Getting out of Italy into France

  • 7 January 2023
  • 7 replies

Hi all. Brand new to this so hold fire if i am in the wrong place

My wife and I are looking to do a 3 week trip round Europe in the summer using Interail and it will be our first.

We have used trains successfully in Italy but never across different countries. I have got a route so far but i am trying to get from Milan to Monaco or Marseille but every option I am given seems to be taking miles out of the way, mostly via Paris.

Can any point me in the right direction (literally) of offer some advice

Many thanks



Best answer by Eurofima 7 January 2023, 16:43

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7 replies

Userlevel 7
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1.youre probably looking for dates waaaaaaaaaaaay too early-Treni locale in IT tend to be posted online from-if even-2 month advance. If you hit this-simply use a samedayofweek for next week-it will not change a lot.

2.this route is pretty scenic, but not very fast nor really str8forward: Mil to Genova-hourly, several of these even run on along coast till Ventimiglia=last stop in IT. Former border post. Otherwise change Gen. Its still all trenItalia

3.then SNCF takes over-with only regional TER trains, via Nice till Grasse. From N about 2 hourly and probably by then still quite old ex-Corail stock as semi-fast till Mars. This line is due for a new operator very soon. There are also the odd TGV-with all the hassle of need to RES etc-and hardly faster as its all over the old rails.

In total, if lucky with connexxions, it will take some 8 hrs. You can even do it all without any RES-but an IC from Mil-via Gen. is only 3€ for it and for newbees adviseable

And for all these Brexiteers always wondering about how etc: there will be no regular border checks nor is there any need for special INTernat trains etc.

Userlevel 7
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Please mention your travel date.

Also, please don't use either the Interrail app or the Interrail website to plan, since they're unreliable due to the low update frequency. Use national planners or app; for international planning, the DB website or DB Navigator app is a good choice.

Finally, Trenitalia is often late publishing their timetables and they often do that just a few months in advance. Then they only send them to the European Timetable Centre when they feel like it, so it can take a while before they appear anywhere else.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 


The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 


The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass

During the activation process you choose the start day of the validity of the pass. Once the validity has started it can't be changed even if you haven't travelled. The advice is therefore to wait with activating the pass and starting the validity until the first day of your travel as you only can deactivate the pass no later than 23.59 CET on the day before the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you can't deactivate the pass and change the validity. 

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

There is a limited number of pass holder seats on the Eurostar and on popular departures and during high season those sell out weeks, and sometimes months in advance.

The best place to see the availability of passholder seats and make reservations on the Eurostar is

Press "later trains" and eventually you will find the next available connection. 


If you have a mobile pass you need to generate a Pass Cover Number in order to make the reservation at b-europe. You do that here in the PCN generator:

Wow thats a lot of information. Thank you all, i will read through and digest 



Userlevel 3
Badge +1

There are every two hours comfortable direct Intercity’s between Milano and Ventimiglia. Reservation €3 p.p.  From Ventimiglia to Marseille TER without reservation. Change in Nice to the fast TER as mentioned above. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

If you plan to stay in Monaco I would suggest you stay in the Aparthotel Adagio Monte Cristo. It is about 10 mins walk up the hill from Monaco station (there are 2 public lifts on the way up). It is a steady downhill walk to the Casino area. (It is part of the Accor group). Don’t have breakfast (optional) it is basic and expensive. The apartments are well equipped and we simply called into the Casino (brand) supermarket directly opposite the harbour for a few provisions ( we were there for 2 nights). 

Any hotel in Monaco is a mortgage payment per night, but up in Beausolei (The adagio) the prices are at least affordable.

The local train service runs every half hour from Ventimiglia - Monaco - Nice - Cannes. and stops at several small resorts. It costs a few euros per journey if you don’t have a continuous pass. 

One word of warning - the local trains are routinely inspected by gangs of inspectors so make sure you have added each train to your pass, or have a valid ticket. They revel in giving 50 euro fines.

For coming up France you can either travel direct from Nice to Paris, or Nice - Marseilles by regional service then TGV direct to Lille. The Paris TGV from Nice to Marseilles operates at relative slow speed, before running at full speed.