Italo, competition has arrived

Since the end of April 2012, Trenitalia, the Italian State-owned railways, were introduced to their competitors: Italo, the new high-speed railway company owned by a group of Italian entrepreneurs, leaded by Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari's president.

For us who live in Italy and who have been exposed for years to the bad service offered by Trenitalia - delays, dirty and old trains, rude staff, etc. - the arrival of Italo was like a glass of water in the desert. For now Italo covers only the high-speed route between Naples and Milan (stopping in Rome, Florence and Bologna), with the future extension to cities like Turin and Venice. Its prices are a bit lower than Trenitalia's offering different travel classes, a cinema car and (attention foodies!) the possibility to book meal boxes prepared by Eataly :)
Italo has also partnerships with Alpitour, an Italian travel agency, to organize weekend trips in the cities where Italo stops; with Hertz, the car rental agency, for special rental fees and the possibility in some cities, to rent an electric car (with advantages such as the access to limited traffic areas, parking in special spaces and, obviously, no fuel costs): with DHL, in case you want your luggage delivered directly to your destination, and many others.
We tried it this weekend to travel to Rome. We booked a special offer and we only payed 30 euros per person, Smart class (that would be 2nd class).

What's different from Trenitalia?

- Reclining Frau-leather seats, individual electric sockets, reading lights
- More legroom (much more)
- Air conditioning is comprehensive, it doesn't come out from the vents next to the windows (no more frozen arms!)
- Brighter interiors
- Punctuality (OK, they only have a few trains but, it's good they manage to get them to destination on time - and sometimes even ahead of scheduled time)
- (Functioning) on-board portal with live news, a variety of movies (even a couple in English), and - coming soon - ebooks and e-journals.
- (Functioning) free wi-fi

What Italo has that Trenitalia doesn't?

- Courteous staff, greeting you with a smile.
- Cinema coach
- Eataly meal boxes with different delicious menus, which can be pre-ordered and delivered to your seat (only for Prima and Club classes)
- Snack area where you can get snacks and drinks from the machines (for those with a Smart class ticket)
- Certified hospitality staff: train manager, train specialist, hostesses and stewards carefully selected and trained.

Italolive portal

Functioning sockets
We loved our travel with Italo, the seats are really comfortable, the staff, both on the train and at the Italo lounge in the station (Casa Italo) were great and the wi-fi and cinema services were perfect, we can't wait to try it again, maybe next time we'll get a Prima or Club ticket so we can get the Eataly boxes.
Goin' fast, eh
Check out all information about prices, timetables and services offered by Italo on their website: http://www.italotreno.it/EN/Pages/default.aspx

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