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Overnight train from Paris to Rome Please help!

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Feb 7th, 2012, 06:45 AM
  #1
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Overnight train from Paris to Rome Please help!

Hello all!

My husband and I are starting to get into the details of our trip. We are looking to take an overnight train from Paris to Rome and not sure where to start. I have read some negative things about Euro Railways and Rail Euro (not sure if it's the same company?) and I'm concerned about what to do. Some people have suggested the Trenitalia but I'm not sure where from Paris we would get on the train (there are multiple Paris stops).

Can anyone provide some suggestions in terms of what to do for first-time travelers to Europe and our first time using the train? Any place to purchase the tickets, where the cheapest ones are at and anything else we need to know would be great. Thanks so much everyone!!!
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Feb 7th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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You're muddling up several different services. Go to www.seat61.com to find more than enough information about all European trains.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 07:11 AM
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Check out these websites: http://www.seat61.com/Italy.htm and http://www.thello.com/
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Feb 7th, 2012, 07:19 AM
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Currently there is no Paris-Rome night train service. The direct Artesia night trains between France and Italy, which were a partnership between Trenitalia and SNCF, were discontinued in December.

Trenitalia is now offering Paris-Venice night train service with a new partner, but it won't offer Paris-Rome service until June.

If you're traveling before June, you have two choices:

1. Take the Paris-Venice night train as far as Milan and take a high-speed Eurostar Italia train from Milan to Rome.

2. Fly from Paris to Rome on a budget airline. Either easyJet or Vueling would serve you well. Fares on Ryanair can be cheaper, but it uses outlying airports which take time (and money) to reach.

If you want to know how to get the best fares for Paris-Milan on the night train and Milan-Rome on an ES Italia train, just ask. However, flying on a budget airline will be much cheaper.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 07:26 AM
  #5
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We are traveling in July so hopefully that means we'll have an overnight train?! I will check out the websites listed above. Thank you for the help thus far!
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Feb 7th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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Your confused about reseller companies that are mainly pass sellers and the actual countries train companies.

Trenitalia is the Italian train company.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

I would look at flying Easy Jet from either Rome airport (FCO or CIA) to Paris Orly. Prices tend to run 30€ to about 75€ depending on day and time.

Trains will be much more expensive and require changes. A two person cabin from Milan will be several hundred euro. The Rome/Milan train will add about 75-90€ to the cost (per person).
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Feb 7th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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I feel like flying will cause more time lost then an overnight train would. Is this agreed upon?

We are traveling in July and plan to take the train overnight. We are leaving Paris to head into Rome. Is there a specific company we should be booking the train through? I was confused on the different sites. Thanks again for the help!
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Feb 7th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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It's not 'agreed upon'.

If you are a light sleeper, an overnight train can be a problem. If you hate sharing a cabin with strangers, it can be expensive to have a private cabin. The train can be delayed severely (two hours late last time I used the Artesia to Florence).

The company that runs it is now called Thello and is a consortium inlcuding Trenitalia. See the weblinks above, and for reviews see the Man in Seat 61 (wwww.seat61.com) - he has recently used the Venice train and gives it an OK rating.

Booking will open nearer the time - not sure if 90 or 120 days.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Why not just take an evening flight and then get a good night's sleep on the other side in your hotel? You give up an evening, but I think overnight train leave generally in the evening anyways and make several stops throughout the night which is disruptive. Then you still have to get to your hotel in the morning...I'd just fly and get all the travel out of the way and wake up refreshed and ready to start my day in Rome.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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I feel like flying will cause more time lost then an overnight train would. Is this agreed upon?

Some people love an overnight train ride; others find it grueling at worst or unpleasant at best. It's a very long journey from Paris to Rome. When you arrive in Rome in the morning, you'll have to navigate a new city on possibly a very bad night of sleep (or you may sleep like a rock!). You may not be able to check into your hotel that early. As you've seen, you may have to change trains. For me, half a day or so spent on a direct budget flight between those cities would absolutely be preferable. I'm a light sleeper and was pretty miserable the day after I took an overnight train. Others have done the cost comparisons for you.

Trenitalia is the Italian train system, and you can book tickets there directly. seat61.com is a train information site. There's NO need to go through RailEurope.

Some major cities, Paris included, have several train stations. Trains going similar directions generally leave from the same station. Trains from Paris to Italy leave from Gare de Lyon.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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Can anyone provide some suggestions in terms of what to do for first-time travelers to Europe and our first time using the train?>

Yes these fine sites - www.seat61.com as mentioned above and also www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com - great primers for planning novice rail trip - and of course for the overnight train www.thello.com - the company operating the train. Currently the overnight train only goes from Paris to Milan and terminates in Venice. Sometime later this year I believe direct overnight trains will run between Paris and Rome and Florence - much as the old defunct Artesia overnight trains did for years until removed this December. there have been a snafu with Italian and French railways with Italians relegating it to a secondary Milan station I believe, etc. But the trains are spanking new and hopefully an improvement over the antiquated and MUCH complained about Artesia trains.

You save the cost of a night in a hotel and also cost of getting out to airports and in front them - could well be cheaper all in all than flying that is if going to Milan or Venice but currently for Rome you have to buy a Milan to Rome ticket as well as I think www.thello.com may not provide thru ticketing?
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Feb 7th, 2012, 09:31 AM
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I know there has been alot of Raileurope trashing here over the years but I think one can now purchase discounted tickets thru them for a pretty reasonable fee. So I'd suggest calling them or checking with their website to get better info on price.

I enjoy an overnight train trip and IMO it can be less hassle than a flight. I usually take an ambien and sleep fine and have a plan for when I arrive into the city in the morning - most hotels will store luggage for you if your room is not ready.

You should be able to get an idea of time / costs by looking at the Paris / Milan / Rome option - hopefully by July you will be able to go straight thru to Rome.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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>>>I feel like flying will cause more time lost then an overnight train would. Is this agreed upon?<<<

No, I don't think most of us would agree. First, you have to take a train from Rome to Milan to even catch the overnight train. Rome/Milan will take 3 1/2 hours on the fastest train and cost 91€ for second class each.

Next, you have to catch the overnight train from Milan to Paris which doesn't depart until almost midnight. Travel time is 8 1/2 hours so I'm not sure how much sleep you would actually get. Perhaps if you are one of those people that can fall asleep the minute you hit the pillow? Price is 144€ each for a 2 person compartment. If you are willing to share a couchette with 2-4 strangers, you can save a few euro as there are some discounted fares for couchettes.

You would book this on Trenitalia as you are departing from Italy. You can't book more than four months in advance.

Easy Jet flight takes 2 hours and about 50€ each.
Train requires changes and takes 12 hours plus connection time allowance. Cost is 235€ each.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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If we fly we would have to essentially get a cab to the airport and then another cab once we arrived in Rome to our hotel, correct? What is the overall consensus on us taking an overnight train (I'm told it will run straight thru from Paris to Rome in July) or taking a flight? I'm very torn at this point!
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Feb 7th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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>I feel like flying will cause more time lost then an overnight train would. Is this agreed upon?<<<

should be because your time 'lost' on the train is at night, not during the day as you would lose several hours of day time by flying - at the expense of sightseeing perhaps in Rome. But if you are the minority IME - small minority of folks who cannot sleep with the slightest bit of noise then no as you would sleep the next day away. the noise problem is IMO often overblown by folks who probably have never taken an overnight train - heck many hotel rooms I've been in have been noiser than overnight trains.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Renee --
I've done both and here's my take (and obviously personal preference) -- If I'm flying from the states and heading to Rome first, I have to fly into CDG 1st, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to me not to just take the next flight to Rome. I'm already at the airport.

However, if I'm in Paris and want to make the most of my day time, I'd take the overnight train.

But I LOVE train travel, especially overnight train travel in a compartment. I wouldn't hesitate to try out the new upcoming overnight train from Paris to Rome. I'm a light sleeper, but find the gentle noise and sway of the train puts me right to sleep. Sometimes I wake up when the train is pulling into a station, and I can peer out and see where we are. Then as soon as the train pulls out of the station, I'm lulled back to sleep.

In order to figure out whether it will work for you, you might want to try to find out how many stops the new train will make in the night, and factor in your sleeping habits.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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Not sure you will get a consensus but kybourbon does not add in some of the costs and time factors (such as cabs to airport, baggage fees?)that would be invloved in the discount airline. Personally I think an overnight train is fun once in a trip - we have shared couchettes with people and it was interesting - we have also booked our own compartment. I think you will find posters here lobbying for their preferred mode of travel but in the end you'll have to decide what works best for you.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 10:53 AM
  #18
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Thanks everyone! We are really leaning towards the train. Here are the specifics of our trip for everyone to understand why we want to do this. We are arriving in Paris on July 16th and will be there until July 21. On the 21st of July (in the evening), we were planning to take the overnight train and arrive in Rome early in the morning on July 22nd. Then, we'll be in Rome from July 22 until the 29th.

So, we are essentially traveling from the U.S. to Paris, staying for 7 days, then overnight to Rome, then 7 more days then home. Any other feedback would be great!

I can sleep with noise and so can my husband. I imagine we'll be tired from the day as well so I think it should be okay. Does anyone recommend traveling on the train with just us two or with four people? I found that two people is more expensive but I'm also paranoid a little about sleeping with strangers in the same area...thoughts?
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Feb 7th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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I like night trains. However, I can sleep anywhere, even in a reclining seat.

All couchettes are the same size. The only difference is in the number of bunks that are pulled down. Based on my experience in a 6-person couchette, I wish I had booked a 4-person couchette. Having strangers in the same space with me wasn't an issue, but there would have been more room for both people and luggage in a 4-person couchette. If you need privacy and are willing to pay for it, you can book a 2-bed sleeper.

Here is a fare breakdown for the current Paris-Venice night train. (Fares are likely to be the same for Paris-Rome when that train is up and running.)

C4 couchette: Standard fare of €120. Go fare of €96. Smart fare of €55.

Double seat compartment (2-bed sleeper): Standard fare of €180. Go fare of €145. Smart fares aren't available for sleepers.

Assuming the train will be up and running in June, you will be able to book up to 90 days in advance in English on the Trenitalia site. You will be able to book up to 120 days in advance on the Thello site (French only). You could use Google translate if you can't handle French.

However, if you take an early evening flight, you'll still be able to spend most of the day in Paris. Or take an early morning flight and have the afternoon and evening in Rome.

It's your call.
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Feb 7th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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You could easily spend 180€ for a night in a hotel in Rome....you get the long-trip transportation thrown in at the same time, so hey! That's a bargain. Now, we limit our lodging costs to under 100€ per night, but that is STILL a good price for transportation Paris to Rome for two people with luggage. Even better if you get the 2 bed sleeper for 145€. Plus it is more romantic. I'd go for the privacy of a 2-bed sleeper.

As you can see, there are ways to rationalize little luxuries, and this IS a vacation, so go for it.
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