Train from Paris to Rome Time?

Sep 25th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Train from Paris to Rome Time?

We're planning a trip to Europe in early June 2006 and plan to take an overnight train from Paris to Rome, with stop off in Asissi and stay a night in Florence. About how much time will it take between stops and what kind of scenery will we see? We'll have our son and several of his friends with us, all just graduating high school. (Should be a hoot!) But what can they do on the long train ride? None of us has ever been on a train. Also, since they're responsible for their own lunches, would you say 4-5E would buy a decent lunch in most places? Where are good lunch places?
daisyinc is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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I'm a little confused from the first sentence. If you are taking an overnight train between Paris and Rome how do stop offs in two places work out? Normally you don't get on an off an "overnight train" rather it is a single journey made all at once.
suze is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 07:46 AM
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I have taken the Artesia train between Paris and Rome inthe past. It leaves at about 7 pm and arrives in Rome at about 9. If you are about 6 people travelling all together, reserve the 6 berth-compartment (or 2 if you are more). You can ask in Paris if you qualify for a group rate. Being a night train, there will be no views for the most part of the trip and what you can do on board of the train is only up to you, there is not much to do there apart from sleeping, chatting, playing cards or listening to ipods....
This train doesn't stop in Florence or Assisi. So my suggestion would be that you take this train up to Rome and then from Rome you take a train to Florence (it takes about 1 1/2 hrs with the Eurostar each way) and either from Florence to Assisi or from Rome to Assisi and it takes about 2 hours because you have to change trains.
Check on for schedules and prices.

You can buy a piece of pizza by the slice and a soda for that price, for a decent lunch you should consider a higher price per person.
BATUFFOLINA is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Daisy -
The night train is a good way to preserve sightseeing time but there is not much to be seen en route. And if you were thinking of a hop-on, hop-off you need to think again. You get on in Paris and off in Rome, period. (I think when we did this the train actually stopped for a bit in Milan but there was no change of train, we just sat there for a little bit.) If you are flying in and out of Paris you might think about Asissi and Florence on the way back from Rome - worked well for us.
In terms of lunch costs, your estimate is way low, especially for hungry teens. I would allow a minimum of 10 euros each, remembering that beverages alone may cost a couple euros. FYI, on the train prices do tend to be higher, just as they do around major tourist sites.
There are ways to stretch your food budget. Most hotels offer some sort of breakfast, though you should check out what it costs and what is offered before opting for it - there is wide variation here, especially in Paris. And despite what some hoteliers try to tell you, breakfast is indeed optional and you are not obligated to take it - that's why you see the cost of breakfast posted separately at Paris hotels. It may be cheaper to stop in a nearby cafe if all you want is a coffee and croissant.
Another strategy is to pick up some things at a grocery store. I am not a fan of doing this for breakfast but it works well for lunch and maybe even dinner. And on trains many folks bring their own.

PS On another post I think I read that you live in SA - me, too! Feel free to email me at [email protected]
Seamus is online now  
Sep 25th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Oh yes! Definitely pack and bring your own food and drinks on the train. Even if you pick up sandwiches at the train station it will be better and cheaper than buying once you are on board (if there is even something available, sometimes on overnight trains there is not).

That estimate is low in my opinion as well for a 'decent lunch'.
suze is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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If you want a hop-on, hop-off trip you should tell your agent so when you book it. The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable. Table 44 shows that relevant times in the Artesia Express train with 6-berth couchette comportments are
Paris Gare de Bercy 1909, Florence SMN station 0729, Rome Termini 1006
Rome 1810, Florence 2029, Paris Gare de Bercy 0910.

Between Florence and Assissi trains take 2 hours, and between Assissi and Rome 2 hours.

Do you need a list of agents who book these by phone or e mail ? Please avoid RailEurope, with their 30 percent markup.

Ben Haines, London

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ben_haines_london is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 12:29 PM
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I too was puzzled by the question. If you're taking an overnight train, you don't want to stop off anywhere; there is only one thing to do during the journey which is sleep.
The night train from Paris to Roma goes via Firenze ("Florence") and has done for several years. The train has a restaurant car, and there is also a bar which serves snacks, though it's obviously cheaper to take a picnic.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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As Mr. Haines said, it's a long ride, which is why most people do it overnight.

Maybe you were considering the ride in the alternative? Or taking the overnight down, and coming back breaking it up? You'll need more like 15 euro per person, especially for the young men.

Bring a deck of cards, and you might consider getting a portable dvd player. If you do the latter, make sure you bring your own dvds, because the ones you might consider buying in France or Italy will most likely be the wrong "region" for the player. Meaning, they won't work.

To Mr. Haines -- you gave great advice, as always, but you often mention going to the library to find the Thomas Cook European Timetable. It's not usually found in the local libraries of any big city -- if it is, it's usually an ancient copy. For example, the Los Angeles Public Library has one copy -- from 1988. As you know, that is hopelessly out of date, especially with the most recent major changes in the last few years with the deletion of a number of overnight trains and the addition of a number of high speed trains. Plus the different schedules in winter and summer. Before any trip, I always order the timetable hot off the press, so to speak, for the period in which I intend to travel. And I've discovered over the years, it's getting more and more difficult for the publisher to promptly and timely send the book overseas.
Surfergirl is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 06:34 PM
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Thanks so much for all the good info. It turns out the Thomas Cook Timetables are updated monthly and available online with a link to order passes ahead. And there are specials for 2 or more traveling together and for youth under 26. So thanks for the tip. And it looks like the guys (in the larvae stage of growth!) will need to use more of their summer earnings for food. We're taking care of brkfst and dinner for them. 'Guess they'll benefit from taking cards and sandwiches on the train, maybe a DVD player? No movies on the train? Even tour buses here have movies when we go to the football games on the Mexican border. I enjoy reading and writing, so I'm not worried about my own entertainment.
For clarification, the overnight ride is from Paris to Florence, then spend the day and one night in Florence, then on to Rome with a stop-off in Asissi. Will this portion not be available by a train that stops off?
daisyinc is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 08:15 PM
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Yes, you can get an overnight train to Florence from Paris - there are a couple options, including TGV to Lausanne or Dijon and change trains, or a standard overnight train without a change.
From Florence to Rome you can indeed get an itinerary that gives you some hours in Assisi. Schedules for next June are probably not yet available, but for example there is currently an 0816 train from Florence ariving Assisi at 1037 (or 1108-1334) with continuation from Assisi at 1747 arriving Rome at 2002.
Seamus is online now  
Sep 26th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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For the Paris to Florence overnight segment, will you be booking couchette (bunk beds, shared cabins) or riding in seats?

I ask because as far as the question of entertainment. In a couchette, you'd most likely just go to sleep.
suze is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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I thik everyone has given you good train info.

As for the 5 euros - that's enought for a snack for the average teenage boy - a decent meal (not sure what you mean by that - but if you're talking dinner) would be significantly more.

(My brothers and his friends would do a slice or burger and soda after school as a snack - 5 euro would cover that. If you're talking even a simple dinner like a pasta and salad it would be way more.)

Also - note that soda is VERY expensive in europe and comes in tiny cans. They will be much better off drinking either water or wine.
nytraveler is offline  
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