Nice-Turin, advice please!

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MK Tom

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I hope I'm posting this in the right section, please PM me and move it if I'm not.

I'm planning a trip for late May or early June to Nice. I then want to travel to Monaco, then Turin, before returning to Nice. Is this possible by rail? I'd ideally like to do the whole thing by rail, but I'll fly from Luton to Nice if that's too expensive. What kind of money would I be looking at? How would I go about buying tickets for either option? And is the main part actually possible at all?

Also I'd be very grateful if people could tell me SNCF and Trenitalia's rules apropos photography on stations. I have enough command of French to talk to staff but not Italian!

I'm very grateful for any help :)
 
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I'm planning a trip for late May or early June to Nice. I then want to travel to Monaco, then Turin, before returning to Nice. Is this possible by rail?
I made a Turin - Nice rail journey in October 2006. I changed at Genova, and had a very pleasant lunch and afternoon there. Using Advance tickets bought online, my times and prices were:
1105 Torino P.N. - Genova P'za Prin. 1249 - EUR 18.61
1655 Genova P'za Prin. - Nice Ville 1958 - EUR 20.00
 

Oscar

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If you're very flexible about your travel dates and times and can book pretty soon, you can get tickets from London to Nice return for just over £100. This is available on Eurostar's French website or as far as I am aware any Eurostar website quoting in euros(www.eurostar.fr will get you to the French site - I am pretty sure you can still get the normal loyalty points). Buying from Eurostar's UK website (buying in pounds) likely to cost around 10-15% more. I would recommend avoiding the first week of June (British school holidays and Queen's Diamond Jubile) if you want to find one of these tickets as they have virtually all booked up (£130-150 is still available though). You could also try split tickets London - Paris and Paris - Nice on www.tgv-europe.com but I think that Eurostar's through tickets are likely to be by far the cheapest way of getting to Nice by rail at this stage.

I think that a return from Nice Ville to Torino Porta Nuova is best booked/bought in two stages. It costs 7€ each way from Nice to Ventimiglia (the border station) for a ticket at Tarif Normal on a French TER and then 11€60 on a Regional train (the ordinary Base fare) changing at Cuneo (the fastest option and most frequent option, taking 3h20) to Torino Porta Nuova.
One of the fastest itineraries seems to be:
10.55 Nice Ville - 11.51 Ventimiglia Stazione
12.04 Ventimiglia Stazione - 13.57 Cuneo
14.03 Cuneo - 15.25 Torino Porta Nuova (4h30)
You cost also travel via Savona using an Intercity and buy a Mini (i.e. Advance Purchase) ticket for 9€ each way. Travelling via Genova seems to take longer and is hardly shown by Trenitalia's website. You can investigate further using www.tgv-europe.com for the French section and www.trenitalia.com for the Italian section.

I'm pretty certain that the through trains to Genova do not run anymore - all journeys between Nice and Italy now involve a change in Ventimiglia (except when using the Russian Railways' Nice - Moscow sleeper, I think, but I don't even know if you can use this for such a short journey).

A quick search shows that there seems to be confusion about whether railway photography is allowed on Italian railways or not - some people have been stopped by the police for doing so (i.e. guards have called the police). On one website someone had however written to the police who had replied by saying that as long as you have a hand-held camera and do not disturb the working of the railway and its employees or harm railway infrastructure, private photography is permitted. On the other hand, an article from il Corriere della Sera states that Trenitalia's public relations department had told the newspaper that all private photography was forbidden unless one has asked railway officials and has received a specific authorisation to do so.
I have taken photographs at Italian stations before and not been stopped but I do not know what is the norm. You could ask "Posso fotografare?" (pronounced as you would expect) if you are in any doubt.

Private photography is allowed at SNCF stations as long as no flash is used, the railway is not disrupted and the photographer takes the photos from public areas of the station i.e. no trespassing. Photographers are however also known to have been stopped. All photography is forbidden on all RATP services and in all stations (for anyone who does not know, RATP runs the Métro/RER services in Paris; this rule presumably applies to its buses as well although this would be impossible to enforce I think).
 

rf_ioliver

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One possibility is to make your Nice-Monaco trip a one-off and then travel to Turin from Nice via Breil-sur-Roya and Cuneo.

Nice-Breil is a stunning scenic route and if the older style railcars ( http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_2200 ) are running you can stand at the front and get a driver's eye view.

Ian
 

MK Tom

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Thanks for the help everyone! That's been very informative.

The only tripping point with all of these ideas is that I want to do a stop in Moncao on the way through towards Ventimiglia. So I was assuming I'd have to get a Nice-Monaco single then a Monaco-Turin one?

If it proves cheaper I may end up flying to Nice then back from Turin.
 

Oscar

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If you spent 24 hours or more in Monaco you would need a single from Nice Ville to Monaco-Monte-Carlo (3€60), a single from Monaco-Monte-Carlo to Ventimiglia (4€) and then a ticket from Ventimiglia to Torino Porta Nuova (from 9€ as detailed above). If you spent less than 24 hours in Monaco you would just need a single from Nice Ville to Ventimiglia (7€) and a ticket on from there. Don't try to buy a through ticket from France/Monaco to anywhere beyond Ventimiglia as you will pay far more than you need to.
If you want a scenic route you could also indeed go to Monaco, then back to Nice and then on to Italy via Breil as mentioned in the previous post.
If you don't want to go back to Nice afterwards you could also come straight back to Paris from Italy on one of the three daily TGV services (from 25€ one-way at www.tgv-europe.com) and go back to London from there. You would then only need to book a Eurostar return from London to Paris and an additional single from Paris to Nice.
 

MK Tom

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If you spent 24 hours or more in Monaco you would need a single from Nice Ville to Monaco-Monte-Carlo (3€60), a single from Monaco-Monte-Carlo to Ventimiglia (4€) and then a ticket from Ventimiglia to Torino Porta Nuova (from 9€ as detailed above). If you spent less than 24 hours in Monaco you would just need a single from Nice Ville to Ventimiglia (7€) and a ticket on from there. Don't try to buy a through ticket from France/Monaco to anywhere beyond Ventimiglia as you will pay far more than you need to.
If you want a scenic route you could also indeed go to Monaco, then back to Nice and then on to Italy via Breil as mentioned in the previous post.
If you don't want to go back to Nice afterwards you could also come straight back to Paris from Italy on one of the three daily TGV services (from 25€ one-way at www.tgv-europe.com) and go back to London from there. You would then only need to book a Eurostar return from London to Paris and an additional single from Paris to Nice.
That's perfect! So would the Nice-Ventimiglia leg be booked in advance or bought at the station? I'm just thinking of how in the UK we can break journeys on walk-in fares but not advance ones; I'm wondering if the same applies on SNCF.
 

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The 7€ fare is a walk-up fare which can be bought either at the station in Nice or online. If you book at www.tgv-europe.com delivery to the UK is completely free. In any case you will have to validate it at the station before travel and it will be valid for 24 hours. Break of journey is prohibited on any French ticket which is the equivalent of an Advance (same as UK). There are a confusing array of names for these such as "Prem's", "Piccolo", "Piccolissimo" and "Mini" (the first is normally used for domestic tickets, the second and third for TGV Lyria and the last for Paris - Italy TGVs). I think that these fares used to be called "Smiley" on Thalys but are now called "No Flex". Trenitalia call them "Mini".
 

MK Tom

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The 7€ fare is a walk-up fare which can be bought either at the station in Nice or online. If you book at www.tgv-europe.com delivery to the UK is completely free. In any case you will have to validate it at the station before travel and it will be valid for 24 hours. Break of journey is prohibited on any French ticket which is the equivalent of an Advance (same as UK). There are a confusing array of names for these such as "Prem's", "Piccolo", "Piccolissimo" and "Mini" (the first is normally used for domestic tickets, the second and third for TGV Lyria and the last for Paris - Italy TGVs). I think that these fares used to be called "Smiley" on Thalys but are now called "No Flex". Trenitalia call them "Mini".
You've been a fantastic help!

So SNCF advance tickets don't tie you to a specific train like British ones do?
 

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Yes, of course they do. French Advances tie you to a specific date and time. I mentioned these in my last post just as an aside but have maybe not made myself clear. Your ticket is one of the Tarif Normal tickets which do not tie you to specific trains (although sometimes there are separate off-peak and peak fares and the off-peak ones tie you to a specific period). However, the 7€ Nice-Ventimiglia is valid anytime so the peak/off-peak issue is NOT relevant here.

Perhaps I should have written:
The 7€ fare is a walk-up fare which can be bought either at the station in Nice or online. If you book at www.tgv-europe.com delivery to the UK is completely free. In any case you will have to validate it at the station before travel and it will be valid for 24 hours. Unlimited breaks of journey are allowed within this time period. On the other hand, break of journey is prohibited on any French ticket which is the equivalent of an Advance (same as UK), though this is not relevant here. There are (in fact) a confusing array of names for these such as "Prem's", "Piccolo", "Piccolissimo" and "Mini" (the first is normally used for domestic tickets, the second and third for TGV Lyria and the last for Paris - Italy TGVs). I think that these fares used to be called "Smiley" on Thalys but are now called "No Flex". Trenitalia call them "Mini".
 

rf_ioliver

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Just remebered, there's a line (which I've also taken) from Ventimiglia to Breil which is just as scenic as Nice-Breil...so Nice-Monaco-Ventimiglia-Turin is quite possible.

Ian

ps: sorry for the spelling of Ventim"¤&"#¤---oh whatever ;)
 

MK Tom

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Just remebered, there's a line (which I've also taken) from Ventimiglia to Breil which is just as scenic as Nice-Breil...so Nice-Monaco-Ventimiglia-Turin is quite possible.

Ian

ps: sorry for the spelling of Ventim"¤&"#¤---oh whatever ;)
You spelt it right! :lol:

Would there be much difference to fares if I went the Breil way?
 

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The Trenitalia services from Ventimiglia to Cuneo do go via Breil. So assuming you took this route you would first get the train from Nice Ville to Monaco-Monte-Carlo (SNCF TER), stop off in Monaco and then catch another SNCF TER from Monaco to Ventimiglia (IT) before changing to a Trenitalia Regionale train from Ventimiglia (IT) to Cuneo (IT) via Breil (FR) and then changing again to another Trenitalia Regionale train to Torino Porta Nuova. The other route which has been mentioned here is Nice Ville - Monaco-Monte-Carlo (stop over) - Nice Ville (change) - Breil (change) - Cuneo (change) - Torino Porta Nuova but this is a longer and more expensive route with fewer trains and more changes. I know nothing however about how the scenery compares, not having been to the area myself. A map may help you to understand the possibilities. The only other reasonably possibility as far as I can see is travelling from Ventimiglia via Savona (which is longer but marginally cheaper than via Breil if you get a 9€ Mini fare/more expensive than Ventimiglia-Breil otherwise).
As an aside, Ventimiglia as a name should not be that confusing - it simply means twenty (venti) thousand (miglia) - but I can understand that it is long and bears no resemblance to English.
 
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MK Tom

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I know how to spell 'Ventimiglia' because it's the surname of one of my favourite actors!

That's awesome. Didn't someone say there was an option via Genoa too?
 

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You can go via Genova (Piazza Principe) but it's a longer and more expensive journey. There used to be direct trains there from Nice but they sadly do not run anymore so the previous advantage of using this route is now gone. I think that this was due to disagreements between SNCF and Trenitalia. These two companies used to (but no longer) run several France - Italy services as a partnership any more.
 

MK Tom

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OK massive thanks to everybody.

So does the following itinerary sound achievable?

London - Paris (Nord) return booked through Eurostar, leaving on day 1 and returning on day 3.
Paris (Lyon) - Nice single booked through RailEurope.
Nice - Ventimiglia single bought at the station (or booked through SNCF then validated at the station), breaking journey at Monaco Monte-Carlo
Ventimiglia - Turin (Nuova) single, as above if Trenitalia offer the booking service for that ticket type.
Turin (Susa) - Paris (Lyon) single booked through RailEurope.

Will that work? Is there something I'm doing wrong there or is that going to work completely?

Again many thanks to all.
 

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Yes, that sounds reasonable. That will work fine - you will be covered by CIV (International Conditions of Carriage) throughout so all companies involved are obliged to put you on the next train in case of delay or disruption. You'd probably save around 5-10% by buying the Paris (Lyon) - Nice (Ville) and Torino (Porta Susa) - Paris (Lyon) from SNCF's TGV Europe site rather than Rail Europe and you'd probably save about the same amount by buying your Eurostar ticket in euros but I could understand that you might not want the hassle of this. As far as I can see this discrepancy is due to the euro falling against the pound over the last few months and Rail Europe / Eurostar UK not catching up with their exchange rates.
Trenitalia will sell you the ticket you are interested in either at the station or as a print-at-home ticket. However, they will only sell you the print-at-home ticket from 7 days before you are due to travel. If you buy on the internet you will only be able to use your ticket for trains departing Ventimiglia within 4 hours of the train you choose for your ticket (whereas if you buy it at the station you can validate in whenever you like).
 

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Can anyone explain the 'youth' fare that seems to be on offer? I'm 22 so I qualify for it but does it require the ownership of a card or anything like that?
 

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Which youth fare is this? You do not need a card to get the youth fare on Eurostar. SNCF has Découverte fares for which you do not need a card but also 12- 25 Railcard (Carte 12 - 25) fares.
 

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The one that RailEurope include in their fares options - As far as I can tell from their website it's purely a question of age and it doesn't make any mention of a card or anything like that.
 

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Rail Europe don't sell Carte 12-25 fares so the fare you're looking it will be a Découverte fare (although not marketed as such). You can therefore definitely buy it without holding any card.
 

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Sorry to kick this thread off again, but I wanted to check if I'll have to validate all my tickets over there. I assume ones you actually buy on the day at the station don't need validating... but the ones I've had posted to me do? Seeing as some of my journeys, like Genoa-Turin, are wholly within Italy but are still on SNCF tickets, will I be able to use those little yellow validating machines or is there another system in Italian stations? Thanks everyone!
 

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Italian stations have similar validation machines to the French ones. If you post exactly which tickets you have bought (with screen shots if possible), I should be able to tell you what you do and do not need to do.
 
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