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Artesia Night Train

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Fort Worth, Texas
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Artesia Night Train

My wife and I will be in Paris in September, and are planning to go on to Rome and Florence and then back to Paris. I'd originally thought of taking the Artesia night train from Paris to Rome, and later from Florence back to Paris, but several of the posts on this site were very critical of this train.

We're in our mid-60's and would be travelling first class on the train. Has anyone any recent experience (good or bad) to share? Thanks.

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1. Re: Artesia Night Train


We had a positive experience on the Artesia night train traveling first class last September from Paris to Venice. The cabin was brand new and comfortable for being so small. It was a long ride- maybe 14 hours or so. The best part of the train ride was at night when we were traveling through the Alps.

The food on the train is very expensive (like 40E each person for dinner). We bought some baguettes, cheese, meat, drinks, and desserts before we left Paris. In the morning you get a croissant, juice, and espresso/tea. Nothing spectacular, that is for sure.

It was great to experience the train ride once, but given the high cost of the train and the long duration of it, I would highly suggest flying back to Paris.

Have a wonderful time! You will fall in love with Paris and Italy both.

Savannah, GA
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2. Re: Artesia Night Train

Did your first class cabin on Artesia include the tiny ensuite bathroom? I had heard that these had been excluded - even from the first class cabins. Yes, isn't the Alps portion lovely....I stayed up all night the last time that I took this trip.

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3. Re: Artesia Night Train


Our cabin had a wash basin only. The bathroom was at the end of the train.

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4. Re: Artesia Night Train

My family (husband and two teenage kids) are still recovering from our trip on the Artesia night train from Paris to Milan. The 4 of us rented out a 2nd class berth (6 couchettes for the 4 of us) late July.

We had traveled from Milan to Paris -- and that was a lovely experience, but on our return trip, we had a room with a broken lock and no air conditioning. We promptly told our porter, but he told us the train was completely full and there was nothing he could do for us.

Even worse, we woke up in the middle of the night to find out that one of our mattresses (the one we placed all our luggage on) was infested with bed bugs...we caught 20 just on one section of the couchette. This time, the train management acted quickly, I'm guessing to try and limit their liability. When we arrived in Milan, we were greeted by several Italian Police and members of the train management who wanted us to wait for the first aid nurse to arrive to make sure we didn't need any shots or other treatment.

They did reimburse us for the cleaning of all our clothes and luggage, but we lost about a day of our vacation filling out police reports, waiting for the nurse and getting all our luggage and clothes cleaned. And then we found another bed bug!

We rewashed everything again (at our own expense) and we're just praying that we haven't brought any back home with us. The train company has said they will reimburse us for any cleaning or medical attention we may need, but they never give refunds for trips. We are disputing charges with American Express.

washington, dc
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5. Re: Artesia Night Train


I am so sorry to hear your tale of woe. Thank you for taking the time to alert others.

We've lost precious days of vacation because of other people's irresponsibility, but yours' is pretty close to the worst story I have ever heard.

I have been traveling on the Palatino between Florence and Paris for almost 50 years, and I never, ever heard of such a nightmare.

But I think you have well and truly put the kibosh on that mode of transport for anybody and everybody on this forum.

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6. Re: Artesia Night Train

I traveled on Sunday August 09th,2009 from Gare Bercy in Paris overnight to Venice with a group of 17 people.

It was very uncomfortable even in second class. First class, which some of our group had, was not much better. Hot, cramped and seedy. The train was full and to make matters worse, one of our cars was "out of order". Many people from my group were relegated to a very old car that seemed to have been added at the last minute. The car I was in was very old also. They went to a car with two sections for six (couchettes) with NO sheets, with a very musty odor prevailing throughout. The "dining" car was ridiculously expensive, plied with what seemed to be nothing more than canned pasta and sauce. There was very little room for luggage storage and the conductors kept insisting that we lock our doors behind us for safety and security reasons. It turns out that they were right. Someone had a purse stolen out of the next car ahead. Never again. I had thought it would have been a fun experience to take an over-night train, but the level of service was no where near the experience one would have elsewhere in Europe. In my opinion, the train was over-hyped and mis-represented on the Eurail website. A plane and a hotel would have sufficed much better. (Stay off of Ryanair also, it is another disaster.)

Albany, Western...
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7. Re: Artesia Night Train

I hate to write this, as I love train travel in Europe in general. My partner and I took the Artesia night train from Paris to Rome in January 2008 and found it a very unpleasant experience.

We were "greeted" with a grunt from the conductor, who appeared to be unhappy at being addressed in French (in Paris), and his attitude did not improve as the night went on. I don't think it was us, as we don't normally have problems getting on with people.

Dinner was expensive but OK and we quite enjoyed the experience of dining on the train, particularly as the staff in the restaurant car were very friendly.

The heating in the carriage was far far too hot and could not be turned down (I assume it was faulty, and this was normal). With the window open, the temperature was bearable but it was much too noisy to sleep.

In the morning, the train was running a couple of hours late and so we didn't arrive into Rome until late morning. The conductor refused to help us fold up the top bunk so for the morning hours we had the choice of lying in bed, standing or sitting hunched over on one of the beds, not able to sit up straight because the top bunk or roof was in the way.

In the future, we would take a daytime train if at all possible and enjoy the view.

8. Re: Artesia Night Train

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