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Bicycles on Trains in Italy: a Quick Guide

September 13, 2014
*Excerpt translated from an article in the Repubblica Viaggi online by Paolo Ribichini

Theoretically, taking your bike on a train in Italy is free. Practically, there are a few details to keep in mind so as to avoid problems with the conductors and with managing the bicycle.  Here is a brief practical guide.

On all Trenitalia trains in Italy, from the regional to the high-speed “Frecciarossa” trains, passengers can transport their bicycles free of charge if folded or disassembled, by removing one or both wheels and rotating the handlebars.

If you are carrying a foldable bike you can store it together with the other luggage.  This applies to every type of train.  It is up to the passenger to ensure that it is stored properly so as to avoid causing trouble to other passengers or causing damage to the train (or to the bike!)

Different rules apply to the carrying on of traditional, non-foldable bikes on trains, depending on whether the train is a regional or a long distance high speed trains.  The latter (called Frecce) allow the transportation of bikes free of charge if they are properly packed.  Bicycles are allowed only if disassembled, with at least 1 wheel removed, the handlebar rotated and packed into a bike bag.  Storing the bike in a bag is compulsory on these trains and the train staff could forbid you to continue your journey if your bike is not in a bag.  The bag cannot be bigger than 80cm x 110cm x 40cm.

On the majority of regional trains there is a designated wagon to carry traditional bikes. For these trains you can therefore choose to travel with your bike disassembled and inside its bag or with the bike as it is and stored in the separate bicycle carriage by purchasing a 24-hour ticket that costs €3.50.  If you are taking the train for a short distance you can instead buy an extra passenger ticket for your bike.

When looking at train schedules for regional trains you can usually tell if has a bike carriage if there is a little symbol of a bike in the online timetable next to the train number.

Bottom line: if you are just jumping on a regional train to get back to your departuring town or to move a short distance, taking a bike is not too complicated. If you are planning more extensive travel with a bike make sure you plan carefully and find a bike bag that will work well for you.

For more details see website.