What is the experience with travelling on the night trains. We are considering taking the night train from Pisa to Avignon. What is safest? Good idea or not? Better to take day trains? If so, what route?
I've taken the night train between Paris and Rome a few times and it was safe. I had heard horror stories from people who knew people that had trouble. I was in a car in october with 5 other people and the beds fold down to sleep. In my luggage, I had just my clothing but my backpack had some important things and I put it on the bed with me when I slept and had absolutely no problems. If you are traveling overnight between two different countries they will keep your passport and give it back to you in the morning (so don't freak out)! I wouldn't worry very much, if you are smart and aware, nothing will happen to you. Enjoy your trip.
If you book a first class sleeper and fill all the spots (i.e. 3 people for a T-3 or 2 people for a T-2) you won't have to share and the doors lock. Not sure how it is in the T-6 couchettes.
Like the sleepers, couchettes lock from the inside.
we went from paris to rome in June, 2nd class, I highly reccommend 1st class.
the train was dirty and noisy and I felt unsafe, lots of younger kids partyong all night...
hope that helps
I took a sleeper Rome-Paris last month. I was in a 2nd class T3 sleeper, I had just a single bunk booked. It was reasonably comfortable (I didn't expect a train berth to be the Ritz) although ITalian train bathrooms are the size of airplane toilets, unfortunately. We (Italian lady with upper bunk--3rd person expected at Bologna never showed--yaa) locked the door & slept peacefully. I did put my purse & moneybelt under my pillow, better safe than sorry. The car was quiet and peaceful all night--mostly couples & families. I think partyhearty types are possibly more likely in couchettes. My trip would have been too long to consider as a day trip, but it worked fine as an alternative to hotel +plane. Besides, I hate airports.