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Train travel in/out of venice. Rail-Pass, On-line...

California
9 posts
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Train travel in/out of venice. Rail-Pass, On-line...

I'm planning an Orient Express trip from Paris to Venice next year. Will spend about a week in and around Venice and need to arrange return transportation to Paris.

I am interested in the possibility of a 1st Class Rail Pass that will enable some touring of the Veneto, Trieste, and return trip to Paris.

Does anyone have experience with Rail Passes and which would be best? Where can I find Venice train schedules posted on the Web?

I may want to break the return trip into two segments. Can anyone recommend a routing from Venice to Paris that has a good place to spend an extra night or two?

Thanks in advance,

Bernard

SZ
Covington, KY
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204 posts
60 reviews
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1. Re: Train travel in/out of venice. Rail-Pass, On-line...

Generally rail passes are only a good deal if you are traveling long distances. Some trains require reservations so you will still have to go to the station or some other office to make them and pay an additional fee. I have used passes and found it most helpful to go to raileurope.com. There are a variety of passes available, single country, two countries, etc. and you purchase them for a specific number of days, not dates, within a specific time span. All are explained in detail on the website. I then go to the fare/schedule section and compare the price I would pay simply buying the tickets individually. The prices quoted are more than you would pay getting them in Italy or France but you can buy the tickets and reservations in advance from raileurope. Of course, the pass has to be purchased in advance. The fare/schedule section is usually very accurate in terms of schedule information and will indicate which trains need reservations. If I decide to get a pass I go to Rick Steves at ricksteves.com. It might cost slightly less, you will get some additional goodies such as a map and a choice of a book and will begin getting his email newsletter.

I have a feeling from what you described a rail pass will not be a good idea. Sometimes there are special regional deals that you find posted in the train station. Inquire also about the difference in price between one-way and roundtrip if you are returning somewhere. As foreigners we don't qualify for many discounts and passes that are available to locals.

Trains vary a great deal. Second class on some is better than first class on others. Some small regional trains don't even have first class. Any of the modern high speed trains will be very nice and second class will be almost as good as first class. Generally first class will assure you that the car is not overcrowded, but not always. If you are travelling in a heavy tourist season anything can happen. The high speed, reservation only trains, however, do not overbook, unlike some of the others.

I don't know the actual route between Venice and Paris but if it passes through Lyon it is worth a stop. The downtown area is large, beautiful, interesting and very underrated as a tourist destination. Also you can reroute to the French Riviera. I went to Venice from there with a stop in Milan, so I don't remember the actual travel time. The trip from locations around Nice to Paris takes about 6 hours. I hope this helps.

California
9 posts
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2. Re: Train travel in/out of venice. Rail-Pass, On-line...

Thank you, SZ.

I priced the 4-day France-Italy pass and found that its cost is comparable to a one-way trip from Venice to Paris. So if I want to take a train to Trieste and a couple days later go back to Paris, it may pay for itself, including a possible stop overnight along the way.

SZ
Covington, KY
Level Contributor
204 posts
60 reviews
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3. Re: Train travel in/out of venice. Rail-Pass, On-line...

I just wanted to add that people, including myself, often use a combination of rail pass and individual tickets. You might want to purchase the pass for fewer days and use it only for the long routes and buy tickets for the short routes.