Why purchase Italian Rail Pass when it seems individual tickets are less expensive?

I am doing our planning to visit Italy in the Fall of 2017. There will be two travellers, my wife and I. We will be in Italy for 17 days. Travelling from Milan down to Naples. We wanted to travel by train from Milan to Verona, Verona to Bologna, Bologna to Florence, Florence to Naples and Naples to Rome. When using your web site, a pass would be approximately $750 C plus each of these trips would require a reservation of approx $40 C. Individual tickets for the two of us would be approx $75 per trip. Since a reservation is required with the pass, I am not seeing the flexibility of travel. Am I just confused and not looking at this correctly? Any assistance would be great.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 16, 2017 17:07
    Hi Michael,

    A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. If you were to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (instead of a rail pass), the value of any necessary reservations would still be embedded into those costs. Therefore, a rail pass still can, depending on the itinerary, work out to be the most economical option for a trip involving multiple trains.

    For some itineraries, a rail pass is the most economical option. For others, regular tickets are the most economical option. We encourage comparing both options. Our website is unique in that it does offer both options. Therefore, users are able to shop freely and choose between either purchasing a rail pass (with reservations) or purchasing regular point-to-point tickets. When considering the option of a rail pass, you would just have to be sure to factor in the 'passholder' reservation costs.
    • Thanks for getting back to me. The reason I made the initial comment was because I did check out the point to point tickets and they seemed to be the most economical as well as efficient method for booking our trip. I fail to see any value in a rail pass when each trip I have planned required a reservation. I guess if one does not have an itinerary having the rail pass may be the better way, but since most trips appear to require a reservation, spur of the moment choices might not be a wise decision.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) June 28, 2017 18:23
      Whether or not a rail pass is the most economical option is dependent on the itinerary, which is what I was attempting to explain. I'm sorry, as it can be difficult to articulate.

      A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. If you were to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (instead of a rail pass), the value of any necessary reservations would still be embedded into the tickets costs, so a rail pass can still often work out to be the most economical option for an itinerary involving multiple trips. In some cases, a rail pass is by far the more economical option. It just depends on the itinerary. We do have both options available on our website.

      With that said, your point about "spur of the moment choices" is something to consider. Still, reservations can be purchased locally at the stations if there is availability. Just keep in mind that trains on certain routes can sell out, especially during the busy spring and summer travel seasons.
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