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Rail journey within Austria, Switzerland and Italy

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This is such a wonderful forum for a novice who plans his first trip to Europe! I have collected lots of information from the response to my previous postings. However, need some more information regarding journey by rail within and outside the countries. Details as follows:

Tentative itinerary - 5 days in Austria (Vienna), 3 days in Switizerland (Zurich, Rapperswil, Luzern and any other nearby places) and then off to Italy - Venice, Florence and Rome. Total 8 days in Italy. Must exit from Rome. Should I take a Rail Pass (Eurorail Select Pass ?) or buy individual tickets for all sectors, which is more economical ? We are a family of 4 and planning the trip for Aug-Sept. If we take a pass, then will it also cover the trips within each country ? Also, is night train a good idea while crossing the countries.

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