Trenitalia tickets offer different rates of flexibility. There are four ticket types for Trenitalia: Super Economy, Economy, Base and Regional with the Super Economy tickets being the cheapest but least flexible ones. Regional train tickets have a fixed price which is determined by the distance between your origin and destination stations and the class you travel. The most flexible tickets are the Base tickets, because you can change them for free as many times as you want.
Trenitalia tickets can be booked up to six months in advance, and much like elsewhere, are typically cheaper the earlier you book. If you’re travelling on a Regional train, Trenitalia offers one ticket: Ordinary. The price of an Ordinary ticket is determined by the class you travel, and the amount of time between your departure and arrival time.
Italo train tickets are divided into three ranges of flexibility: Low Cost, Economy and Flex. Much like with Trenitalia, the tickets range in price depending on levels of flexibility. For the best deals, Low Cost is naturally the right option, however, you won't be able to travel on an earlier or later train than the one you originally pick. With the Flex ticket, there is greater leeway in when you can travel, but with higher ticket prices as a result.
Train tickets can be purchased from any train station - either from a ticket counter or an automated machine. You can also buy tickets in advance from several web sites. Here are some of them.
Rail Europe is the official North American distributor of Italian rail tickets and it is user-friendly
ItaliaRail is a worldwide distributor of Italian train tickets so their site is simple to use for English speakers. You can use a credit card to pay in most currencies so anyone in the world can buy through this web site.
Trenitalia is the official Italian railways website. The website is easy to use and you can easily book your train tickets through this web site.
Italotreno is a private rail company that runs modern high-speed trains between most major cities - these trains only run between major cities.
TrainLine.com: TrainLine is a website that searches multiple rail services across Europe so it's great for international trips. It's also good for single country travel. It is designed for English-speaking travellers so it's super user-friendly.
Tickets for Le Frecce trains always include a seat reservation and are only valid on the specific date and train you've booked.
On high-speed trains your tickets is only good for the time and date on the ticket. You will have also an assigned seat. You ticket will show the car and seat number so make sure you're on the right car.
On regional trains you will probably have a paper tickets which you need to validate in the validation boxes on the platform before you get on the train. If you bought your ticket online you will have to show to the conductor when he comes to check the tickets. Regional trains don't have seat reservations so just sit anywhere you like.