overnight train from Rome to Paris

Feb 10th, 2008, 05:15 PM
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overnight train from Rome to Paris

In the end of May I'm planning to take an overnight train from Rome to Paris. I know I can't buy the tickets as of yet, but I'm trying to get some ideas of time tables and costs ahead of time. The only place I really know to look is on www.raileurope.com, and they have the cost of a 6 person couchette at $171 for the itinerary I'm hoping to get (this is for a March train). Does anyone know if the prices change for each season? Also, are there any other sites to look at that might have either different prices or different options? Thanks for your help.
copper675 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 05:33 PM
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For prices, enter a date in the next thirty days on Trenitalia. RailEurope is a reseller and marks-up or charges fees that you won't have to pay from the official Italian or French train company web sites. The prices don't really change much.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:14 AM
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Hi Copper - Alternatively ... have you thought of flying?

Easyjet fares start at about € 50.

Steve_James is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:25 AM
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Hi C,

I also suggest flying.

See www.whichbudget.com

For the train check the SmartPrice fares at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
"35 euros for a couchette in 6-place compartment; 60 euros for a couchette in 4-place compartment".

ira is online now  
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:13 PM
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I found 9 different airlines that fly that route through www.harefares.com...it is a great resource if you're considering a flight.
kammie_joy is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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I'd suggest flying as well. The overnight train sounds fun, but not if you don't get any sleep and the cost is quite a bit higher than flying. Sure, you lose some time to getting to and from the airport but in the end I think you still come out ahead.
mdtravel is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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I like overnight trains but only if I can afford the private cabin 2-person sleeper arrangement. Otherwise I'd fly.

suze is online now  
Feb 18th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Thanks all for your responses. I have chosen the train route because there will be three of us, and all of us apparently need to be disillusioned to the joys of train travel- it sounds fun to us at the moment (we are young, I'm sure we will learn better. For us it ends up being more affordable anyways, now that I know to buy strait from the trenitalia website rather than raileurope. The 60Euro charge covers both our travel and our accommodation, plus we don't waste time traveling when we could be sightseeing. Plus, there are 3 of us in the 4 bed compartment, so here is to hoping that we won't end up with the one creepy person on the entire train filling out the room!

Thanks again for your advice!

P.S. Anyone else have experience with overnight trains? Were they dreadfully uncomfortable or bearable (compared to hostels)? Thanks!
copper675 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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I took the overnight train from Florence to Paris. My major mistake was not getting the tickets until the day before - however, I ended up going to Florence at the last minute so I couldn't have bought them more than a few days ahead of time, anyway.

So my daughter & I ended up sharing a 6 person couchette with a family of five from Chile & Spain (one of them was a 2-year-old). Which was kind of fun, but crowded. We actually did sleep rather well.

The 6 person couchette is probably a whole lot more comfortable if there are only two other people in it, especially if you know & like those two people.

The view of the French countryside in the early morning was delightful. Planes have advantages, but their close-up views aren't one of them.

That being said, I'd take the train again - but only if I had my own room.
Shanti is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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I've taken a lot of overnight trains in Europe and Asia. They've varied from disastrous to luxurious. I would expect the Rome to Paris train to be at the better end. I suppose you could consider buying the fourth berth if you have three people for a four bed compartment, as the most likely disturbance is someone getting on in the middle of the night - but it doesn't look like that will be a problem with this train.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 02:47 AM
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Sounds like a well thought out decision to me copper675.
mdtravel is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:09 AM
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We did the overnight last summer -- three of us in a sleeper. Not much sleeping, however.

Insufficient space for luggage, cramped conditions, bumping into each other to dress, brush teeth, etc., and simply moving -- all reasons to fly.

We did it once. Never again.

JimF is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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<I would expect the Rome to Paris train to be at the better end.>

having taken it a few times in the last few years i would say that your expectations, which i had as well, are wrong. At least the couchette accommodations were barely up to par IMO

buying the fourth berth seems like a good option but i believe most European railways have a no-show policy that if the berth holder does not show up they can then give that berth to someone waiting for one if the train is otherwise full

by all means pay for a 4-berth couchette rather than 6 IMO on these trains. Better yet pay much more for a private compartment if you can afford it.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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PalenQ is correct about trying to pay for an extra berth. Each sleeping or couchette carriage has an attendant who will collect tickets and passports and keep them overnight (the Roma-Paris train passes through Switzerland so the Swiss police are entitled to check passengers' identities). If any berths are unoccupied, they can be relet to someone else. The only way to get a compartment for three people is to book a three-berth sleeping compartment.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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I was trying to book easyjet for October (Milan to Paris) but switched to winter schedule. After looking at all the options I ended up booked on Expedia for $109.00.
jnjfraz is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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Geoff - or if you are good looking American college students like were in my six-person compartment along with me and a Parisian and the youngish Italian couchette attendant comes along and they ask him if there are any compartments where they could be by themselves

and the attendant happily takes them to an adjoining and previously empty compartment

then you may end up with a private couchette cabin even though you paid for a berth in a 6-person cabin.

This is what happened a few weeks ago on the Venice-Paris night train. Me and the Parisian also breathed a sigh of relief with their reassignment and enjoyed our suddenly couchette with just two folks in it.

Man those three gals had so much luggage - incroyable!
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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copper - my dear friends did this last June. It was one of the worst parts of their trip to Europe. I would consider flying.
dawnnoelm is offline  
Feb 19th, 2008, 08:19 AM
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I was in the 4 berth couchette on the Artesia night train from Venice to Paris and I found it surprisingly comfortable.

Maybe my expectations were very low, but it was roomier than I expected. It took a bit of maneuvering to get our suitcases (4 of them) in the storage space under the seats, but we had no problem with extra space for our carryon bags.

The bed/couchette was obviously not as comfortable as a real bed, but I was able to sleep pretty well. I am a light sleeper and I was awakened a couple of times by the train's movements, but it wasn't too bad.

The worst part was the shared toilet at the end of the car - you'll probably want to use it early and hopefully not again. Not that it was super disgusting, but certainly I wouldn't want to use it in the early morning unless I absolutely had to.
chepar is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Thanks again for all the advice! Against the recommendations of many, we are still planning to take the train, but your advice has helped us figure out how to prepare a little better for the trip. Hopefully we won't be as repulsed by train travel as so many of you are. Thanks again!
copper675 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 04:47 PM
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I'm really posting to reassure you that not everyone finds train travel repulsive. Actually I find waiting in airports, taking off my shoes for security, and being jammed into a seat, more annoying than the night train from Rome to Paris (which I took in July '07).
I was in a 3-berth "ladies" with one elderly Italian lady, who spoke fluent French & passable English. I enjoyed the passing countryside, and slept reasonably well. Although we had to "borrow" a passing stranger to lift it up (NO ONE under 5'6" is getting luggage on those overhead racks), my 24" suitcase fit there, and the lock on the door worked fine.
My only issue was the condition of the compartment toilet in the morning, as was previously mentioned--but I've encountered the same in airplanes.
I didn't pay RailEurope prices, so my ticket was an improvement over a hotel & an airline ticket. And, as you seem to,...I like trains. I actually find the "rhythm" rather sleep-inducing.

nfldbeothuk is offline  

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