Departing from Arles, traveling by train; will be hooking up with the fast train to Italy in Chambery. Looking for a good two-night place to stay and explore in the area. Thanks.
You'll be going right past Lyon. That would not be a bad 2-night place to stay.
I second stopping in Lyon.
The direct TGV to Milan departs from Lyon as well as from Chambery (2x/day). Did you already book departure specifically from Chambery? Book this train as soon as you have a firm plan (generally for sale starting 3 months ahead).
The Chamonix option was explored on a previous post.
The direct afternoon train by www.thello.com departing from Marseille and Nice to Genova and Milan is another option that only requires one connection when coming from Arles. You can catch it from any of several towns along the coast.