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Travelling around Italy

What do I need to know about travelling by train in Italy?

Read our explore Italy by rail page to find out about regional and high-speed services, onboard facilities and where to validate your tickets. 

When will my tickets be booked?

Due to the nature of rail reservation systems, your rail booking for travel within Italy will be provisionally booked on request and then confirmed 6-8 weeks before departure. In June when rail schedules change, there is an additional delay and reservations may be confirmed 2-4 weeks before departure. We will endeavour to book the class of travel requested. In the unlikely event, however, that your preferred class of travel is not available when we make your booking, you will be booked in the nearest class available, with a refund given where appropriate.

 

Eurostar

How much luggage can I take onboard the Eurostar?

Eurostar does have some luggage restrictions but you'll find they don't limit you too much. You're allowed two medium-sized items with a maximum length of 85cm, plus one item of hand luggage. Children are allowed one bag and one piece of hand luggage. There is no need to check in these items and there is no weight limit either. Each item must have a label showing your name, seat number, date of travel and destination. Hand luggage can go in the overhead racks and larger items are stored in the suitcase storage areas by the doors.

Can I smoke anywhere?

The Eurostar is non-smoking throughout (this includes the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems) and there aren't any smoking carriages.

Will our seats be allocated together?

Seats will be allocated together if all passengers are booked at the same time. If another passenger wants to join the group, we can select the coach and one of the seat numbers of the group and Eurostar will try to allocate them nearby to the rest of the party (subject to availability). We cannot confirm whether seats will be forward facing or backward facing. We can request a certain coach should this be necessary.

Can we take food and drink onboard the train, and is there somewhere to buy food?

Yes. As a Standard Class passenger, you can either bring your own refreshments or buy your supplies at one of the two buffet bars (coaches 6 and 13). There are hot drinks and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, plus sandwiches, crisps and light meals from Waitrose on sale. There are no seats in the bar area but there's room to stand and linger if you don't want to go straight back to your seat.

Travel in Standard Premier and you can look forward to a light cold meal consisting of three small savoury 'tasting' dishes and bread, served to you at your seat in the evening or at lunch, plus a hot drink, wine, beer or a non-alcoholic drink. In the morning you will be served a continental breakfast with tea or coffee. Special meals including vegetarian, kosher, halal, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low salt and gluten free, and child-friendly meals can also be requested at the time of booking.

Is there a wi-fi connection?

Some Eurostar trains are fitted with wi-fi technology; however not all trains feature it. You can enjoy free wi-fi throughout St. Pancras International station and Paris Gare du Nord.

Can I charge my laptop or tablet on the train?

There are power points available in some Standard Class coaches (coaches 5 and 14) and in Standard Premier coaches 7 to 12. There are power points at your seat when you travel by Standard Premier Class.

What time do we need to check-in before we depart?

For Standard Class and Standard Premier Class seats, you must check-in at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

Can I take my pet on the train?

If you're travelling with a registered guide or assistance dog, you’ll be able to bring them on board with you, but please ensure that your dog has been trained by an organisation that's affiliated to or a member of:

• Assistance Dogs (UK)

• The International Guide Dog Federation

• Assistance Dogs International

Please note that emotional support dogs and other animals aren't allowed to travel on Eurostar, and that Eurostar trains aren't designed to carry animals.

Can I take my bicycle as part of my luggage?

If you can fold or dismantle your bicycle and place it in a bike bag no bigger than 85cm in length, you can carry it on board as part of your normal luggage allowance at no extra cost. If your bike is between 85cm and 120cm you can use Eurostar's registered luggage service - expect to pay around £25.

Will I need a passport or visa?

Yes you will need to take your passport, plus a visa if necessary.

Can I travel if I am in a wheelchair?

Eurostar trains and stations are well equipped for those with visual impairments and restricted mobility. There are two dedicated wheelchair spaces on each train for passengers that are unable to walk at least 200m unaided. These are located in the Standard Premier carriages, near a wheelchair-accessible toilet with push-button access. A companion can travel at a discounted rate. So, effectively, both passengers travel in Standard Premier for the cost of a Standard Class ticket (subject to availability). It is advisable to check-in at least 45 minutes prior to departure to give you plenty of time and advise our Travel Advisor at the time of booking whether you will need any special assistance.

Can I park my car at the Eurostar station?

Yes, the cost for parking at London St Pancras International is approximately £22 per day. To park at Ebbsfleet International, the cost is approximately £8 per day, approximately £6 per day if between 2-6 days and approximately £37 per week. To park at Ashford International, the cost is approximately £11.50 per day and approximately £69 per week.

 

Travelling to and from Italy

How do you get from Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon?

To make the journey from France into Italy you need to catch an onward train from Paris Gare de Lyon. This is how you get to Paris Gare de Lyon from Paris Gare du Nord (where the Eurostar arrives and departs). 

By RER (Surburban train):

The journey from Paris Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on how busy the RER is. When you arrive at Paris Gare du Nord, walk towards the front of your Eurostar train and exit to the main station concourse. The Métro and RER (suburban trains) entrances are on your left - look up and follow the signs for RER Line D. Take the RER line D direct to Gare de Lyon. To find your platform, follow signs for line D and check the departure boards for trains towards Melun or Malesherbes. 

There are usually two stops between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon, and all RER trains on line D stop in Gare de Lyon. Once you're at Gare de Lyon Métro/RER station, look up for the Accès aux trains Grandes Lignes signs and follow the arrows. There are escalators to take you to the Gare de Lyon railway station.

When returning home from Gare de Lyon Métro/RER station, follow the signs for RER line D (towards Orry la Ville Coye) trains to Gare du Nord. These trains usually leave from platform 2. There are usually two stops between Gare de Lyon and Gare du Nord, and all trains on line D stop at Gare du Nord. 

Once in Gare du Nord Métro station, follow the signs for Trains Grandes Lignes towards the main Gare du Nord station concourse. Follow the signs for Eurostar Departures for check-in. You'll need to allow at least 30 minutes to check in for your Eurostar train. 

All the information here is subject to change, so it's a good idea to double check the departure boards when you get to the stations. 

By Taxi:

The journey from Paris Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon usually takes around 20 minutes, depending on traffic. There might also be a long queue for taxis during busy periods. When you arrive at Gare du Nord, walk towards the front of your Eurostar train and turn right. Follow the Taxis sign, exit the station and you'll find the taxi rank right there. 

The drop off area in Gare de Lyon is in front of the railway station. When you arrive at Gare de Lyon, follow the Accès aux trains sign to get to the main station concourse and platforms. Once you're in Gare de Lyon, look for your train number and departure time on the departure boards. Remember, your destination might not be the final destination of your train, so be sure to check where it's stopping. If you have a little time before your train leaves, you'll find a departure lounge and plenty of shops, restaurants and cafés in the station while you wait.

How do you get from Paris Gare de Lyon to Italy?

Choose either a high-speed day service (operated by Voyages-SNCF) or an overnight service (operated by Thello) for your onward journey to Italy. Alternatively, you can also travel by high-speed TGV Lyria via Switzerland and on to Milan. 

By Day Services:

Three daily services operate between Paris Gare de Lyon and Milan Garibaldi, taking six hours. Each service offers a choice of Standard and First Class seating and a buffet car serving drinks, snacks and meals. Travel in recently renovated trains and watch from your window as you travel through the beautiful Alpine scenery.

By Overnight Services:

A daily departure operates between Paris Gare de Lyon and Venice taking 14 hours (10 hours via Milan Centrale and 12 hours via Verona). This overnight service has a restaurant car with a large selection for breakfast and dinner. Choose to travel in a 2 berth cabin (private cabins with wash basin and power point), and 4 berth, and 6 berth couchettes (shared cabins). Shared WC and wash basin facilities are available in each carriage.

 

Please Note: All train journey times are approximate.