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Which overnight trains from Italy to Switzerland or France are operating?

The idea is to go from Florence or Venice to Provence. The Venice-Nice would have been perfect, but alas, it no longer available. I'm searching the DB websites and the only nonstop route I have found is from Venice to Paris. That obviously would not work for us. I couldn't find any nonstops from Florence/Venice to Switzerland either, although another website claimed that they exist. Help?

Posted by
83 posts

Unfortunately, it doesn't really look like there's anything near. We're starting in Rome and going north--maybe we should just skip Venice and add some small stops to break things up. Still, it's really a bummer that we have to use all of those daytime hours traveling.

Posted by
430 posts

We took the overnight from Venice to Geneva several years ago -- but when I went to look it up I cannot find it now. I also know of someone who took a direct overnight Venice - Nice several years ago, on the Riviera Night Line -- but can't find that one now either.

I'll keep digging around... I've taken very similar routes... I know one MUST still be there...

Posted by
4125 posts

How much are you willing to do to avoid a long daytime train trip?

You could take the night train to Paris (or to Dijon, or even Dole) and catch an early train to Province. Or you could chack out airfare.

Posted by
83 posts

Steve, what did you put in as the starting point and destination in your rail search for the eight hour day trip? I'm confused...

Adam, that is actually a really good idea. To take the Venice to Paris night train, then hopping over to Provence would probably take as long or even less than a 15 hour, 6 train journey directly over to Arles, and we would get to at least try to sleep and only have to change trains twice! Flying is not a bad idea either, but I won't fly on small planes/non-major carriers, which I'm guessing would be the case for that kind of flight.

Posted by
13093 posts

I don't know if this will work for you, but I found a night train (EuroNight 220) that goes from Venice to Dijon overnight (via Milan but the same train). You can transfer in Dijon to your destination in Provence. it departs Venice at 19:57 and arrives at Dijon 5:36 am the next morning. If you choose to go to Aix, for example, you would be there aroune 9:20 am.

It doesn't run every day, but the chart shows that in april it runs Sunday through Thursday, not on Friday or Saturday.

I found this on the Swiss rail site, www.rail.ch, which I have found to be the most user-friendly.

Posted by
8700 posts

Lola,

EN 220 starts in Venice and goes to Paris and it does run every day. You and Adam from Boston are thinking alike. Judey could get off in Dijon and work her way to Provence from there rather than going all the way to Paris.

Posted by
13093 posts

Thanks, Tim, I saw Adam's post and didn't realize it was the same train! But getting off in Dijon will save them some train time and probably $$ as well.

Posted by
4125 posts

Going to Paris might cost more, but would give them more normal hours in which to try to sleep. And the trip to Provence is quicker from Paris than from Dijon, thanks to the TGV.

Posted by
83 posts

Based on my calculations it does seem that it takes less time to go to Dijon first instead of Paris. And we would have enough time to try to sleep. One question, though--so since this is the same train that goes to Paris, how does the wake-up work? Do we need to bring an alarm with us so we don't miss our stop?

Posted by
83 posts

Steve has a good point also-- there are trains going to Venice to Nice that only take 8 1/2 hours. No sleeping though. This route to Provence would take the least amount of train time.

Posted by
83 posts

Sorry to post again--but I just thought of something. Does this train go through Switzerland? Trying to figure out what kind of pass we need.

Posted by
13093 posts

The "daytime" train to Nice takes 8 to 8 1/2 hours and does ot enter Switzerland. It heads west fro Milan to Genoa, then hugs the coast into France, with lots of stops along the way.

the "night" train from Venice to Dijon take 9.5 hours (for that part). It does not stop after leaving Milan until Dijon. (The schedule also shows Dole but doesn't give a time for stopping). You can't tell if it goes through Switzerland, but it doesn't matter as it does not stop there.

I'm not sure why you asked about a pass. If you are thinking of using a 2-country (France and Italy) or 3-country pass (to include Switzerland), you might want to post your itinerary and let people help you figure it out. Often one does best with point-to-point tickets bought from each country's train website (not from RailEurope, with the possible exception of tickets for Italy).

Posted by
83 posts

Steve--The reason we are considering taking a slightly longer route is that it will give us the opportunity to try to sleep and not waste as much time overall. I'd rather take 14 hours via the Venice--Dijon--Provence route and be able to use some of that time sleeping instead of taking 12 hours to get to Provence but not be able to sleep, change trains several times, and be too tired to do anything once we get there. Does that make sense, or am I way off base?

As for buying individual tickets vs. passes, our wished-for itinerary is: Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, Provence, and Paris. We plan on spending at least a couple days in each place. We have 21 full days in Europe. I'm having a hard time figuring out how much time to spend in each place, so I'm trying to see how long it will take to travel from place to place in order to see what is feasible and what is not.

The reason I am asking questions that may not seem logical is because this is my first time to Europe! I have no idea what I'm doing. So many thanks for responding to my post!