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train versus car from Genoa to Cannes and back

train versus car from Genoa to Cannes and back

Old Mar 20th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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train versus car from Genoa to Cannes and back

We have so far arranged, through Autoroute, a small station wagon for 2 weeks, at a great rate of 706 CDN, which will take us from Rome, to Lucca, to Rapallo, to Cannes, to Menton, to Florence (staying on the outskirts at Hotel David), and finally to the Rome airport.

The question now arising is whether it makes more sense to take trains instead for all, or any part of the trip - the prices are approximately only $200 -$300 CDN. more for the car when including gas and anticipated parking charges, and therefore are not a large concern.

The car allows us more freedom in comings and goings, but the train offers more relaxation ability.

The questions that I ask are:

(a) as my only previous experience with Trenitalia was in obtaining various tickets on the web last May at the 29E and 39E special rates, and as I don't want to commit myself this trip to pre-buynig tickets and locking myself in early, How likely am I to find no tickets available at the train station when I want to go from Rome to Lucca, from Lucca to Rapallo, from Rapallo to Nice/Cannes, from Menton to Genoa, from Genoa to Florence, and finally from Florence to Rome in early to mid July?

(b) is it at all complicated to purchase tickets in Genoa or Rapallo for Cannes or Nice, and if I am trying to ultimately purchase them on the web, do I use the SNF site, or the Trenitalia site?

(c) once I purchase the tickets on the web, am I locked in, or is there some cancellation privilege (whic I could not find last year);

(d) is Rapallo as good a location as Genoa to use in order to train to the Riviera;

(e) are the normal web prices (excluding the 29E and 39E specials) basically the same prices as are available at the station; and

(f) if the web site indicates "NO" for ticket availability, does that mean that the entire train is sold out, or just those tickets which may be allocated to the web site? i.e. would I still be able to buy tickets for the "NO" train in person at the station?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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I would NEVER mess with a car in Europe when the trains are so convenient and, as you already realize, relaxing. (Not to mention the problem of parking!!! For your Italy/Riviera itinerary, the train travels the coast and you get to see the Med. from every angle -- plus you can hop off and explore the little coast towns to your heart's delight when you need a break and then catch the next train through -- on the same ticket! Last Thanksgiving we were based out of Genoa (which we enjoyed exploring itself) but we took the trains all along the coast up to the Cinque Terra (which is not to be missed!!! and then down to Savona where we picked up a cruiseboat for a few days. Then back to Genoa for the last night and another day of the Italian Riviera (Camogli and Nervi and Baccadasse were just a few of our favorites) but Rapallo looked great too -- just not enough time for it all. After the heavy culture of Rome and Florence, you may just find the R&R of train travel and little coastal towns become your favorite memories too!
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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neenavel - thanks for your input - I really am looking extremely forward to having experiences which are similar to yours.

However, at this time I am looking, as well for advice in regards to train travel between Italy and France.

I do not really have to be sold on the benefits of using trains, but I would like to know how difficult or complicated it is between countries, and that is basically why I have listed my questions.

Thanks again, but can somebody assist in regards to my specific enquiries?
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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ttt
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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Easiest is on the few daily trains that go direct from Genoa to Nice - all other links often involve a change at Ventimiglia and take much longer. For schedules: www.bahn.de - German rail site that is the easiest to use for all European train schedules in my experience. www.trenitalia.com has prices - Geona-Nice trains are now a part of Rivieria branded trains with several different fares.
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