Paris to Rome Over Holidays By Train

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Sep 11th, 2013, 09:16 AM
  #1
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Paris to Rome Over Holidays By Train

14 nights with kids (young teens) on their first trip to Europe. Start in Paris (for Christmas) and end in Rome. All travel by train. Input on the following most appreciated:

1. Allocate nights--Paris (4), Switzerland (3), Venice (2), Florence (2), Rome (3)? Too ambitious? Deploy a different strategy?

2. Best train strategy through Switzerland?

3. Best strategy for train pass(es) to cost-effectively accomplish the above?

Thanks!
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Sep 11th, 2013, 09:40 AM
  #2
 
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Depends on WHERE in Switzerland you want to end up. The Berner Oberland? Take a TGV service from Paris to Bern and change there.
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Sep 11th, 2013, 09:53 AM
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Hi Phantom1,

With only three days (2 nights?) in Switzerland, it's best to find a base that's convenient as well as awesome -- Luzern would be best.

Take the TGV from Paris to Basel, then the trip to Luzern is only an hour farther. Luzern is a beautiful small city that sits nearby some mountains and at the foot of a system of lakes. You can see a bit of all of Switzerland right at Luzern because of its variety.

More information at

www.luzern.com

You should know that the best discount fares for the trip from Paris to Switzerland go on sale 90 days early, but they sell out quickly. You really should finalize your plans and buy your rail tickets asap. You can buy from:

www.tgv-lyria.com

www.tgv-europe.com

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Sep 11th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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>>>3. Best strategy for train pass(es) to cost-effectively accomplish the above?<<<

I doubt a pass would be cost effective. Discount fares Paris/Switzerland on TGV. Discount supersaver fares Switzerland/Milan EC trains(as cheap as 22chf) on the Swiss rail site (www.sbb.ch) and discount fares on the Italian rail site (Trenitalia) for the fast trains Milan/Venice, Venice/Florence and Florence/Rome (as little as 9€, but more likely 19€).

FWIW - I don't think you are allowing enough time in Italy. Lucerne to Venice will take most of a day.
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Sep 11th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Florence and Rome have so much to see I suggest dropping Switzerland entirely. Take the overnight train from Paris to Venice.
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Sep 16th, 2013, 11:38 AM
  #6
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I should refine my ultimate question. I am looking for suggestions on how/where to spend 3 nights when in route from Paris to Venice by train over the Christmas holidays (with wife and 2 young teens). Considering Luzern, Berner Oberland region, or the Italian Dolomites. The ideal place would combine scenic mountain views, "Old Europe/Alpine" village charm, winter fun (but need not be skiing), and not too inconvenient to get to by train and then on to Venice. I am leaning against Zermatt or Cortina out of concern they have too much of a high end resort feel, but tell me if I am wrong about them. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Sep 16th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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3. Best strategy for train pass(es) to cost-effectively accomplish the above?>

I agree with kybourbon - no train pass would be cost effective, even when compared to first class fares - last year the Eurail Select Saverpass could well have been but that pass where you select between 3 and five countries for it to be valid in no longer has France as an option since they dropped out of the scheme starting in 2013.

Rather go to www.voyages-sncf.com for Paris to Switzerland discounted tickets (but act NOW as the cheaper seats are limited in number - they are also non-refundable non-changeable so be sure of your dates and times! Ditto for Italy - www.trenitalia.com is the state railway's online booking site. Discounted Swiss tickets are much more iffy - not routinely available everywhere.

Unless going skiing I agree with Phantom1 to simply drop Switzerland and concentrate of France and Italy - especially Italy where the weather should still be somewhat warm.

For lots of great info on European trains check out these IMO fantastic sites - www.seat61.com - great info on discounted fares in France and Italy and www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

You can always be sure of getting on trains by waiting to buy tickets once there but these full fare and fully flexible tickets can cost a whole lot more at times than the early bird discounts - indeed the early bird doth indeed get the proverbial worm in this case.
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