Transportation from Nice to Florence

Apr 24th, 2014, 07:30 AM
  #1  
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Transportation from Nice to Florence

Hi there,

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get from nice to Florence? We will be travelling there mid July and don't really want to do a flight as we would need to connect and had a hard Time finding flights in general.

Is it possible to train? How long would it take and does anyone know rough prices? We kind of want to take the train because we heard the coast lines are beautiful and want to train at least once on our trip (doing mostly flights everywhere else). Should we buy the tickets ahead of time or once we get there?

Thank you!
jelsbells is offline  
Apr 24th, 2014, 07:49 AM
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What you do is Google, 'train Nice to Florence' and voila up comes the answer. So will travel times and costs.

Regarding buying ahead or on the day, that depends on whether you are prepared to commit to a day or prefer to maintain the flexibility to choose what to do when the time comes.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Apr 24th, 2014, 07:52 AM
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The fastest train option is at least 7 hours and involves 2 connections.
Jean is online now  
Apr 24th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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Most trains on this route require 2-3 changes and will pretty much be a full day of travel (7-10 hours depending on time of day/train). These are mostly regional trains with no amenities so if you are expecting a nice train ride, you are likely to be surprised. Since regional trains don't have discounts or reserved seating, there is no benefit to buying tickets in advance.
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 24th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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Daily there seem to be trains leaving Nice-Ville (main station in Nice) at 7:22 am - arriving Florence 14:55
dep Nice 9:56 - arrive Florence 16:55

dep Nice 11:25 Arrive Florence 18:55

Trains from Nice-Ville to Ventimiglia are regional commuter trains - just buy a ticket at Nice.

From Ventimiglia to Milan involves an IC train - you can get I believe minor discounts by booking in advance at www.trenitalia.com but if you just buy your tickets in Nice for Ventimiglia to Milan you won't lose much - buy them in Ventimiglia if not possible in Nice (may not be???)

Milan to Florence is via EuroStar Italia high-speed trains where you can get really sweet discounts by booking weeks in advance - ES trains are very nice and have all the amenities any high-speed train in Europe has - so booking that portion in advance could save a lot of money but those tickets are also non-refundable non-changeable so build plenty of time in the huge Milan Central station to change trains and in case your IC train from Ventimiglia is late.

I got these schedules from www.bahn.de - the German railways web site that has schedules for trains all over Europe but only sells tickets for trains involving Germany.

so yes it is 7 to 7.5 hours depending on which of those links you take.

For lots of great info on Italian trains check www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Many folks who first encounter www.trenitalia.com are flummoxed a bit but there are always helpful Fodorites like kybourbon who posts above to always help out if you post your problems and can always then get it to work it seems.

Reservations are required on IC and ES trains and they will come with your ticket when you buy it.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 24th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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Florence dp 7.45 - Nice ar 17.05, change at Sestri Levante and Ventimiglia. 31 EUR up to Ventimiglia.
More comfortable trains via Milano Centrale:
Florence dp 9.00 - Nice ar ar 16.08, 80 EUR up to Ventimiglia
neckervd is offline  
Apr 24th, 2014, 10:17 AM
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Thank you!
jelsbells is offline  
Apr 24th, 2014, 10:21 AM
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The OP wanted to transit the coast, not go through Milan (which isn't any faster or less hassle).

>>>neckervd on Apr 24, 14 at 1:16pm
Florence dp 7.45 - Nice ar 17.05<<<

The OP is departing Nice, not Florence.
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 24th, 2014, 10:51 AM
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I thought she meant to coast between Nice and Genoa as the track there does track right along the coast but from Genoa to Pisa the train is IME well away from the coast and often in tunnels. I would not spend an extra 2.5-3 hours to take the coast route via much less comfy regional trains than the high-speed route via Milan.

They will not be missing much of the coast - I've taken the train on that route several times and an always amazed at how little actual coastal scenery you take - save some long shots from hi up - even the Cinq
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 24th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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even the Cinque Terre five villages the train only emerges in their stations - you can see none of the vcillages - you can barely see over the sea walls for a brief section then back into tunnels.

But now I understand why kybourbon said mainly regional trains or and I guess that route would be a lot cheaper and you do not need to worry about any pre-booking - changing in Genoa for the coastal route rather than continuing onto Milan for the fast track route - which is also a lot in tunnel so no neat views of that route either - in which case I'd say the coastal route to Pisa is a bit more scenic than the high-speed route.

For me the extra three hours - to ten hours would make me take the much more modern and comfy trains with conveniences aboard the way to go and if you snag one of the 9 euro fares cheaper than the slower coastal route.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 24th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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The reason the coastal routes take so long is that there are no high-speed trains involved and the tracks go thru congested urban areas it seems much of the way - old tracks thru towns that cannot accommodate high-speed trains.

You may still look for a cheap flight - www.whichbudget.com and www.skyscanner.net are two sites to search for them between any two airports - fly into Pisa would be nice - abut an hour or so by train to the Cinque Terre.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 24th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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If it were me, I would break up the trip with a night or two in Camogli, S. Margherita Ligure, or Rapallo. Then you one pretty day of train travel, and two gorgeous days in that little bit of heaven around the Portofina peninusula. Then you can continue down the coast and across toward Florence, with maybe stop and see the Leaning Tower along the way.
dfourh is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 07:25 AM
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Or you could break the journey in the fabled Cinque Terre - though that is most of the way to Florence - that is if taking the coastal route the whole way.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 25th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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La Spezia might be the easiest place for a stop over, as there are direct trains from Ventimiglia to La Spezia and from La Spezia to Florence.
neckervd is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Monterosso, a railhead for the Cinque Terre and one of its nice 5 villages also has direct trains from Ventimiglia so why stay in La Spezia - amd from Monterosso you can get direct trains to Pisa Centrale and change there either for Florence - same as from La Spezia - La Spezia ain't bad but it is not like the fabled Cinque Terre towns.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 25th, 2014, 08:35 AM
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thank you all dearly.. i will check all of these options out thoroughly
jelsbells is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 11:38 AM
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>>> I would not spend an extra 2.5-3 hours to take the coast route via much less comfy regional trains than the high-speed route via Milan.<<<

You are missing something PQ. It's no faster going through Milan. The destination is Florence. Any way you slice it, you have to take a train from Nice and change in Ventimiglia and Ventimiglia to Genoa.

Nice/Ventimiglia - 50 minutes
Ventimiglia/Genoa - 2 hours

THEN

Genoa/Milan - 1 1/2
Milan/Florence - 1 3/4

OR

Genoa/Pisa - 1 1/2
Pisa/Florence 1 1/4

Of course there are several other options such as Ventimiglia/La Spezia, but that leg is 5 hours. La Spezia/Florence only has one non-change train early afternoon and that leg is 2 1/2 hours. Doesn't save you time, just like Milan doesn't.
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 25th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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You originally said all regional trains - on the Genoa to Florence coastal route www.bahn.de at least indicates most involve an IC or ES train thus perhaps tickets should be booked in advance to save money?

The regional trains you first talked about took 10 hours or so.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 25th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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you have to take a train from Nice and change in Ventimiglia and Ventimiglia to Genoa>

unless you hop on the once weekly Nice to Moscow Russian train that does go thru the border!
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 25th, 2014, 01:35 PM
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We took the train from La Spezia to Nice about 7 years ago. Beforehand, many people said it was a scenic ride. It wasn't, IMO. As PalenQ stated - only glimpses of the Cinque Terre and from the CT to Nice wasn't that exciting either. We really didn't enjoy the trip at all. Not comfortable cars. We had reserved seats, but someone took our seats before we got there & refused to move. So no guarantee of a window seat. I would do the Milan thing if we did this again.

Stu Dudley
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