Italy is a marvellous country to travel by train, just like the rest of Europe by the way. And it is very affordable as well. So if you have time I recommend you give it a go. You feast your eyes on the beautiful landscapes and travel very comfortable either with intercity trains of Trenitalia or Italo or local trains.
Between Pisa and Florence, there is a local train, it takes approximately 1 hour to travel between there tourist hot spots.
Buying train tickets in Italy is very straightforward once you understand the system. I explain it step by step in this article.
Larger train stations in Italy are like shopping malls with restaurants, shops and sometimes even showers for the public to use
I am travelling from Florence to Pisa. Departure station is Florence Santa Maria Novella, the main train station in Florence. Bigger cities in Italy often have multiple stations. That can be a bit confusing sometimes.
Every 10 minutes a fast train or a stop-train departs from this train station to Pisa, and of course, returns to Florence again.
The train to Pisa departs from platform 3, that is a bit of a walk. You walk passed platform 5 and walk all the way to the end, you pass some shops there, at the end of the building is platform 3.
In Pisa, the train arrives at and departs from platform 2. It is always wise to check if there are no platform changes due to delayed trains or maintenance.
Good to know:
travel time 1.5 hours
train ticket price round trip 8.80 (date January 2019)
you stamp the ticket before you enter the train/platform
tickets are open, that means if you miss a train you just take the next
you can sit anywhere you like on the trains, there is not even first or second class
When you travel with Trenitalia you have to activate your ticket upon departure, otherwise, you can face a fine of 100 Euros. In the larger train stations, you pass a security gate before going to the platforms, the stamping machines are before the security check. In the smaller stations, there is no security gate, and machines to activate your ticket are everywhere and easy to find.
You activate your public transport ticket once, after activation it is valid for the duration of your trip or purchase
In the train, they check your ticket by scanning the QR-code on your ticket. I must say I have been checked every train ride in Italy. They are pretty strict int heir policies and although very friendly there is a no-nonsense policy.
Local trains are more simple and less comfortable than intercity or high-speed trains, yet they are comfortable enough to have a long ride. No service on board when it comes to food and drinks, it is better to bring your own.