I’ll be heading to Rome this week, where I’ll be until late May. I’m going to be hitting the ground running, with some exciting things happening! But first, a word about train travel into Rome. 

Figuring out the trains was a nightmare, as it has been ever since they stopped the direct night train from Nice to Rome. Back in the day, you could get on the train in Nice and wake up in time to see the cupola of St. Peter’s whiz by about nine hours later.  Then it became 12 hours, with an inexplicable stop somewhere around Genova - they said it was because people were complaining about getting into Rome so early in the morning.

Now it’s a regular train from Nice to Genova, and then a sleeper train from Genova to Rome that lasts roughly six hours. That’s not as good a night’s sleep as you used to get. And it means one more train you have to lug your crap off of and onto. It’s just not a good idea, but there you have it.

I could go from Nice to Rome during the day via Milan, and get in about 8ish PM. But of course, there is no train from here to Nice that gets me in on time.  Oh, and good luck finding a train that leaves during the lunch or dinner hours. So, I’m leaving here at 9.15AM and arriving in Rome at 11.30PM.

No, there are no low-cost flights. Well, that’s a lie - there is one from Barcelona, but it would take me four hours of traveling in the wrong direction to get there. There is one from Marseille, but it leaves so early in the morning that I’d have to get a hotel room in Marseille to make check-in, which kind of defeats the purpose of a low-cost method of travel.

When I used to live in Rome and come here to visit Cal, I’d fly in and out of Paris and then take the train down.  But that was some serious schlepping I had to do - and, really, trains are just so much more convenient.  They are always located in the center of town, and you can just walk in and get on the train - there’s no rigamarole or needing to be there 100 hours in advance.

Continue reading on missexpatria.wordpress.com

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