Wednesday, October 27, 1999

What's the best way to travel by train around Europe?

I'm studying abroad winter semester in Paris, and I would like to visit Italy as well. I was thinking that I would fly into Milan, and then I would like to see Venice, Florence, and Rome. I noticed that it was somewhat expensive to take the train to these various cities. What is the best way to travel from city to city? Does anyone know of a good website to find train tickets? Also, where is the best place to stay, certain hotels? I'm still new to all of this.

Answer on What's the best way to travel by train around Europe?

If you want to move inside just one nation, services like Eurail are generally not advisable; for everything about Italian trains, look here: http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
Trenitalia is the official site for Ferrovie dello Stato (state-controlled railways). There are some smaller companies, but 95% you have no choice but Trenitalia.

Look for trains descriptions http://www.trenitalia.com/en/treni_stazi…
and Travel conditions http://www.trenitalia.com/en/area_client…
especially FAQ http://www.trenitalia.com/en/area_client…
for the more important informations; still, take a deeper look on that site for everything else.
You can also buy online, but you can simply buy the tickets inside the railway stations (just be careful about trains where booking is mandatory, like Eurostar).
In order to see the price of a ticket, select departure, arrivals and date the choose one results for details, then click on "Buy"; so you can see all the fares for that ride.

For hotels, you find some on Trenitalia site, yet, or look here http://en.venere.com/ for a list and also customers reviews.

Inside Italy, the best option is train, unless you really want to go from north to south; but for routes like Milan to Rome train is fast enough (4 hours and a half from city center to city center) and cheaper than a flight.

Milan to Florence and Milan to Venice are both less then three hours, Florence to Rome is 1 hour and 40 or 45 minutes. (all intended by using a Eurostar or a Cisalpino train)

Instead, from Paris to Milan is better a flight (but you can consider a train if moving from Paris to Turin, for instance; but look on Trenitalia website for international rides, as well)