When it comes to public transportation in the region, trains are better than buses—they're fairly efficient and quite frequent, and most stations aren't too far from the center of town. The railroad track follows the Via Emilia (SS9). In Emilia it generally takes 30–60 minutes to get from one major city to the next. To reach Ferrara or Ravenna, you typically have to change to a local train at Bologna. Ferrara is a half hour north of Bologna on the train, and Ravenna is just over an hour east.
Bologna is an important rail hub for northern Italy and has frequent, fast service to Milan, Florence, Rome, and Venice. The routes from Bologna to the south usually go through Florence, about 40 minutes away on a high-speed train. The high-speed Frecciarossa train service cuts the time from Milan to Bologna to only one hour. On the northeastern edge of the region, Venice is 1½ hours east of Ferrara by train. Check the website of the state railway, the Ferrovie dello Stato (FS www.trenitalia.com), for information, or stop in a travel agency, as many sell train tickets (without a markup) and agents often speak English. Italo (www.italotreno.it), a privately owned high-speed train line, competes with the state-sponsored service. Italo's Turin–Salerno line makes stops in Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Salerno; the Venice–Napoli line stops in Padua, Bologna, Florence, and Rome. Some of these also stop at secondary stations.