Subject: RE: Overnight trains in Europe--how safe?
From: dstewart [mailto:dstewart ]

Hi everyone from a new member in the Boston, MA area.

--Welcome to the list!

The easiest way to go from Italy to France seems to be an overnight train from Milan, but I've heard scary stuff about theft during train stops. Any information on safety precautions, personal experience with overnight trains, would be very welcome.

I also have the option of skipping Como and doing a daytime journey from La Spezia to Torino

--Como is a lively little town, worth a visit. But Torino is also very nice.

Is the overnight train a good experience, or should I avoid it like the plague? (I'll be a solo traveler with a couchette in second class).

--Personally, I like travelling by train at night - it saves you travelling time as well as paying a night's accommodations! I travelled alone in Europe once for 5 months straight and once for 6 months, and spent many nights on the train, but that was many years ago. Don't know what it's like nowadays. Being a single girl travelling alone, I had a lot of problems with men, but if you're careful and aware of the people who are around you and are on your guard with anyone you have any contact with, then you shouldn't have any serious problems. You also have to be very careful even when you're in a couchette: many years ago my sister, her friend and I were travelling in a first class couchette - just the 3 of us - and even though the door was locked from the inside, when we woke up in the morning, my sister's traveller's cheques were gone from her purse! That was on a night train from Rome to Venice, and in those days (it may have changed since then), that train was notorious for being hit by thieves. But like I said, if you're careful with what you do (e.g. don't pull out a wad of money when people are around) and careful with whom you talk to or go with, then you shouldn't have any problems. Just keep your eyes and ears open.

Laurie in Mexico City