Railway system in Tuscany

How to get to Tuscany by train.

The railway connections

The main railway station in Tuscany is Firenze Santa Maria Novella, which is connected to the Italian route Milan-Rome-Naples by fast trains operated by Trenitalia or NTV.

railway map of Tuscany

The map of the railway system in Tuscany (download)

Coming from Europe

If you come from nordern Europe, in some cases you would have to change train in Milan or Turin. From Eastern Europe, the exchange stations are usually the Venice ones.

France uset to have, but has no more, a direct train connecting Paris to Florence. If you travel from France you would get down in Genova or Milano Centrale, there is also a train operated by Thello from Paris arriving in Venice (Venezia Santa Lucia) and stopping also in Milano, Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, Padova. You have a 50% discount to reach Milan with a Frecciarossa if you buy at the same time a Thello ticket, this page explains the details.

EuroCity trains daily connect Italy with Innsbruck (Austria) and Munich (Bavaria, Germany). The connected railway stations are Verona, Venice and Bologna. There is also EuroNight connecting Milan&Verona and Venice to Vienna. From Germany and Austria there is also a direct link to Florence, please read below.

From Switzerland you always have to change in Milan.

Direct connections with Florence

German Munich Central Station (München Hauptbahnhof) is directly connected by Euronight train to Firenze Santa Maria Novella, as Innsbruck and Vienna in Austria. In addition, from April to October, a Euro Night train from Livorno, Pisa and Florence to Vienna and back, with car and motocycle transportation service from/to Livorno.

The rail operators in Tuscany and Italy

Actually there are two operators in Tuscany, while there are others involving local transport in other parts of Italy. These operators are Trenitalia and, since 2012, NTV.

Trenitalia

The regional and most of the Italian train service is managed by Trenitalia, a state-owned company. Regional trains are very cheap and connect many Tuscan cites, while faster and more expensive Eurostar AV and Frecciarossa trains connect Florence to other Italian cities. Intercity trains are cheaper than Eurostar, but have been cutted in recent years and very few survive. Regional and Intercity trains require the ticket to be stamped before boarding, otherwise you'll be fined.

Where to buy Trenitalia train tickets

Trenitalia train tickets are sold at many travel agencies and inside the stations. Inside the stations usually you have these options:

Stations' ticket offices
usually all stations have got one, some smaller stations have a limited opening time (morning only) and some very small ones don't have it at all.
Self-service ticket machines
The ones that sells regional tickets are always present, even in the smaller stations. The ones that sell also Eurostar tickets are present only in few stations (Firenze Santa Maria Novella, Firenze Campo di Marte, Pisa Centrale etc). They are touch screens with multiple languages available, they accept credit cards and some of them also accept cash.
Newsstands
Not many knows, but regional trains tickets (and only regional ones) are also sold by kilometric range. So if you travel inside Tuscany, for example from Montevarchi to Florence (52Km), you can buy a 60 Km ticket at any newsagent inside the station. That will save you a lot of time because at peak times long queues are not uncommon. They are based on Kilometres and not destinations like the ordinary tickes.
Trenitalia web site
You can buy tickets also on Trenitalia website, paying by credit card. It is better if you can print the receipt, so make sure you have a printer. You can use the ticketless option for some trains (Treno Notte, IC, Frecciabianca, ES*, AV Frecciarossa/Frecciargento or wagon-lits, couchette car, Excelsior/Excelsior E4 coaches). With Ticketless you are given a PNR code that you must tell to the inspector once on board, it's send by SMS or e-mail, there is no paper ticket. Ticketless is not available for subsriptions, so you are given a code to use to stamp your paper ticket at the station using the self service machines. Regional tickets bought on-line are personal, being associated with your first name and surname, so they can't be used by others and are also associated with the train. More precisely, it is associated with a starting time, as you can start your trip within four hours from time written on the receipt, so you could get the train following the one stated on the receipt, if there is one (there are almost always). That's not happening if you buy them in the railway stations, they have no name on it and the ticket can be used within two months of the date of issue.
Travel agencies
Many travel agencies are authorized resellers of Trenitalia tickes and they usually apply a charge for the service.

Stamp your ticket

Please remember that most train tickes (except Eurostar/Freccias with reserved seat) must be stamped at the yellow (or white&green) machines before getting on the train. If you do not stamp your ticket, you will be fined. If you are taking the train from a small village with all the stamping machines out of order or you couldn't find a way to buy a ticket, remember to search for the ticket inspector or the train guard (located in the first coach ahead) as soon as you get into the train.

The following are the rules for Trenitalia trains. If it's a regional train, you must always stamp it (or print the receipt when buying an electronic ticket via web). If you have a reserved seat on a high speed train (Eurostar/Frecciarossa/Frecciargento) stamping is not necessary as you could not have a ticked but just the reservation code (named PRN code). The same applies to tickets of Intercity trains, as it is related to a specific train and a reserved seat. Notice you can't be really ticketless on a regional train, if you buy it on-line you have to print the confirmation's e-mail, or at least being able to show it on a device (notebook, tablet, smartphone). A non-electronic regional ticket train is valid for two months beginning from the date stamped on it, after that it expires if not used (tickets bought on-line have a different policy, read above).

A detailed list of rules for passengers of Trenitalia trains in on this PDF file (853 KB).

NTV - Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori

A new high speed train operator started its service the 28th of April 2012, it's named NTV (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori) and its trains are called Italo. Regarding Tuscany, it is connected to other Italian cities by these two routes:

  • Turin, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Salerno;
  • Venice, Padova, Bologna, Florence, Rome.

Tickets are sold in the NTV's Casa Italo (an office inside the stations reached by NTV trains), on official ticket site and in some travel agencies. Please note that you can't use Trenitalia tickets on NTV trains as they are two completely different companies.