Italy, surprisingly, has a well-developed network of high speed trains. These aren’t quite as fast as the Chinese trains I was used to when living in Beijing, but they do reach 247KM/hr–a respectable speed. Most visitors just go to the train station and buy a ticket, but you can actually save money by buying your tickets in advance using a mobile phone app.
The app is called Italo Treno, and there is an English-language version available. Here is what the iPhone version looks like:
Just search for your trip, and you’ll see a schedule with prices. If you buy your ticket a few days in advance, you can save 50% or more. For example, the train I took today from Florence to Rome cost 43€ when purchased today at the station, but the fare was only 20€ when purchased 3 days ago via the app.