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12 day France and Italy itinerary help

Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 01:28 PM
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12 day France and Italy itinerary help

Hello all! I'm planning a 10 ish day trip to France and Italy in July and would appreciate some suggestions. Below is our tentative plan:

- Paris 3 days
- Lyon 2.5 days (for a wedding)
- Venice for 1 day
- Rome 4 days

I've been to Rome and Florence before but my boyfriend hasn't. We are planning on taking the train to Rome and I don't really want to spend all 4 days in Rome. Any suggestions on other places to stop? I know it's not a lot of time but I'd love to see other parts of Italy, especially some less traveled ones. Is it even worth stopping in Venice? Someone recommended Ischia too.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 02:48 PM
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Of course it is worth stopping in Venice, if you can get a good hotel room. Have you checked the cost of train fare Paris/Venice/Rome? You might also look for cheap airfare for the Paris to (Italian destination) which could cost less and save you some time.

If you don't visit Venice (and I would take at least one night away from Rome if you do) you can visit a small Umbrian or Tuscan town that is accessible via train. Orvieto is my favorite. It is a good break from the big city. Plus it isn't hard to get to FCO from Orvieto, assuming you will fly back from there.
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Old Mar 5th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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Thanks! We are traveling from Lyon, France to Venice. I still need to look into train vs flight costs. I've read some good things about Orvieto. Would you spend the night there? Or just day trip it?
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Old Mar 5th, 2013, 08:43 PM
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Stay in France!!!!!!!

No need to spend most of your remaining days after Lyon on the train/plane/car getting from A to B. After Lyon take the 1 hr TGV to Avignon, rent a car, stay in St Remy, explore Provence, visit the lavender fields,, small hill villages, farmer's markets, Roman ruins, Alps, scenic drives, historic cities, and then either take the TGV back to Paris for your flight home or leave from Marseille.

Getting from Lyon to Italy will consume most of 1 day - and you have very few days.

July isn't the best time to visit either Venice or Rome, IMO. Dashing around and spending only 1 day in Venice is a crime.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 5th, 2013, 08:55 PM
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I can't believe I'm recommending someone not go to Italy... but I agree with Stu. The crowds in Venice/Rome in July will make it very unromantic, for sure.

If you cannot extend your trip another 3-4 days, then I'd also say stay in France. However, if you can extend the trip by 3 days- then certainly 3 days in Venice and 3 in Rome would be doable. Fly into Venice and home from Rome.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 06:42 AM
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I would love to spend the trip in France but 4 out of the 6 of us traveling haven't been to Italy before so I think we are pretty set on going. We are good with 1 day and night in Venice and were hoping to take a night train down to Rome to help make good use of waking hours. I think we are pretty set on the travel dates too. I know it's a lot to cram in but we don't have enough time to take off work
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 06:46 AM
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Skip Venice unless you spend 3 nites.
I too would stay in France---Italy is your next trip when you have more time.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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This is the inherent problem with American vacation schedules - no one has enough time to actually go anyplace and enjoy it for more than a smidgeon of time. Shameful. I'd stay in France, too, rather than use up valuable "vacation days" in transport. You can all spend your next paltry lot of vacation days in Italy.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for everyone's opinions but again, we are set on going to Italy too.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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I agree with remaining in France unless you can extend your trip by a few days. As it is, you will spend all of your time moving from place to place and have very little opportunity to enjoy your stops.

You asked for advice and a lot of experienced travelers have provided the same advice. However, if you decide to go ahead with Italy, do NOT add stops. If you want to spend less time in Rome, add a day to Venice.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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Well, if you're set on going to Italy, why not spend 2 days in Venice and 3 in Rome? Crowds or not, Venice is a really cool, gorgeous city and I personally don't think just one day is enough!

Alternatively, if you skip Venice entirely, I think it might be a good idea to spend a couple of days somewhere that isn't a super touristy city. You'll be spending most of your trip in big, bustling cities that on top of that, will be super crowded because it'll be high season. It might be nice to break it up by spending time somewhere quieter. Maybe look for some places near Rome so you're spending less time in transit.

OOOoor, if you don't go to Rome and maybe stay a little farther north, you'll at least spend a little less time traveling, hopefully. So say instead of going all the way down to Rome, you could try the Ligurian coast, maybe Genoa and the Cinque Terre or something. Or the Italian Alps! Or the Lakes!

Whatever you choose to do, my main point is that I think you should try and whittle down your time in transit as much as you possibly can, since your time is limited. Really, other than some nice views from trains, getting from point A to point B is the most stressful, tedious part of traveling and it's really better to avoid it as much as you reasonably can
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 08:12 AM
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>>Thanks for everyone's opinions but again, we are set on going to Italy too.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Stu - My original question was mostly related to the Italy portion of the trip. I thought that was clear but it looks like it wasn't

The Venice part isn't my choice....I'm traveling with 5 others. But you have good points, I'll make sure they look into that because I'm not sure if they have.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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>> isn't my choice....I'm traveling with 5 others
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