France-Italy travel with intention of getting from Paris to the town of Scicli on Sicily

My family is planning to visit France and Italy this winter - we fly into Paris, Fr and then have 3 days to explore and make it to Scicli, It. What would be the best set of trains to use for this trip, which could include intermediate stays or a direct, dedicated travel day. We were thinking of using the France-Italy rail pass.

After several days in Scicli, we have another 5 days to get back to Paris and fly home.

Is there a way to get timetables for the different routes?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 23, 2012 21:35
    Hi,

    A Eurail France-Italy Pass would cover the ticket costs for such a trip, unless you take the overnight train from Paris to either Milan or Venice for your travel between France and Italy. As of a few months ago, this night train no longer accepts rail passes to cover its ticket costs, in which case, you would have to purchase a regular point-to-point ticket if you take this train. Otherwise, you can just take a daytime connection from France to Italy, and the pass would cover the ticket costs.

    Where you travel en route between France and Italy would depend on where you'd like to visit. Unless taking the direct day train from Paris to Milan, daytime connections from France to Italy enter Italy through the French Rivieria and involve a train change in Nice before crossing over into Italy, so it would be convenient to stop there or somewhere else also on the Riviera during your trip. You could also stop in Florence, Rome or Naples on your way down to Scicli, but it would all depend on where you'd like to visit.

    Coming from the mainland of Italy, a connection to Scicli would involve at least one train along the way in Siracusa (spelled as 'Syracuse' on our website). Scicli is connected to by trains from Siracusa, which take about 1.5 hours in duration. The trains from Siracusa to Scicli are regional trains that do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. This is a regional train, for which the schedule is not able to be viewed on our website. Therefore, if you wish to inquire about schedules from Siracusa to Scicli, you would call us at 1-800-622-8600.

    To book reservations on your other trains, including a train from Rome or Naples to Siracusa, you would click on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' on the homepage of our website. To book reservations for a train from the mainland of Italy to Siracusa, you would just have to be sure to spell it as 'Syracuse'.

    Trains in France and Italy can only be reserved within 90 days of an intended date of departure. Since your intended date of departure falls well outside of this time frame, you would just enter a date within the next 90 days to get an idea of the reservation costs and view schedules when searching the routes.

    As I alluded to above, daytime connections from France into Italy involve a train change in Nice before crossing over into Italy. The train from Nice then stops in Ventimiglia just across the border, where you would have to then change trains to continue on to elsewhere in Italy. The trains from Nice to Ventimiglia also do not accept reservations, and the rail pass would be all you'd need to board. However, for planning purposes, you can view schedules for these non-reservable trains by entering the cities under 'Check Fares and Schedules' on the homepage of our website and then clicking the option to 'Check Schedules'. This is also useful option if you just wish to browse schedules for various routes.

    Within France and Italy, most major cities are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is very likely that reservations will be required for most of your other trips in these countries.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) March 23, 2012 21:36
    Also, since your intended travel isn't until Winter, just keep in mind that the rail pass would have to validated for first use within 6 months from the date it is purchased.
    • With the pass, can you get on and off the regional train as you wish or do you need to specify your destination?
      I do understand that the high speed and overnight trains require a reservation, which would obviously include a destination.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) May 07, 2012 18:17
      A regional train, such as the ones between Siracusa and Scicli, would not require that you specify a destination. If you'll be traveling with a rail pass that includes Italy, that is all you would need to board, since these trains don't accept reservations. You would just be able to show up and use your pass to board. Therefore, with these trains, you would be able to get off along the way and continue on to your destination later.
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  • Thanks for the quick reply... I"m now getting back into planning things and your detailed information is most helpful.
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  • Hello, if I purchase a 5 day Italy-France railpass, how will I know which trains I can travel on, what times they leave, and where I make my reservations? I did not see this info provided--website only asked for ages of party members and number of days traveled. Over the course of 10 days we will travel between Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, Genoa and Nice. Also--on a few of those days we wish to visit towns around our main destination by train--like traveling from Milan to Venice, we wish to stop in Verona for some sightseeing, before continuing on to Venice. Or once we arrive in Nice, we wish to take a train to Cannes for a day trip...is this allowed, or must we pay extra for these day trips/ detours? These day trips would be taken on the same day of travel, figuring into the five days we'd purchase.

    This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
    Trains and schedules covered by Eurail France-Italy pass questions.
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