Surprise! Your TrenItalia ticket…is in Italian! This is for a ticket issued at the ticket window (sportello) or from a self service machine. If you’ve purchased single tickets in advance from Rail Europe (which I do NOT recommend) your ticket may look different as it may not have actually been issued in Italy!

Here is a diagram on how to to read your ticket with a reservation.

The anatomy of a TrenItalia ticket.

1 – Ticket with reservation

2 – Type of service. Regional, Intercity, Eurostar

3 – Type of fare. Base, Flessible

4 – Number of persons contained in ONE ticket. If you’ve booked for 2 people together it will say “N. 2 adulti” etc.

5 – “Present in case of change of train” – This really has two meanings. If you miss the train or need to change your reservation, your ticket is also your reciept. You must present it to make any changes. Secondly, you should always hold on to ALL of your tickets until your journey is complete. For example, if I had a second ticket for a change of train in Napoli, the conductor would see where I started my journey.

6 – The date (data) of departure. Dates in Italy are DD/MM so this is ticket is for May 4

7 – The time (ora) of departure. Train times in Italy are in 24 hour time. This ticket is for 9:27AM. If it had been for 9:27PM, it would have said 21.27

8 – Place of departure (partenza) and arrival (arrivo)

9 – Date of arrival

10 – Time of arrival

11 – Class of service. 1st or 2nd. I also recently took a night train in “comfort” class.

12 – Train number. On the modern, digital departure boards, the train number is listed.

13 – “carriage” or car number. It’s hard to predict on which end of the train “01” will be so I normally stand in the middle of the platform. Some of the stations that are going under remodeling now have displays on the platform showing the numbers of the cars. This is a nice new feature and prevents sprinting to the other end of the platform. If you find yourself on the wrong end, make sure you get on ANY car when you hear the whistle. The doors are about to close! Make your way to your seat from the inside.

14 – Seat number.

15 – The orientation of the seat. Finestrino: window. Corridorio: aisle. Mediano: middle.

16 – Notes. For example: if you’ve exchanged the ticket, the original ticket number will be here.

17 – Fare paid.

18 – Ticket data. If I can get my hands on a Rail Pass, I can explain how this information is used to book a reservation.

19 – The date stamp after validating the ticket. DON’T FORGET TO VALIDATE!


Here is how to read a ticket WITHOUT a reservation. Cheaper regional trains do not assign seats.

Trenitalia Regional ticket

1 – Ticket

2 – “Ordinary train” – because the others are oh so special.

3 – “To Validate”

4 – This ticket is good for 2 adults

5 – “Usable from [date] to [date]

6 – Distance traveled between departure and destination. Regional train fares are calculated by distance.

7 – Ticket is good from 6 hours after validation. So if you are running late, punch your ticket and still miss it, all is not lost, just find the next train. If the next train isn’t until after 6 hours, then you’ll need to go to a window.

So there is LESS information because you don’t need things like seat numbers, train numbers, etc. If you were a local and commuting everyday, you could buy several of these at once and as long as they are validated within the dates specified.

If you have any more questions, please let me know in the comments!

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  2. ah sì…#19: non dimenticare convalidare il biglietto!!! Colpevole!!! Won't do that AGAIN! And yes, they do make you pay a fine for not validating!
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  4. Is there any name on the ticket?

    I am asking because I have a typo mistake during my reservation of the self-service ticket in Trenitalia web site.

    1. I’ve never been able to book using the TrenItalia website but when I’ve observed other people using eTickets, the passenger has shown the conductor their phone or a print out and never presented ID. I think all you need is to be in the right seat with the reservation number.

  5. OK, I bought a ticket from Trenitalia online and I have my Booking code (PNR). They say I have a self service pick up procedure so what do I do when I get to Milan to catch my train to Zurich? I have a seat reservation so I think I am all set except ticket in hand.

    1. Hi Norman!

      When you get to Milan, you will find ticket kiosks on the level below the tracks. You will simply pick up your ticket entering the PNR code. Look for the word “biglietteria” on the signs if you don’t see a kiosk in a random place.

      I hope this helps.

  6. May be you want to mention that (19) ‘validate’ means that the passenger must look for a box (there are different models and colours, ‘convalida’ is written on it) at the station or platform (not in the train) to put a time/date-stamp on it closely before departure (in many other countries, the conductor in the train will stamp the ticket). The ticket will be good for a limited time only – so, if the passenger wants to break a trip for sight-seeing, two tickets may have to be bought (like: 1. Genova-Pisa and 2. Pisa-Firence), and the price will be slightly higer (anyways, regional trains are cheaper than in many other European countries).

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