Train: Trenitalia Frecciargento (Italy) high-speed train.
The Seat: The width of these Trenitalia Frecciargento First Class seats won’t wow the bigger hipped of us but there’s still some wiggle room when compared to a slimmer economy seat. Seats slide forward to recline so they won’t cut into your knee space so while it looks a little constricting, the space in front of you is decent (although an inch or two of extra legroom would seem appropriate for a premium product).
The seat cushioning is firm but comfortable and the adjustable headrest comes in handy when you’re trying to catch a quick nap between stops. Where comfort is concerned, it’s maybe just over par (as in, “less than average”).
Tech/Connectivity: In-seat power worked and was appreciated by our near-dead gizmos. Wi-fi was complimentary on our ride but the login page told us that it was temporary. In any case, you still have to enter credit card information to get the ,01 euro rate (which I’m guessing counts as “free” in Europe) to gain access to the internet. Once connected the signal was a tad spotty but we got our tweets out and checked our emails in a pretty reasonable amount of time. If you’re looking to video stream the game, news or Godfather trilogy, You’ll be disappointed.
Food/Drink: Without a walk to the food car, it’s peanuts and booze. Well, the booze is optional but the complimentary welcome beverage adds value to the overall price of the ticket if it’s spiked.
Service: Insane? The first woman who came through with beverage service handled the job with a rugged grace. Smiling, but not about to accept attitude from passengers in the fancy car. The second attendant to come through was either drunk or simply didn’t know how to handle a beverage cart. Limbs were nearly lost to an out of control, near runaway drink trolley.
Summary: Trenitalia’s business class is often priced not too far above coach so it might be worth trying if you normally require a little more legroom and don’t feel like bringing your own peanuts. If you’re on a short hop between cities and don’t mind just a little less personal space, then Coach class and an a-la-carte drink might be the better option.
Rating: 3 hops (of 5)
How to get em’: Without much hassle we chose a lower priced midday departure when business travelers aren’t shuffling in between cities. Seats in this upgraded cabin can be purchased online while booking on trenitalia.com, at a station kiosk or from a station ticket agent.