France and Italy

Old Jan 6th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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France and Italy

We are planning a 11 day trip to France and Italy in early April. This will be our first trip to Europe. We are a retired couple in mid fifties.

We would very much appreciate suggestions with respect to trip itinery. Right now we are thinking of starting in Paris and visit couple of cities in Italy (Florence, Venice, possibly Rome)

Any suggestions with respect to good accomodations (upto 100 Euros per night) places to see, things to watch out for etc. will be helpful.

We speak no italian and one of us speaks limited french. Is that a big problem?

Thanks for your input and advise.

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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 08:08 AM
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Not speaking Italian is not a problem when visiting Italy. However, it is always good to learn a few basic and critical phrases.

Going on your own is great, but some tours are also great, so, since this is your first time to Europe, you may wish to consider a tour. If so, I prefer Insight Vacations.

http://www.insightvacations.com/us/

If you are not in the USA, delete the "us/" at the end of the URL.

It is also wonderful to go on your own, with all the planning and anticipation that goes with it.

If you do decide on a tour, let me know, and I will email you some very helpful documents. My email is:

[email protected]

In addition to all the good advice you will get on this board, you may also wish to check the hotel reviews and other information on the www.SlowTrav.com site.

--Marv
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Both France and Italy are great desitnations for the first timer - France may be a bit easier, since more English is spoken there. For an 11 day trip, your itinery sounds way to busy. You don't want to spend 50% of your time travelling. You can easily spend a week in Paris without seeing it all. I would choose one of the two countries and then lay out a detailed plan. Our very first trip to Europe was 3 nights in Paris, then renting a car and driving thru the Loire valley and Dordogone area, and looping back to Paris for another two nights. This worked out great, and the French countryside is very beautiful, as are the small towns and villages. You could of course do a similar thing in Italy which is just as beautiful (and has better food IMHO). Concentrate one one country, get as many good guide books as you can read (the Dummies series are actually very good for first timers), get some good Michelin maps, surf the web,layout a route, and you'll have a great time!
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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I agree with zootsi, 11 days is a bit short to try to fit in both France and Italy. I strongly recommend that, with only 11 days, you choose either France (Paris and a short trip to one province such as the Loire or Normandy)or Italy (it might be possible to fit all 3 major cities into 11 days). If you do decide to do France and Italy, consider an "open jaw" flight allowing you to fly into Paris and out of Venice (or Florence or Rome). All of these are wonderful destinations and you don't want to rush around and not give them enough time.
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Old Jan 6th, 2005, 03:30 PM
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Bringing your post back up "to the top" since you are new - - to "us" - - today.

(How did I know that? Click on your own name, if you are unfamiliar with this)

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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Thanks for your responses. These have been very helpful.

We have decided to spend four days in Paris, fly to Pisa (very economical flights from easy jet) and stay in Pisa/Tuscany/Florence are for four days.

Any suggestions for recommended hotels/car rental/sightseeing would be very much appreciated.
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