Don't buy a pass at all. Just buy a point to point ticket from a reputable website. If you can make your reservation the maximum 90 days in advance, then you will get the cheapest price.
Any pass you buy will not include the required seat reservation, which you will have to arrange yourself and possibly also pay an additional charge.
As your journey starts in Italy, look first at the website of Italian Railways www.trenitalia.it
To find the cheapest tickets on these options
book e-tickets from Genova Piazza Principe to Milano Centrale on http://www.trenitalia.com as near as possible to 120 days in advance,
book Milan to Basel or Zurich on http://www.trenitalia.com/homepage_en.html (a different website) at least two weeks in advance and preferably longer - select a train, click Continue then choose Smart from the Select your Fare drop-down menu - tickets must be collected from a ticket machine at any major Italian station, e.g. in Genoa.
book from Basel or Zurich or on the night train from Milan to Munich on reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en? as near as possible to 92 days in advance.
Or consider a cheap flight to Berlin by EasyJet or Air Berlin from Milan Malpensa. Malpensa Aeroporto train station is accessible in just under three hours by hourly train connections from Genoa with one change in Milano Centrale. Lufthansa flights from Milan Linate are also sometimes reasonably priced - Linate Airport is accessed by frequent buses taking 25 minutes from Milano Centrale station.Edited: 10 January 2013, 17:47
I think it's very worrying how many people come onto this forum asking for info on the "best pass" that they should buy for train travel.
Where are they getting this info from?
Who is feeding them this rubbish that if they travel to Europe they "must" buy a pass?Edited: 10 January 2013, 20:33
If you do a Google search about train travel in Europe, RailEurope always comes near the top of the results (probably because they pay a fee to Google). And RailEurope pushes expensive passes.
In addition, many guide books (especially Rick Steves) burble on about train passes as if they are still a good idea.
>>> I think it's very worrying how many people come onto this forum asking for info on the "best pass" that they should buy for train travel. <<<
I fully agree - it is quite astonishing how many people ask about passes when they have a set itinerary and could get big discounts simply by booking ahead.
Is there some perception that you cannot buy point-to-point tickets for a journey which crosses national borders? Or that going to the websites of European train operators and working out the information is somehow 'too difficult'?
No-one EVER goes on the Air Travel forum and asks what kind of 'Air Pass' they need.
I think it's because passes used to be a pretty good deal, before all the required reserations, supplements, etc were introduced.
Now it akes a real expert to make a pass worthwhile.
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