Here Are 5 Amazing Ways to Get to Italy by Train (You’ll Love #2)

Best Destinations in Europe / Travel Inspiration / Travel Planning | October 7, 2019

If you’re like the majority of our travelers, you know that visiting Italy is a daydream. It’s one of those places that stays with you long after you return home and get settled back into your routine. And it’s not just the iconic landmarks and attractions that make it such an enticing country to explore. There’s incredible regional cuisine, stunning architecture, gorgeous scenery, wine tasting experiences in historic cellars just yards from the vines, and a coastline that would make even the most jaded traveler take a moment of silence to appreciate its breathtaking beauty.

Like I said, exploring Italy provides experiences that will linger in your memory for a long time, probably for life. And pst! We got a little secret: The best way to get around during your vacation is by train. Many first time train travelers are surprised just how common and easy it is to journey from city center to city center and charming town to charming town.

But before discovering this destination’s allure, you have to get there.

Here Are 5 Amazing Ways to Get to Italy by Train

1. Via the Alps from London

Highlights: Travel onboard Eurostar from London to Paris then switch onto the scenic TGV line from Paris to Geneva via the Simplon Pass. The views? They are mostly inaccessible by other means of travel. As you approach the Swiss border, take in the landscapes: Swiss Alps, Lake Maggiore and Lake Geneva. 

TGV_Italy by Train Featured Image

2. The Bernina Express

Highlights: The Bernina Express is a direct train from Chur to Tirano in Italy. It crosses the beautiful canton of Graubünden from the north to the south. Chur to Tirano is the classic route, but in Summer there are more options: there is a Bernina Express from Davos and St. Moritz as well. All trains have in common that they cross the Bernina Pass and end in Tirano.

Taking passengers across the entire gorgeous canton of Graubünden, the Bernina Express features the kind of scenery Switzerland and Italy are known for. This direct train travels from Chur to Tirano in just four hours. The only factor you need to consider when booking your ticket is the daylight. In summertime, both directions travel during daylight hours. However, in winter, the final stretch of the northbound route is in the dark.

What kind of landscapes will you see? High alpine scenery on the Bernina Pass, a Mediterranean atmosphere in Val Poschiavo, and the iconic Brusio Spiral Viaduct. Over the course of 76 miles, the train will cross 196 bridges and travel through 55 tunnels. Much of the journey is also on the Rhaetian Railway, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For the best views you should sit on the right side of the train going north to south, and the left side in the opposite direction.

3. Via Munich and Innsbruck Along the Brenner Pass

Highlights: Travel along the tracks on one of Europe’s most scenic rail journeys, combining exciting cities with wonderful panoramas. Take the Brenner Pass rail line from the Bavarian capital of Munich through the verdant landscapes of southern Bavaria to Innsbruck, the winter sports capital of the Alps. Spend two nights exploring before rolling through the snowy Alps, through the beautiful Brenner Pass, to the iconic city of Venice for two additional nights.

Brenner Pass Train

4. Direct TGV from Paris to Turin and Milan 

Highlights: Travel onboard one of Europe’s most popular high-speed trains, the France-Italy TGV. With three trains traveling per day in both directions, getting from Paris to Turin and Milan is fast and easy. Not to mention, you get to enjoy incredible views of the scenic French Alps along the way.

The train takes travelers between Paris and Turin in 5.5 hours and Lyon and Milan in 4.5 hours, with wonderful stops in both France and Italy en route. After stopping at Lyon St Exupéry, the train slows down and snakes through the breathtaking Alpine foothills before crossing the Alps and calling at Chambéry. Then, it reaches the last station stop in France, Modane, where you can stretch your legs. After passing through the Fréjus Rail Tunnel, it calls at Turin Porta Susa then onto Milan’s Porta Garibaldi station. Of course, from there you can board onward connections to Venice, Florence, Rome or Naples.

5. Overnight Train to Venice (Thello)

Highlights: Short on time? Thello’s (pronounced tell-o) sleeper train is the most time-effective way to reach Italy. Featuring two levels of accommodation – sleeper cabins and couchette compartments – there’s an option for every budget. Each Thello train also offers a restaurant car and bar.