Review: Trenitalia Business Class (Venice To Milan)

Review: Trenitalia Business Class (Venice To Milan)

53

After four nights in Venice it was time to head to Milan. We took Trenitalia for this journey, which is the primary rail operator in Italy. This was our first of two train rides in Italy, and I was impressed by the comfort, value, and punctuality, offered by Trenitalia.

Let me say upfront that Trenitalia business class isn’t much to get excited about. However, our next train ride was in Trenitalia executive class, which was downright amazing, so stay tuned for my review of that.

Booking Trenitalia business class tickets

Trenitalia has several direct trains every day between Venice and Milan, which take around 2.5 hours. We decided to take a train that was scheduled to depart at 10:48AM and arrive at 1:15PM.

Trenitalia has all kinds of fares available, and for our journey there was a “ME&YOU” special, offering a discount if you’re traveling with someone. The total cost of our business class tickets for two people was 89.60 Euro, which comes out to 44.80 Euro per person. As you can see, the premium for business class is pretty modest, so we thought it was worth it.

We ended up spending an extra 2 Euro per person to select seats, so we could get seats facing one another with a table in the middle. However, this ended up being unnecessary, as the train wasn’t busy.

Venice Santa Lucia train station

We took a water taxi from Gritti Palace to Venice’s Santa Lucia station, which took about 15 minutes. One big advantage of taking the train rather than flying is that you don’t have to go back to the “mainland,” as this train station is located in the “island” part of the city. Not your typical train station taxi stand, eh?

Arriving at Venice Santa Lucia train station

We arrived at the train station around 30 minutes before departure, which was probably unnecessarily early (but we didn’t know what exactly to expect). The train station was quite large, but not nearly as big as the one in Milan, for example.

Venice Santa Lucia train station exterior

There was some seating inside the entrance to the train station, along with all kinds of shops and restaurants.

Venice Santa Lucia train station seating
Venice Santa Lucia train station seating

There was also a big train status monitor near the entrance. When we first arrived it didn’t yet list our departure track, so we waited around for that.

Venice Santa Lucia train station departures board

Roughly 20 minutes before departure the monitor was updated to reflect that we’d be departing from track seven. The trains were only a short walk from the entrance to the station.

Venice Santa Lucia train station signage

As we got up to the track there were two guys there to do temperature checks, and we were also advised to put on FFP2 masks, rather than surgical masks.

Trenitalia train at Venice Santa Lucia station

Once at the train, we got into the first car, which was one of the three dedicated to business class.

Trenitalia train at Venice Santa Lucia station

Trenitalia business class cabin & seats

The Trenitalia business class cabins are roughly what you’d expect for a regional train business class, and were modern and clean. Seats were in a 1-2 configuration, with seats in half of the cabin facing one direction, and seats in the other half of the cabin facing the other direction.

Trenitalia business class cabin
Trenitalia business class cabin

The regular seats were configured similar to what you’d find on an airplane, and had tray tables, headrests, armrests, etc.

Trenitalia business class seats
Trenitalia business class seats
Trenitalia business class seats

Then you have the seats with tables in the middle, which is where we sat. These are great if you’re traveling with someone, though less ideal if you’re traveling alone and have to face a stranger, especially since legroom is limited.

Trenitalia business class seats
Trenitalia business class seats

Each seat had both an AC and USB power outlet, which was much appreciated.

Trenitalia business class seats power outlets

In terms of storing luggage, most bags could easily be stored in the luggage racks above the seats.

Trenitalia business class luggage storage

Then at the front and back of each cabin was a luggage storage area for larger bags.

Trenitalia business class luggage storage

Each car also had a bathroom, which in this case was at the far end of the train.

Trenitalia business class bathrooms

The bathroom was large, and featured a toilet and a sink.

Trenitalia business class bathroom
Trenitalia business class bathroom

Trenitalia train punctuality & views

I was impressed by the punctuality of both of our Trenitalia journeys. The trains left exactly on schedule, to the second. Our first train ended up having a 16 minute delay enroute, but I was also pleasantly surprised by how many updates were provided about this.

The moment we stopped there was an announcement informing us of the reason for the delay, which was allegedly a technical fault with a train on another track. We were also provided an immediate update on how much our arrival into Milan was expected to be delayed. So when Trenitalia isn’t punctual, there’s a lot more effort that goes into keeping people updated than when you fly, that’s for sure. I almost felt like I was in Japan

The ride had great views throughout, starting with crossing the bridge from the “island” when departing Venice.

View enroute from Venice to Milan

For much of the train ride we had beautiful views of vineyards…

View enroute from Venice to Milan
View enroute from Venice to Milan

And of course there were some city views mixed in as well…

View enroute from Venice to Milan

Trenitalia business class food, drinks, and service

Our tickets were checked by a friendly attendant about 20 minutes after departure. We could simply show the email confirmation from our tickets, so there was no need to check-in otherwise. Interestingly we also needed to present proof of vaccination.

About 10 minutes later the service began. We were offered our choice of three snacks, including crackers, cookies, or biscoffs. We were also offered a selection of complimentary drinks, seemingly with no limits (in the sense that they kept asking us if we wanted anything else).

We each had an espresso and a water, and then somehow also ended up with a Coke Zero.

Trenitalia business class food & drinks

The service on this sector isn’t anything to get excited about (especially compared to our next train ride), but still, for a 2.5 hour train ride this was more than sufficient.

Trenitalia business class Wi-Fi

Trenitalia offers complimentary Wi-Fi, which is easy to connect to. I found the speeds to be good, and it saved me from having to tether off my phone.

Trenitalia business class Wi-Fi portal
Trenitalia business class Wi-Fi portal

Milan central train station

We arrived at Milan’s central train station at around 1:30PM. Milan’s train station is much bigger than the one in Venice (as you’d expect), and it was a bit of an adventure to get out of there and into a taxi. But I’ll talk more about the station in the installment about the ride out of Milan.

Trenitalia train at Milan Central station
Trenitalia train at Milan Central station

It sure is a pretty station, though!

Milan Central station

Bottom line

Trenitalia offered a great experience for getting between Venice and Milan. The trains were clean, service friendly, and the value was quite good for what it was. Getting around Europe by train is simply so much more pleasant than flying, especially for short distance.

While this train ride was good, it’s the executive class train ride we had a couple of days later that almost turned me into a full-on train enthusiast, so stay tuned for that.

If you’ve taken Trenitalia business class, what was your experience like?

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  1. Hobbs Guest

    Italo Milano Centrale to Venezia S.L. 9.90€ 1.5hrs

  2. DTD Guest

    I'll be in Italy in May, traveling with my wife and baby. We will have two checked-in luggage (28-30 in), probably another rolling carry-on (20-22 in), and a stroller with car seat for the baby. Our plan is to take train from Firenze to Milan, and our chief concern is the luggage.
    Will there be enough space for us on the rack for our stuff? What seats should we pick so we are close...

    I'll be in Italy in May, traveling with my wife and baby. We will have two checked-in luggage (28-30 in), probably another rolling carry-on (20-22 in), and a stroller with car seat for the baby. Our plan is to take train from Firenze to Milan, and our chief concern is the luggage.
    Will there be enough space for us on the rack for our stuff? What seats should we pick so we are close to the luggage rack? I don't necessarily need the executive, but will consider it the business area has no space for all our stuff within viewing distance from our seats.
    Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

  3. anne barnett Guest

    Well, it's a few years since I got onto the train in Milan to go to Venice but I will start at the beginning. We had taken our travel agent's advice at home, and felt sure she knew what she was doing. She assured us that this was a cheap way of getting to Venice. Manchester by plane to Milan and then Milan to Venice by train. So we got to the station in Milan,...

    Well, it's a few years since I got onto the train in Milan to go to Venice but I will start at the beginning. We had taken our travel agent's advice at home, and felt sure she knew what she was doing. She assured us that this was a cheap way of getting to Venice. Manchester by plane to Milan and then Milan to Venice by train. So we got to the station in Milan, it was cold and as i opened my handbag for my gloves my companion was assuring me it would get warmer and then I felt this not a hand but 'something' not quite right. I looked for my companion to see this other young man (about 25 or so) with his hand in my bag. He had found my purse straightaway and then he ran out towards a piece of empty land nearby. "Leave it love"
    I heard someone say. But I did find the young man who still had my purse in his hands. When Anne gets annoyed God help anyone nearby. I ran after him, I didn't know if he had a knife or anything like it I just shouted like hell at him and afterwards I realised he hadn't a clue what I was saying. A small group had accumulated at the bus stop:they were saying theft often happened, was I OK, where was I going. But as I joined my companion I looked in my purse and all that was in there was a couple of coins so I did a bit of slapping around his head, I didn't half belt him and he just wandered off.
    Not a lot of money but my companion was holding most of our money. A young girl ran up to me, she had heard I was English and asked me where I was going. I said Venice. She took me to the train and in 20 minutes the train would be off. We were disappointed we didn't have more time to get to know one another, but she did show me the toilets inside the station jeje. The train started to move and as I sat down on a seat it was so lovely and clean and comfortable. The train chuffed along the track and I was now so relaxed and looking forward to Venice. I was truly knackered.

    Did I see anything of the country as the train went through the area. Yes and I can remember there was a stop before we got to Venice. It brought memories of a young girl standing on a balcony with a young man singing below. Not sure whether i was right on that one or whether it was my imagination working overtime. But yes it was a memorable journey, an exciting one (I suppose)!!!

    We have already booked our hotel for Rome and Christmas hoping to do a rail journey whilst we are there:we have already been to Pompei so maybe a bit further up the leg.
    I live in Gandia in Spain and although I have been to Venice a few times since and I understand that Lucretia Borgia died in a convent in Venice. Gandia is where the Borgia family lived I havent got very far with where the convent is in Venice yet... but still working on it.
    Thank you for an exciting journey

  4. Evan Guest

    Nice review Ben - this brings back some very pleasant memories from traveling around Italy via train. Trenitalia is a great value and I agree - the cost to upgrade to business class is usually worth it. For afternoon/evening trips, we would book a table on the two abreast side of the train and bring a bottle of wine onboard, which the attendants seemed totally fine with. The views on the Naples-Rome-Florence corridor are stunning....

    Nice review Ben - this brings back some very pleasant memories from traveling around Italy via train. Trenitalia is a great value and I agree - the cost to upgrade to business class is usually worth it. For afternoon/evening trips, we would book a table on the two abreast side of the train and bring a bottle of wine onboard, which the attendants seemed totally fine with. The views on the Naples-Rome-Florence corridor are stunning. We did have a situation once where our train was delayed due to a mechanical problem with the brakes, but the crew was incredibly apologetic and communicative. Overall fantastic experience!

  5. SilverSpringer Guest

    We did the same trip last September as well as other train trips in Italy. We read reviews of stations in the blog man in seat 61 and these were very helpful.

  6. platy Guest

    Even better - take the Frecciarosa (Trenitalia website) and book into Executive Class. You can also book the private meeting room included in the cost of the seats (somebody else didn't get there before you)...;)

  7. HKman Guest

    How much is the water taxi from Gritti Palace to San Lucia train station? I'm making a similar journey and I want to make sure I'm not getting ripped off.

    1. farnorthtrader Guest

      It is all regulated and seemed to be pretty straightforward when we were there, so I don't think you are going to have to worry. You can also take a "bus" instead of a taxi. We stayed at the Molino Stucky and used the bus almost exclusively

    2. platy Guest

      @ HKman

      You can pre-book your water taxi online on the Motoscafi website (Venezianamotoscafi).

      That way you avoid any risk of being "overcharged" by booking through the hotel.

      A dummy booking from The Gritti Palace to the train station in mid September returned EUR60.

      I just noticed they appear to booked out for the first week of September 2022 (which coincides with the film festival, which starts on Wednesday 1 September) - so there could...

      @ HKman

      You can pre-book your water taxi online on the Motoscafi website (Venezianamotoscafi).

      That way you avoid any risk of being "overcharged" by booking through the hotel.

      A dummy booking from The Gritti Palace to the train station in mid September returned EUR60.

      I just noticed they appear to booked out for the first week of September 2022 (which coincides with the film festival, which starts on Wednesday 1 September) - so there could be other times when its could be hard to book (such as the Rendentore Fiesta in July).

    3. Mark P Guest

      Dammit, cut off. Just take the water bus from the stop right next to the Gritti to the train station. Much cheaper than water taxi!

  8. Andy Diamond

    I agree that Trenitalia is generally nice and reliable, in particular their Frecciarossa product (the local/regional services can be a rather mixed experience, as well as Frecciargento and Frecciabianco). Frecciarossa Executive is amazing though ...

  9. FR Guest

    Excellent train site https://www.seat61.com

  10. CJH Guest

    What size Rimowa Trunk do you travel with? I like your style. Do you have have idea what size Trunk would not violate size limits for checked bags?

    1. Michael Guest

      There is no luggage check-in. You carry/wheel you bags along the platform and up 3 steps onto the train. So, basically, whatever weight you can carry up the steps (and down again).

  11. Johnny Bravo Guest

    The Milano train station is a masterpiece of neo-classical architecture wanted in the 1920s by Mussolini. And yes it is truly spectacular!

  12. Burritomiles Guest

    Mama Mia! That's a big suitcase!

    Trains are so enjoyable for intra-EU travel. Keep um' coming!

  13. Dominic Guest

    Was just in Italy for 3 weeks in October and took trains from Milan all the way down to Sorrento.

    These pictures are giving me some serious good memories. :)

  14. Recon Guest

    This particular train type is the doomed FYRA train that the Dutch Railways bought in 2008 and turned out to be a disaster. I rode it once in the 45 days it ran (after it was taken out of service) and found it pretty decent.

    Under Berlusconi, the Italian railways were forced to buy the returned trains and apparently they seem to got them running.

  15. D3kingg Guest

    Did you see skateboarders outside in front of the Milan Centralle station ?

    I took Trentnord not to be confused with Trenitalia between MXP and Milan Centralle for €13 each way vs €100 Uber black. Taking a taxi never crossed my mind. The Metro was decent cleaner than London and NYC a 3 day pass was €12. The seats looked similar to yours on Trentnord to MXP but no leather or food service. I...

    Did you see skateboarders outside in front of the Milan Centralle station ?

    I took Trentnord not to be confused with Trenitalia between MXP and Milan Centralle for €13 each way vs €100 Uber black. Taking a taxi never crossed my mind. The Metro was decent cleaner than London and NYC a 3 day pass was €12. The seats looked similar to yours on Trentnord to MXP but no leather or food service. I had similar grass views closer to Malpensa. It makes you think of olive oil and red wine.

    1. Jordan Member

      Milano metro is clean, but I wouldn't compare London to NYC. London's tube is very clean. NYC metro is a disgusting dump.

      I've taken the train between MXP and Milano centrale a dozen times. It's fine. Why pay 100 euros, when there is a train. :-)

  16. Never In Doubt Guest

    As others below have noted, the experience with Trenitalia varies based on what rolling stock your particular train is using. (just like airline experience can based on plane type!)

    I've been in Trenitalia business cars that were very different, and nicer, than these.

  17. Morgan Gold

    I am really enjoying these train reviews! Keep them up!

  18. Never In Doubt Guest

    “ I almost felt like I was in Japan”

    Had that delay occurred in Japan, the responsible parties would have resigned their positions at the end of the ride.

  19. Traveler Member

    Hi Ben, Were KN95 masks okay? Or were FFP masks required? Going to Rome soon! Thanks

    1. Andy Diamond

      Not Ben here, but Andy. KN95 masks are called FFP2 in Europe. So yes, either one is fine.

    2. AC Guest

      Also check requirements before you go. Mask requirements are going away in many countries (as are vaccine requirements) and it is changing quickly. I have a trip in May to Iceland and Sweden and both countries have basically eliminated any COVID restrictions. I will likely still travel with my vaccine card and have a few masks just in case but may not be needed at all.

      BTW Ben this info is great. My wife and...

      Also check requirements before you go. Mask requirements are going away in many countries (as are vaccine requirements) and it is changing quickly. I have a trip in May to Iceland and Sweden and both countries have basically eliminated any COVID restrictions. I will likely still travel with my vaccine card and have a few masks just in case but may not be needed at all.

      BTW Ben this info is great. My wife and I are flying to Milan in October for 2 weeks then taking trains to Venice, Florence and Rome so anxious to hear more about your train travels.

  20. Stuart Guest

    Seriously? You travel with a Rimowa Trunk?? I thought I was bad with a large. Wow. That's some serious lugging.

    1. Stuart Guest

      He can say otherwise, lol

  21. KK13 Guest

    I have been on the Trenitalia Business and Executive classes, I loved them. Then again I am a big sucker for trains in Europe and Japan, so every time I have to visit a smaller city I'd rather fly to CDG and take the train.

    It's so relaxing, comfortable, no cramped seats, less annoyance, time for security/ checking is nothing compared to flights, much less hassles and involves almost no weather delays. The panty/...

    I have been on the Trenitalia Business and Executive classes, I loved them. Then again I am a big sucker for trains in Europe and Japan, so every time I have to visit a smaller city I'd rather fly to CDG and take the train.

    It's so relaxing, comfortable, no cramped seats, less annoyance, time for security/ checking is nothing compared to flights, much less hassles and involves almost no weather delays. The panty/ food car is always well stocked, and offer hot meals often times. Plus, the train stations are closer to the city centers than airport. In fact, I never have to take Uber or Taxi rides from CDG - so well connected with trains.

    I have also taken the night trains Bonn-Munich (ICE) and Venice to Vienna (OBB) by Rail Jet through Austrian rail service. I must say OBB's night/ sleeper class trains are amazing!

    I will be flying to Milan in Aug. and plan to take the trains. Looking forward to your experience by the Executive class!

    1. Brodie Member

      Please do share more about the "panty" car. I have a trip coming up soon and have yet to read about this joy.

    2. KK13 Guest

      Haha, oh well... pantry*

  22. Sebastian L Guest

    "Interestingly we also needed to present proof of vaccination"
    Fashist country to avoid at all cost

    1. jsm Guest

      If you are going to post ridiculous statements of a political nature, at least be educated enough to know how to spell Fascist. But then perhaps education isn't your strong suit?

    2. JW Guest

      The Italians are known to be sharp dressers.

    3. Bjk0908 Guest

      All European countries requested proof of vaccination during Covid, as did airlines, restaurants, museums and other public places. They also all required masks. I was glad for that. It kept the ignorant anti-vax, anti-mask crowds at bay.

    4. seba224 Guest

      No, fortunately not all countries. Trust me I live on Europe. I don't have to know it, as it 's not my native language.

    5. scott Guest

      You don't get out much, I take it?

  23. Pietro Guest

    “About 10 minutes later the inflight service began.” - you mean in-train service?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Pietro -- Oops, shows I'm always thinking about planes, heh.

  24. David C New Member

    Hi @lucky,

    This review was excellent - and timely. I was just about to book business for Rome to Venice and I am now pausing for your Executive review to see which offers best value for us (especially as it is a bit of a longer trip). The non-refundable tickets offer some good value - with ok risk due to CC insurance.

    Though I am excited now that we are doing the train rather than flight between FCO and VCO.

    Dave

  25. Leo Guest

    @lucky

    Did you need any pcr test, vaccination, qr code, etc to travel by train to Milan?
    Thanks

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Leo -- Indeed, we needed to show proof of vaccination (forgot to include that in the post, but updated it now). Just pictures of our CDC vaccine cards did the trick.

    2. Brodie Member

      Hey Ben,
      I'm seeing conflicting info online. Do they require a booster or just a two shot regimen? I'm seeing 270 days max as well since your last jab. I believe it's likely changing May 1st anyway, but curious.

    3. Donna Diamond

      No booster required, at least as I write.

    4. Sergey Guest

      Travel in Italy requires so-called a Super Green Pass. For travelers from USA, CDC vaccination card with booster shot == Super Green Pass. Starting from April, Italy relaxes the restrictions, so many places would not ask for it.

  26. Mauricio Guest

    “Let me say upfront that Trenitalia business class isn’t much to get excited about.“

    Regular (less spoiled) leisure travelers actually would be excited about traveling from Venice to Milano in Business Class.

    But for others, there always has to be more. For them, sooner or later executive class will also become boring to the point that it will be insufficient because the train attendant greeted incorrectly or the wine was some Fahrenheit to warm.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mauricio -- Happy Sunday to you too!

    2. Gabriel Guest

      Mauricio - Trenitalia's Community Respect Agent :)

    3. platy Guest

      @ Mauricio

      Of course anybody should be delighted to enjoy the wonders of Venice and Milan and the excellent train service.

      Spoilt travellers are more likely suffering from a case of bad attitude rather than ennui - sound familiar?

      The beauty of the frequent flyer and loyalty scene is that it enables access to travel experiences that might not otherwise be possible to those of average wealth and income.

      IMHO @ Ben Schlappig does...

      @ Mauricio

      Of course anybody should be delighted to enjoy the wonders of Venice and Milan and the excellent train service.

      Spoilt travellers are more likely suffering from a case of bad attitude rather than ennui - sound familiar?

      The beauty of the frequent flyer and loyalty scene is that it enables access to travel experiences that might not otherwise be possible to those of average wealth and income.

      IMHO @ Ben Schlappig does an amazing job showing everyday folk how to enjoy extraordinary travel experiences without having to be mega wealthy

  27. Bruno Guest

    This V250 traintype is second hand for trenitalia.
    It was originally used in 2012/2013 between Brussels and Amsterdam under the Fyra brandname, but the train had too many technical defects there so the Belgian & Dutch railway company took them out of service.

    Interesting how trenitalia renovated them.

    1. GroeneMichel Member

      Oh yeah I fully remember its launch in Belgium, what a drama... Interesting to see how they were revamped

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

jsm Guest

If you are going to post ridiculous statements of a political nature, at least be educated enough to know how to spell Fascist. But then perhaps education isn't your strong suit?

3
Stuart Guest

Seriously? You travel with a Rimowa Trunk?? I thought I was bad with a large. Wow. That's some serious lugging.

3
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Pietro -- Oops, shows I'm always thinking about planes, heh.

3
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