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Getting Around

The larger cities and towns are connected by flights provided by the national airline, Alitalia. Smaller airlines include ATI, Alisarda and Aligiulia. Flying in Italy is expensive compared to the train but it can save you a lot of time.

Travelling Around Italy

If you are prepared to arrive and return on certain days, airlines will often give you a discounted fare, but your reservation will only be accepted if you are booking the flights from Italy. For more details on flights you should contact the Alitalia office (www.alitalia.com) or your nearest travel agent.

Note that infants under the age of two, accompanied by an adult, can get a ninety percent discount on internal flights; children over two years old but under twelve can receive a fifty percent discount; and travellers between the ages of twelve and twenty-one can get a twenty-five percent discount.

The fastest, cheapest and most convenient way to travel around Italy is by train. Train information is available from the Uffici Informazioni at most of the major railway stations, or listed in the telephone directory under Ferrovie dello Stato. The official railway website is www.trenitaliaplus.com. You can also telephone 147 888 088 which is a local call from anywhere in Italy, has English speaking operators, and is usually open between 8am to 9pm.

Local trains are called Locale, Diretto, Interregionale and Espresso. The fastest and most comfortable trains however are InterCity, EuroCity and Eurostar, but they are also more expensive. The fastest of all is the Pendolino, but this requires seat reservation, as do the IC/EC/ES, which can be done at any travel agency or at the train station. Like the airlines, good fare reductions are available for groups and young travellers. Tickets are valid for two months. You must always remember to get your ticket stamped in the station before boarding your train.

Each area, or province, in Italy has its own inter-city bus company, and each company has its own lines. Coaches are a good way to travel, especially though mountainous areas where they are generally faster than trains.

There are a lot of private companies that operate ferry (traghetto) and hydrofoil (aliscafo) services between the mainland and Italy's many large and small islands. Hydrofoils are faster and more expensive than the ferry, but they are subject to choppy and high seas, which force them to reduce their speed to that of a ferry. You can purchase your tickets from travel agents and ticket offices at the port, and it is advisable to purchase them in advance. For up to date information on times and prices for ferries and hydrofoils you should visit www.gruppotirrenia.it.

Taxis are found at taxi ranks or contacted by phone. They are not hailed in the street. Extra charges will be incurred for night rides, luggage, Sundays and public holidays. The general rule is to leave a small tip, rounding off the fare to the nearest Euro.

Car rental is expensive in Italy, as is petrol. Ensure the price you are quoted for the rental includes VAT (IVA), which is 19%. You must be over 18 to rent a car and have a full drivers licence. A deposit equal to the cost of hiring the car is usually required or the imprint of a credit card.

Accommodation In Italy

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