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Advice - Eurail Selectpass or Flight from Germany to Italy?

Hi there,
My husband and I will only be in Europe for a short amount of time and we would like to see Rome and Cinque Terre. We will be traveling to and from Frankfurt since we will already be there for business. Would it be more cost efficient to purchase the Eurail Selectpass 3 Countries, 5 Days or to fly? Our plan - Frankfurt > Rome > Cinque Terre > Heidelberg > Frankfurt.
Thanks!

Posted by
705 posts

I haven't done this trip but I flew Venice to Rome in March because I thought it would be quicker and easier than the train. By the time I got to the airport, went through security etc and my flight was delayed and then got from the airport to my hotel in Rome it would have been quicker and easier by train. Look closely at transit times and convenience and then make a decision. I'm sure someone else has done the trip and can advise.

Posted by
2020 posts

Hi Betty, I agree with Helen. In 2005 we decided to try flying out of Venice (actually Treviso) to Paris (actually Beauvais); we arrived at our hotel an hour earlier than if we had taken the train but we were also tired and cranky! I think the flight from Frankfurt to Rome would be similar. Also you would need to take the train to Cinque Terre anyway.
You don't say how much time you have for this trip other than that it is short. Be sure to allow yourself travel time between towns.
Enjoy!

Posted by
4555 posts

Unfortunately, it will take you FOREVER to get from Frankfurt to Rome by train, 14+ hours. So book Lufthansa round trip (throw away the return ticket) for as low as about $175, or risk using Ryanair from "Frankfurt" Hahn. Then use point to point tickets; rail passes are too expensive and requiring extra fees and efforts to get necessary reservations. Rome-La Spezia as low as 26 Euro (4 hours). La Spezia-Heidelberg is 12 hours or longer, so you may want to look at booking an overnight train via Milan and Mannheim. That overnight leg can be had for as low as 69 Euro pp in a two-bed compartment with a SMART fare. All can be booked at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html. Go on line and try registering FIRST....then go back to book your tickets. Rome-La Spezia can be purchased in Rome....but I'd book sleeping accommodations before you leave. If Trenitalia doesn't work, try www.Bahn.de. Heidelberg-Frankfurt is an hour's trip, 18 Euro pp, and available at the train station.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you all for your input, very helpful! I should have purchased Europe for Dummies or something though. Norm - your advice sounds very reasonable and easy enough, I have been having a difficult time using the websites since it is in a different language or I am confused by the wording. As you can see, we are getting off to a great start. So our plan is to hopefully book with Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Rome 9/11 and then Rome to La-Spezia (this is the station closest to Cinque Terre right?) on 9/13. La-Spezia to Heidelberg on 9/18 and then fly out of Frankfurt 9/19 afternoon.
By sleeping arrangements - you are referring to the overnight train from La-Spezia to Heidelberg or where we plan to stay in each of the cities? I plan on making reservations at each of the cities and then once we check there, we will bargain like Rick Steves mentions usually works out... So what do I have to make sure I have booked before I leave on 9/8? Thanks again for all your advice! Betty

Posted by
4555 posts

Betty...I'd book everything beforehand except, possibly, the Rome-La Spezia tickets. The Trenitalia site for La Spezia-Heidelburg is in English, so it should be OK to follow....just play with it a bit. The sleeping accommodations I refer to is the overnight train La Spezia-Heidelburg...save yourself a hotel night. If you're travelling so soon, you may not find openings on the overnight train to Heidelburg anyway, so you may have to travel during the day.

Posted by
8700 posts

It's not too late to get a good deal on the Frankfurt-Milano night train. Book NOW at http://buchung.nachtzugreise.de to get SparNight fares of €69 in a four-bunk couchette and €89 in a two-bed sleeper. You would arrive in Milano at 07:45 with just enough time to catch the 08:00 train to Roma. Or relax for a bit and catch the 09:00 train.

Norm may know of a better route, but for La Spezia-Heidelberg overnight, this is what I found: La Spezia-Viareggio-Prato-Munich-Heidelberg. Book Prato-Munich at the same site I gave in the previous paragraph. The SparNight fares are gone. You would pay €105 for a four-bunk couchette and €145 for a two-bed sleeper.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you! Sorry, think I have been very confusing...

I was wondering if there was an overnight train from Rome Termini to La Spezia (I believe this is the closest train station to Cinque Terre?).

Also, which station is closest to Cinque Terre? La Spezia Centrale, La Spezia Main Station or La Spezia Migliarina?

Thanks!

Posted by
8700 posts

You can travel during the night to La Spezia, but it's a short trip so none of the trains you would take have sleeping accommodations.

To go to any of the Cinque Terre towns from Roma, you will likely change trains at La Spezia Centrale. See the timetables at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html. Enter Roma (not Rome) as your departure point and any of the Cinque Terre towns as your arrival point.

Or go to www.bahn.de and click on "Internat. Guests" for English. Enter Roma as your departure point and any of the Cinque Terre towns as your arrival point. After you get summary timetables, click on "Show details for all" to see the connecting points.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for all the great advice!

We are finally getting there! One more question... how long should we leave to travel from Rome to Cinque Terre? I believe it is 7 hours?

Is there an overnight train that we could take? And which train station is it? La Spezia Centrale, Main Station or Migliarina that takes us closest to Cinque Terre?

Thanks!! Betty

Posted by
6 posts

Ok, I checked again and it looks like 4 hours... I thought yesterday it was 7 hours??? So an overnight option and which station? Thanks!

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you! It all makes sense now! We should be good to go! We really appreciate all the excellent advice and help!