First trip to europe with mom

Old Feb 10th, 2023, 05:03 AM
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Paris, depending on your interests, might deserve more time. Versailles and perhaps Chartres or Giverny?

Florence is compact and within easy reach of other interesting cities, so thst’s one place perhaps to linger longer — or take a tour of the Tuscan countryside? Lake Como as suggested?

Up to you and your family whether you keep the Naples area on your list at all, but if you can add a few days for it I’d get a private driver from the Naples train station to Sorrento, and consider a day trip to Capri including a boat tour around the island. And tour Herculaneum rather than Pompeii? There is one shady place to sit down in all of the extensive grounds at Pompeii, and it’s a not very exciting cafeteria.
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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 11:22 AM
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I was thinking of replacing Amalfi / Naples with a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre + Pisa. So we do Paris - Venice - Florence - Rome.

Will this day trip need to involve a lot of walking and train/bus/cab transfers? Can we get a taste of the Italian coast on Cinque Terre without doing too much or any hiking at all? Will it be better to go for a guided group tour instead of attempting it by ourselves or is this overly ambitious?

I also like the day trip from Florence to Pisa, Siena, and San Gimignano with Lunch and Wine in Chianti suggested above. So wondering if Vineyards + Tuscan countryside can be a separate day trip from Cique Terre+ Pisa or can those be combined as well?
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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 12:19 PM
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Unless you are spending $$$$$ on the Orient Express to Venice there is no direct night train.
It pains me to say it but this is probably one occasion when flying makes sense unless you are happy going by day train, in which case I think you can TGV to Turin or Milan and then change there to a train to Venice.
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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 09:37 PM
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Cinque Terre would entail a good deal of walking whether you do it with a group or on your own. In all candor, I'd give it a pass on this trip. Paris-Venice-Florence-Rome is quite enough. From Florence you can do a day trip to Pisa and other Tuscan sites as I mentioned above.
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 05:39 AM
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You are getting great advice! I was fortunate to travel to several European countries with my Sweet Mother. As of now she is not able to travel like that and I can tell you that the photo books that I had made of our trips are treasured memories for her. We even kept a little silly journal together during all of the trips and she goes back and reads and remembers things we had forgotten. I would encourage you to keep the journal and make the books.
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 07:24 AM
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Combine Pisa, sea views, architectural interest and relaxation with a short hop further to Viareggio?
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 10:36 AM
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What Seamus said.
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by willowjane
You are getting great advice! I was fortunate to travel to several European countries with my Sweet Mother. As of now she is not able to travel like that and I can tell you that the photo books that I had made of our trips are treasured memories for her. We even kept a little silly journal together during all of the trips and she goes back and reads and remembers things we had forgotten. I would encourage you to keep the journal and make the books.
What a beautiful suggestion, thank you!
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Seamus
Cinque Terre would entail a good deal of walking whether you do it with a group or on your own. In all candor, I'd give it a pass on this trip. Paris-Venice-Florence-Rome is quite enough. From Florence you can do a day trip to Pisa and other Tuscan sites as I mentioned above.
got it, thanks!
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FTOttawa
Combine Pisa, sea views, architectural interest and relaxation with a short hop further to Viareggio?
Will look it up, thank you!
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Old Feb 12th, 2023, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by willowjane
You are getting great advice! I was fortunate to travel to several European countries with my Sweet Mother. As of now she is not able to travel like that and I can tell you that the photo books that I had made of our trips are treasured memories for her. We even kept a little silly journal together during all of the trips and she goes back and reads and remembers things we had forgotten. I would encourage you to keep the journal and make the books.
willowjane, I agree! My mother often says thank goodness we did that last trip together (2019!) the previous one was 2010.
Shes 85 next month, so no more trips 😫
I did make her a photobook, but never told her I did a TR! I probably should show her that to re live it.

Such great memories.

Anyway, point being we adjusted our expectations and travelled less, experienced more.
We had a great deal of fun getting lost on walks, eating ice cream with the enthusiasm of children, exploring
villages, choosing tablecloths for her, theres wonderment around every corner.
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Old Feb 13th, 2023, 09:03 AM
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Sorry to hear that you and your mum won'r be taking any more long trips tother, Adelaidean. I think that many of us enjoyed the last one in 2019 almost as much as the two of you did. I hope you have many more years to continue making memories, albeit not of the type of trips you did in the past.
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Old Feb 13th, 2023, 10:53 PM
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annhig , thank you, it felt a very sentimental journey in knowing ‘last time travelling overseas’ and ‘last time seeing family’.
We have done a few intrastate trips since, to outback South Australia and Kangaroo Island but then was the 4 of us…in one vehicle….so a few ‘moments’ requiring lots of patience, on all sides.
We are all getting older and more cantankerous 🙄


One thing I’d add was that my least favourite days were those ‘travel’ days. They feel wasted. Plus the risk of missed connections and finding your way to new accommodation….just worth bearing in mind for a short trip a ‘highlights of Europe’ sounds better than it is.

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Old Feb 15th, 2023, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2
Unless you are spending $$$$$ on the Orient Express to Venice there is no direct night train.
It pains me to say it but this is probably one occasion when flying makes sense unless you are happy going by day train, in which case I think you can TGV to Turin or Milan and then change there to a train to Venice.
explorer2212 was probably thinking of the Thello Paris-venice sleeper train, which hasn't run since the COVID pandemic started. Indeed, there is no direct sleeper train anymore, sadly. However, they could take a TGV to Stuttgart or Munich and a sleeper train (NightJet) from there. By the way, you can get a private sleeper compartment with 3 beds and a toilet, you don't need to settle for the cheaper bunks.
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Old Feb 16th, 2023, 02:03 PM
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<< One thing I’d add was that my least favourite days were those ‘travel’ days. They feel wasted. Plus the risk of missed connections and finding your way to new accommodation….just worth bearing in mind for a short trip a ‘highlights of Europe’ sounds better than it is. >>

I have to agree with you Adelaidean. The more you move around the less you actually see. IMO there is a great deal of interest to be had from finding that nice bakery or cafe for breakfast, the welcoming bar for lunch, and for an aperitiivo, and the friendly restaurant for dinner. Every time you move, you have to start the search all over again. Then there is the energy required just to get from point A to point B, with luggage etc, Better IMO to spend longer in one or two places than to dot around too much and spend time moving around rather than actually seeing and doing.
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Old Feb 16th, 2023, 02:44 PM
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I agree completely agree with Annhig. There is a balance to be struck. I often start with a trip idea and find myself simplifying things to less places as my plans evolve. Bear also in mind that traveling often requires a lot of walking. It is not infrequent that I find myself at 25 to 30 thousand steps a day and that pace wears you down eventually even in your youth.
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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 04:17 AM
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A lot of great advice has been given by other people and I would also agree to fly from Venice to Paris instead of taking the overnight train as you have elderly people with you. Summer is warm and comfortable around June (averaging around 75F (24C) the highest and lowest around 55F (13C) but most likely a lot of people are also visiting by that time. . . .

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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 05:06 AM
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The thing about the tourists, though, is that they are not evenly spread out. August is low season for tourists in Paris while the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts are jam packed.
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Old Mar 10th, 2023, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by kerouac
The thing about the tourists, though, is that they are not evenly spread out. August is low season for tourists in Paris while the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts are jam packed.
Having been in Paris multiple times in August, I disagree highly. Last time, while still in the Metro, the hordes of tourists going to the Louvre were being wrangled to line up. Avoid this and exit the Metro. And Montmartre was wall-to-wall. Many bakeries and restaurants closed, and even many ice cream parlors. Only in Paris would an ice cream place close down for the month of August, though not Berthillon.

If going to the Louvre, use the Portes des Lions for entrance. It is an unmarked (!) entrance while the others will be packed.
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Old Mar 11th, 2023, 12:56 PM
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If you're going to spend so much time in Florence, make sure you visit the Cinque Terre for at least a day.
While in Venice, check out Burano.
This itinerary is not exhausting, you will have plenty of time to do everything. At most, public transport is tiring, I don't like it in Europe. I prefer the car.
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