Paris sure is a breathtaking city, with everything from the Eiffel Tower to hidden gems like the Passage des Panoramas. Despite the plethora of opportunities in Paris, you may also want to escape to the Mediterranean paradise of Italy.
Traveling by train throughout Europe is a no-brainer, and exploring France by train is no exception. But as mentioned earlier, this is all about getting from France’s cultural hub of Paris to the best places in Italy.
Don’t worry about feeling lost on your magical European trip. With this guide, you’ll know about all the best locations to visit and the ins and outs of your travel.
So without further ado, it’s time to dive straight into all the best bits of taking the Paris to Italy Train.
About Paris Gare de Lyon
As you depart from France, it’s only fitting to include some information about Paris Gare de Lyon. Nestling in the 12th arrondissement in east Paris, this is the best station to use when taking a train from Paris to Italy.
There are a variety of regional and high-speed TGV trains, and the two Ventel train ticket booths make it easy for you to book your trip. That said, it takes care of around 148.1 million travelers annually — , that’s approximately 405,000 people a day.
So yes, it gets super busy, and booking a ticket online will be your best bet. Aside from the unfathomable crowds, it’s only 3.7 miles from the Eiffel Tower and only 2 miles from central Paris.
Lastly, I highly recommend buying your train tickets ahead of time via Trainline or Omio. Both sites are great for helping you find the cheapest tickets and routes for your trip.
5 Best Routes on a Paris to Italy Train Ride
There’s no point beating around the bush, so let’s get stuck right into the best routes from Paris to Italy.
1. Paris to Rome
Who doesn’t want to visit the Eternal City? If you do, there’s no better place to start your journey than at the Roma Termini — smack-dab in the city’s center.
Not only is it Rome’s largest train station with 29 platforms, but it’s also the gateway to this magnificent city. The once enigmatic Baths of Diocletian are across the road, while the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore is less than half a mile away.
As the biggest Rome termini, you can also imagine it’s the busiest train station in Italy, with an average of 480,000 people daily. But never fear. It’s also one of the most organized stations in Italy.
Roma Termini is a short-mile walk to the Colosseum, and trains depart for the Vatican City every 30 minutes.
Recommended Tour: There’s plenty to do in Rome, as you may imagine, but there’s nothing better than exploring Vatican City. Book a tour on Viator!
Best Train Companies for a Paris Gare de Lyon to Roma Termini Trip
You have a couple of options to pick from for a Paris to Rome by train trip:
- Frecciarossa: Average travel time of 10 hours and 15 minutes with one change at Milano Centrale. Tickets are around $95 per person.
- TGV InOui and Frecciarossa: Average travel time of 11 and a half hours with one change at Milano Porta Garibaldi. Tickets are around $66 per person.
- TGV InOui and Italo: Average travel time of 11 hours and 45 minutes with one change at Milano Porta Garibaldi. Tickets are around $88 per person.
2. Paris to Milan
Only second in size to Rome Termini, the Milano Centrale is a mesmerizing example of Italy’s architectural romance. It’s breathtaking, with high-arched glass ceilings and intricate sculptures along the walls.
Duomo di Milano — arguably the most popular spot in town — is only 1.6 miles from the station. So you’ll be sipping an espresso and discovering why Milan is labeled the “Fashion Capital of the World” at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in no time.
Look, it’s a major train station with 24 tracks and around 320,000 people passing through it daily. It may seem daunting at first, but you’ll realize it’s not all that bad once you get off your high-speed train.
Recommended Tour: Milan has a lot to see, so why not see it all on a guided walking tour? Book on Viator.
Best Train Companies for a Paris Gare de Lyon to Milano Centrale Trip
You’ll never be in short supply of fantastic deals when on a Milan-Paris adventure:
- Frecciarossa: This direct train is one of the quickest Frecciarossa trains, with a travel time of just under 7 hours. Tickets are around $40 per person.
- TGV InOui: Of the direct services provided by a TGV train, this is one of the quickest, with a travel time of around 7 hours. Tickets are around $32.55 per person.
3. Paris to Napoli
Rome may be Italy’s central icon, but you should never pass up the opportunity to travel to the coastal oasis of Napoli. Its main train station (Napoli Centrale) has 25 tracks but services far fewer travelers than Milan and Rome.
Only 137,000 passengers pass through the station, so you can expect a much calmer environment than in other major cities. Popular sites are also nearby, with the historic Ovo Castle only 3 miles away and the Museo Cappella Sansevero just 1.2 miles from the station.
And there’s no way you can pass up a short trip to the ancient ruins of Pompei, with an inexpensive Trenitalia train at $3.37 per person. You can take plenty of tours to this city frozen in time, and there’s no better way to explore than with an archeologist. Book on Viator.
Top Tip: The train times from Napoli to Pompei can alter, but they generally run like clockwork every 10 minutes.
Best Train Companies for a Paris Gare de Lyon to Napoli Centrale Trip
Traveling from Paris to Napoli is trickier than Milan or Rome purely based on distance. You’ll have to use the train route from Paris to Milan for the first half of the journey.
Then you can enjoy the following trips from Milan:
- Frecciarossa: This is the fastest direct route using a high-speed train with an average travel time of 4 and a half hours from Milan. Tickets are around $35 per person.
- Italo: This is another direct and fast train service with an average travel time of 4 hours and 45 minutes. Tickets are around $56 per person.
- Intercity: They offer cheap train tickets, but it’s a slightly longer journey with 9 hours and 30 minutes of travel time. Prices are around $36 per person.
4. Paris to Palermo
Feeling more inclined to visit the southern coastline of this Mediterranean wonderland? If so, travel from Paris to the breathtaking city of Palermo. With only ten tracks, this quaint train station invites you to the relaxing Sicilian coast in style.
You simply need to see the glorious portico and facade of Palermo Centrale to understand how fantastic this trip will be. And to make things better, the Orto Botanico di Palermo is across the road from the quiet train station.
Other top sights in the city include the Palermo Cathedral a mile away, and the breathtaking Mondello Beach, which is no more than half an hour from the station.
Tip: Once settled in Palermo, consider joining a walking tour to see all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. Book on Viator.
Best Train Companies for a Paris Gare de Lyon to Palermo Centrale Trip
Much like a trip to Napoli, you must get tickets from Paris to Milan first. After this, there is a vast range of travel options at your disposal:
- Frecciarossa and Intercity: This is the quickest route to Palermo, with one change at Napoli Centrale and a travel time of 15 hours and 30 minutes. Tickets are around $85 per person.
- Italo and Intercity: This is another great option with one change at Napoli Centrale and a travel time of 15 hours and 45 minutes. Prices are around $98 per person.
- Intercity: This is the only direct route from Milan to Palermo on a 20-hour and 45-minute regional train ride. Prices are around $56 per person.
5. Paris to Venice
For a dreamy visit to Venice’s sprawling canals and rich history, you’ll want to travel to the Venice Santa Lucia station. The 16 train tracks that lead into this maze of canals transport 82,000 people daily, so it’s still a busy little place.
That said, the Ponte Degli Scalzi stone bridge takes you across the main canal and into the heart of Venice, where all the romantic intrigue awaits. Saint Mark’s Basilica and Palazzo Ducale are a 1.2-mile walk from the station.
You’ll use the photogenic Ponte di Rialto to get to Piazza San Marco, so have the camera raring to go. The station is also near some fantastic hotels you can use as your base, such as Ca’ Riza or the Generator Venice hostel, for a budget-friendly option.
Next Read: If you plan on snapping some unforgettable photos along the way, finding your ideal camera travel case is a great idea.
Best Train Companies for a Paris Gare de Lyon to Venice Santa Lucia Trip
As you’re heading to the eastern region of Italy, it’s a roundabout trip to Venice. Many of the options available have two to three changes, but there are a few with only one stop:
- Frecciarossa: With only one stop in Milan, this is the fastest route to Venice, with 10 hours and 40 minutes of travel time. Tickets are around $70 per person.
- TGV InOui, Frecciarossa, and Trenitalia: Despite stopping in Milan and Bologna, this is one of the cheapest options, with 18 hours and 40 minutes of travel time. Prices are around $87 per person.
Differences Between Train Travel Options From Paris
You can choose from regional or high-speed trains when traveling from Paris to Rome or any other Italian destination. Here are the pros, cons, and tips for using each train service.
The main high-speed options include TGV, Frecciarossa, Italo, and Trenitalia trains. These are significantly faster than regional trains and can often cut your travel time in half.
The only issue is they are extremely popular, so don’t be surprised if you feel like a sardine in a tin when boarding.
But once you’re there, it’s a smooth ride to your ultimate destination.
Top Tip: Book online and use the mobile ticket to get on the train. These are often much cheaper and easier to use, and it helps save trees too. You can’t go wrong with all that in mind.
A regional train is much slower than a high-speed train, but ticket prices are often really affordable. The main regional train in France is SNCF, while Intercity is the main one in Italy.
Honestly, the pricing for a regional and a high-speed train don’t differ hugely, but these ones are far quieter and in less demand. This means bargain deals are always around the corner, so keep an eye out on trainline.com for any specials.
Some Practical Tips to Keep For Your Paris-Italy Train Trip
Before we say goodbye, here are a few answers to those dying questions you may have in mind.
What is the Best Way to Travel From Paris to Italy?
In short, your best option is by high-speed train as it’s fast and affordable.
What Are the Main Train Stations in Paris?
The main stations in Paris are Gare de I’Est, Gare du Nord, and Gare de Lyon.
What is the Average Journey Time for a Paris to Italy Train?
This isn’t a straightforward answer as there are several destinations you can travel to within Italy. That said, the average travel time to the closest main city (Milan) is 7 hours, while the southernmost destination will take around 22 hours and 30 minutes.
What Amenities Do the Trains Offer?
All the trains offer fantastic amenities such as free WiFi, accessible power outlets, and spacious legroom.
What Will be Your Next Destination on a Paris to Italy Train?
Now that you know all about the best Paris to Italy train routes, which one will you take on? You don’t need to answer this now, but at least you have all the essential information to make the right decision.
Speaking of exploring Italy, stick around and read about the ultimate 9-day itinerary for Italy. You won’t find anything more in-depth than this!
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