All aboard for discount train travel in Italy

There’s still time to hop on board the trains of Italy with end of summer and early fall discounts.

This is a wonderful time of the year to visit Italy - fewer tourists and cooler temperatures. It’s a season, too, when airfares and rates on accommodations drop.

Travel by rail on Saturdays through Oct. 26 and get a second adult ticket free when purchasing one adult ticket at the base fare.

Deeply discounted prices on high-speed trains for travel now through November are also available.

Rome and Venice are less than four hours apart, starting from $41. Rome to Florence with a Super Economy fare comes to only $27, if you book your September dates early. Plan now for a late October visit and travel between Venice and Milan for as low as $13.

These are only a small sample of the many great fares available for end of summer and they are in limited supply, so it’s best to book as soon as possible.

For more information and to book any of these discounted fares, visit Italia Rail at http://www.italiarail.com.

Travel in comfort and style on Italy’s new state-of-the-art trains - NTV (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori) - the newest generation of high-speed trains. Travel between Milan, Rome, and 12 other stations at speeds upward of 223 mph.

Through Sept. 4, save 40 percent off Italo’s Club (Premier class) tickets by using coupon code ITALODEAL.

And Rail Europe offers advanced purchase fares on all NTV Italo train tickets with a discount of up to 55 percent.

Italo’s Most Popular Routes:

  • Milan to Rome in 3 hour 20 minutes
  • Naples to Milan in 4 hours 11 minutes
  • Milan to Bologna in 53 minutes
  • Rome to Venice in 3 hours 50 minutes
  • Rome to Naples in 1 hour 8 minutes
  • Rome to Florence in 1 hour 27 minutes

For more information or to make a reservation, visit Italo at http://www.italotreno.it/EN or Rail Europe at http://www.raileurope.com.

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A new autumn-through-spring airfare sale from American Airlines/British Airways brings some relief on travel to Europe. This summer rates climbed as high as $2,000 for an economy class ticket to Rome, Italy. Although still pricey, rates are dropping significantly for the off-peak departure seasons of Oct. 27-Dec. 12 and Jan. 9-March 27, 2014.

Round-trip sample rates are:

  • $924 Warsaw, Poland
  • $987 Lisbon, Portugal
  • $1,013 London, England
  • $1,023 Madrid, Spain
  • $1,035 Barcelona, Spain
  • $1,044 Glasgow, Scotland
  • $1,045 Brussels, Belgium
  • $1,057 Prague, Czech Republic
  • $1,067 Paris, France
  • $1,094 Bordeaux, Marsailles or Nice, France
  • $1,103 Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • $1,125 Rome, Italy
  • $1,133 Athens, Greece
  • $1,140 Zurich, Switzerland
  • $1,173 Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich, Germany

Add $30 per direction for Friday, Saturday outbound; Friday-Sunday returns. Stay at least one Saturday night or up to 180 days.

Partners AA/BA serves these destinations with one flight connection in Chicago, Miami or London (stopovers not permitted).

Buy tickets through Sept. 3.

On some departure dates there may be few or no tickets available at the lowest price. Since only a limited supply of seats is available, act quickly to make your purchase.

I recommend starting the search for available seats at Kayak.com vs. calling an airline directly. You can also search for the sale at travel websites such as Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity, etc.

Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.

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