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-   -   First time in Europe. Please check my itinerary. (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/first-time-in-europe-please-check-my-itinerary-120075/)

Evie Apr 24th, 2001 04:02 PM

First time in Europe. Please check my itinerary.
 
Greetings all, and thank for all the help I have already received from just reading your suggestions. We are setting our itinerary for our first trip to Europe. Please offer suggestions. <BR> <BR>June 5 Arriving Frankfurt and taking train to Heidelberg. 3 nights. <BR>June 8 to Ascone, Switzerland. 3 nights <BR>(Heidelberg and Ascone cannot be changed.) <BR>June 11 to Venice. 3 nights <BR>June 14 to Florence. 3 nights <BR>June 17 to Siena 2 nights <BR>June 19 to Rome. Departing for U.S. on June 26. <BR>We are considering staying in Lido de Ostia (the ruins at the coast- did I get this right?) for our last 2 nights. I wish we could have stayed in Cinque Terre for a few nights also, but I don't know what to give up in order to do that. <BR>Thanks for all your help. <BR>Evie <BR>

Oaktown Traveler Apr 24th, 2001 04:41 PM

Evie: Are you staying in Rome from the 19th through the 26th? If so, that may be a bit long. Have Fun!

Roberta Apr 25th, 2001 05:55 AM

Hi Evie: My suggestions: <BR>Don;t change hotel from florence to Siena; stay all those nights in either one or the other, suggest Florence. In Florenc you don't need a car to explore he city, most hotels park it for you and retrieve it when you need it (about $30/day, not cheap). However, from Florence it's an easy drive to Siena (uner half hour) and also an easy drive to the lovely surrounding towns besides Siena. Second thing is I think you are spending lots of nights in Rome...lots of history and art there, surely you could stay 2 weeks to see it all...but since it's your first trip, to me, Rome will be oveload. I would give up a few Rome nights and head down to the Amalfi coast(you can take a 2 hour train ride with your car to Naples or you can drive). Suggest you stay in Positano or Ravello and drive to surrounding coastal area (towns of Amalfi, Sorrento, Vietri sul mare, Pompeii, etc).It will be a nice break from city stuff..have a wonerful time.

Lexma90 Apr 25th, 2001 10:35 AM

I would echo the previous comments about Rome; you could spend less time there and more time elsewhere - I would suggest Tuscany. <BR> <BR>I wouldn't skip staying in Siena, or elsewhere in Tuscany (though it is an easy day trip from Florence). What with Venice, Florence & Rome, you'll probably be ready for some time in the countryside. Siena, while a wonderful city to visit, is difficult to make day trips from, because parking & getting your car in and out is a hassle. Consider a smaller town, such as San Gimignano, Volterra (a little further west), or any town in Chianti (further northeast). San G. is beautiful, and much nicer in the evening when all the day-trippers have left. <BR> <BR>While the Cinque Terre is a great place to visit, I think you'd be squeezing too much in to try to make it there, too. You'll just have to go back again some day! <BR> <BR>Buon viaggio!

Evie Apr 25th, 2001 01:11 PM

Lexma90: Thanks for your suggestions. One more question, please. If we don't have a car in Siena, are there bus trips to some of the small towns you suggested? Or would you suggest a couple of days in Siena and then a couple in San G.?? I guess that was 2 questions! : ) <BR>Thanks.

Paulo Apr 25th, 2001 02:51 PM

Evie, <BR> <BR>I'd never trade a couple of days in Siena for an extended stay in Florence. Siena has its own charm, specially at dusk and dawn. Also, it's much more convenient as a base for visiting a number of interesting cities that lay in its province. From Siena, there are plenty of buses to/from San G., Gaiole, Radda, Castellina, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Chianciano, to name just a few. Just take your pick. A listing of intercity bus service in Province of Siena and schedules may be found at <BR> <BR>http://db.sienanet.it/web/train/Welcome.asp?tratta=2 <BR> <BR>Even though San G. is IMO also more interesting before 10am and after 4pm, when there aren't crowds around, I would prefer to visit it on a daytrip when not having a car. If you have 4 days to spend in the area I'd stay in Siena because of the increased public transportation possibilities. You could visit San G. and some of the Chianti region one day, go to Montepulciano and Pienza the other, and eventually to Montalcino a third time out. If you consider renting a car, then it's more or less immaterial, even though I'd still prefer to stay in Siena (yes ... I'm awfully biased :-) <BR> <BR>Finally, the best means of transportation from Florence to Siena is IMO not by train. Take the SITA express bus. <BR> <BR>Paulo


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