Train travel through Italy to Paris

My family and I are spending 2.5 weeks between Italy and France this summer. We are flying into Rome then visting Florence, Cinque Terra and finally Paris. We intend to train between the cities so I'm wondering what the best train ticket option is for starting in Rome and ending in Paris. We'd like to get from Manarola to Paris in one day so want to catch the TGV from Milan to Paris as the last part of that leg. Is there some kind of rail pass that covers Italy and France that also allows us to book the TGV between Milan and Paris? Or will I need to book the TGV ticket separately? Thanks,
Lindsay

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8637 posts

You also could fly from Milan to Paris. 11:40 MXP to CDG on easyJet 13:25 LIN to ORY on easyJet 15:10 MXP to CDG on easyJet

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
398 posts

I believe if you check you will find that point to point tickets will be your cheapest method - especially if you book online in a few months in advance. Most TGV trains having a pass doesn't make a difference as France only honors few passes. Book: Rome to Florence Florence to Cinque Terre once in CT you can purchase tickets to travel between CT towns at the stations CT to Milan Milan to Paris

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6694 posts

Lindsay, Manarola to Paris ia a 12.0-16.0hr train ride depending on which run or routing you choose. Second, the TGV departs from Milano Porta Garibaldi and not Milano Centrale. It's a 4.0hr ride from Manarola to Milano P. Garibaldi with 2-3 train changes. The fare is 24.40Euro to get to Milano Centrale plus the cost of getting to Porta Garibaldi. It appears that the TGV has 3 departures a day from Milano Porta Garibaldi to Paris Gare-de-Lyon (06:00, 08:50 and 16:10). You wouldn't make the first two from Manarola. The 16:10 gets you into Paris at midnight. Train journey takes 7.5hrs. I see fares in late May as low as 35Euro. You will need to book 90 days out to get these nice fares. Alternative #1 Trenitalia will sell you tickets from Manarola to Paris via Nice and Cannes. Total trip time is about 12.0hrs. 5 train changes before getting on to the TGV from Cannes to Paris. Fare on this routing would be about 130Euro without discount. There are some discounts for the restricted tickets. Alternative #2 If you would like to see a bit a Switzerland, there are EuroCity (EC) trains from Milan to Basel where you would transfer to the TGV to Paris. Overall travel time is about 11.0hrs. Not bad compared to Alternative #1. Alternative #3 At Milano Centrale, Trenitalia can put you on the Thello night train to Paris. This night train takes 10.0hrs and puts you in Paris at 09:30. It departs at 23:38. Alternative #4 Fly. Train from Manarola to Pisa Aeroporto train station takes about 2.5hrs. Fly www.easyjet.com from Pisa to Paris-Orly. 1hr40min. I see fares as low as 33Euro. The earlier you book, the lower the fares. Carefully read their travel conditions. Extra fees for lots of stuff.

Posted by Lindsay
Portland, OR
6 posts

Thanks for the quick replies. I was hoping there would be an earlier TGV out of Milan direct to Paris in the summer. Hard to know schedule details for that far out. Do they run any more frequent trains in the summer? The option of going through Canne might be interesting, but it still only gets us into Paris ~1 hour earlier than taking the 4pm Milan -> Paris TGV direct with less train changes. Of course training along the coast might be very pretty as well. I looked at the option of going through Basel but it looked like it would be hard to make all the connections without having to also train through parts of Germany. Looks like it will be a long day of train travel no matter what. Thanks,
Lindsay

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8637 posts

Timetables in the summer are likely to be the same as they are now. You could get to Milano in time for either of these two routes: 1. Milano Centrale-Basel-Paris Gare de Lyon, departing at 11:25 and arriving at 19:37. 2. Milano Centrale-Geneve-Paris Gare de Lyon, departing at 12:25 and arriving at 19:49. If you fly easyJet from Pisa to Paris, pay close attention to the departure times so you can be sure of getting to the airport on time. Saturday and Sunday times are different from weekday times. There is a train station at the airport.

Posted by Lindsay
Portland, OR
6 posts

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I am thinking we will probably avoid the airline route as my checks of flights from Milan, Pisa, and Florence all have the discount airlines as the only reasonable native and from what I've read on reviews of each, you're rolling the dice a bit that your flight won't get cancelled or delayed and we need to make it to Paris on our prescibed day. I think we'll likely book the train through Nice/Cannes as that looks to be a trip with some interesting sights despite the longer travel time. We've ridden the TGV from Avignon to Paris before so know the TGV ride is fun and that will be a first for our teenage boys. Also looks like the best option will be to just buy the tickets individually vs doing some pass given what I've read/seen. Let me know if anyone has a different recommendation. Thanks again for all the advice! Lindsay