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Where to stay in Southern France Wirh Good Train Connections to Italy and Local Sights

A friend and I are traveling to Europe for 3 weeks, but would prefer to stay in one location for a few days. Thus, we're hoping to spend June 29 to July 6 (departure date is flexible) in Southern France. My friend will have to travel by train to Milan and Turin during that time as we will not have a car. We plan on using a Eurail pass, so need to be near a member train stop.

We're looking for a spot that has good village life, nice surroundings and ease of travel, as we would do day trips.A place near a cooking school (e.g. day long cooking classes or similar) would be great. Neither of us speak much French, so would need an area understanding of this.

Any suggestions are appreciated!

Posted by
10308 posts

Let me boot this back to the top for someone to give you info on where to stay. The Eurailpass is a red flag because I think it will be useless for your time in France. A big waste of money. Let's hope some of the experts on these two questions come along.

Posted by
16894 posts

There are no private trains in this equation, except if you go from Milan to Torino, then Italo is the one that doesn't take railpasses. The French national railway, SNCF, runs trains along the coast, serving many towns. While Nice is the main hub with most options, smaller towns like Menton also have quite a bit of train and bus service. Toward Italy, trains are not fast and always require a connection at the border. You might consider a town on the Italian side of the border, instead.

Whether or not a railpass saves any money for your trip is going to depend on any other, longer journeys you may have planned. For instance, see the France and Italy page links at

Posted by
66 posts

I think Nice is a good base.........I spent a week there many years ago and just went to a different place each day via local train and it is not very far from the Italian border. It is not a "village atmosphere", but certainly works well for getting around. Do not know about the Eurail pass, but you can check online.

Posted by
33138 posts

The trains on the Italian side of the border are not particularly quick or direct. It would be good for your friend to check the train times and convenience of traveling from Nice, or any other Cote d'Azur town or city and Milano and Torino.

It certainly wouldn't be an easy day trip of that is what she needs.