Some friends and I are going to Paris spending 4 days there then going to Reims spending another 3 days. We want to go from there to Lake Como, Italy Any suggestions? We don't want to double back to Paris on the train. Want to go from northern France to Italy.
It looks like many high speed TGV trains seem to double you back to Paris. It seems inefficient, but it's actually the fastest way I've found to route it! This website: http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en? can show you your route options. It's only 45 min. back to Paris and it's probably faster to get a night train from there.
I think that your best bet may to seek out a low cost airfare between Strasbourg or Paris to Milan. In 1999, we took the train from Marseile to Milan and it took all day. The scenery was absolutely beautiful but that particular train was slow. In 2004, we wanted to get from Strasbourg to Brussels and rather than go back to Paris in 3 hours (pre new TGV lines) and then take Eurostar to Brussels, we flew to Brussels in 45 minutes. Mind you, there is a lot of diplomatic traffic between those 2 cities, so maybe it was easy to get a flight. But if you can't get directly from Strasbourg, I'm certain that you could take the new TGV line back to Paris and find something to Milan from there. I expect that if you look at the discount European airline sites that are on this website, that you can find something that is reasonable and gets you to the beauty of Lake Como quickly. It will soon make you forget about what you didn't see on the train. Bon voyage