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22 Days France and Italy-Honeymoon-Need direction on route and travel advice?

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Hello to the kind people offering such wise advice on travel through France and Italy.

I am like dsauna, planning a trip through Italy in France except mine will be in late September into October of 2013, a honeymoon, around 22 total days, meandering through France and Italy and not knowing quite where to begin. I figured because France was cooler, I'd begin there and that way could still enjoy some warmer weather, even lay around on beach by the time I ended my 21 days in Amalfi area. So this leads me to Question #1.

1. Is this an okay time of year to plan to start in Paris Mid-September and end in Amalfi around October 5? As far as weather is concerned, is there any rainy season I should expect? And, Will it still be warm enough to swim in Amalfi the first week of October?

2. My imagined itinerary is as follows and please, I would appreciate any suggestions:

I did Plan to be using trains most of this itinerary if anyone can help and suggest most logical and easiest routes,

Question #2. Can anyone tell me best order to do these stops in and best way to get from place to place:

Paris 2 nights/2 full days
Nice or Marseilles (which is next logical place?) 2 nights
Provence (from Marseilles or Nice?) 1 night
Cinque Terre 2-3 nights (do I go to Cinque or Venice from last stop?)
Venice 2 nights
Siena 2 nights
(will get a rental car at this point)
Montelpucciano driving through from Siena 3 nights
Rome 2 nights
(return rental car and use trains for rest of trip)
Sorento 3 nights
Amalfi 2 nights
Ischia or an island 1 night
Naples-fly home to Boston from here


I will note that we Arrive Paris early morning stay 2 full days and nights-our only goal is to do the Eifell Tower at night and stroll along the Siene and have a romantic dinner. Not museaum folks and not shoppers, been there once way too expensive!

#3. Could anyone tell me the best area to stay in Paris to accomplish the above Eifell and stroll Siene that would also be located nearby the train in from the airport and a train that could get us to our next place which would be either Nice or Marseilles? whichever one is logically next.

As far as Rome goes, been there, I found it dirty, but will stop and do one or two touristy things and return the rental car and rely on train for remainder of trip.

#4. If anyone knows of a really nice B&B or hotel in Rome near the trains and the colliseum, I would love that and dinner suggestions for good food, not touristy, really would appreciate it.

#5. I saw some train info on another similar forum, but if anyone could kindly advise on the trains from/to each of the places I've listed:

a. Times between stops from one town to the next?
b. Are there night trains between stops I've listed?
c. Should I rent a car anywhere else on this itinerary other than between Siena and Rome which I plan to drive?
d. Are there trains between the places I've listed.

#6. Would it make sense to buy a tour package for any part of the trip, I was considering it for the first part of the trip starting in Paris and as far and even down as far as Cinque Terre or Venice, since I have places I really want to stay in Tuscany (after Siena) and again in Amalfi? Can anyone recommend a reputable tour company for such a thing?

You guys and this site are really the best, and I will repay this kindness as soon as I return from the trip, who knows, I may blog on the trains enroute.

Thank you to everyone out there and may you all have safe travels...
MJ

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    Eleven hotels in 22-23 days...!

    This is not my kind of trip, but I'll make some logistical comments.

    Two nights in a place does not mean two full days. Even in Paris if you arrive early in the morning on the first day.

    The Paris-Marseilles train ride is 3 hours. Paris-Nice is 5.5 hours. Where in Provence is the one night?

    The train ride from Nice to, say, Monterosso in the Cinque Terre is between 5 and 6.5 hours depending on the train. Monterosso to Venice is 5.5 to 6 hours, and Venice to Siena is 4 to 4.5 hours.

    You've now spent over 20 hours on trains. You're on Day 10 of your trip, and you're checking into your 6th hotel.

    Although some people drive into Rome to return a rental car, I would drop it in either Chiusi or Orvieto and train into the city. However, this plan doesn't work if you're returning the car on Saturday afternoon or Sunday when rental offices in Chiusi and Orvieto are not open. (You would also not be able to pick up a car in Siena on Saturday afternoon or Sunday.)

    Back to public trans... There is a bus from Rome to Sorrento, but if you wanted to stop at Pompeii on the way you'd need to take the train to Naples (some as fast as 1:10 hours), transfer to the Circumvesuviana commuter train and go another 30-35 minutes to Pompeii where you can store your luggage at the main entrance. Then it's another 30-35 minutes to Sorrento.

    The bus from Sorrento to Amalfi can take almost an hour and is usually very crowded the whole way.

    I don't think going to Ischia from Amalfi for only one night makes sense, but check the ferry schedules. I believe you'd have to first go to Naples. I would probably re-order this part of the itinerary to put Sorrento at the end so that you have more reliable options for getting to the Naples airport for your outbound flight. If the Ischia-Naples ferries are briefly halted for weather or other reasons, you could miss your flight.

    Since you're somewhat ambivalent about Paris and Rome, I'd drop them from the itinerary and add the days elsewhere. Venice in particular is a long way to go for only one full day of sightseeing. If you keep Rome in the mix, don't stay near the train station. It's probably the most charmless part of the city.

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