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Advice on itinerary please-France and Italy

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Feb 28th, 2007, 10:39 PM
  #1
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Advice on itinerary please-France and Italy

Hi, my husband, well soon to be, and I are going on our first trip to Europe. We are leaving on Sept 4th, arriving in Paris on the 5th and coming back on the 20th. 15 days!! We are planning on spending 3 nights in Paris, then going to Bayeux for 3 nights, and then taking an overnight train to Venice. We plan on spending 2 nights on Venice, 1 night in Florence, and 4 nights in Rome. We will fly back to Paris on the 19th, stay there and fly out on the 20th. Any ideas on how to improve or is this good distribution of our time? Thanks
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Feb 28th, 2007, 11:01 PM
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Personally I would want to spend more than just one night in Florence. My last trip to Italy I only had one night in Florence and wished that I could have stayed longer. Even if it is just one more night, I think it will be worth it.
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Mar 1st, 2007, 05:19 AM
  #3
ira
 
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Hi S,

1. Don't go back to Paris.
Fly into Rome or Paris and leave from the other.

See www.kayak.com and click "multicity".

2. You can fly Paris ORY/Venice VCE on www.myair.com.

3. What is in Bayeux that is special enough that you would give up 3 nights in Paris?

4. I think that the Italy part of your trip is too fractured.
I suggest 2 nights V, 2 nights F and 3 nights R.

Enjoy your visit.

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Mar 1st, 2007, 12:59 PM
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What ira said about Bayeux. If there's something personally special, include it; otherwise, add it to Florence. You're definitely cheaping yourself out on Florence. I spent 3 days there first time I was there and am devoting a full week to Florence and the environs (Pisa and Sienna). Definitely allow yourself more time in Florence

HTH
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Mar 1st, 2007, 03:06 PM
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it sounds like you already have your flights booked -- if so you are sort of stuck. If not, the open jaw already suggested would be much better.

Unless there is a special place you want to stay at in Bayeux, I also don't understand 3 nights there. I personally think you are cutting both Paris and Florence too short. Especially Paris - since you will likely be very jet lagged when you arrive you will really only have 2 days there to see/do much. I would add at least 2 days to Paris and 1 day to Florence. You can get those extra days by 1) cutting Bayeux completely, or 2) cutting 2 nights from Bayeux and 1 night from Rome.
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Mar 1st, 2007, 03:12 PM
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I hope you can make this an open jaw flight and yes, Bayeux for 3 nights stands out as unusual. Add the 3 nights onto Paris and then you can whiz around Italy for the second week!
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Mar 1st, 2007, 09:55 PM
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Thanks for your ideas Ok so the Bayeux thing, I fear that we won't make it back to Europe so this is a must. We both enjoy history, war history in particular, so we are going to Bayeux to see the D-Day sites. My grandmother is from Italy so that's why we are going there. The reason for three nights in Bayeux is we are doing the two-day Battlebus tour. They require that you spend the night before close to Bayeux because the tour leaves early in the morning. We plan on spending the entire day in Paris and catching a late train to Bayeux on the 8th. As for the 3rd night there, I figured after an 8 or 9-hour day of walking around, why not just stay the night there and get up early to head back into Paris. Yes our flight is already booked. Our tickets from Denver to Paris were only $550; that's why we are flying in and out of the same place. Forgive me for being ignorant, but I didn't realize there was that much to see in Florence. I have never been out of the States or traveled for that matter, so any ideas for things to see would be greatly appreciated.
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 12:13 AM
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While you are in Bayeux, as history buffs, I highly recommend a visit to the Bayeux tapestry. It is a 230' long tapestry telling the history of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It was the only thing I remember about Bayeux and I would go out of my way to see it again. The WWII beaches on the other hand all ran together in my mind.
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 12:34 AM
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I did a one day Battlebus tour out of Bayeux and wish I could have done a longer one. Lots of great information, not just transportation to the various sites.
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:43 AM
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ira
 
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Hi S,

>I fear that we won't make it back to Europe so [Bayeux] is a must.

Unless your are terminally ill, which I sincerely hope is not the case, you will go back.

Since you already have your plane tickets, and have your heart set on Bayeux, I suggest taking one night from Rome and adding it to Paris.

You can also stay one more night in Venice and do a quick visit to Florence on your way to Rome:

A DAY IN FLORENCE:

Train to Florence SMN:
The Luggage Office is to your left as you leave the train.

From Piazza d' Stazione, walk up via Nazionale to via d'Ariento and the Mercato Centrale, wander through.

Take any street going NE to Via Degli Alfani and go right to the Accademia for The David.

Take via Ricasoli SE to the Duomo, the Baptistry and the Opera Museum (Originals of the bronzes on the doors)

From the Campanile, take via Calzaiuoli S (do some window shopping) to the Piazza d' Signoria. Look around, take a break.

Continue S to the Uffizi. Visit.

From the Uffizi, walk W along the Arno River to the Ponte Vecchio.

(You can walk up to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens if there is time. Great views of Florence from the top of the Gardens)

If you have time, walk E along the S bank of the river to Ponte alle grazie and cross over to visit Santa Croce.

If not, go W along the Arno from Ponte Vecchio to Ponte S. Trinita and go right. Go left on Via d'Spada to via d'Fossi and go right to Santa Maria Novella. Look around.

SMN is across the square from the train station.

Be sure to have lots of gelato (in a cup, not a cone), take some wine breaks and a light lunch.

Train schedules, prices and tickets are at www.trenitalia.com

Bus routes are at http://www.ataf.net/
Buy your ticket before you get on the bus. Stamp it in the yellow box on the bus.

Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 1016868 (dial around number), 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 3 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.

You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.

Have a nice visit.



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Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:47 AM
  #11
ira
 
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PS,

Some useful links:

Helpful Information: Italy 2
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34568596

Paris Superthread
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34519236

100 Great Things to Do in Paris
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...=2&tid=1277898

Degasís Paris Walks
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34712768

ira is offline  
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Mar 4th, 2007, 09:28 PM
  #12
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Wow Ira, thank you so much. No I am not terminally ill. I've wanted to go for a long time and just now made the time to go. I am sure I will go back. Thanks again everyone for your comments and helpful hints.
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Mar 5th, 2007, 08:28 AM
  #13
ira
 
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You are welcome, S.
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Mar 5th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Good for you. I'd kill to see the Bayeux tapestry! But do expand your stay in Florence. There's something very historic around every corner (literally). Read up on the Medici! I'd cut back on Rome.
However you do it, realize that European cities are compact. You can walk from the vatican to the forum to the spanish steps with no problem. Buy Streetwise maps at your local bookstore!
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