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One Night Between Aix-en-Provence and Florence

One Night Between Aix-en-Provence and Florence

Old Aug 9th, 2021, 03:11 PM
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One Night Between Aix-en-Provence and Florence

Hi all!

We are on the home stretch of trip planning for 5 weeks in September/October. While not booked yet, our plan is to travel by train from Aix to visit our daughter in Florence for a few days before we return to Paris to fly home to the U.S. (We didn't realize getting to and from Florence would be so difficult and thought there would be a non-stop flight from Marseilles.)

Aix - Lyon -Turin Porta Susa - Florence via TGV means departing at 6:30 a.m. and arriving at 4:04 p.m. While doable we are thinking of breaking up the trip with one night somewhere. I have a night planned in Lyon right now but with the Saint Exupery TGV station so far out of town, it adds a taxi trek and expense that makes for a costly "stop-over."

Any easier other ideas? Turin? Different routing? After 4 nights in Florence, as I mentioned, we have to fly back to Paris to catch our flight home. I tried to rebook the return from Florence but it was outrageously expensive now.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 03:46 PM
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Torino is wonderful, but are you trying to break your journey closer to the halfway mark? What time would you arrive in Torino if you stopped there and then what time would you leave the next day?

(Sorry for the Torino this Torino that; I vacationed there in 2018 so the Italian name is burned in my brain.)
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 03:58 PM
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You need to change trains in Lyon & Torino. Torino is about 2/3rds the way to Florence - so logistically that makes the most sense. I've never visited Torino - but I trust Leely2's judgement.

Chambery & Bologna are excellent stops along the route (we've done train stops at both) - but not as good logistically as Torino.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 04:42 PM
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Thanks both!

Ideally, I'd love to stop half way but there really is nothing.

Lyon:
90 minute TGV from Aix. Then the next morning, it's a 45-minute taxi to the TGV station, followed by 7 1/2 hours to Florence.

Chambery:
Looks like 3 1/2 hours from Aix to Chambery. I have never heard of it so haven't considered it. Day two would be catching the 9:44 a.m. train and arriving in Florence at 4:04 p.m.

Torino:
We could take a 6:30 a.m. train or 10:30 a.m. train from Aix and arrive at Torino Porta Susa six hours later. Then, catch a mid-morning train the next day for a 2 1/2 hour train journey to Florence.

Love the idea of seeing someplace else before arriving in Florence but not completely necessary at the end of our trip. I think we will want to get home at this point.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 05:46 PM
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Chambery is in the Alps - so it will be quite different from Florence. We've visited it twice - once by train and another time by car from Annecy.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 07:08 PM
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There are some really excellent sights in Torino, so it's a shame to make such a brief visit, but it's also a city with a good aperitivo culture (vermouth originated there!), so you could conceivably just have a relaxing afternoon/evening.

Turin, the Savoy Residences - UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Travel ideas

Aperitivo in Turin Italy | Turin Apericena | Turin Drinks & Cocktails Guide


Sweating it out on a muggy July day in Torino.

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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 10:49 PM
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StuDudley do you recall where you stayed in Chambery. A stopover in the Alps sounds lovely.

Leely2 , my husband would love the Vermouth culture is there a section of town you recommend to stay?
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 11:12 PM
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I like Lyon, and Torino is on my bucket list - but I wonder if a single evening would be worth the stop? I think I would be so tired from a 6:30 am departure that I'd just sacrifice the day & aim to make it to Florence that afternoon.

If you go to Lyon - I don't think the train station is that far out of town. If its Station Part Dieu, it's walkable to downtown. It's a longer walk, but I've done it a couple times. If it's the station near the airport, I think the tram was about 20 minutes.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 07:49 AM
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""I don't think the train station is that far out of town. If its Station Part Dieu,""

It's the train station at the Lyon airport - not in downtown Lyon.

We stayed overnight about 15 years ago and picked the hotel closest to the train station.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 09:30 AM
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Seems like a lot of trouble to me, the quickest way would be to take a nonstop from from MRS to Bologna (about an hour), and then the train from Bologna to Florence is less than an hour.

Unless you really wanted to do all those other places and traveling.

Ryanair flies nonstop from MRS to Bologna on TU and SAT. The flight on TU is 11 pm, but the one on SAT is a decent time, around 6 pm. Their PLUS fare or whatever that gives you checked bags, seats, etc. is only about $50. It's really Air Malta, they codeshare.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 10:25 AM
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Agree with Christina. Also, I do not think your rushed stop, after such an early morning start, would be anything other than exhausting and of no enjoyment.
If possible, rather than departing from Aix so very early in the morning (cutting a decent nights sleep short and making for an exhausting start to the day), consider departing from Aix the evening before if you can get a flight. If you can fly to Bologna, spend the night there and a few hours the next day before going on to Florence.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 05:47 PM
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Yes, it's all a hassle and I wouldn't go if my 21-year-old wasn't spending the fall in Florence.

Hmmm....yes, we could fly to Bologna and spend the night there. I wanted to see it anyway! We could:
4:20 p.m. Bus from Aix Gare Routiere to MRS
6:35 p.m. Ryan Air departure
7:35 p.m. Bologna arrival
8:00 p.m. Taxi to Bologna City Centre
8:30 p.m. Check into hotel
9:00 p.m. Dinner at some delicious restaurant
OR
9:02 p.m. TGV from Bologna Centrale to Firenze Santa Maria Novella (arrival at 9:39 p.m.)

My concern with flying is a bad past experience where Ryan Air canceled and literally we were stuck because the next flight they offered was 4 days later and another airline was a fortune. Sassafrass Christina

OR, I stick with the train, but skip the early morning start

-10:00 a.m. TGV from Aix to Lyon as originally planned and spend a nice day and night there before the long journey the following day.
-10:00 a.m. TGV from Aix to Turin; arrive at 4:00 p.m. and treat it like Bologna. Stay the night, have dinner, and to Florence in the morning.
-10:00 a.m. TGV all the way to Florence, arriving at 8:04 p.m.

Decisions decisions...

Last edited by lrice; Aug 10th, 2021 at 05:49 PM.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 07:30 PM
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I have not had your bad experience so would likely take a chance on Ryanair for several reasons. I can’t stand very early morning departures. They just tire me and ruin any pleasure for the day, the trip total from hotel to hotel would be a lot less and a dinner in Bologna holds a lot of appeal because one of the best meals I ever had in Italy was there. Good luck with whatever decision you make.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 08:42 PM
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Flying is way worse for the environment, so personally that would factor into my decision unless I were really rushed.

I've been to Bologna twice and Torino once. Both are good, but for me the historical center of Torino is more beautiful.

Not knowing your budget, in Bologna I've stayed at the Corona d'Oro (both times). It's a gem of a hotel, but not all that near the station. I walked, but I'm a walker. https://www.hco.it/

In Torino, I loved the NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlina.

https://www.nh-collection.com/en/hot...piazza-carlina

If you're just going somewhere for a quick overnight, though, I'd imagine the hotel isn't that big of a deal.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 09:02 PM
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Agree with Leely about being concerned about the environmental impact of taking flights which are avoidable. The other things that would weigh with me is that travelling by air is rarely relaxing compared with travelling by train. By train you get to see heaps more as well. I would be tempted by a short stay in Menton or Ventimiglia. If only there overnight, I'd choose a small-ish but interesting town, just because it's easy to get to your hotel from the station and it's a bit more chill.
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Old Aug 11th, 2021, 07:13 AM
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Thank you all! I am doing a little research on some of these cities and towns and came across an Australian living in Torino who, with her Italian boyfriend, are providing some quite interesting virtual tours of Torino; this one gives some history of Quadrilatero

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CR524EN...dium=copy_link

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Old Aug 11th, 2021, 12:32 PM
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I will make an off topic comment about Turin vs Torino. It has always been a compliment to use one's local name rather than the 'foreign' name for cities. It just means that the city is important enough to have an adapted name; Nobody seems to debate the use of Moscow, Copenhagen or Bangkok over the names used in those countries, so really you do not get bonus points for saying Milano, Roma, Genova, etc. to show that you are clever enough to know the local names.

Spanish speakers are not embarrassed at all to call a big American city Nueva York just as the Vietnamese think it is normal to refer to Phap when they are talking about France. I suggest referring to things in your own language.

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Old Aug 11th, 2021, 01:03 PM
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Is this car thing?

Nobody in a English speaking England would refer to Turin as Torino.

the US had a Ford Torino.

And posters are referring to Torino and Florence.

don’t know.
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Old Aug 12th, 2021, 11:50 AM
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Thanks all!

IF we make it to France in a few weeks, we decided we will go from Aix to Lyon in the morning, spend the day and night there so we can dig into it a bit and see some sights versus simply a dinner in Turin or Bologna. We'll make our way out to the TGV via taxi the next day and just deal with the travel to Italy.
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Old Aug 12th, 2021, 01:09 PM
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Have fun! You can save Torino for another trip.
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