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France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

San Diego...
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France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

My husband and 2 kids are traveling To France & Italy in December: 13-24.

flying into & out of Paris CDG b/cause of good fares. Must visit Paris, Milan, Venice. Would like to do circle route, but it looks like venice/paris is an awefully long ride, so investigating a sleeper train from venice or perhaps going to Rome as well and a sleeper from there. However I just don't understand the ticketing setup.

I already bought the Eurail 2 country passes (3 adult, 1 child); when I try to reserve Venice to Paris via www.raileurope.com it shows that my options are a sleeper with 2 berths in 1st class or a sleeper with 3 berths in 2nd class for $456-$528 total (above the $973 I already paid for the passes). I don't understand what we get? Do we get 4 seats in 1st class and a private cabin with 3 berths/beds in 2nd class? Or is it 3 berths with a bunch of other people? I've never been on a sleeper train and can't figure this out. Is there any way to get 4 berths with our eurail passes?

This is what the site says for the T3 fare:

"Here’s what you can expect when traveling aboard an Artesia Night train, between France and Italy:

Private and comfortable atmosphere to aid in a good night of sleep

Three beds

Dining car offering Dinner and Breakfast for purchase

Passholder 1 T3

A Passholder 1 fare can be purchased in place of the full fare. It is valid for a 3-berth cabin if the traveler is holding one of the following passes:

Eurail France - Italy Pass

Eurailpass

Eurail Selectpass (including France and Italy).

TCV ticket

Provides passengers with a cabin that contains a sleeping facility in 2nd class."

Also this train arrives in Paris Bercey instead of Gare Lyon - we will be flying out of CDG later that day...where is Bercey?

HELP our whole itinerary depends on whether we do this sleeper from Venice or go back to Milan for 1 night and the fast train to Paris the next day.

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canada
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1. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

I had single and 2-berth sleepers before, but I had no knowledge of T3. Being second class, I suspect it to be 3 bunk beds on the same wall.

By the extra you need to pay for room for one night, I would opt for breaks of the journey in solid ground hotel rooms.

Bercy is to the south of Gare de Lyon, one stop by metro 14; walking distance if no luggage.

Toronto
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2. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

>> Do we get 4 seats in 1st class and a private cabin with 3 berths/beds in 2nd class?

4 seats + 3 berths = 7 tickets or railpasses. You only have 4 passes, you are going to get either 4 seats, or 4 berths/sleeping spaces. See pictures of T3 http://www.seat61.com/Sleepers.htm

>> Is there any way to get 4 berths with our eurail passes?

2nd class 4-berth couchette cabin (see picture at link above)

>> for $456-$528 total

If booked with the train company directly(instead of thru raileurope), it's 260-300EUR ($340 - 390)

If you opt for 4 couchettes in a 4-berth cabin, it's 180EUR ($240)

Toronto
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3. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

p .s. "2nd class 4-berth couchette" is called "Couchettes Comfort 4" under 2nd class fare on www.trenitalia.it , and is described as "1st class couchette" in the picture @ seat61.com website.

San Diego...
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4. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

Thank you soo much for your timely advice! Thanks to your links to seat61.com; trenitalia and clear explanations I finally learned the difference between the sleeper cars, couchettes, 1st & 2nd class etc and how to go about buying the sleeper ticket. For some reason I couldn't book all 4 at once and get 4 sleepers (I think it is because the Italian Artesia Eurostar is not configured with a 4 sleeper cabin). So I just split us into 2 and 2. I splurged for the 1st class sleepers as we will have 2 travel nights in a row: venice to paris and then paris to california. By doing so we will have more days for fun and less travelling between cities.

I couldn't get a reservation on trenitalia though; wouldn't let me book past the 9th of december.

Thank you - thank you - thank you from the train challenge american.

Do we need to make advance reservations for our train ride from Milan to Venice? I know I didn't the last time, but it's been a while.

Toronto
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5. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

It's extremely unlikely that the trains between Milan-Venice will be full.

Toronto
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6. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

>> couldn't get a reservation on trenitalia though

You have to click the "Internation" tab first before you enter your departure/destination. The default is "National". They do a good job of making the site user-unfriendly.

Kimberton PA
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7. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

I'd call or go to the Eurail office in Manhattan if you can. The man is very knowledgeable and has lots of brochures. He helped me out a lot. My daughter took the train from Paris to Rome. She stopped in Nice, small town near Turino, Milan and Siena w/side trips before getting to Rome.

During the summer, she couldn't reserve much from the US because the quota was full but she did OK once she got there. Her only hitch was no sleeper from Paris to Nice but she had a 1st class pass and got a confortable seat. With a first class pass you can always downgrade but you have the most options

California
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8. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

Hi rentthisplace,

What a coincidence. I was reading your post about rental houses in Palm Springs and found this one about Venice-Paris trains, and we just got home from doing this. I love overnight trains, and this was our third. My husband and I were in a T-3, which I thought would have more room than the double, but it's the same cabin, just with three bunks instead of two. As I'm sure you know, these compartments no longer have private bathrooms, which is too bad. You get a private sink and we didn't have a problem using the W.C. on the end of the car. It was clean.

A few tips: there is limited space for luggage in the compartments, and no luggage car on the train. Some of the coaches have space for bags outside the compartments, so if you need extra space, be sure to grab it right away. We managed to get all our bags in the compartment, but it was tight and we packed light.

Also, the dining car tends to fill up, so I recommend going in there as soon as you get settled in your compartment and either grabbing a table or getting a reservation, depending on how they do it. The dining car on our train was okay, but not elegant, very bright lights, mediocre food, and was not included in the price of the ticket. Still fun, though. European trains are not like Amtrak. People are quiet and considerate of each other's privacy, nicely dressed, well-behaved children, etc. Other overnight trips we've done have had nicer diners and better food and been included in the room rate, but I guess everyone's cutting down.

I hope you enjoy it. Venice was AMAZING, we just had the best time of our lives. Of course, so was Paris, but I'm rambling...

Locarno
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9. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

The trains between Milan-Venice are full friday evening, saturday morning and sunday evening, because is plenty of people that live around Venice but work in Milan.

10. Re: France - Italy Trains and Sleepers with Eurail Passes

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