If you are looking for transport solutions to get around the south of Italy, you will likely have a question – buses or trains? Which option is more convenient? Which one is cheaper? Here we put together some information on both types of transportation, to help you navigate yourself better.
‘Trenitalia’ is the primary train operator with routes throughout all of Italy, including the islands. These connect big cities directly, so you can easily travel from Rome to Naples, or from Naples to Reggio Calabria, etc. However, for less popular destinations you might need to get a connection somewhere along the way.
You can find the route you need on the Trenitalia website, which operates in few different languages, including English. You can purchase tickets online or at the train station a few hours prior departure time.
Buses are a fair solution if you’re travelling within the same region or province of Italy. It’s probably the best option if your destination is not a major point on the map. The buses that connect different cities or villages are called pullman or autobus. If you cannot find the convenient train route, you should definitely try getting a bus. The only downside is that bus routes are operated by about a hundred different bus companies, which can be confusing, especially since there isn’t just one designated website for all the routes and tickets. You will have to do some research, but its all part of the experience. You might discover new places to visit in the process!
If you’re already in Italy, the convenient way to find the right bus is to ask at the ticket office in the local central bus station. If you’re in a small village and there’s no bus station (just a bus stop), then you can buy a ticket on the bus or at a local vendor like a tobacco shop, bar or a newsstand. Ask the locals for advice! You may need to learn some phrases in Italian, which is all part of the fun 😉
The only scenario when tickets might be sold-out is for long distance routes from a big city like Rome or Naples, to a very small village (or vice versa). In this case we recommend buying a ticket online in advance. There are several websites, operated by both, bus companies and tourist agents, which are handy for checking the routes and schedules. Unfortunately, most websites are in Italian, but with handy Google Translate, you can get a good idea of the necessary information by translating the page. A good resource for checking routes, schedules and bus companies is https://orariautobus.it/. They have a convenient breakdown into provinces, making it easier to find a route you need.
The websites to look for tickets and online bookings:
For many long-distance routes in the south of Italy, you can also try using a car-share, which have been growing in popularity lately and are widely used by the locals. It’s quite a convenient way of getting around, especially if you’re travelling between regions and/or large city and a small village.