I've been on a crossing from Austria to Italy. Nice scenery... considering what I was able to see through that train window.
There're lot worse places to travel into if you want to see mountains, I guess. It's a relatively safe area and the people are friendly. And thanks to English becoming the new lingua franca at least in Europe, no one should have any problems with making him- or herself to be understood either.
But I bet we have people here who're even more able to tell you about the area in even more detail.
Also, perhaps this should be moved in the Globetrotting section? I know that the topic opener hasn't been in the location at hand, but we're sure going to get a lot of travel memories from the responders.
I lived in the French Alps for over ten years and I can garantee that it is worth it. It's amazingly beautiful, the mountains are pretty sharp and high, colorful and vast. It's breathtaking, don't hesitate one more second!!!! I'd definitly recomend the 'massif des Ecrins' which is the biggest natural park in France and known for it outstanding hikes. Of course i can only speak of what I know so...