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  • Writer's picturedlunsford1992

Discover Three European Gems in One Day: Your Guide to Exploring France, Monaco, and Italy by Rail

As a Midwesterner, I've spent many hours in the car just to run errands or visit nearby attractions. But I was immediately intrigued when I heard about the possibility of exploring three stunning countries on the French and Italian Riviera with just a couple of short train rides. It seemed like the perfect adventure for a traveler seeking a taste of Europe's rich cultural diversity and spending less time on transportation.


My adventure began at my home base for the trip, Nice, France, where I spent my days strolling along the palm tree-lined beaches and admiring the work of Matisse in local museums. But I was ready for something new, and the neighboring countries were calling my name.


First Stop, Monaco


I hopped on a train from Nice Ville, the central train station, and in just 20 minutes, I arrived in

Monte Carlo, the glitzy principality of Monaco. From there, I purchased a one-way train ticket to Ventimiglia, Italy, my next destination. While in Monte Carlo, I visited the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino, where the staff welcomed me inside to explore the lavish interiors and enjoy the atmosphere, despite my casual attire. It was a memorable experience that I won't soon forget.


There are plenty of nearby attractions in Monte Carlo to fill up your morning before the 40-minute train ride to Ventimiglia.





Next Stop, Italy


After my time in Monte Carlo, I purchased another one-way train ticket to Ventimiglia, a charming Italian town just 40 minutes away. It was a delightful change of pace from the lavishness of Monte Carlo, with its winding streets and colorful buildings. The city's expansive beaches are the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal and take in the sights. I found that fewer people spoke English in Ventimiglia compared to other European cities I've traveled to, but the translator app on my phone was exceptionally helpful, and the locals were hospitable despite the language barrier.






Last Stop


After a day of activities in Ventimiglia, I purchased a direct return ticket to Nice from the train


station. As I sat in my train seat, I watched the coastline pass by for 40 minutes, reflecting on the sites I'd seen that day and daydreaming about when I could next visit Italy. I had simply fallen in love with the culture after just a few hours and found myself quite thankful for this last stop on the rail station for letting me experience it even for a few hours.


With these short train rides, it's possible to explore three stunning countries in the French Riviera in just one day without feeling overwhelmed. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, this adventure offers a perfect taste of Europe's rich cultural diversity.


After this experience I found myself so enamored with Italy, I've visited six more Italian cities and am always planning my next visit.



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