from city to city often comes up–wondering if it is best to rent a car, fly or take a train to get around. The answer of how to travel in Italy between cities is easy: by train.
I know this because living in Florence for a year, going back to Venice almost every weekend to see friends was part of my normal routine. Inexpensive, convenient and fast, the easiest way to travel in Italy–especially between Venice, Florence and Rome–is by train. The high speed train (called the “frecciarossa”) takes about two hours from Venice to Florence, and travels from Florence to Rome is about an hour and a half.
Why Travel by Train in Italy?
Traveling by train in Italy is perfect for children and for the entire family, as you can see the countryside without worrying about driving, traffic and rental cars. The trains run frequently throughout the day on these routes, and are usually very clean and dependable as they are used for business travel. Also consider that, that once you arrive in each of these cities, having a car is expensive for parking and is really not necessary for getting around. If you do wish to take day trips from any of the cities, you can always rent a car for a day.
The train stations that you would want are Venezia Santa Lucia (there is also a station on the mainland in Mestre, but going into Santa Lucia takes you over the bridge and into Venice, just a vaporetto (water bus) or motoscafo (water taxi) away from your hotel or destination. In Florence, the most centrally located station is Santa Maria Novella. In Rome you would want to travel into Roma Termini.
Things to Consider When Traveling by Train in Italy
Train travel in Italy does not require significant advanced notice or reservations, but–especially during the busy summer months–booking in advance can be worth it for the peace of mind. There are multiple websites that provide train schedules and prices to help with advance planning.
If you know that you will be spending substantial time on the train, one option that might help you save on travel costs is to purchase a Eurail or Inter Italy Pass.
Another reason I love travel in Italy by train is that looking out over the countryside gives you time to process what you have seen and plan what active adventures you will take in the new city. Children can use the train ride as down time to play games, look out the window or rest after being on their feet each day playing tourist, while Mom and Dad sip of an espresso from the food car or catch up on sleep. It is a win-win way to travel for everyone.