Trains are the main means of transport for long distances in Italy. The train network is extremely reliable and well developed, getting to almost all the corners of the country.
Prices vary a lot between train categories. Regional trains are pretty cheap and you should use them whenever possible. Higher category trains can be really expensive, but provide better conditions. If you don’t have a large travel budget, you can usually arrange your trip from several regional segments. High category trains also tend to be more reliable, so you may want to pay extra if you depend strongly on the arrival time. This doesn’t mean that regional trains are unreliable, but more expensive trains have higher priority on the railway, should any congestion or other problem occur.
Tickets can be bought online from www.trenitalia.it or in stations. Most stations have automatic touchscreen machines selling tickets and lots of them don’t have employees selling tickets anymore. These automatic machines are multilingual and very easy to use. The accept both cash and credit cards. It is compulsory to validate your ticket before boarding at the machines nearby. Failure to do so will get yo a fine.
Buses are not used so much for traveling between cities. Use the train as long as it is available for your destination, as it is more convenient.
You can also get from one city to another by plane, since many Italian cities have airports. This may be a good option if you travel from north to south for a long distance, as you might save some time. Flights are not so used for traveling within the country though, with such a reliable railway system and some of the best motorways.