15 days in France & Italy

Nov 27th, 2016, 10:05 AM
  #1  
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15 days in France & Italy

Hello, I am planning a trip to France & Italy for July. It is our first visit to Europe & we are bringing our 17 year old son. We want to visit Paris & Mount St Michel in France & as much of Italy as possible. I am thinking of planning 7 days in France & 8 in Italy. I'm looking for advice on staying in one place in both France & Italy & taking day trips or moving around. We plan to pack light & don't need fancy accommodations. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
jkiebs1 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 10:54 AM
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Mont St. Michel is too far from Paris for your idea of a one-place stay to work. If the Mont is all you want to visit out west, it will take up a big chunk of your France time, whether you drive or go by train (to nearby Pontorson then by hire car or bus) or even fly (Rennes or Nantes?).

Paris and its environs (Versailles for example) have so much to offer, the seven days you allocate (do they really exclude the days of arrival and departure - is it seven full days in France?) would barely suffice to experience Paris at a leisurely pace, avoiding burnout before you even get to Italy.

An option would be to combine the Brittany trip to the Mont with a visit of the D-Day beaches, for which I would recommend www.ddaybattletours.com - the tour starts right in Sainte-Mere Eglse and couldn't be better. I have no doubt that you all would be so impressed that the inconvenience of getting there from Paris would be well rewarded.

You can always get to Paris again, just make the most of the few days you'll have this time around.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 10:56 AM
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I would advise first you purchase open-jaw tickets, into Paris and out of, say, Rome, to avoid backtracking. I would not attempt the hellish daytrip scenario from Paris to le Mont-St-Michel, but rather go (by train - buy your tickets to Rennes 3 months in advance on the SNCF site) and spend the night there, perhaps toward the end of your stay in Paris, then back to Paris and fly to Rome.

You can't see all that much of Italy in a mere 8 days, so choose your destinations carefully. From Rome (which deserves, IMO at least 4 days) you can get by train to Orvieto, Chiusi, Perugia, Firenze, and south and elsewhere to visit any number of places. Be sure to see Ostia Antica just outside Rome. Then you won't need to make the long haul to Pompeii to see ruins (though admittedly they are very different venues).

I trust you are poring over guidebooks and maps to make the most of this trip.
StCirq is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 10:58 AM
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I forgot to add that "don't need fancy accommodations" is nothing to go on. What is your budget, per night, in euros, and what sort of accommodations are you looking for?
StCirq is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 11:49 AM
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Are you taking trains or driving - if the latter you simply cannot do much of Italy and France in 15 days -by train yes but just the main cities -Paris (fly or overnight train to Venice)- Florence and fly out of Rome

Or stay in France and rent a car and do Normandy- Mont Saint Michel and Paris.

For lots on trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

If driving you may want to take the train to say Rennes and rent your car - short enough drive to the Mont from there.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 11:58 AM
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With only eight days in Italy, especially if one will be spent travelling from Paris, you should plan on a maximum of two cities or one countryside location.
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 28th, 2016, 10:12 AM
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Rome usually requires more time as more major sights and things are spread out -Florence and Venice are much smaller and main sites in a compact area - a few whole days in each place could suffice though more the better.

Taking the overnight train to Venice gives you one more full day there- if you can sleep on night trains.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 29th, 2016, 03:14 AM
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Thank you all so much, this is exactly the information I needed. I know its not really enough time to see all any of these regions have to offer but I wanted to make the most of it.

I think we will start in Paris, take a train to Rennes, rent a car for Normandy & Mt St Michel then either fly or overnight train to Venice. My mother-in-law always raves about Venice so that is a must see, just not sure if we should go to Florence or Rome as the last stop. Any feedback on those two cities would be greatly appreciated.
jkiebs1 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2016, 05:33 AM
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Florence and Rome are both amazing cities. It may be easier to find fights out of Rome. I would grab a guidebook and decide which city's sights most appeal to you.
KTtravel is offline  
Nov 29th, 2016, 06:38 AM
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http://wikitravel.org/en/Florence

http://wikitravel.org/en/Rome

http://wikitravel.org/en/Venice

Italy with only 7 full days to start, 2 locations would be better as there is about half a day travel between them.

Overnight train get lots of negative reviews, so do some research. Paris to Venice, from the Gare de Lyon, 7:11PM to 9:35AM. Flights from Orly most convenient. less than 1.5 hours. To Rome about 20 minutes longer.
RonZ is offline  
Nov 29th, 2016, 07:28 AM
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I'd let you flight home airport choose the city after Venice. I went for many years to Italy without making it to Rome and while I've now been twice I could still happily have missed it. There is a lot to do but the city is big for an Italian city.

Generally you'll find many very pretty cities in italy are walkable, while driving is seldom a good solution. So I'd do Venice and Florence if it were me, but if you flight back is out of Rome then skip Florence.
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 29th, 2016, 09:28 AM
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, just not sure if we should go to Florence or Rome as the last stop. Any feedback on those two cities would be greatly appreciated.<

Just a few days do Florence but if 3-4 do Rome, with its world-famous sights. To me the Colosseum and ancient Forum areas are so awesome.
PalenQ is offline  
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