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Train Experts: Paris to Rome and perhaps somewhere in between?

Train Experts: Paris to Rome and perhaps somewhere in between?

Dec 17th, 2005, 10:29 AM
  #1  
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Train Experts: Paris to Rome and perhaps somewhere in between?

I've got 14 nights to spend in Europe. It looks like I can use FF miles to fly into either Paris or Rome, but they will not fly me between the two cities.

I was thinking of taking the train between the two. First thought was to spend 6 nights each in Rome and Paris and then two nights somewhere in between to break up the long train ride.

If I went that route, where might that be? Nice? Luzern? I thought the mountain views might be a nice change of pace.


Is there a regularly scheduled train and can I see the stops it makes? I'd like to avoid making multiple train changes and risk missing a connection.

Or would it be better to just take an overnight train? I thought that might be attractive considering you could avoid paying for a hotel one night. But could two of us have a private compartment or would we have to sleep with several other travlers?

What is the cost for one adult 2nd class ticket? Or should we go with a first class ticket? How about for a 24 year old?

How much would it coast to upgrade to a sleeping car?

Is it cheaper to buy the tickets in Rome or Paris?

Sorry for all the dumb questions. I tried to research this issue but got frustrated by the railroad sites and couldn't figure out how to do it. This is driving me to distraction. I could often find the route, but not the price or info on the sleeping compartments.
NorthShore is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 11:08 AM
  #2  
 
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A search on the French railway site sncf.fr brings up a fare of 180 euros per person for 1st class double accomodations (2nd offers only couchette for 6 persons or cabine for 3), including breakfast and lavabo in compartment on an Artesia train (227) that departs Paris Bercy at 7:00 PM. You arrive in Rome at 9:42 AM. So this is a very long ride, over 14 hours, but could be a pretty cool experience together with somebody you like.

It's 160 euros per person in a 2nd class cabine (three people) and 125 euros per person in a 2nd class couchette (6 people). You can also find last minute on-line deals which may or may not be available and are generally going to be for couchette rather than for a double sleeper.

So not cheap, but you'd save on the hotel, and you'd also have economized on travel time, as even flying will burn up a day (you have to consider trip to airport, wait for security, etc.; travel by train will bring you right into central Rome). I'd strongly suggest choosing the double sleeper over the couchette---the saving's not that great, and travel by couchette is not all that restful unless you are an excellent sleeper.

There are routes you can choose that require a change in trains, but again, that's going to destroy your sleep.
Therese is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 11:24 AM
  #3  
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Hi Therese, thanks for the info.

So it would be about 360E for one adult and one youth (24) for a first class double sleeper?

But I'd save about $150E for the hotel room.

Is this in some sort of two seat compartment that has two pull down beds? I assume you would be able to lock it and store your bags in the compartment.
NorthShore is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 01:24 PM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi NS,

May I suggest that you

Fly into Paris - 6 nights.

Fly www.myair.com from Paris Orly to Venice VCE,

3 nights Venice, train to Florence 3 nights (daytrip to Siena), train to Rome,

Fly home from Rome?

ira is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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NorthShore,

This is one of the few instances in which I would recommend taking Ryanair from the badly located "Paris" Beauvais airport. They have 2 flights a day from there to Rome Ciampino, the least inconvenient of which arrives at 23:40. You would need to take a bus out to Beauvais at 18:45, so door to door travel time is about 6 hours. The other option would have you catching a 6:30 bus - not my cup of tea.

Schedules are more humane in the opposite (Rome-Paris) direction, so perhaps you could flip your itinerary around.

Ryanair tickets are very cheap if purchased far in advance.

Web site for Ryanair:
www.ryanair.com

Web site with Beauvais airport bus schedules and tickets:
http://www.aeroportbeauvais.com/hora...s.php?lang=eng

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Dec 17th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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Luzern is not what I would call on the road to Rome from Paris.

The popular night train leaves Paris Bercy station at 19:00 and arrives at 9:42 the following morning. This particular train requires no changes of coach, although the locomotives change en-route. (You sleep through it probably.)

If you want to go in the daylight, a train leaves Paris Gare de Lyon at 8:04 and arrives in Milano Centrale at 14:47.
The continuation leaves Milan at 16:00 and arrives in Rome at 20:30.

It makes a stop in Florence (Firenza) which is a travel objective for many of us.

So stops in Milan and Florence are on your route and both attract numerous visitors. Those would be good places to stop. In fact, I would go so far as to say that a visit to Florence is worth cutting a day off of either Paris or Rome so you can have time there to see that famous city.

If you want mountain views rather than cityscapes, you must deviate from your route.

Without deviating too far from a standard route to Italy, I suggest Zermatt for spectacular, snow covered mountains.

Leave Paris at 7:44 to Lausanne, Switzerland.

Change in Lausanne for Visp, and change in Visp for Zermatt.

Stay in Zermatt 2 nights, ride the Gornergrat train, take the cable car to the Klein Matterhorn, if the line is open when you are there, and then leave for Rome at 7:30 or 8:30.

The connection from Zermatt to Rome involves 2 changes: Brig and Milan.

Don't worry about missing connections.
The trains are well timed as a general rule. On the Paris - Zermatt run for example, you have ample time to make the connections.

In Milano Centrale which, if memory serves me correctly, is a big station, you have over an hour on the day time connection. On the night one, you don't have to worry. You don't leave your coach as far as I know. (I never took the night train.)

On the Zermatt - Rome connection you have 25 minutes.




bob_brown is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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Northshore, I've never used a double sleeper myself, only a couchette (2nd class) that I took many years ago from Paris to Milan. Not an experience I care to repeat: I'm claustrophobic (didn't yet know it, just knew that I was very uncomfortable for some reason I couldn't quite fathom) and was traveling alone (so had five strangers with me).

I do think I'd be fine in a double sleeper with a family member or close friend. And I find the idea of an overnight train in this instance to be fairly attractive. If the idea of train travel is not appealing to you or your companion I likely wouldn't choose it. The savings on the hotel room is not as compelling an argument.

The compartments have attendants who turn the seats into beds. You can lock the compartment from the inside and you keep your bags with you in the compartment.

I just checked RailEurope and it gives a price in dollars for one adult and one youth as $395.

I agree with previous posters that you should certainly consider one of the low cost air carriers from Paris to Rome. Just be sure to take into account the associated travel time to and from airports, etc.

Search here on Fodors using "Artesia" and you'll find some very interesting first hand reports, some good, some bad.

Therese is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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My son and I took the Artesia from Paris to Rome for the obvious reasons--we needed to get from one place to the other and wanted to maximize our nighttime travel. The compartment was okay and I personally found the rocking action of the train to be soporific. My son found it slightly nauseating. The bar car was crowded, and we skipped the full dining meal because we'd had awful sandwiches at the Bercy train station before departure. I'm glad we chose that option, as to get to the suburban Paris airport and fly to Rome, get into town and our hotel would have probably taken at least 6 hours---of valuable daytime.
kswl is offline  
Dec 17th, 2005, 06:53 PM
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Tickets can be booked on www.sncf.com no more than 60 days in advance. PREM (discount) seats sell out quickly so it's best to book as close to the 60-day window as possible. If they are available, 1st class PREM tickets in a four-person couchette will cost 70E/person. PREM tickets in a 1st class double will cost 150E/person (includes breakfast). 2nd class PREM tickets in a six-person couchette will cost 50/E person. 2nd class PREM tickets in a three-berth cabin will cost 130E/person (includes breakfast).

My recommendation is that you avoid the 2nd class six-person couchette. It's quite crowded.

To see the stops on all trains, day or night, between Paris and Rome visit www.bahn.de.
TimS is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 02:50 AM
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In response to kswl's post, the Ryanair flight I suggested would have the OP leaving central Paris after 6 PM, so hardly a large chunk of precious daytime lost there. Just a missed opportunity for a good dinner and a late nighttime arrival in Rome.

Bob Brown's suggestion of an "in-between" stop in Zermatt is good IMO, however, it implies 2 long days of train rides, so would only recommend this if willing to spend at least 3 nights in Zermatt (and this trip takes place during the summer or winter season, not in the "dead" periods of late spring and autumn)

His other suggestion of including Florence is also good, although for this a far better option than the long train ride is to fly EasyJet from Orly to Pisa. Ira's Venice suggestion is of course enticing, though I'm not sure why he doesn't include any time in Rome in his proposed itinerary.

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Dec 18th, 2005, 07:20 AM
  #11  
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Thank you all for the great info. I'm leaning toward using easyjet.
NorthShore is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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Say what you want about the Ryan Air airport -- but you are in and out in a jiffy as they seem to be the only airlines that uses that airport. Just get a shuttle to get there. The ride out there is pretty, and takes less time than the inevitable delays at CDG.
wliwl is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 07:58 AM
  #13  
ira
 
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Hi Andre,

>Ira's Venice suggestion is of course enticing, though I'm not sure why he doesn't include any time in Rome in his proposed itinerary.<

Because with only a week in Italy, I think Venice and Florence would be more pleasant than a short time in Rome.

I think Rome needs a whole week.

ira is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 08:01 AM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi N,

>I'm leaning toward using easyjet. <

To where? They don't fly to Rome or Venice from Paris.

ira is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 08:19 AM
  #15  
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ira

I'm looking at 6 nts Rome, train to Florence with 2 nts there, fly from Pisa to Paris with 6 nts there.


NorthShore is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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The trip from Paris to Rome is indeed a long one. I get bored stiff on those long train rides.

I think I would fly to Pisa from Orly with EasyJet.

If you have never flown EJ, it is strictly no frills. Last summer we flew from Geneva, Switzerland to London-Gatwick. At check-in, we tagged on own luggage and put it on the conveyer belt. There are no seat assignments. As I recall, the agent assigned us to a seating priority group that was determined by the time of arrival at check-in. Passengers boarded in priority order and selected a seat.
The last ones to board got what was left.

Once on board, all drinks and food are sold. Unfortunately, I could not buy anything because I had spent all of my Swiss money in the airport, all of my euro money was long gone, and I had not yet acquired any British money. All I had was US dollars and they were totally useless. Talk about feeling pennyless!!
bob_brown is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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ira
 
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Hi N,

>I'm looking at 6 nts Rome, train to Florence with 2 nts there, fly from Pisa to Paris with 6 nts there.<

Sounds good.

These threads might be useful:

Helpful Information: Italy 2
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34568596

Paris Superthread
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34519236

ira is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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NorthShore,

That sounds perfect/parfait/perfetto!

Andre
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Dec 18th, 2005, 05:02 PM
  #19  
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Thanks for all the help. I just booked the Paris to Pisa flight with Easyjet.
NorthShore is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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I just checked EasyJet's web site and they now have flights from Paris Orly to Rome Ciampino (at the ungodly hour of 6 am -- at least it's mercifully at 8:30 on the return flight)
goatee is offline  

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