Train of Thought is our community-driven blog series that asks you — our lovely fans! — to share your insider knowledge and tips with the rest of the Rail Europe community. Join us on Facebook or Twitter to get involved! Sometimes there are even prizes involved, so you probably don’t want to miss out on that.
We loved asking our Australian Facebook fans this question: if you had to choose one, would you pick France or Italy? There are hardly two countries more beloved than these two, and asking people to choose between them stirs up QUITE the debate.
After we got our Facebook fans all riled up about it (sorry, but you have to admit it was fun to watch), we were able to calm everyone down by reminding them that we don’t have to choose between France or Italy on a trip to Europe — train travel makes visiting both countries a breeze. And especially the France-Italy TGV line, a special branch of the TGV family that stops at major destinations in both countries. Popular routes include:
- Paris to Milan: About 7 hours
- Lyon to Turin: Under 4 hours
- Chambery to Turin: About 2.5 hours
- Paris to Turin: About 5.5 hours
So which of these is the best destination? What are your insider tips? Here’s what you had to say to our three most popular questions:
- We always start with food because, I mean, obviously. What’s the best local treat in either country?
Rail Europe’s pro tips: Onboard the France-Italy TGV, you’ll find a bar/buffet car offering all kinds of delicious treats and refreshing drinks. And if you’re traveling in first class, you’ll even be served at your seat, VIP-style.
2. The main route of the France-Italy TGV is Paris and Milan (7 hours 9 minutes). Where’s the best place to make a scenic stop along the way? Most of you were probably hungry from the previous question, so the most popular response was Lyon, culinary capital of France:
Rail Europe’s pro tip: If you take the train the whole route from Paris to Milan (highly recommended), here’s a taste of what you’ll see: the beautiful French countryside (window seat view of the French Alps, anyone?) and the equally stunning Italian countryside of Lombardia, which is a popular wine and truffle harvesting region.
3. What are your top 3 reasons for traveling between France and Italy by train, as opposed to plane or car or (for the truly ambitious and athletic) walking or biking?
Rail Europe’s pro tip: We can’t help but add that train travel takes you straight from the heart of one city to another (train stations are pretty much always centrally located within the city, unlike airports, which are out in the middle of nowhere).
Thanks so much for sharing your “train of thought” with us this month! And if you’re ready to book that ticket to France and Italy now, go for it! Tickets are available on our site and are available for booking up to 120 days in advance (if you want to estimate a price for a date beyond that time frame, try searching for the same day of the week/time of day on an earlier date, just so you can get an idea).