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Train - Milan to Nice

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Hello again, to those of you that continue to help the trip take form (many thanks again).

We arrive on Friday, July 16 to MXP at 6am. I looked at the Trenitalia website for the schedule to get from Milan to Nice (connecting in Ventimiglia). Is this the best route to take or is there a faster direct?

My other questions in trying to plan our travels,

* I understand there is a shuttle that runs frequently from MXP to Milan Central. If we are arriving at 6am (assuming no delay), with customs and luggage, what time would we conservatively arrive from the MXP shuttle to the train station in Milan? What time does the shuttle service to Milan start in the morning from MXP?

* For some reason when I tried to make a booking to look at the schedule the route from Milan to Nice only shows 7:05am (impossible for us) & 11:10am as the next earliest possible option. However, when I looked at a booking for Milan to Ventimiglia only, there is a 9:10am option that shows up. Why the difference?...and why does this time not show when looking at Milan-Nice trains? What am I missing here?...

* Is it best to book in advance on-line? Or is it fine to purchase at the stations? Is there usually a big cost difference? do some of the trains sell out during peak times?

* Is the round trip booking generally a saving rather than 1 way tickets? I am not sure our exact return date yet to Milan.

* Also, please forgive my ignorance, What is the difference for 1st/2nd classe seating? And what are the differences for Adult/Standard, Smart, & Go options?

thanks in advance,
S

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