Taking the train to Italy is now easier than ever. You simply get on the Eurostar at London St. Pancras or Ebbsfleet, change in Paris and take onward TGV or sleeper trains.
TGV Artesia Trains from Paris to Milan
The TGV Artesia is the name given to the TGV service that operates three-times daily between Paris and Milan. Each train even has a name: A. Manzoni, A Dumas, and Caravaggio. Trains leave from Gare de Lyon in Paris and stop in Lyons, Chambery, St. Jean de Maurienne and then on to Bardonecchia, Oulx-Cesana-Sestriere, Turin, Vercelli, Novara and Milan.
To book a journey from London to Milan by train, make sure you book the Eurostar and onward portions separately, as you get more choice and flexibility. To book London to Paris use the Eurostar Official site and then the Rail Europe site from Paris Gare de Lyon to Milan. Make sure you check availabilities first before confirming any tickets online.
Eurostar tickets can now be printed at home, while Rail Europe will post tickets to you by next day special delivery. Booking online will save you at least £6 per booking.
Artesia Sleeper Trains between Paris and Italy
The Artesia trains is a night service that actually has five services per day between Paris and the Italian cities of Bologna, Florence, Milan, Rome, Turin, Venice and Verona. It also stops in the French town of Chambery, Lyon and Dijon. There is a map below with details of all the stops along the route. A very popular service, it carries up to 1.1m people per year.
There are a few different websites where you can book the Artesia train, including Trenitalia.it and bahn.de, but if you are UK resident, you can book the whole or part of the journey from London online with Rail Europe, who will give you a £6 online booking discount as well as post the tickets to you securely.
The Artesia sleeper leaves from Paris Bercy Station, as opposed to the TGV Artesia which leaves from Gare de Lyon.
You have a choice of sleeper cabins, couchettes and seats. The cost in that order.
In the sleeper carriages you have a washbasin, a razor outlet, complimentary toiletry and a real bed. You have the assistance of attendents in each car, who install the beds, and check your passports and tickets. In the morning, you will be served with newspapers, a hot drink, croissant, fruit juice. NB. The cabins in sleeper cars are same sex, umless you are travelling with your spouse or partner.
The couchette cabins have 4 or 6 berths, with women-only places if needed at no extra cost.
The seats, well, that’s it, but you have the buffet car.