The best way to get to Italy from Germany

Hello everyone,

I will start my Interrail Journey to Italy from Aachen on September 17. In Italy I will meet up with some friends in Pescara. From their, it will basically be Pescara → Rome → Naples → Catania → Palermo and then I will stay some time in Sicily and go back to Germany either by Night Trains or I will fly back to Germany. I need to be in Pescara at September 24 or earlier.

Now I am quite unsure about how to get to Pescara in the best way. Thats why I need your advice about the itinerary to Pescara.

I definitely want to save up some money for Rome and the South of Italy (even though but budget really is not very tight) and I do not want to stay very long in the north. But at least a few days and two locations should be between Aachen and Pescara, since I do not want any 12 hour train rides. I prefer to travel more slowly. I think a night in Switzerland is something I cannot get around, but I am afraid, that it will be really expensive.

I like hiking a lot and the Alps in General. Is there a location on my way where I can stop for maybe two nights for some hiking (I can even take heavy hiking boots, since I can leave them in Pescara)? Maybe in the Italian or Swiss Alps? I am also thinking about going with the Bernina Express on the second day of my journey. Is it recommended to stay in Basel or Zürich for that? And is it generally worth to take a trip with Bernina Express?

I am really looking forward to your tips/recommendations!

P.S.: Is there an estimated date, when it is possible to see timetables and reserve seats for Italy in September/October?


Thank you and Best Regards


5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

If you go via Bernina you could stay a night in Tirano (Italy) where the Bernina Line ends. Maybe there it cost less then in Switzerland. From there the train goes via Lake Como to Milan. Don’t use the Bernina Express, you pay for the reservation for nothing. Better use regional trains on the line, there you can open the windows but you don’t have this fancy panorama windows. 

To pay less for trains you can use IC trains in Italy (3€/seat) or Regional trains (no reservation possible). 

From Ancona there are direct RV trains (RegionalExpress) to Rome and they are as fast as IC (3€) or FB(10€). 

For Frecciarossa you need a reservation of 10€. You can book via via one way ticket option and at adult choose the discount Interrail/Eurail Global Pass. 

The Timetable of Trenitalia is very slow with updates. But in the next weeks we will get the new timetable from September. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Zuerst: nicht app benutzen-bloss gewohnt-und schnellste/oder mit wenigen Umstiege spuckt er schon heraus. Dabei wird nicht auf Sonderheiten mit Pässe usw geachtet-dass muss du jans selber machen-denn du bist doch schon jross!

Ab AC geht es wohl (in 1 Tag DE heraus)-über K-F-KA ri Schweiz-will mann den angeblich so Kostensparende NZ nutzen (im Sitz) dan geht das-aber kostet extra Reisetage.

Schweiz hindurch, ist nicht billig, dann komt schon Milano-will mann 11€ sparen zur Direkt-EC dan stieg aus in Chiasso-und dann NV- und ab dort IC Zúege der IB (trenItalia) satt-über Bologna am Adria Küste entlang. IC kostet bloss 3€ zur Pflicht-RES-das wäre wohl zu verkraften. Ob es mit einer sehr Frühstart in 1 tag zu machen ist-kannst wieder selber nachsuchen.

Ob mann über Bernina-oder eine der 10 andere Schönst-Bahnen der Swiss fahren will-geht, es ist eher eigene Geschmackssache was mann lieber hat-Bernina ist eher rau, die andere eher süsslich mit schöne Aussichte. Im sommer soll teil der Strecke In IT ab Bernina SEV haben. Wie das geht mit trampen/campen usw-muss du selber forschen-es ist ja Swiss und wird also schon sehr teuer geregelt sein. Zúri ist sauteuer-Basel etwas weniger-und gerade in DE davorne etwas weniger-aber für DE immer noch teuer.

Ich habe hier bis jetzt sehr, sehr wenige Tipps re tramp/camp usw gesehen-bleibt meist zur Zug beschränkt. Denklich gibt es dafür andere Foren die mehr bieten

Thanks for the answers. The money for the reservations is already planned into my expenses. So this is not a problem with my budget. I fear the prices of AirBNB/Hotel in Switzerland more than the reservation costs for the train :D

The tipp with the regional trains instead of the official Bernina Express is great. If I decide to travel that route, I will definitely do that.

From Pescara where I will stay for two nights are also direct RV trains to Rome. I planned to take these.

Another option would also be to go Aachen → Frankfurt → Milan with the direct train from Frankfurt to Milano. Then I would have one very long travel day but do not need to pay so much for accomodation in Switzerland. But I also miss Bernina. Is Bernina a must in your eyes?

Maybe there are also hiking day trips I can do from Milan or Bergamo or something like that?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Well, Bernina is one of the absolute highlights about traveling by rail in Europe… I travel a lot by train and did this route a few times and it is still always AMAZING to go home via that route from Italy (or just make a daytrip from home and do some hiking in the area).

I don’t know how important comfort is for you, but in Chur there should be a hostel where you should be able to find a bed in a dorm for 30-40 euro per night.

What would be also an option: staying on some mountain hut. If you are DAV member, then it is not too expensive - bed usually between 20-30 CHF. Including dinner and breakfast (without drinks) it is between 70-80 CHF mostly. There would be also one near Chur - Calandahütte (easy hike for an average hiker) or near Bad Ragaz/Maienfeld with the Enderlinhütte (not so easy hike).

Next morning you could continue your trip and take the Bernina railway line

Thank you. This helps a lot. I will integrate Bernina into my itinerary.