2-3 countries in 2 weeks?

Jan 12th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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2-3 countries in 2 weeks?


AM trying to plan a trip for my folks for a total of 14-15 days in Europe...I need help with the Switzerland portion - what would you recommend to get a good dose of the alps etc..and geographically which countries make sense? Italy must be included...so far it makes sense only for two countries...they don't want to see paris and italy together - too much art in one dose..Can I fit barcelona/Madrid in here at all??

so thinking:
day 1 - USA
day 2 - Milan
day 3 - eve 3.30Hour train to Zurich??
day 4 - Zurich??
day 5 - Zurich??
day 6 - Zurich
night 7h train to Venice
day 7 - Venice
day 8- Venice
day 9 - Venice
day 10 - Venice - Fl via AVE 2 hours
day 11 - Fl
day 12 - Fl(night train 2 hours to rome)
day 13 - rome
day 14 - rome
day 15 - rome to USA - or rome to milan 2 h train - flight to USa.
vacation03 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 03:03 PM
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Hi Vac,

First off, why Switzerland?

You can easily do two weeks in Italy.

Also, I don't understand the "don't want to see paris and italy together - too much art in one dose.." part.

Have your parents been to Paris or Italy?

Have they been to Europe before?

Let us know what your thinking, we might be able to be of more help.
ira is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 03:27 PM
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Some argue that Rome is a difficult city to adjust to for first time travelers. Perhaps Zurich (but why?), Venice and Vienna might be a better choice. Or from Milan: Venice, Vienna and Munich.
Michael is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 03:43 PM
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I can understand wanting to do some of Italy and some of Switzerland - it's make a nice variety - a taste of two different cultures. But why go from italy to Switzerland and then back to italy? And why Zurich and Milan - certainly reasonable choices but not exactly hotbeds of tourism. Why not fly into Zurich - if that's a definite and then train on to Venice, Florence and Rome? Or, pick another Swiss city that might be a little more alpish (Lucerne? Interlaken?) and then go on to Italy.

I wouldn't even think about spain in 2 weeks - they would have time for little but traveling from one place to another.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 03:57 PM
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I dunno why zurich - i just read the description for Switzerland on fodors and still couldn't get a handle on it much..so yeah perhaps lucerne then if it's more alpish ..i know my father's been wanting to go to Switzerland to see the alps...

Well why Switzerland ..because It's close to Italy geographically - second my father's been wanting to do that, and as to the art question, my mother is an artist and would love to see Italy - my dad's not and it would be too much for him to go to Italy/Paris in one shot - my Mom will be buried in the Louvre etc and my dad will get bored if it's too many museums for two weeks - Fl and Rome both have enough to appreciate...so perhaps we thought Switz will give a break...Actually will this work?

day 1 - USa
day 2 - barcelona
day 3 - barcelona
day 4 - madrid
day 5 - madrid(side trips to cordoba, or toledo)
day 6 - rome
day 7 - rome
day 8 - rome - florence
day 9 - florence
day 10 - fl - venice
day 11 - venice
day 12 venice - milan(only for the Last Supper)
day 13 - Lucerne
day 14 - lucerne
day 15 - USA..

I know it sounds cramped..just writing out aloud. ;-) thanks for all the advice though!
vacation03 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 04:23 PM
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I think your itinerary is getting worse. You're allocating one jet-lagged day plus another day in Barcelona; less than 1 day in Madrid; 1 day in Florence. Why all the moving around?

Are your parents OK with having to adjust to another city every 2 days or so? Are they OK with the cost involved in getting from one place to another?

You wanted to get them to the Alps but now you're sending them off to Spain. I'm sorry but I don't understand this.

Why not just stay with Italy (Florence & Venice) and the Alps. That will be plenty of moving around for 2 weeks.

I'd also like to ask how old your parents are because energy levels definitely decline with age and I think you're creating an agenda that may be too much for them to handle. Even if they have a great energy level are they seasoned travelers? I would think not since they're asking for your help with an itinerary. This is way too much. Please rethink. Less is often more.
adrienne is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 04:37 PM
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You really have only 13 full days in Europe with your schedule. You will than lose at least a half day every time you move. You also need to spend money to move from location to location. Getting around Italy by train is easy but once you start going longer distances such as Madrid and Barcelona it gets more complicated. I would recommend 3 or at the most 4 places for your time. Consider just Italy (There are Italian Alps). If they have never been to Europe a combination of Paris and Italy might work despite your father's misgivings.
mjs is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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true true - alright I'll get rid of spain and focus more attn on Italy/Alps - more doable....and perhaps Italy/Paris...perhaps!

And Adrienne, yes thanks, they aren't seasoned travellers - i mean they travel to one international country every year, but nothing like the proposed itenary! They're in their late 50s....yeah just 1.5 weeks in Italy alone wore me out so..I knew this was a bit farfetched! Thanks again!
vacation03 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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Everyone is offering great advice to you. I am exhausted just reading your itinerary. I travelled just from Rome north for three weeks and it was almost too much moving. I just returned from Switzerland and it is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, in my humble opinion. If you want to see the alps you should go directly to them rather than spend so much time in Zurich. I would recommend Murten, Grindewald or even better to get a real feel of the alps go up to Murren. You end up smack in the middle of the alps!

I would save Spain for another time. I was there for almost three weeks and that wasn't enough time.

Venice is not that big and I would only take two nights there. Rome is HUGE and so full of amazing history it will knock your socks off! I would recommend at least 4 nights in Rome. Florence would work for 2 nights.

Traveling via train with luggage is a lot of work. You get to a train station and have to walk down stairs under the tracks and then back up the stair so get to your platform.

Michael's suggestion to visit Vienna, Austria is a good one! It is truly a magical city! You might consider that instead of Switzerland. Then you could visit the Dolomites on the border of Italy and Austria. These peaks are amazing!

Good luck, have fun and travel light!

This is not gospel, just my opinion.
eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 04:55 PM
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May I suggest something completely different? Austria has a good balance of natural beauty and art, and is easy, IMO, for a first trip to Europe. Vienna has fantastic museums, is clean, safe, and has a "vibe" I've never been able to describe. Innsbruck and Salzburg are charming, easy to navigate cities with rich history and beautiful baroque churches. Austria is particularly special for those who enjoy music history (don't know if your parents do). Your folks could also spend some time relaxing in a little resort town in the mountains. I think 15 days would be just about perfect to see Austria, with perhaps a venture into Switzerland, northern Italy, or Germany. Just food for thought...
Jocelyn_P is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 08:38 PM
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We (two couples in our mid 50s) were planning a two week trip to Italy, and decided we'd have to limit ourselves to only part of the country because it was too much to cram in two weeks.

I'd rather see fewer places well than move around so much and waste too much time getting from place to place.
abram is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 09:22 PM
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I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'd vote for Italy and Switzerland if you think that's what your parents would really like. Italy is amazing but can be a bit overwhelming. Switzlerland provides such natural beauty and would give them a very different sense of Europe. I'd skip the big Swiss cities, though, and head to the Lauterbrunnen valley (Murren) for a few days.
KathrynT is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 09:33 AM
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you all are wonderful! THanks again!
I have been recommending they actually stay in Italy for the whole 2 weeks only because there's so much to see in Rome etc..plus knowing my father I don't want them to move around too much....but my mom really wants to try and pack in two countries at least...so let's see. Yeah I think Murren is a good option - this is what I wanted to know..i just picked zurich coz i didn't know about the rest..thanks again everyone!!! Let's see what the folks wanna do - I'll mention Austria to them....it certainly sounds beautiful!
vacation03 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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You could do the Matterhorn area of Switzerland which is close to Northern Italy...have them stay in Zermatt. Then you could do the lake region in italy and florence, verona, venice
cparris is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Hi Vaca,

I like the Switzerland/Italy itinerary.

This is a trip we did a few years ago that your parents might like.

Fly into Munich, 3 days, train over the Alps to Venice 1 day, 4 days in Venice (I know that there are those who think that that is too long, but we have been there seven times and still have a list of "must sees"), train to Vienna 1 day, 4 days Vienna, fly home.

It is about 5 hr train ride Viena to Munich, so they could go home that way,too.

The 2 train rides over the Alps are breathtaking,especially in the Spring, when the snow is melting.
ira is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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You can buy your Munich/Venice and Vienna/Munich tickets on line at http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

You can buy your Venice/Vienna tickets on arrival in Venice. You will want the direct train to Vienna Sudbahnhof that leaves at 13:18, arr 21:02. We took a cab to the hotel.
ira is offline  

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