Last month I traveled from Brussels to the south of Italy for the wedding of our dear friends Jan & Corentin. Since I managed not to fly for three years now, I booked myself a nice alternative for flying: a private “luxury” cabin on the night train.
In short the trip is:
- Brussels – Paris by high speed train (morning)
- Paris – Milano by high speed train (afternoon)
- Milano – Fasano by night train (night)
I took my folding cycle along which facilitated the switch of stations in Paris and Milano a lot. It is of course feasible to do it by subway (Paris) or walking (Milano), but it just involves a little extra time buffer needed.
I booked the Thalys (29-65 EUR one way) and TGV (49-74 EUR) on http://www.sncf-connect.com and the night train (Vagone Letto Deluxe Uso Singolo – Cabina Intera for just 85-95 EUR one way) on http://www.lefrecce.it which worked fine. In total the transport for this trip costs 397 EUR, which I agree, is not really cheap if you can fly for 60-100 EUR. Nevertheless, the views from the train and a night of hotel saved make it worth it. I could take my folding cycle and a big backpack for free, which of course does not work while flying either.
I left for Paris on Wednesday morning, worked a bit in our Brussels office of Hinicio and left after lunch to catch the TGV from Paris Gare de Lyon to Milano. Even with a delay of almost an hour (for which I got a partial refund), I was nicely on time to buy dinner in the station and catch the first of the two night trains that leave Milano for the south of Italy at 21:15. Let’s be clear: luxury on this Italian night train is not at all the same as what e.g. OBB offers for a sleeper coupé. Breakfast was very basic, so better to bring your own food.
We arrived in Fasano at 8am after a comfortable night of sleep, some morning yoga and meditation, while sliding through the Italian countryside. I cycled to the beach and installed myself in http://www.pettolecchiaillido.it for a morning swim and some reading.
Tine and August whom flew to the South joined me for lunch in Ardecuore, a great restaurant in Fasano.
After a walk in Fasano we started talking to some locals that were so amazingly friendly that they offered to take us to Alberobello with its special Trulli’s, round stone roofs.
After spending one night in Fasano we were picked up by our friend Jeanke that brought us to Masseria Corte Degli Asini, the hotel where the other wedding friends were staying as well. On Friday we visited the beautiful town of Ostuni with some of them.
It was a fairy tail weekend with the wedding of Jan & Corentin on Saturday night in Masseria Mozzone just next door, a pizza party, poolparty, lots of talking and dancing. Thanks again to the two amazing guys that organised all this (with a little help of Tabloo Margot)!
I left Fasano again with the night train on Sunday evening to go back via Torino, Paris and back to Brussels.