Traveling by train with kids is one of the best ways to get around Italy. It’s so much more relaxing than renting a car and the Italian scenery is spectacular. Don’t be shy taking the train in Italy with kids – Italians LOVE kids and yours will be made to feel welcome on every journey.
For a little insight on what to expect, here is how we got around for our month in Italy with kids:
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How to Buy Italy Train Tickets
A great option for buying your Italian train tickets is ItaliaRail. They are a user-friendly, one-stop shop for purchasing Italian train tickets and sightseeing products. A big advantage of using ItaliaRail is that you can use English station names and buy tickets in your local currency.
Do I Need to Buy Train Tickets for Kids in Italy?
Kids aged 3 and under travel on trains in Italy for free. Even though we didn’t need to, we bought reasonably cheap youth tickets for our 1 & 3 year old kids to ensure they had a seat and not on our laps.
Each time the Italian train officials checked our tickets, they went out of their way to tell us we didn’t need to buy train tickets for our kids, but they were so cheap that we felt comfortable with our strategy.
OUR ITALY BY TRAIN ITINERARY
During our month in Italy with kids, we traveled exclusively by train and ferry. If interested, you can see our full Italy Itinerary with kids, but we share the logistical details of our Italian train itinerary below.
All train station names below are the official Italian names. Follow the links to see their location in Google Maps.
Rome to Elba by Train & Ferry with Children
Our trip from Rome to Elba was our first attempt at train and ferry travel with kids in Italy. It was a little ambitious to start, with two train connections plus a ferry, but it went off without a hitch.
How to Get from Rome to Elba
- Train from Roma Termini to Campiglia Marittima (journey takes 2-3 hours)
- Train from Campiglia Marittima to Piombino Marittima (duration approx. 30 minutes). The train station in Piombino Marittima is conveniently located next to the ferry dock.
- Ferry from Piombino to Portoferraio, Elba (duration approx. 1 hour).
Tips for getting from Rome to Elba with Kids:
- The trip from Rome to Piombino Marittima were on regional trains, which meant we could not reserve seats in advance. There was plenty of room on each train and we had no issues getting four seats together.
- The ferry terminal in Piombino Marittima had a play area for small kids.
- Our ferry (operated by Moby) also had a large play area for small kids.
- Learn all about the amazing things to do in Elba with kids.
Elba to Cinque Terre by Ferry & Train with Kids
Continuing north along the western coast of Italy, we ventured to the stunning region of Cinque Terre. As you’d expect, the scenery along this coastal route was pretty spectacular in parts.
How to get from Elba to Cinque Terre
- Ferry from Portoferraio to Piombino (duration approx. 1 hour).
- Train from Piombino Marittima to Livorno Centrale (duration approx. 1h50m)
- Regional train from Livorno Centrale to Monterosso (duration approx. 1h30m)
Tips for Getting from Elba to Cinque Terre with Kids
- There is a regional train that runs from La Spezia to Levanto. The stops in-between these two hubs are the 5 famous towns of Cinque Terre. This regional train runs frequently and is the easiest way to get between the five Cinque Terre villages during your stay in Cinque Terre with kids.
- If you plan to do some hiking in Cinque Terre (and you really must!), you will need to purchase a Cinque Terre Card, which is your entry pass into the national park. We recommend buying a “Train” version of the card for a few extra Euro, which gives you unlimited train travel between all the Cinque Terre villages.
- Of course, you don’t need to stop in Elba as we did; there are trains from Rome to Cinque Terre and Florence to Cinque Terre as well.
Planning a lot of rail travel on your family trip to Italy? See if a Eurail Pass is right for you. Two children ages 0-11 ride for free.
Cinque Terre to Pisa by Train with Children
Our next major stop on our Italy itinerary was Lucca. When we noticed the train from Cinque Terre to Lucca required a stop in Pisa, we thought it’d be a crime if we didn’t plan a stop to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We had a 5 hour layover in Pisa, which was more than enough time to see the top attractions in Pisa.
How to Get from Cinque Terre to Pisa
Buy your train tickets to Pisa.
Tips for Getting from Cinque Terre to Pisa with Kids
- Not all Cinque Terre villages have train connections to major centers outside of the region. Monterosso is the biggest village, so it tends to have the best connections.
- The Pisa train station has luggage storage. Look for “Deposito Bagagli” (don’t you just love Italian? “Bag Storage” sounds so sophisticated!), located to the right at the far end of Platform #1, close to the police office. It costs about 3 euros for 12 hours. Have your passport ready for identification.
- Pisa is close enough that it can easily be done as a day-trip from Florence.
- Read about our day-trip to Pisa with kids.
Pisa to Lucca by Train with Kids
After a really fun half-day in Pisa, we took a quick train ride from Pisa to Lucca.
How to Get from Pisa to Lucca by Train
Buy your train tickets to Lucca.
Tips for Getting from Pisa to Lucca with Kids
- The trains from Pisa to Lucca are quite small. Ours was only two cars long and was full enough that some people were standing. Get there early to secure seats together.
- Lucca is also close enough that it can easily be done as a day-trip from Florence.
- Read about our visit to Lucca with kids.
Lucca to Florence by Train with Kids
Our final rail journey of our trip was a quick, simple train ride from Lucca to Florence.
How to Get from Lucca to Florence by Train
Buy your train tickets to Florence.
Tips for Getting from Lucca to Florence with Kids
- As with the previous leg of our trip, the trains on this route are quite small. Get there early to secure seats together.
- Read about our week in Florence with kids.
Still working on your Italy Itinerary with kids? Here is our 4 week itinerary for Italy with some suggestions for a 2 week Italy Itinerary and a 10-day Italy Itinerary with kids.
Visiting Italy with Kids
- Rome with Kids
- Rome Playgrounds
- Transportation from the Rome Airport to your Hotel
- Kid-Friendly Cinque Terre Bike Ride
- Rome with a Baby or Toddler
- Cinque Terre with a Baby or Toddler
- Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast with a Toddler
- Venice Italy with a Baby or Toddler