In the first class trains in Italy you will get: wider aisles and seats, fewer people, more luggage storage space, free newspapers, free snacks and beverages. In the second class trains you will get: narrower aisles and seats, more people, less personal space and space for luggage. By choosing the first option you can expect to share space with Italian business travelers and American tourists, while the second class is more of a mix of all walks of life.
What do modern trains offer?
Nowadays more trains of both classes in Italy offer electrical outlets at nearly every seat. This is very comfortable as you can recharge your phone or work on your laptop during the trip. Some trains also have a dining car and passengers of the both classes may either get something from the dining car to eat back in their seat or stay there and eat a meal. There is also may be a cart that comes around offering newspapers and snacks, but while it’s free for the first class passengers, the second class ones will have to pay for the goodies.
Therefore, the biggest difference between first class trains and second class trains in Italy is the space – you’ll get more of it for yourself and your bags in first class. The prices vary considerably and sometimes there may be a significant difference. So, you should decide for yourself whether it’s worth it.