Bologna To Rome Train – How To Book And What Train To Choose

After spending a fantastic two days in Bologna during our short Rome-Florence-Bologna trip, we decided to go back home as we didn’t want to push the travel tolerance of our 1-year-old son beyond its limits especially because it was one of his very first trips. We arrive by train from Florence to Bologna and we were planning to get the train from Bologna to Rome on our way back home.

Train From Bologna To Rome – An Easy Guide

Bologna Rome Train – What Company To Choose

Between the state-run Trenitalia and the privately-owned Italo Treno, I prefer the first option. I usually book Trenitalia, rarely Italo and even though I had a smooth trip also with the latter, I still prefer the services of the public railway company.

Italo runs only bullet trains, while with Trenitalia, along with their high-speed Freccia trains, you can book also the slower regional and Intercity that stop in more stations, including small villages.

Prices don’t change much, to be honest, being the fares of Italo Treno more similar to the prices you would pay for a Freccia Trenitalia. Intercity and regional trains are obviously much cheaper. The services with Trenitalia are Standard, Standard Silence Area, Premium, Business, Business Silence Area, Executive and Working Area, while with Italo they are Smart, Comfort, Prima and Club Executive. The offers are Base, Economy, Super Economy, Senior 60+ and Young up to 30 with Trenitalia, and Flex, Economy and Low Cost with Italo.

What I prefer with Trenitalia are its toilets and more room for the legs when sitting. Even if the trip is only 2 hours and a half, this might make a difference in the whole travel experience, especially if you need to arrive in Rome well-rested in the morning and have a day of sightseeing ahead.

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Image: Freccia bullet train in Italy

Bologna to Rome Train: Stations of Departure and Arrival

Bologna Centrale Train Station: The Departure

I found the station of Bologna Centrale a little confusing more when I arrived from Florence than when I left. Our train arrived underground and to get to the exit we had to take several different elevators. The same happened when we were leaving, for each floor there were some two different elevators that not only would take us a floor down, but they would also make us slightly change area.

It’s harder to explain than to do it, my suggestion is simply to follow the frequent signs: everything works pretty well, so don’t worry if you have luggage, all the elevators will be functioning. Unlike in Rome, where broken elevators in train stations are a bit of a constant.

If you want some refreshments, at Bologna Centrale you can find a decent bar, but also in the immediate surroundings of the station (just crossing the road) are different restaurants and street food places.

Image: Entrance of Bologna centrale train station

Roma Termini Or Roma Tiburtina Train Stations: Arriving In Rome

With the train from Bologna, you can arrive at either Termini or Tiburtina station. Both of Rome’s stations feature plenty of restaurants and shops.

Termini is really huge and its underground and ground floors basically look like a shopping center. Scattered you will find clothes stores of different brands, Dintorni & Sapori supermarket, which is the deli of Conad market chain, bookshops, bars, cafes, buffet restaurants, street food places, GROM gelateria, Venchi chocolate shop, Panella bakery and newsstands In the newsstands you can buy your bus tickets as well as some local trains if you don’t want to buy it from the vending machines or queueing at the ticket office.

On the main ground floor is also the big Coin store for clothes, perfumes and more, car rentals and the Mercato Centrale where they sell quality food ingredients, ready meals and where you can also stop for lunch. Its entrance is either from the station or from Via Giolitti.

Termini’s top floor is all devoted to the fantastic Terrace, which is Termini’s food court. This is where I suggest having your meal or sitting to relax before your train. There are restaurants for every preference, be it sushi, Italian food, pizza, pastries, Bologna chain Bottega Portici for pasta, Beercode-Natoo healthy food restaurant, sandwich places, and bakeries. In a nutshell, whatever your diet or preferences, I’m pretty positive here you will find something for you.

Roma Tiburtina station is much smaller but there are also plenty of nice spaces for travelers to sit, relax and grab a bite. It’s also much less crowded than Termini and has fewer platforms so probably easier to get around.

In both Termini and Tiburtina, there are also clean toilets. In Termini, you need to pay 1 euro to enter the restroom.

Image: Train timetables in Italy

Train Schedule From Bologna To Rome

With Trenitalia, there are several Freccia bullet trains per day starting early morning, at some times of the day even within 15 or 30 minutes from one another. The first Freccia runs at 7.10 am, but if you want to travel at night to save some time and the money of one night in a hotel, you can also opt for the Intercitynotte night train that leaves at 3.02 am.

Italo Treno runs fewer trains from Bologna to Rome than Trenitalia, starting from 6.55 am with the first connection to 4.55 pm when the last train departs from Bologna Centrale.

For both companies, I strongly suggest you double check the timetable as it might change. Once you booked your ticket, if there is any change or cancellation, the company will let you know directly.

Cost Of The Train From Bologna To Rome

Booking a Freccia Trenitalia from Bologna to Rome will cost between 50 to 55 euro and it takes 2 hours and a half. An Intercity will take some 4 hours and costs 48 euro, while a series of three regional trains will cost less than 30 euro but will take you almost 6 hours and you need to change three trains.

Since Italo only has bullet trains, the cost of a ticket from Bologna to Rome ranges from 58.90 to 45.90 euro depending on what day of the week you book and if you buy it some time in advance.

If you plan your Italy trip in advance, you can also plan your itinerary and train trips so you can choose more freely when to book your ticket and also find a higher chance to choose your seat, especially good if you are traveling with someone.

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Train Tickets From Bologna To Rome: How To Book Yours

The easiest and best way to book your train from Bologna to Rome is online on the Omio website. There are many reasons why you should book your trip online. First of all, you can do it from home before traveling. If you are a plan-lover, this is definitely the way you should go to plan an itinerary and reduce the risk of surprises and mishaps.

On the other hand, if you like adventure and last-minute planning, you can buy your ticket at the ticket machines (for both Trenitalia and Italo Treno), newsstands, and kiosks in Bologna Centrale station. If you buy your ticket in the station, don’t forget to validate it in the validation machines before boarding otherwise the fines are pretty high.

Image: Italo Treno ticket machines

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Train From Bologna to Rome: The Journey

The train ride is never less than two hours, the shortest being 2 hours and 15 minutes with Italo Treno. Since you do have some time to spend on board, you might want to bring something to read, your laptop to get some work done, some music (to listen with headphones!) or something to eat.

On board, you will find also some refreshments, either the bar/bistrot open or the staff passing with different options of foods and drinks. While it’s probably more expensive than the food you can buy in the city or in the station, it’s not going to be a huge difference, so if you are running late, don’t worry too much.

Bologna Centrale offers places where you can buy food, but if you prefer a bigger variety, right on the street in front of the main entrance are a few restaurants and street food places where you can probably find more options and dishes. This, if you haven’t stuffed your backpack with piadina, parmigiano, fresh pasta and all sorts of delicacies from the Emilia Romagna region. And I’m pretty sure that even if you stayed only one day in Bologna, your sightseeing included some nice street food shopping for your future train journey.

Other than that, during these few hours, you can just sit and relax and enjoy the view.

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