Friday, August 31, 2012

Paris > Torino by train

I've been making arrangements for my upcoming trip, and considering two different options for travel from Paris to Italy. One option would be to fly via EasyJet airlines from Orly airport in Paris to Pisa. Orly is the airport closest to where my friends live. The flight takes about 2 hours, costs about $90, which allows me to check one bag that weighs less than 20 kilos (44 pounds). Each kilo over that limit costs 9 euros per kilo! From Pisa, I can get a train from the airport to Florence, which takes about an hour, and costs about $9. Total cost: $100. Total time, with waiting at airports and train stations: @ 5 hours. Satisfaction probability: very low. The planes are small, are low on comfort and packed tight.

Torino, Italy
Another option would be to take a high-speed TGV train from Paris to Turin, where I'd spend the night and get another train to Florence the next day. The train to Turin will cost $75, and the train to Florence about $40. I'll have the extra expense of a hotel in Turin ($60), but it will give me a chance to wander around this northern Italian city for the first time. Total cost: $175. Total train time: 8 hours. Satisfaction probability: very high.

What cinched it for me was watching a video of a train ride from Paris to Torino and Milan on YouTube. I'll have the chance to see a great deal of France as we head south and east, and cross the mountains to Italy. If you watch the video, I think you'll agree that this route is a winner. I'm in no rush to get to Florence, so I might as well enjoy the view on a long train ride. I was able to buy the train tickets online and print them out to take with me. Planning in advance allowed me to find some good bargains, both in France and Italy. To watch the video, here's a link:

Paris to Milan by TGV train

I had another stroke of good fortune this week. While chatting with a friend about traveling to Paris, a woman overheard me and joined the conversation. Turns out that she and her husband are retired French professors who have lived in Paris and know the city well. She's invited me to her home for a crash course about Paris. Should be fun! I'm also finding many videos on YouTube that are getting me acclimated about what to expect and what to avoid.

1 comment:

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I love train travel, you are on the way as soon as you board, unlike all the hours spent at the airport before you board the plane. My husband and I often say if train travel was less expensive we would definitely use it more. I think you will love the train option. By the way have you considered getting rid of this word verification it is such a nuisance, :(