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Should we catch fast train from Milan or Lyon to Paris?

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Jul 6th, 2012, 11:27 PM
  #1
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Should we catch fast train from Milan or Lyon to Paris?

Hi All, I'm a bit confused... Will be leaving Bellagio on Oct 11 and going to Paris. We have a car that I had originally planned to drop in Lyon (I am aware it's a 6 hour drive, DH loves driving!) and then get the fast train to Paris from there on the same day. We could catch the train and drop car in Milan but I think the train leaves too early in the morning from Milan, unless I'm missing something. Has anyone done the drive to Lyon, is it a good drive? Any better suggestions?
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Jul 7th, 2012, 12:33 AM
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Where are you picking up the car? If not in France, have you investigated the drop charge you will incur by turning in the car in a different country? If this isn't an issue or concern to you, the drive from Bellagio to Lyon can be quite scenic in parts (depending on your route), but I would find it impossible to resist making several stops and/or detours. I'd probably want to do the drive over two days.

If you train from Milan, where would you return the car? Depending on your particular rental, you could possibly return the car in the town of Como and catch a train there. Some trains from Como (Como S. Giovanni station) to Paris (or Lyon) go via Zurich and pass through some very pretty scenery.

But if you want to or need to return the car in Milan, there are departures to Paris throughout the day although after about 12:30 p.m. the travel times are much longer and involve multiple connections.

A good website for checking European train timetables:

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/DEU/en/index.shtml
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Jul 7th, 2012, 12:56 AM
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Where will you be picking up your car? Before being wound up in excitement of driving, be sure you understand the cost implications. If you rented a car in Italy, the difference between dropping a car off in Lyon vs Milan can be 700EU or more depending on the company.

If you goto www.voyages-sncf.com and look at Milano P. Garibaldi - Paris Gare de Lyon for 10/4 (must be within 90 days) there is a €25 11:10 departure -19:10 arrival direct train. So between the lowest possible advance ticket available and the joy driving to France, there is an enormous cost difference. If you don't want to kill a day of travel, there is also 23:38 Thello overnight train to Paris arriving 9:29 in the morning for €96 (at www.fsitaliane.it)

If the time is more important than driving 6hrs, you can also fly Milan MXP to Paris CDG. An Easyjet flight with one luggage is about €65 right now for 10/11.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 02:37 AM
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Thanks for the info, we will be leasing the car through the Peugeot leasing program. I am aware of the drop off fees. We got it at $157AUD. Picking up in Rome and dropping of in either Lyon or Milan, hence my question.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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Then you're free to drive or train, but I'd want to do the drive at a leisurely pace and not with a Lyon-Paris train schedule in mind.

Would dropping the car in Milan before you go to Bellagio be an option? Depending on your plans for your time at Lake Como, the car might just sit parked. Does your hotel/apartment in Bellagio have free parking?
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Jul 7th, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Yes, I can look at that. There is free parking at our hotel in Bellagio.
Jean, why wouldn't you do the Lyon-Paris train schedule? I'm interested in your thoughts.
I don't think we have an option. So you can see where I am coming from, we will leave Venice, go to Bellagio for 2 nights, then on to Paris for 3 nights then home to Australia from their after having been in Italy for 41/2 weeks. We will need to drop the car in either Milan, Lyon or in Paris. They are the drop cities available to us that are on the way from Bellagio.
The drive to Paris , I believe is 10 hrs, so to be in Paris on the 11th would mean we leave Bellagio very early and be exhausted when we arrive in Paris. I thought breaking it up with the drop off in Lyon and then training the rest of the way would be better and it saves a good few driving hours.
All the sites I am looking on for the fast train from Milan (if we chose that option) are leaving too early in the morning(we couldn't get ther from Bellagio and sign the car off etc early enough) or too late arriving Paris very late. I will keep researching.

Not sure if you can give me any further advice, but would appreciate points of view. Thanks
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Jul 7th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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I didn't express myself well. If I were driving from Bellagio to Lyon and knowing that I needed to turn in a car before a certain hour (do you know the car return hours?), I'd be watching the time obsessively all day. I would think I couldn't stop anywhere or make even the slightest detour lest we encounter a delay farther down the road. For me, that would be stressful and also frustrating to be so near interesting places but not able to stop. I'd rather not put myself through that, but you may feel differently.

Did you search your options from Milan to Paris on the bahn.com website that I linked? There is a Eurostar train leaving at 11:18 a.m. This train would follow very closely the same way you would drive if you took the Torino-Chambery route. The next departure option leaves at 12:25 p.m. and takes, overall, about 30 minutes longer than the 11:18 a.m. train, but its route is via Stresa (Lake Maggiore) and through some pretty scenery in Switzerland.

You could also fly from Milan-Linate to Paris-Orly and probably gain a few hours for sightseeing in Paris.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 10:13 PM
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Thanks Jean. Yes I did look at the sight you linked, appreciate it! I have been looking at different options and what I can do is have an overnight stop after leaving Bellagio. I have looked at our bookings and may take one night off Venice so we can stop overnight on the way to Paris. This may be the best option with the feedback I have recieved.
I will have a look at this option and see what comes from this. If we were to do this, is there somewhere in between the destinations that you would recommend for an overnight stay? Do you think that time of year we can take it as it comes and not book anything till we get there??
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Jul 8th, 2012, 09:56 AM
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It will be a lot cheaper to drop off the car at another Italian city.

Three direct TGV trains link Milan and Turin with Paris, and it's quite a scenic run - see video at http://youtu.be/B09t_WJz_mM

You can book these at www.tgv-europe.com/en with self-print tickets from just €25 one-way if you pre-book (booking opens 90 days ahead) but if you're from the USA select 'Afghanistan' not United States to avoid being bumped to Rail Europe with higher prices and fees.

Trains leave Milan Porta Garibaldi at 06:07 daily, 11:10 weekdays, 10:12 weekends, 16:10 daily. They depart from Turin Porta Susa about 90 minutes after leaving Milan.

Both Milan and Turin are worth a look. Turin is lovely, perhaps Italy's most under-rated city even if you're not a fan of the classic film 'The Italian job'...
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Jul 8th, 2012, 10:08 AM
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No, I wouldn't think you'd have trouble finding lodging as you go.

Study the possible routes and see which one sounds more/most interesting to you. Aosta-Chamonix-Annecy... pretty but could be cold. Or more southerly via Torino... Difficult choice.

But how long are you in Venice that you can drop a day there?
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Jul 8th, 2012, 01:32 PM
  #11
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If we drop the day in Venice we will be there for three nights. I had originally planned this so I will go back to original plan.
Thinking of staying overnight in Lyon...
MAN - thanks for the info, the drop fee is small, got a great deal do not an issue there. Have looked at the sites and some very good info. Thanks
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Jul 8th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Three nights in Venice is only two full days. If you haven't been there before, that isn't much time for a leisurely visit. But if you prefer driving in the countryside, pretty scenery and smaller towns over being in a congested (albeit absolutely amazing) city, then I suppose it's an easy choice. (I am a little curious as to why you've planned so little time in Venice on a 4.5 week trip to Italy, but it's your trip!)

Where will you be before Venice? Have you considered turning in the car before you go to Venice and Bellagio? You can't use the car in Venice (but will pay to park it) and won't have need of it in Bellagio.
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