I'm going to travel by train from Florence to Nice in late May. Looking at the map, I have two questions: 1) which route is better in terms of time and cost, going north through Milan or going west through Pisa? 2)is it true that which ever route I take,I'll have to change train at the border town of Ventimiglia?
Julie, That's going to be a full travel day, regardless of which route you use. I'd suggest travel via Milan, as that will use Freccia (fast) trains for part of the route. The trip through Pisa will likely use more Regionale (slower) trains (however I didn't check). I'd use a departure from Firenze SMN at either 07:00 or 09:00, arriving Nice Ville at 14:05 or 16:05 (time 7H:05M, two changes at Milano Centrale and Ventimiglia, reservations compulsory on some legs). Yes, you will have to change at Ventimiglia (border crossing). Happy travels!
It's a 7.5-8hr trip from Florence to Nice Ville via Pisa and Genoa. Mostly Regionale and intercity trains. You will change trains 2-3 times depending on the run. A few runs change at La Spezia Centrale and Ventimiglia and many runs have a 3rd change in Genoa. Yes you will change trains at Ventimiglia as you will be changing from the Italian trains to the French trains.
Thank you, guys, for the advice. I hope the visit to Nice is worthy of the long ride.
If you drive a rental car, it's very quick. I've covered that distance in under 4 hours during my youth (and with a Fiat Uno, not a Ferrari)