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Planning help - family travel Sept 16 - Oct 28

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Hi,

We will be bringing our four children [ages 8-14] for their first trip to Europe this fall. The best non-stop flights I could find out of Washington DC would put us in Paris on 9/17 and flying home from Rome on 10/28. I'm thinking something like the first 6 days in Paris, then travel to Madrid days 7-10, in Madrid days 10-16. Barcelona for days 17-23, travel French Riviera for days 24 to 28, then on to Italy. We would have days 29 through 42 to visit Rome, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and so on.

What do you think? Is this too ambitious? Any recommendations for mode of travel Paris to Madrid? Barcelona to Italy, is a rental car feasible for this route? Any not-to-be-missed towns or sights along the way?

Also, we have a special interest in youth circus. Do you know of any youth circus schools somewhere on, or not too far off of, our route?

Thanks for any help you can give us.

Best, CMM

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