From France to Italy overnight with Thello
Trenitalia and a private French rail company have combined forces to create Thello (pronounced tell-OH), which operates overnight long-haul trains between Paris and Venice, with six stops in between. Thello is a high-quality, fairly high-speed train, travelling 680 miles in about 12 hours, at speeds up to 250 km/h (180 mph), depending on the type of tracks on various segments of the route.
Thello trains depart from Paris at 7:59 p.m. and arrive the following day in Venice at 9:35 a.m. Other stops in Italy are Milan (6 a.m.), Brescia (7:10 a.m.), Verona (7:54 a.m.), Vicenza (8:43 a.m.), and Padova (9:06 a.m.). In the other direction, Thello trains leave Venice at 7:20 p.m. and arrive in Paris the following day at 9:30 a.m.
Couchettes and sleeper cabins
There are both couchette compartments and sleeper cabins available.
Couchettes come in either 4-bunk or 6-bunk options and do resemble the bunk beds of childhood memories. Couchettes with other passengers, unless you're traveling with a larger group of 4 or 6 people, in which case you can book an entire couchette for your group. They are less expensive than sleeper cabins, and much more comfortable than trying to sleep in a conventional train seat.
Sleeper cabins have 1-3 beds, so if you are traveling with one or two other people, you can each purchase a bed, or berth, in the same sleeper compartment and enjoy your privacy. Sleepers are a bit like a compact hotel room on rails, complete with locking door and amenities. The cabin has a washbasin with hot and cold water, a real bed, and a complimentary toiletry kit. On arrival, you will receive a welcome drink, and in the morning the attendant brings a continental breakfast and the newspaper of the day in the dining car (both included in the cost of your ticket).
Each Thello train has a restaurant car, which all passengers are welcome to use, and of course you can have a DIY picnic in your compartment with Italian or French snacks that you may purchase before boarding the train and bring along.
Terms for pass holders booking at Special fare:
- The Eurail Pass must be valid for Italy and/or France
- The pass must be valid on the departure date
- Flexible passes: No need to fill in the date box in the travel calendar of the pass
- 1st class passes: can book both sleepers and couchettes
- 2nd class passes: can book couchettes only
- “Special” fare seats are usually available on Thello. Availability may be restricted on high season as Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holidays in Italy and France.
* When you board your Thello train the conductor will ask to see your Eurail pass as well as your electronic ticket for your special fare.
Booking Rules & Conditions:
- There is a no smoking policy the train
- Children up to 15 years of age qualify for a child fare
- Night trains run through Switzerland: customers must show a valid ID card with their passport and any required visas
- Train tickets are personal and valid only with an ID card; they must be booked in the same name as the reservation
- Pets under 11 pounds travel for free with owner; pets from 11 - 110 travel for a surcharge of $65; restrictions and rules apply