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How to Read and Validate Italian Train Tickets

Know the laws governing how to use your rail ticket in Italy

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You can be fined for getting on the train without validating your ticket. Scroll down to find out how to do it.
italian train ticket, train ticket picture

Italian Train Ticket - Biglietto - With Validation Stamp

Martha Bakerjian

This is an Italian train ticket purchased in 2006. I'm departing (partenza) from Milano to arrive (arrivo) in Pavia.

This ticket was valid from 03/03/06 to 02/05/06, a two month period. In order that the ticket not be reused, it must be validated before you get on the train. This means you must find a green and white validation machine (you can find a picture in our Italian Train Travel page) or in some stations, the old yellow validating machine. You'll stamp your ticket(s) by aligning an arrows labeled "convalida" with the slot provided and pushing until you hear the mechanical whine of the stamp. Then you're set to board your train, which you can do at any time it's in the station. The ticket is good for six hours after validating. Note the stamp on the right side of the ticket under the arrow.

Note that this is a Biglietto Treno Ordinario da Convalidare, or an ordinary train ticket that requires validation. On fast trains like the Frecce trains, where a reservation is required, tickets don't normally require validation since they specify the train's exact date and time on the ticket.

This is a second class ticket, and no seats are assigned. The cost of the 39km ride from Milan to Pavia was 2.90 Euro.

The bus ticket, shown next, has some of the same validation requirements, but this can usually be done as you board the bus.

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