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Travelling by Train in Italy

Kuala Lumpur
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Travelling by Train in Italy

Hi,

We are a family of three: wife , son ( 21yo) and me. We are planning a trip in the following sequence:

London 3 days

Paris 3 days

Milan 2 days

Venice 3 days

Florence 3 days includes a day trip to Pisa

Naples 2 days includes a day trip to Pompeii

Rome 3 days

We plan to travel by train all through except Paris to Milan, where we are planning to take Ryan air flight.

Having read some of the posts and done some research, I know the purists will flog me for allocating too less number of days and trying to make a mush of all, but that is all the time we have and plus we are more interested in experiencing the major monuments, history and culture of Italy and the two cities of London and Paris and not do an extensive research!

This is our first trip to Europe.

We stay in Malaysia and after Rome we plan to go for about a week to Turkey.

Now the questions:

1. Is it better to buy a Eurail Pass or point-to-point tickets?

2. For travel within Italy, which is the best train to take?

3. For Travel between London to Paris, I get to understand that Eurostar is the train.

5. For the sightseeing : how effective is the London Card ( which is inclusive of local travel and entry to some monuments and discount on some)

6. Is there any pass for Rome - local transport and or entry to monuments?

7. Are there any passes for entry into monuments and local travel, in other cities?

8. Is train travel the best way to travel within Italy?

Will sincerely appreciate all inputs/ guidance and suggestions.

Thanks/ RN

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

Hi Nagaravi, welcome to this forum. If you had done your research in this forum, you would have found out that Eurail passes are never recommended by experts in this forum. As a basic rule, Eurail pass is never recommended for travel in France, Spain and Italy. I will not go into details in this reply, you could find out more by searching this forum.

As far as Italy is concerned, if you have a pass, you would still have to pay € 10 per person per sector, so why would you want to do that, when you can buy point-to-point tickets as low as € 9, if you know when to buy them.

All Italian high speed trains opens its booking 120 days in advance, and fares are as low as €9 including reservation. There are dates beyond mid August which you still cannot book yet, that is because every year on June 15th and Dec 15th there are timetable change on all trains in Europe.

For your trip, say between Milan and Venice, I can book now for mid August, for € 19 per person, see www.trenitalia.com. Also, tip: no need to register when you book, as registration requires an Italian address.

2. >For travel within Italy, which is the best train to take?<

If you travel locally (say from Milan to lake Como, from Venice to Verona etc.), just use the local train, which is called 'Regionale' and 'Regionale Veloce'. These trains do not need to be booked, just buy at the station during the day, and VALIDATE the ticket before boarding.

For intercity trains, see the advice above, pre-book as early as possible.

6.>Is there any pass for Rome - local transport and or entry to monuments?<

Yes, there is Roma pass (http://www.romapass.it/?l=en), but depending on your needs,you may or may not want to buy this. You may just want a BTI ticket for travelling on Rome public transport

See http://www.atac.roma.it/page.asp?p=229&i=14

For further information, go to the Rome forum, it is beyond the subject of this forum

7.>Are there any passes for entry into monuments and local travel, in other cities?<

go to the forum for Rome, Venice, and Milan for further info

For general unbiased advice on Rail passes, see:

europetrainsguide.com/Advice/Rail-Passes/Rai…

Kuala Lumpur
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2. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

Thanks a lot Hadiwi56a- really appreciate your reply and advice.

And I did some search in the other forums- this forum I just came across by chance and edited my questions which I had posted in Italy forum.

Thanks - again.

Quainton, United...
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3. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

You can also take a TGV train from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Milan from just 29 euros with print-at-home tickets, www.capitainetrain.com

It's a pleasant and scenic trip, at 186 mph across rural France, then at slow speed snaking through the mountains, far nicer than a flight and not that much longer after you add all the getting to and from airports and airport security hassle.

There are 3 direct Paris-Milan departures a day, at 06:41/07:49, 10:41 and 14:41.

Consider getting off at Turin, a wonderful city.

Jakarta, Indonesia
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4. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

don't listen to the "purists". the number of days you allocate to each city is perfectly fine and it's exactly what I would do if I have about 19-20 days of vacation

Kuala Lumpur
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5. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

Thanks to all - for your invaluable inputs and suggestions.

Man - in - seat: Thanks, I did consider this option, but rested it aside owing to the time taken - about 7-8 hours, as compared to 2 hours of flight- that was the constraint.

I also checked the night train, to save on time, but the cost was prohibitive- far far more expensive than the flight. Had it been reasonable, this would have been the best option.

Indoshakespeare- Thanks for the motivation- appreciate it.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

>about 7-8 hours, as compared to 2 hours of flight- that was the constraint<

That comparison is not quite correct, you have to factor in the time taken to go from the center of Paris to CDG (or to Orly), plus about 2 hours for checking in for your flight, and then also travelling from Malpensa airport. All in all, I would add about 3 hrs 30 mins on top of the 1.5hrs flight duration if you fly.

Wales, United...
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7. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

It was over an hour and a half when we arrived at Malpensa and took the train into Milan. This was from arrival at the gate until leaving the Centrale station. It could be done quicker, I guess, as we had to transfer from one terminal to another and had a bit of a wait for the bus, and we had a hold bag as well, but I think that sort of time might not be too far away from being representative of what most travellers would encounter at the airport.

I think an overall travel time of 5-6 hours,. along with the hassle and segmented nature of the journey by air, is not particularly fantastic compared with the train!

Brno, Czech Republic
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8. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

.. .and Paris CDG is absolutely soul-destroying - truly awful place. Honestly, get the train.

Imperia, Italy
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9. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

Re. post 7, if flying by EasyJet into Malpensa Terminal 2 it is a mistake to get the train from Malpensa into Milan if going to Milano Centrale. Get a direct bus from T2 - they run every ten minutes and therefore work out faster and easier than taking the inter-terminal bus to get a train from T1.

However if going to Milano Cadorna from T2 with luggage, take the inter-terminal bus and the train, rather than bus and then Metro across Milan.

Flying can be a good option of you are spending the night before in one of the very cheap hotels close to CDG and are taking an early morning flight. But from an expensive hotel in the centre of Paris, though you do save a little time, you also gain considerable hassle.

Kuala Lumpur
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10. Re: Travelling by Train in Italy

Thanks Perilizia,

However, the terminology used is alien!

This would be the first time and please tell me in which forum or where to look for names like Milano Cadorna, Milano Centrale, CDG, Malepensa etc...I mean if I need to buy a ticket what name shud I enter: Milano.. what? and Paris.. what?

Where can I go ( site) do know the difference between these names and the locational advantage or disadvantage accompanied with the fact that the train might not be departing or reaching there!

Kindly assist.