From Italy to France, namely:
These are the two itineraries proposed by the Italian company Thello, part of Trenitalia .
With Thello reaching the Côte d'Azur or the Ville Lumière has never been so easy. Booking Thello tickets on Trainline is fast and convenient thanks to the ability to travel ticketless and take advantage of the numerous promotional rates.
On the Venice-Paris route , Thello deploys its comfortable night trains, with two levels of service: sleeping cabin (for one, two or three people) and compartments with 4 or 6 berths . Each convoy has a bar-restaurant carriage and luggage space (each passenger can bring two suitcases up to 160 cm free on board). In the space reserved for luggage, even bicycles can be placed (disassembled and stored in special bags smaller than 160 cm).
Even pets can travel on the Thello train: pets under 5 kg travel free and without reservation, as long as kept in special containers; dogs over 5 kg are allowed on condition that they are kept on a leash and muzzled, and on payment of a supplement of 50 euros. Guide dogs for the blind travel for free, without obligation.
Reclining seats, air conditioning, reading light and power socket at each seat, ample space for luggage (each passenger can bring two suitcases up to 160 cm free on board) are the services that can be found on board the Thello trains on the Milan-Marseille route , in both in first and second class. As for the Venice-Paris route, the bicycles
Pets under 5 kg can travel free of charge as long as they are kept in special containers; dogs weighing more than 5 kg are allowed on the condition that they are kept on a leash and have a muzzle on at all times, and on payment of a surcharge of 50% of the ticket price for the route in question. Guide dogs for the blind travel for free, without obligation.
An additional way to save money while traveling on Thello trains, especially if you often travel the same route, is given by Carnet 5 for 4, the offer that allows you to buy 5 tickets for the price of 4. You just choose the departure stations and destination and the desired class. You can think about the rest of the planning (date and time) within 90 days from the date of purchase of the Carnet. And if you change program, no problem: you can change every reservation for free once before departure.
Children under 4 travel free if they do not occupy a seat. Children between 4 and 14 years of age benefit from a 30% discount on the adult standard fare.
Pets under 5 kg travel for free and without a reservation if kept in a carrier or cage. Animals between 5 kg and 50 kg can be taken with you only on the Thello Paris -Venice if you are traveling in a private cabin and paying a supplement of € 50 directly on board.
The ticket includes two bags of maximum size 160 cm and one hand baggage. It is possible to take 2 extra pieces of luggage with you if you pay € 40 per baggage directly on board.
Travel by bicycle
Bicycles can only be transported on board if folded and stored in bags of maximum size 160 cm.
Comfortable sleeping cabins, excellent service and the freedom to bring two large bags and pets make the Thello night train from Paris to Milan a valid alternative to flying.
Thello is the railway operator that manages night trains every day between Paris and Venice. On this trip, I booked a single bed cabin for the train that leaves at 7:10 pm from Gare de Lyon and arrives in Milan at 06:00.
I reached the Gare de Lyon directly from the centre of Paris by metro, in just 20 minutes from Trocadero (the Eiffel Tower stop) to the train station with a change to the Arc de Triumph. A single metro ticket costs € 1.90 and you can buy tickets at the vending machines that are located in all the subway stations by selecting the fare "base".
Out of the subway, I followed the signs to the station and found myself in a few minutes in Hall 1 of the Gare de Lyon station. The station has three Halls (similar to the terminals in the airports); Thello trains always leave from Hall 1 and usually from track K.
On Thello trains there are 2 different levels of comfort: a cabin and a 4 or 6 berth compartment. My cabin was modern, wide and very clean; I felt like I was in a mini duplex! The bed was located on a raised mezzanine which is accessed by a ladder (which is hidden in a closet door), while below there are 3 large seats, a wardrobe, a table and a sink. There are also 3 power outlets, a shaver socket and you will find a free cosmetic bag with toothbrush and toothpaste, room slippers, mask and earplugs, disinfectant wipes, soap and paper tissues. The bathrooms are located at the bottom of each carriage, next to the checker's bunk.
The train left on time and shortly after the controller knocked to check the ticket and collect the passport that was then returned to me in the morning. I found out that on the borders with Switzerland and Italy the railway police get on the train to carry out routine checks.
The controller also gave me two coupons, one for a welcome drink (fruit juice or prosecco) and one for breakfast; both are to be consumed at the restaurant wagon.
I slept well enough, earplugs proved to be critical because the air vent in the cabin is quite noisy. The controller woke me about 30 minutes before the train arrived and I went to the breakfast restaurant carriage where, while I was enjoying my croissant and coffee, out of the window I started to see the Milanese hinterland stations and shortly after we entered triumphantly in the Central Station of Milan that at six in the morning was obviously deserted.
Just because there were very few people, I noticed things I had never seen before like the mosaics next to the access gates and the station dedication plaque to Santa Francesca Cabrini, patron of immigrants, who travelled half the world in the second half of the '800.
To reach the centre of Milan, I took the underground line 3 (yellow) towards San Donato and got off at the Duomo stop. Alternatively, you can find free taxis at the exit on the left side of the station.
The trip was very convenient and the service really excellent. In addition to avoiding queues and long waits at the airport, the main advantages of traveling by train from Paris to Milan (or Venice) are the possibility of bringing two large bags with you, the ability to carry liquids, transporting pets (up to 50 kg) and finally arrive directly in the city center. A really recommended trip.