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Has anyone taken a sleeper train from Paris to Italy with young children?

(7 Posts)
eekra Sun 19-Aug-07 12:18:48

I've vowed not to fly with my children again until the youngest is 3+. Next summer she will be nearly 3 and DD1 will be 5 and a half. I'm interested in travelling by train to Italy.

I don't have anywhere in mind so would welcome suggestions of where would be a good place to go. Aloso, I'd love to hear from anyone else who has done something similar with children in tow.

Thank you

lapsedrunner Sun 19-Aug-07 16:17:30

Not the same route but just about to embark on our 3rd return journey on a motorail sleeper with DS. We have done Vienna to Dusseldorf return, first time was just before his 3rd birthday and I did it on my own (plus car and dog for good measure!). DS loved it although I did make the mistake of sharing a berth with him. We slept head to toe to stop him falling out, he had a great nights sleep but I didn't.
The 2nd trip was the same route last year when he was nearly 4 (and I had DH to help me), he loved it and slept really well, in his own berth.
On Friday we are going from Vienna to Ancona (again overnight with the car) for a holiday in Italy. I think it's a great way to travel if you can. An excellent website is www.seat61.com

lapsedrunner Sun 19-Aug-07 16:33:49

eekra - once on www.seat61.com just look at the London to Italy page as all the routes go via Paris and it gives full details of the sleeper trains from Paris plus pictures etc

janek Sun 02-Sep-07 14:51:55

we did paris-rome and paris-venice before we had DD, also paris-milan with friends and their dd (8mths), and later this month we are doing paris-milan again with our 17mo dd. have another thread worrying about travel cot fitting on floor of 2 berth cabin, but you are past that stage.

i must say i prefer travelling by train to travelling by plane for every reason you can think of (environment, fear of flying, being couped up and stuck in same seat) and would be very keen if my DD was same age as your DCs. what could be more exciting than going to bed in a bunk bed, on a train, and waking up in italy? it's like travelling without the travelling! you do it all when you're asleep. brilliant. everyone is free to get up and walk around. no one is strapped to a car seat.

children under 5 travel free (as long as you book the whole cabin), on the rome train you can book 3 berth cabins, on the venice one (also stops in milan) you can book 2 person ones, although i have been reliably informed that the '2 person' cabins actually have 3 bunks, and i don't see why you shouldn't use the 3rd, since your whole party is travelling legitimately. i can report back on this if you like, once we have made our journey. seat 61 will tell you everything you want to know re travel. personally i would prefer to go somewhere where i was 'there' in the morning. ie overnight train to rome and stay in rome, not get another train once i get there iyswim. (not in italy, but there's an overnight train to barcelona that i've always fancied getting).
more thoughts may strike me, in which case i'll be back, but my advice would be 'do it' there's nothing more annoying than thinking you'll be 'there' quickly cos you're flying and it taking 3-4 hours either side of the flight, or the flight being delayed. the trains are rarely delayed. and if they are they can nearly always make up the time becuase of the long distances covered.
travelling by train is brilliant!

kookaburra Mon 03-Sep-07 16:13:32

Very interested to read this as I have just been browsing seat61.com! Excellent website - it was recommended to me by a friend and I am considering a trip to the south of Italy next year with the DC by train. Was considering motorail, but as the car is a people carrier, not sure if it will be possible.
I agree with other posters that train far more civilised than plane, tho' have been waiting for the DC to be big enough to help with luggage grin

lapsedrunner Sun 09-Sep-07 20:43:48

Just reporting back in..steppped off our overnight "autozug" (i.e. motorail) from Ancona to Vienna at 08:30 this morning. Our 3rd return motorail/sleeper journey with DS (nearly 5). Great, love it, just do it. Yes it can be hot & delayed but somehow it's just soooooo much nicer than the plane (and DS sleeps like a log every time)

WestCountryLass Sun 09-Sep-07 21:48:58

I've done the north of France to the south with my two charges when I was a nanny and it was fine, the kids loved it

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