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travel to switzerland & Italy by rail for a first time traveller to europe

travel to switzerland & Italy by rail for a first time traveller to europe

Aug 31st, 2010, 10:28 AM
  #1  
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travel to switzerland & Italy by rail for a first time traveller to europe

i am a consultant physician and am travelling first time to switzerland with my wife. I plan to spend about 6-7 nights in switzerland and about 9-10 nights in Italy. I am planning to move around by rail.
I am planning to travel to Naples from Zermatt Switzerland. How does one take the route with the least changes and what passes would be useful. I am planning to take a swiss pass. Will this help in travelling in all places in Switzerland including the various mountain tops and sight-seeing spots, including the cable car.
I shall be highly obliged if someone please me inform early as that shall make my plans easy
Vijay
vijay_nandu is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 10:47 AM
  #2  
 
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I have had good luck with this site for planning and purchasing tickets.

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml
jetsetj is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 10:57 AM
  #3  
 
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I can't give you advice on Switzerland.
Advising you on which route to take to Italy, depends on the rest of your time in Italy. Are you going only to Naples and South or to other areas of Italy? Where are you departing from? Also, when is your trip?
Sassafrass is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 11:45 AM
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The best website for schedules and routes on Swiss trains is the Swiss one, www.sbb.ch (or www.rail.ch for English).

A siwss Pass of some type can significantly reduce the cost of your travel in Switzerland, including on the mountain lifts and railways (generally there is a 50% discount). for 2 of you traveling together, you would get a "Saver" pass which offers a 15% discount.

From Zermatt into Italy you will travel via Milan for the most direct route. this journey takes 3.5 to 4 hours and can be done with only one change (at Visp or Brig) if you pick the right departure time. The Swiss Pass is valid as far as Domodossola (one stop over the border into Italy), so ae sure and show it when you buy a ticket to Milan.

There direct ES trains from Milan to Naples, taking about 5 hours for the journey, if you wish to go directly to Naples.
enzian is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 12:07 PM
  #5  
yk
 
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Here's the main page for the various Swiss Pass. You can also download the synoptic map: http://www.swisstravelsystem.ch/en/c...offer/tickets/

As enzian said, you get free travel on trains (and some boats, buses, city transport etc) with a Swiss pass. However, for most mountain railways and cable car journeys, you will only get 50% off the regular fare with the Swiss Pass. Several journeys (eg Jungfraubahn) you only get 25% off. The synoptic map will show you which routes are 100% covered, which are 50% covered, and which are 25% covered.
yk is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 01:05 PM
  #6  
 
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Zermatt to Naples is a long trip with several changes of train. There are some overnight trains from Milan to Naples.

But I assume you will want to visit other places in Italy north of Naples. Maybe break up the trip another way. Or look into flying to Naples.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 07:10 PM
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marking for later comment
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 07:56 PM
  #8  
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Hi
Thanks for all your replies
Jetsetj : I do not know whether yuorsite is useful also with swiss pass. But I definitely plan to look into it
Enzian : your plansregarding rail travel are very helpful. I looked into the site and find it quite useful. My wife had already looked into it, but I think this makes it more clear.
YK : your and enzian plans regarding travel and discount passes will be useful tips.
My plan in Italy are
Naples -overnight train from milano
see capri and pompei
Overnight then to Venice 1 night
Then Venice to Florence 2 nights
then to Cinque terre via Pisa; 1 night at cinque terre finally from there to Rome

We plan to be there in September

Can we go to como river from milano and be back in 3 /12 hours or 4 1/2 hours while we wait for train to naples
vijay_nandu is offline  
Aug 31st, 2010, 08:28 PM
  #9  
 
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Your itinerary is full of extreme north to south back to north movements. From Switzerland stay north and visit Venice then down to Florence then to Pisa/Cinque Terre then Rome then to Naples which is a steady progression south without running from one side of Italy to the other and then back again which your current proposal does...be kind to yourselves.
russwuf is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 06:27 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi VJ,

>I am planning to travel to Naples from Zermatt Switzerland.<

According to www.bahn.de, it will require at least 2 changes of trains and no less than 8:30 hr.

All trains go through Milan, so you might want to break your journey there. It is the same price to buy 2 tickets for Z-->Milan/Milan-->N as it is to go straight through.

ira is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 08:04 AM
  #11  
 
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I'm no expert on Italy, but agree with the above, you need to straighten out the order of the places you are visiting, to reflect their geographic location within the country.
Milan and Venice are close to each other, so why visit Naples in between (as one example)?
suze is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 11:33 AM
  #12  
 
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Could you fly first into Naples and then tour/travel north through Italy, ending in Switzerland and flying home from, say, Geneva or Zurich? Or the same idea in reverse?

None of your train journeys are long enough to consider overnight trains.

IMO, you have too many one- and two-night stays, especially Venice where you don't seem to have even one full day in the city. I think dashing up to Lake Como between train connections in Milan is just crazy. With only 9-10 nights in Italy, I'd pick only 2-3 destinations.
Jean is offline  
Sep 1st, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Jetsetj : I do not know whether yuorsite is useful also with swiss pass. But I definitely plan to look into it>

No it is the German railways site that i also use for rail schedules in all of Europe -for swiss pass info use link yk gives above (www.swisstravelsystem.com)- links to www.sbb.ch - Swiss Federal Railways who originates Swiss Passes i believe - but note that prices for passes bought in Switzerland when i check two days ago were considerably higher than for the exact same pass bought in the U.S.-Not sure what country you are from but compare prices bought there vs Switzerland.

And for sites that do thoroughly discuss Swiss Passes and things like the Swiss Transfer Ticket, Swiss Card and Half-Price deal check out these sites with a ton of great info on Swiss trains, passes, etc - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 07:33 AM
  #14  
 
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As enzian said, you get free travel on trains (and some boats, buses, city transport etc) with a Swiss pass. However, for most mountain railways and cable car journeys, you will only get 50% off the regular fare with the Swiss Pass. Several journeys (eg Jungfraubahn) you only get 25% off.>

Well several in my knowledge is really two - both part of the Jungfraujoch train to Europe's highest train station - the portions Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch and Wengen to Jungfraujoch both via Kleine Scheidegg are now 25% off with a Swiss Pass vs a previous 50%

But i do not know of any other conveyances in Switzerland that are not either 100% covered or at least 50% covered - i heard rumors that there is one mountain gondola in an area few tourists ever go to but besides that there are no others the common tourist will encounter - at least to my knowledge.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 01:11 PM
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"My plan in Italy are
Naples -overnight train from milano
see capri and pompei
Overnight then to Venice 1 night
Then Venice to Florence 2 nights
then to Cinque terre via Pisa; 1 night at cinque terre finally from there to Rome
"

This is really rushed and IMO you should eliminate the CT and add the time to Venice and Florence, both of which you are shortchanging with your proposed itinerary.

Or forget Naples and the south and include the CT. Either way you need to pare down your changes of cities as you have too much in too little time.

See about inter Europe flights where it makes sense instead of these long train rides.

Sit down with a good map and plug in these cities on your list to see just how much travel is really involved. Add at least an hour at either end to check out/in and make your way to/from the stations.
kfusto is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2010, 05:44 PM
  #16  
 
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My plan in Italy are
Naples -overnight train from milano
see capri and pompei
Overnight then to Venice 1 night
Then Venice to Florence 2 nights
then to Cinque terre via Pisa; 1 night at cinque terre finally from there to Rome
"

This is really rushed and IMO you should eliminate the CT and add the time to Venice and Florence, both of which you are shortchanging with your proposed itinerary.>

Well that is something i may well do and have - after now 4 decades of incessant European rail travel - if a peripathetic travel style is OK with you, as me, then there is no reason not to do it- in my terms very practical on savings on travel time and hotel costs.

But each to their own.
PalenQ is offline  

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