Route advice from Paris to Italy

  • 9 January 2022
  • 3 replies

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Hello there, This summer we want to travel from the Netherlands to Paris, and then to Italy. I'm traveling with a child, so I don't want the routes to be too long. We don't want to be in the train for like 6 hours. So I planned this: Breda - Brussels or directly to Paris. Paris - Lyon.

Then I get stuck. I want to travel to Italy then. If not to far out of the direction we would like to see Marseille and Nice and Monte Carlo. But if that is a route that takes much more time then we would like to go straight to Italy. But if I use the app interrail app I get incredibly long train times, either from Lyon or from Nice. Is that correct? What is the fastest route to get to Italy? If going through Lyon/Marseille/Nice takes so long, then maybe it's better to go from Paris straight to Italy? Or maybe a sleeping train? I can’t see how I can find this in the interrail app.  I hope someone can give me advice on this.

And them in Italy we want to see: Milan, Venice, Rome, Toscane and maybe Florence. Any tips on what a good route would be in Italy?

And then we want to go back to the Netherlands. Is there a sleeping train that we can take back?

If any of you have any tips for where to stay/sleep, what to see (adult with 9 year old), that’s of course very welcome! Or if any of you would take a different route, that’s interesting too. I’m just orienting.

Kind regards,



Best answer by rvdborgt 9 January 2022, 20:47

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Userlevel 7
Badge +5

It is right that the OLD line along the mediterranee coast will take indeed much longer, certainly without breaks. Be a bit careful about Marseille as stop-high crime rate, perhaps take Avignon. One often sees in France much difference in time between the '’classic lines'’ as they call it as they now mostly only have regiobnal=all stops trains, and the new fast TGV lines-which all require extra supplement and need to REServe. Also along these lines the TGV stops are newly built and far out of town, and along the coast east from Marseille they are still thinking about how to plan-or perhaps not after all. Much protest. Also this region is notorious for strikes on trains-often announced at only very short notice, if at all.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

But if I use the app interrail app I get incredibly long train times, either from Lyon or from Nice.

  1. There's a small timetable change on 12 June and Italian railways have not published their timetable yet. Since you wrote about "summer", I suppose you are planning for after this change. Expect long-distance timetables to become available from 2 months in advance. Regional timetables maybe one month in advance. To get an idea of the timetables, search in the period before 12 June on the same day of the week.
  2. Please don't use the rail planner app for planning, since it doesn't get enough updates to be reliable and for Italy, the regional trains for at least one region are missing. In general, use the operators’ own websites and apps. For international planning the DB website or DB Navigator app is a good choice. The Trenitalia website (or app) is more complete and up to date for Italy than any other planner.
Userlevel 7
Badge +15

You can catch from Lyon direct TGV (Reservation needed arround 30€per seat) to Torino or Milano.

From Nice / MonteCarlo you could go via Ventimiglia to Genoa (note that the Railplanner have not all trains listed :/  I recommend to use a local Railplanner or atleast another major App like Scotty (Austria) , DB Navigator or Muj Vlak (Czech Republic)

Another scenic Route from Nice or Ventimiglia is the Tendaline via Cuneo to Torino :)