Brussels to Italy, via Germany and Switzerland. Advice more than welcome!


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I am quietly working out my plans to travel from Brussels to Naples.
The travel date is not fixed yet, but will normally be somewhere at the end of August ... and 1st week of September.

The route I have in mind:

Brussels North - Cologne (ICE)
Cologne - Basel (ICE)
Basel - Lugano (IC)
Lugano - Milan (RE)

Departure 6u32am, arrival 17u17pm.

If I would like to reserve a seat for the ICE, I pay 5.30 euros for 1st class per person, per journey.
I wouldn't want to do that, but my travel partner isn't convinced about trains, so maybe better to reserve a seat after all. Otherwise I risk having to change seats several times.


1/
Why does the SBB travel planner not show the train at 16u02 pm departing from Lugano in August ?
Is that because not all travel times have been communicated from Italy yet?

2/
Would the SBB travel planner show a connection via Bern and Brig on August 26, because the 16:02 train from Lugano to Milan is not (yet) available?

3/

Is it easy to get from Milan Central to Milan Porta Garibaldi?
Or better to go directly from Lugano or Chiasso, to Milan Porta Garibaldi?

4/

Would the hours still change in the months of August / September, on Saturday, compared to the hours currently available for the months of April and May?

For example, on May 14 and May 21, Saturday, I find the same hours as shown in my post.

 

From Milan Porta Garibaldi we would then travel to Naples by night train. Just have to convince my travel partner because she currently prefers to spend the night in Milan, and then travel to Naples by train the next day.


Thank you very much for your responses.


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1/
Why does the SBB travel planner not show the train at 16u02 pm departing from Lugano in August ?
Is that because not all travel times have been communicated from Italy yet?

Yes, that's the reason. Regional timetables from 12 June in Italy have not been published yet. 

2/
Would the SBB travel planner show a connection via Bern and Brig on August 26, because the 16:02 train from Lugano to Milan is not (yet) available?

Probably.

3/

Is it easy to get from Milan Central to Milan Porta Garibaldi?

It's 2 metro stops. You can also walk if you have time, it's about 1.8 km.

Or better to go directly from Lugano or Chiasso, to Milan Porta Garibaldi?

That's also an option. You can change in Monza, from where there are many suburban trains to Porta Garibaldi

4/

Would the hours still change in the months of August / September, on Saturday, compared to the hours currently available for the months of April and May?

For example, on May 14 and May 21, Saturday, I find the same hours as shown in my post.

There's always a chance something might change, primarily because of engineering works. But if you're not travelling until the end of August, I'd wait until Trenitalia have published their summer timetable and then verify before booking any trains.

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@rvdborgt

If I'm correct, there is no mandatory reservation for all trains for the proposed journey, right?

 

Thank you very very much to answer all my questions.

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@rvdborgt

If I'm correct, there is no mandatory reservation for all trains for the proposed journey, right?

Correct, not until Milan.

By the way, NMBS should be able to book a pass reservation for the night train at the ticket office. That way, you don't pay any booking fee and you don't need to struggle with the problems of Interrail's booking module when booking multiple passengers for an Italian night train.

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@rvdborgt

If I'm correct, there is no mandatory reservation for all trains for the proposed journey, right?

Correct, not until Milan.

Thank you for the confirmation!

Then it is better to travel directly to Milan porta Garibaldi, which is included in my global pass. But that has certainly not been decided yet, because walking 1.8 km with a suitcase is still not that bad.

 

 

By the way, NMBS should be able to book a pass reservation for the night train at the ticket office. That way, you don't pay any booking fee and you don't need to struggle with the problems of Interrail's booking module when booking multiple passengers for an Italian night train.

 

Thanks for the tip that I can reserve a pass rate for this night train here in Belgium.
But I'm going to look for regular tickets anyway, because these are usually cheaper, I've read here on the forum.

It's just not clear to me whether you can book 2 rooms next to each other, with a door between them?
I thought I read somewhere that this is possible on Italian night trains.

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Thanks for the tip that I can reserve a pass rate for this night train here in Belgium.
But I'm going to look for regular tickets anyway, because these are usually cheaper, I've read here on the forum.

That depends on what's available and what accommodation you book, but there should be good advance fares available if you book early enough. I see this night train is still not available for the summer timetable.

It's just not clear to me whether you can book 2 rooms next to each other, with a door between them?
I thought I read somewhere that this is possible on Italian night trains.

I'm not sure. Seat61 doesn't mention it but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

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Thanks for the tip that I can reserve a pass rate for this night train here in Belgium.
But I'm going to look for regular tickets anyway, because these are usually cheaper, I've read here on the forum.

That depends on what's available and what accommodation you book, but there should be good advance fares available if you book early enough. I see this night train is still not available for the summer timetable.

It's just not clear to me whether you can book 2 rooms next to each other, with a door between them?
I thought I read somewhere that this is possible on Italian night trains.

I'm not sure. Seat61 doesn't mention it but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

 

 

I have sent a message to ( Italiarail, Trenitalia via chat, and to Treinreiswinkel ) for clarity about this.
Hopefully I get a clear answer on this.

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Thanks for the tip that I can reserve a pass rate for this night train here in Belgium.
But I'm going to look for regular tickets anyway, because these are usually cheaper, I've read here on the forum.

That depends on what's available and what accommodation you book, but there should be good advance fares available if you book early enough. I see this night train is still not available for the summer timetable.

It's just not clear to me whether you can book 2 rooms next to each other, with a door between them?
I thought I read somewhere that this is possible on Italian night trains.

I'm not sure. Seat61 doesn't mention it but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

 

 

Le Frecce says this about booking 2 rooms next to each other, with a door in between.
Anyone able to work with this explanation? It's really not clear to me yet.

 

LE FRECCE SAY :
Select the travel solution you are interested in and the fare. In the drop-down menu relating to offers and services, you will find sleeper or wagon and the wording communicating

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Le Frecce says this about booking 2 rooms next to each other, with a door in between.
Anyone able to work with this explanation? It's really not clear to me yet.

LE FRECCE SAY :
Select the travel solution you are interested in and the fare. In the drop-down menu relating to offers and services, you will find sleeper or wagon and the wording communicating

I have no clue. I don't see that in the choices. For 7 June:

So nothing with “communicating”. Note that the lowest fare is still available, so there should still be many places left.

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Le Frecce says this about booking 2 rooms next to each other, with a door in between.
Anyone able to work with this explanation? It's really not clear to me yet.

LE FRECCE SAY :
Select the travel solution you are interested in and the fare. In the drop-down menu relating to offers and services, you will find sleeper or wagon and the wording communicating

I have no clue. I don't see that in the choices. For 7 June:

So nothing with “communicating”. Note that the lowest fare is still available, so there should still be many places left.

 

Yes, LE FRECCE says this option is not possible on the Milan - Naples connection.

But it should be possible on other night train connections, but they don't know on which connections 🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈

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@Angelo 

 

I see you live in Italy 🙂

 

Do you happen to know on which night train connections it is possible to book 2 rooms next to each other with a door in between?

 

Can you confirm with certainty whether you can travel with the pass between Milan Central and Milan porta Garibaldi?

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@Sven I will investigate about this topic and will come to you later.

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@Sven For the trip to Milano Porta Garibaldi (PG) you can use hourly R11 (Regional Train) of Trenord from Chiasso directly to Milano PG (but it stops at every station). Or change in Monza from RE to an R to Milano PG. You could also use EC151 (compulsory reservation) directly to Milano PG. 

If you have time in Milan walk from Centrale to PG and go eat good italian food at a ristorante for dinner, the ICN should start at 22:13 from Milano Porta Garibaldi.

An other option is to use from Milano Centrale a Regionale Veloce or Regionale to Piacenza (next stop of the ICN and enter there the train) or you go to the stop before Milano, which is Novara and take the Regionale Veloce from Centrale to Novara.

 

 

I checkt now with ÖBB scotty app, that the Malpensa Express of Trenord runs from Centrale to Garibaldi. But Interrail is not accepted, but I have in mind that special fare of this train is only for passengers that go to/from the last stations at the airport Malpensa. It should be for trips before a normal regional train, but I'm not sure. You could ask directly Trenord.

 

 

 

For your other question, do you have tried to book for two persons in the same time? Beacuse then it should be possible to be more people in one compartment. 

Be also prepared that covid rules of Trenitalia could change, because many rules are finishing Trenitalia could start to sell compartments for more people.

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@Sven For the trip to Milano Porta Garibaldi (PG) you can use hourly R11 (Regional Train) of Trenord from Chiasso directly to Milano PG (but it stops at every station). Or change in Monza from RE to an R to Milano PG. You could also use EC151 (compulsory reservation) directly to Milano PG. 

 

 

These options were already known to me.
Thank you for confirming that interrail is valid here with Trenord.

 

 

If you have time in Milan walk from Centrale to PG and go eat good italian food at a ristorante for dinner, the ICN should start at 22:13 from Milano Porta Garibaldi.

 

The earliest we can arrive at Milan Central Station is 17u17, based on the times currently available. ( until June 3 )
It is also the intention to have something to eat in Milan in the evening, before we take the night train to Naples.

It is the first time traveling on an overnight train, the first time traveling with the Interrail mobile pass, and the first time in Italy. So we want to be as prepared as possible, and take enough time between the different trains.

An other option is to use from Milano Centrale a Regionale Veloce or Regionale to Piacenza (next stop of the ICN and enter there the train) or you go to the stop before Milano, which is Novara and take the Regionale Veloce from Centrale to Novara.

 

 

 

I checkt now with ÖBB scotty app, that the Malpensa Express of Trenord runs from Centrale to Garibaldi. But Interrail is not accepted, but I have in mind that special fare of this train is only for passengers that go to/from the last stations at the airport Malpensa. It should be for trips before a normal regional train, but I'm not sure. You could ask directly Trenord.

 

 

I am trying to contact Trenord customer service via instagram as they are not responding to my message via email.

 

 

For your other question, do you have tried to book for two persons in the same time? Beacuse then it should be possible to be more people in one compartment. 

Be also prepared that covid rules of Trenitalia could change, because many rules are finishing Trenitalia could start to sell compartments for more people.

 

 

Yes, it is indeed possible to book 1 cabin with 2 people. But I prefer to reserve a cabin separately for each.
I would have loved to have reserved 2 cabins, with a door in between. That would be practically very easy.

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@Angelo 

 

Do you know when the Italians have summer vacation? So far, no clear website has been found about this.

Likewise, when is it School holidays in the summer?

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@Sven 

School summer holidays in Italy are very long from June to mid September. 

But most people get to vacation for “Ferragosto” wich is every year the 15th of august. So plan 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after very full trains near the beach and in the mountains. But also in July are often full (especially in the weekends)

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@Sven For the trip to Milano Porta Garibaldi (PG) you can use hourly R11 (Regional Train) of Trenord from Chiasso directly to Milano PG (but it stops at every station). Or change in Monza from RE to an R to Milano PG. You could also use EC151 (compulsory reservation) directly to Milano PG. 

 

 

These options were already known to me.
Thank you for confirming that interrail is valid here with Trenord.

 

 

 

I checkt now with ÖBB scotty app, that the Malpensa Express of Trenord runs from Centrale to Garibaldi. But Interrail is not accepted, but I have in mind that special fare of this train is only for passengers that go to/from the last stations at the airport Malpensa. It should be for trips before a normal regional train, but I'm not sure. You could ask directly Trenord.

 

 

I am trying to contact Trenord customer service via instagram as they are not responding to my message via email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@Angelo 

I contacted Trenord customer service if it really isn't possible to take the train between Milan Central and Milan porta Garibaldi, clearly saying it's only a 9 minute ride.

I asked twice, but unfortunately I got the answer that interrail is not valid on the malpensa express.
Such a shame as it's only a very short drive!

 

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@Angelo and other users.

 

Does anyone know when Trenitalia will make such a link available from June 12, 2022?

Orario

Trenitalia says they don't?!

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In the past it the online PDF timetable got online the same day of timetable change or a few day after that.

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In the past it the online PDF timetable got online the same day of timetable change or a few day after that.

 

Thank you @Angelo !!


So what Trentitalia customer service says is probably wrong. Hopefully a PDF with the timetable will be available online in a few weeks!

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Haha, yes Trenitalia costumer service is very usefull. But it could also be the truth. We have to wait and check after.

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Haha, yes Trenitalia costumer service is very usefull. But it could also be the truth. We have to wait and check after.

 

In the meantime, I will therefore regularly have to use the Trenitalia app or website to see whether the intercity notte 797 is already for sale at the end of August.
Currently this is until August 5.

Thank you very much @Angelo 

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There are works planned in Switzerland, which means that my planned connection is no longer possible.
I thought to do this connection, August 26.
Lugano departure 19u55 - Monza,    Monza - Milan porta Garibaldi arrival 21u29.

Can anyone offer me an equivalent alternative?
I thought the arrival of 21u29 was really ideal, because our night train leaves at 22u13.

 

@Angelo @rvdborgt @runner.on.rails @seewulf 

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This one should work:

 

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This one should work:

 

 

@rvdborgt 

Thank you very much!

I will then travel via Chiasso from Lugano.

My route that I have now mapped out:

Lugano - Chiasso = 19h32 - 19h55 (No reservation costs on the EC)
Chiasso - Milan porta Garibaldi = 20u09 - 21u21

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@Angelo @rvdborgt @seewulf 

 

According to Trenitalia's Conditions of Carriage, which I have reviewed on both their English and Italian websites, seat reservations are covered by their "BASE ticket".


My question : Would you be able to choose your seat yourself based on what is free of course, without additional costs of 2 euros? Because it says that holders of a "BASE ticket" can choose their seat for free.


I normally go to the station in Ghent, NMBS, this Saturday and really hope that it is possible to choose seats myself from the ones that are still available.
The customer service of NMBS is not sure, and says I should try it at the counter.

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