Italy by 186mph Frecciarossa.
Frecciarossa means red arrow, and they can reach 300 km/h (186 mph) on Italy’s new high-speed lines. Nobody flies between Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome or Naples now: Milan to Rome takes as little as 2 hours 55 minutes by train, Rome to Florence as little as 1 hour 23 minutes, Rome to Venice just 3h45, with a restaurant or bar car free WiFi. The original Frecciarossa 500s have now been joined by new Frecciarossa 1000 trains.
Where do Frecciarossas run.
How to tell which trains are Frecciarossa 500 and which are Frecciarossa 1000: Run an enquiry at raileurope and select a train. If it says Frecciarossa1000 in front of the train number it’s a Frecciarossa 1000, if it just says Frecciarossa it’s an original Frecciarossa 500.
Frecciarossas have 4 classes.
Frecciarossa 500s originally had 1st 2nd class, but when NTV’s competing Italo trains arrived on the scene, Trenitalia responded by refurbishing its Frecciarossas with 4 classes: Which should you choose?
Standard = 2nd class
Seats are arranged 2+2 across the car width, covered with cloth fabric and grouped in bays of 4 around a table either side of the aisle. Free WiFi power sockets at all seats. There’s plenty of luggage space on overhead racks which take anything up to backpack-size, space between the seat backs, and racks for larger items at the end of each car.
Premium = premium 2nd class
Identical seat layout to standard class, with identical leg elbow room, but with leather seats instead of cloth. Seats are 2+2 across the car width in bays of 4 around a table either side of the aisle. The fare includes a complimentary welcome drink of coffee, soft drink or prosecco, and there’s free WiFi and power sockets at all seats. There’s plenty of luggage space on overhead racks, which will take anything up to backpack-size, and space between the seat backs, and racks for larger items at the end of each car.
The Man in Seat 61 says: “It depends on what prices you’re offered, but the leather seats and ‘welcome’ drink make premium a nice upgrade from Standard.”
Business = 1st class
Seats are arranged 2+1 across the car width, so there’s significantly more elbow room than standard or premium (although legroom is the same), and the leather seats are roomier too. There are tables for 4 on one side of the aisle and tables for 2 on the other, the latter ideal for couples. The fare includes a complimentary welcome drink of coffee, soft drink or prosecco, there’s free WiFi and power sockets at all seats. There’s plenty of luggage space on overhead racks, which will take anything up to backpack-size, and space between the seat backs, and racks for larger items at the end of each car.
Business class Salottinos: Each Frecciarossa has two fully-enclosed four-seat Salottinos (= little rooms). Seats can be booked in this if you are a small group travelling together, ideal for private meetings on the move.
The Man in Seat 61 says: “There’s no need to travel Business class if you’re on a budget, Standard Premium classes are absolutely fine and the legroom is exactly the same. But the wider seats, extra elbow room and the ability for couples to choose a table for two, make Business class a definite upgrade.”
Executive = premium 1st class
Executive class consists of just 8 super-comfortable leather reclining seats at one end of the train with their own dedicated steward. Free WiFi power sockets at all seats. The fare includes a complimentary cold tray meal (or snack, on shorter runs) and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and all executive class passengers can use the Frecciaclub first class lounges at main stations. Executive class also features a 6-seat meeting room.
The Man in Seat 61 says: “Executive class is aimed at top executives and priced accordingly, with fully-flexible tickets and no discounted fares. But if your company is paying, Executive is highly recommended, you won’t want to get off. “