Ferrovie del Sud Est (also known as FSE) is the railway and bus company that operates in all of Puglia, the heel of Italy. Whether Trenitalia serves this Region until Lecce, the Salento area, Puglia southernmost county, is actually connected to the railways only by FSE. Ferrovie del Sud Est network is spread over nearly 500 km through the 4 cities in the region and their nearby areas, where the company has been working since 1931.
Apart from Bari, Brindisi, Lecce and Foggia, Puglia four main cities, the company operates over 100 towns and villages in the surroundings. When there’s no railway service, FSE substitutes or integrates it with buses: more than 130 towns and villages are reached by the company coaches indeed! In other cases, as just mentioned, Ferrovie del Sud Est is the only railway provider. The most impressive case is the Lecce to Gallipoli by train route, which is very popular during summer and is doable only thanks to FSE. The train schedule for this route includes 13 daily connections, from 06:12 am to 09:04 pm. However, during peak season, there are more trains as the number of tourists increases considerably.
Ferrovie del Sud Est is a regional train service and therefore it doesn’t offer Internet connection or onboard restaurants. However, you can benefit from the essential comforts of a short-haul train journey.
Pets on the train
Dogs and other small pets can travel both on FSE buses and trains provided that they are in a kennel of max 70x50x30 cm. If your dog is bigger, you must buy a half price ticket for them. Dogs must also have their passport, unless they are guide dogs (which in this case also travel for free).
If you travel on a FSE train or coach you can carry up to 2 suitcases of max 70x50x30 cm.
Bikes on board
You can get your bike on board on Ferrovie del Sud Est trains, but it is not possible on the bus connections. Even though this service is free of charge on all trains, you must ask for a bike-specific ticket at the ticket office or on board before leaving. If your bicycle is not foldable, you should contact the company at least 2 hours before the departure so as to be sure that the train is equipped with bike racks; otherwise, you can get on board on every train provided that you fold your bicycle and that it is smaller than 70x110x30 cm.
Seats and assistance to the disabled
Unfortunately, only some FSE buses are equipped with platforms and disabled-friendly systems. For this reason, it’s advisable to contact the company at least 48 hours before the departure and get to know which trains or buses are suitable and what time they leave.
A non validated single ticket for a Ferrovie del Sud Est train or bus is valid until next year’s January 3rd, while it expires as soon as you get to your destination once validated. FSE also accepts e-tickets or tickets bought online and then printed: in these cases, you don’t have to validate your ticket, as this is valid from the departure hour written on it; however, if you miss your train, you can get on board on the next one, provided that it leaves within 2 hours.
For young travelers under 10
Children under 10 travel for free on FSE trains and coaches, but they must be accompanied by an adult.
Buying your FSE train ticket online
You can buy FSE train tickets online on the company website or on Wanderio. You can book your FSE tickets weeks or months in advance on Wanderio; keep in mind that your tickets will be generated and sent via e-mail 7 days before the departure. The company accepts both printed and e-tickets: in the latter case, having the Wanderio App will be pretty handy as you can find all your tickets at once, even when offline! Download it for free from the App Store.
Ferrovie del Sud Est fares, terms and conditions
FSE fares vary based on the route and on the length of it, however, prices are fixed and, even when booking last minute, you won’t find them increased! It’s not possible to change your ticket nor to cancel your reservation though.