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2 weeks in Barcelona and Swiss Apls

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Good evening,

My mom and I are taking a two week trip in March to visit my sister in Barcelona. We are only planning on staying in Barcelona for 2-3 days, and are interested in parts of Italy (Florence as a home base, and day trips to Rome and Venice) and the Swiss Alps (we we were looking at Chamonix but have no preference at this point). My questions are: 1) how feasible does this itinerary sound; and 2) are there any suggestions for alternative routes? The only thing we need to hit is Barcelona, and we would really like to see some portion of the Apls, but beyond that we're very flexible.

Thanks for your help,
Nicole

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    This trip doesn't sound very reasonable to me. First, neither Rome nor Venice make good day-trip destinations from Florence, IMO, as each deserves much more time than that. YMMV. And of course, Chamonix is not in the SWISS Alps -- it is in France. To conserve time, you might want to focus your attention on places with convenient access to an international airport.

    I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, note their opening/closing times, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from the train/bus station or whatever, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together. With only 2 weeks, you can see some wonderful places, but you WILL need to be selective.

    As for guidebooks, I strongly recommend the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet as your primary resource. I would also recommend that you consult Fodor's, Frommer's, or the Michelin Green Guides to help prioritize and the National Geographic Traveler, Insight Guides, or Eyewitness for inspiration.

    Hope that helps!

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