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Trains dominate travel between cities in Italy and is a great way of touring Italy with a good network of Intercity and regional services.
In Italy there are lots of regional bus companies which to the visitor are often almost impenetrable. They seem content just to serve the domestic market.
In 2015, this changed to a large extent when Megabus introduced a full network of low-cost coach services between all the major cities in Italy for tourists.
With cheap fares, modern coaches with free Wi-Fi and an online ticketing model, this is a major development for visitors to Italy with one eye on the wallet.
In 2016 the Megabus operations were taken over by FlixBus, a fast expanding German-based company now with more than 100,000 daily connections to over 900 destinations in 20 European countries.
When booking online you will get your e-ticket immediately by email.
The seats on the ticket are reserved so you are assured of a seat, and you can now reserve specific seats (on almost all networks) so you can group together with friends and family. A fee for this service applies.
Travel around Europe cheaply
• Large bus network • Comfortable buses with toilets • Free Wi-Fi • Snacks for sale onboard • Carbon efficient coaches
You can interconnect the FlixBus Italian services with FlixBus services all over Europe.
Each bus is equipped with air-conditioning, an onboard toilet, reading lamps and comfortable seats. Moreover, there are also refreshments, free Wi-Fi and on some buses you will find plug sockets and a media centre with films and music on demand.
On some journeys there are scheduled breaks that comply with the driving and rest periods required by law for drivers. However, do note that apart from the breaks required by law, FlixBus do not put on any extra breaks, so as to maximise journey time. Onboard toilet and low-cost snack list mean that even on longer routes it is not necessary to make additional stops.
In summary the FlixBus service offers:
Intercity travel between the main Italian cities at very low cost or you can travel beyond Italy into central Europe. Fares are variable, the earlier you book the cheaper the fare.
Nearly all passengers book online using e-tickets as fares are much cheaper. If seats are available you can pay the driver at the full ticket price without any discount.
You may take one piece of hand luggage and two pieces of baggage with you on your journey. Hand luggage is one piece of luggage that does not exceed the measurements of 42 x 30 x 18cm and a maximum weight of 7kg, all valuables should be carried as hand luggage. Normal baggage is limited to two pieces of baggage with each piece with measurements of no more than 67 x 50 x 27cm. Each person can take a maximum of 30kg on board.
Smoking on board buses is not permitted, electronic cigarettes are also forbidden.
After booking your ticket you are guaranteed a seat on board the bus. You can now reserve the seat of your choice now while booking, meaning you can reserve seats together with friends and family. A separate fee does apply. You can even choose to have a seat with a table or a view.
There are no fare concessions for seniors. Children travel at a reduced fare (children under 16).
It is possible to change and cancel bookings in advance.
The terminus at Rome is at Tiburtina, to the east of central Rome. Tiburtina coach station is a large site directly opposite Tiburtina Metro and rail station. As well as the Metro to get you into the centre of Rome, there are direct regional trains to Rome's main airport, Fiumicino.
Tiburtina Station is a major rail station, the fast Intercity trains from Rome Termini to Florence and beyond stop here.
There are many coach companies running coach services in Italy, but nearly all are relatively small regional operators with minimal publicity of the services they offer, often without websites and no online ticketing facility.
For the overseas visitor to Italy, perhaps the most useful operator is Baltour/Eurolines. Eurolines is still currently trading under this name but you'll soon discover that it has been taken over by Flixbus so the booking website takes you directly to the Flixbus booking page.
The full Eurolines (now Flixbus) network covers 600 destinations in 29 countries, although there is currently no service between London and Rome.
They use air-conditioned coaches with reclining seats, comfortable legroom and onboard toilets.