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Am I crazy to do Rome, Florence, South of France, and Barcelona in 10 days?

Am I crazy to do Rome, Florence, South of France, and Barcelona in 10 days?

Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Am I crazy to do Rome, Florence, South of France, and Barcelona in 10 days?

Me and my husband need some advice with our itinerary... We are planning on going to Italy on the last week of October to the first week of November. This will be our first trip to Europe and we want to see and explore a lot, however we are afraid to cover too much in only 10 days!
This is our itinerary so far: fly to Rome and stay for 3 nights, take a train to Florence and stay for 1 night, then take a train to Genoa and stay for another night. Next day take a train to Provence or Marselleis and stay for a night, then take a train again to Barcelona and stay for 3 nights. I know it sounds like a lot of time spent on trains but we are a young couple with a fast pace, but we don't know if we will be able to enjoy enough each city.
We looked up on renting a car and it seem quite expensive...We are flexible wiht the plans and wouldn't mind swaping or skipping citys if is worth it. Are we too crazy to have this itinerary? has anyone done it before? suggestions?
Bgreen4afuture is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:19 AM
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Yes, this borders on insanity.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Totally bonkers !
Stay in Italy.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:24 AM
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Fashionista is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:26 AM
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I wouldn't do it, but my wife and I have a different vacationing mode: In April, we spent 6 days in Florence and 4 in Venice before moving on to 4 weeks in Paris, after brief stopovers in Milan and Strasbourg. We prefer cities to trains.
d_claude_bear is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:26 AM
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train travel involves not just travel time but getting to and from train stations, also there is checking in and out of hotels, packing and unpacking etc.
You do what you wish, but I would stick with Rome and Barcelona . Maybe a day trip from each city.
danon is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:31 AM
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You're crazy.
Stay in Italy
I'd pick two of the destinations for 5 days each and fly between them (Rome/ Barcelona)

Basically if you do travel to each of the cities mentioned and stay for 1 night you would not 'see' that place as most of the time you would be travelling from one place or to the next place.
sassy_cat is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:32 AM
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Three days in a place is a good rule of thumb. You'll see much of train stations and the inside of a train.
Do you have the flights booked? In that case I would look into flying to Barcelona and skipping France.
There are about a zillion places to see in Italy alone.
yorkshire is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:32 AM
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I cannot see you enjoying anything in Florence which should be a three day city in one night. Genoa offers very little in comparison to the other Italian cities.

If the train schedules fit, i will recommend one night somewhere like Portofino and a second night somewhere in languedoc in France. (check some chateaus, they are more reasonably priced than you would expect.)

You can do a lot in three full days each at Rome and Barcelona. (Rome actually would beg for another day and Barcelona could act indifferent to your third)

Since you have not been to europe before, marseilles as your first larger French city is an interesting choice, so keep it.

you can do Pizza instead of Florence. It is small and you will be happy with the tower and the cathedral.

trains are fine except that they take too much time without offering the flexibility of a rental car (which will be out of the question for you).

So, just some ideas.

Hope you enjoy your trip.
otherchelebi is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Personally, the first time I was in Europe I was in Rome for seven days and the one day we went to Florence I would have wished it was spent in Rome, haha. But I did enjoy going by train to Tivoli, which had gorgeous gardens. I would probably pick two cities, maybe a day in between.

Then again, there were some things like walking along the Appian Way which took about half a day that I enjoyed but you wouldn't necessarily have to do. If you just wanted to see highlights and nothing in depth, this might work. But even then, all the train swapping sounds intense.
tmk1010 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:39 AM
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take a deep breath, have a glass of wine, sit back -- and toss this plan in the round file and start over.

Insane - not entirely. Crazy - more than a little.

And when you start re-planning, factor in that one night somewhere does not equal one day there.

Every time you move from one city to another (even relatively close cities like Rome and Florence) it eats up 1/2 to one full day. Packing/unpacking, checking in/out, traveling to/from the train stations or airports -- this all takes a lot of time and bother.
janisj is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Each time you check-out, travel to airport/train station, wait on said travel, travel to next hotel, check-in you have cost yourself a minimum of 1/2 day. The only way around this is to do overnight trains, but then the problem is that you usually have to check-out far in advance of the train departure time and arrive far in advance of the allowed check-in time. You may or may not be able to store your luggage.

So, you must therefore calculate the time lost in your sight-seeing time. Unless train stations and airports are big on your list (which is the case with some folks).

daveesl is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:41 AM
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i may be old but am not a doddering fool.

when you are young, discovery and adventure for use in later years are as important as spending hours gazing at every picture in a museum or a cathedral.

I hope you will get back to europe soon again, better prepared and with some interesting ideas on how you want to spend your time, based on this experience.

Just make sure that you do not regret anyting, or blame each other or anyone else. (well, you can blame me. Everyone does.)

i did interrail in the sixties over a third of europe and hitchhiked in southern france, hardly visiting a touristic building, and loved the feel, the smell and the taste of different vibrant ways of life, culture and the geography.
otherchelebi is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:42 AM
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Yes, you need to change your plans! If I had 10 days I would do this: fly into Rome and stay 4 nights; take the train to Florence and stay 4 nights; You could then take the train to Venice or Bologna if you want somewhere else. We spent 5 nights in Rome and that was not enough time. In Florence you could also take the bus to Sienna and spend the day. I like to travel and see all of one area, personally. Hope this helps!
kraines is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Why don't you determine how much time you'll have in each place and then decide if this is the itinerary you want to use.

Rome to Florence:
Train time - 1.5 hours
Time to and from train stations: 1 hour
Time Packing and unpacking: 1 hour
Time to figure out a new city: 2 to 3 hours (it usually takes me a couple of days but you don't have that much time)

You'll have 1/2 day to see Florence.

Florence to Genoa:
Train time - 4 hours
Plus the packing, etc.

You'll have 1 evening in Genoa

Genoa to Marseilles:
Train time - 7 or 8 hours
Plus the packing, etc.

I guess you'll have time for dinner in Marseilles.

Marseilles to Barcelona:
Train time - 10 hours

You'll have 2 days in Barcelona

Bring a lot of books to amuse yourselves during all those lazy train rides. You'll only have 5 days out of the total 10 vacation days to see or explore anything.
adrienne is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 12:27 PM
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10 days is plenty to get a good overview of classic Italy (at least from Rome north), but I wouldn't try to do any more than that. And you will HATE planning to move every day - you might as well be on a tour bus. And all of those train trips will each eat up the better part of a day. Don't do it.

Decide on a couple of places you really want to see and really explore those. You can even fit in three cities if you really want to (I'm thinking the classic Rome-Venice-Florence loop), but don't move any more than that.
tejana is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Thank you all for the advice! I haven't book the ticket yet so nothing is written in stone yet. You are right, it seems like a lot of train time. Now with all these information we will definetely stay in Italy for the entire trip. I'm thinking Rome, Florence, and some other town in between. Thanks!
Bgreen4afuture is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 12:53 PM
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First time we went to Rome then plan was to go onto Florence, Tuscany and Venice. We ended up spending the entire 3 weeks in Rome and had to save the other places for another trip.
avalon is offline  
Jul 24th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Agree with the "Yes's"
jabez is offline  
Jul 24th, 2010, 02:08 PM
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The answer is in the question.
Aduchamp1 is offline  

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