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The national rail network, Trenitalia, offers reasonably priced fares calculated by distance travelled, with main routes including Turin-Milan-Venice; Milan-Bologna-Bari; Rome-Genoa-Turin; and Rome-Naples-Palermo.
There are discounts available as well as two main rail passes, the InterRail One-Country Pass and the Eurail Italy Pass, which offer discounted travel over a choice of days or a month.
Arriving into Rome or Milan, you have the option of the metro or buses.
Rome has a three-line metro system, while Milan has a four-line network. Buy tickets from station vending machines.
Bus services operate in all main cities and towns in Italy.
In Rome, the network is extensive and complements the metro and tram systems.
In larger towns and cities, you generally buy bus tickets in advance from machines or tobacconists and then get your ticket stamped in a machine on boarding the bus.
Getting across to the islands is easy, with car and passenger ferries operating throughout the year from mainland ports.
Regular boat and hydrofoil services run to the islands of Capri, Sardinia, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. There are also links along the coast.
In the resorts of Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, ferries serve the lakeside towns just like a bus service, making it easy to get around without going anywhere near a road.
Cycling is best enjoyed in more relaxed regions such as Tuscany and the northern lakes and mountains.
You can cover a lot of ground and take in the beautiful rural scenery with plenty of cycling routes.
It’s an increasingly popular pastime with Italians and the country’s first long-distance route – the EuroVelo 7, the appealingly named Sun Route – now runs from the borders of Austria all the way down 3,000 kilometres (around 2,000 miles) to the southern coast of Sicily.
Bicycle hire in busy city centres is recommended only for those with nerves of steel!
Car rental is cheap and a great way to get around. Find out more on our Italy car hire page.