France and Italy

Jan 6th, 2005, 08:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6
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.
kuku is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 09:13 AM
  #2  
jay
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 998
You will have a blast. My recommendation would be to limit your trip to either one country or at least two cities. 11 days is not alot of time especially if you factor in travel time. You could spend at least a week in Paris without even thinking about it. Remember, you will go back. Don't cram too much into a trip. Most people in the cities speak english so you shouldn't have a problem. I'm sure you will get alot of other great suggestions.
jay is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 09:32 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 715
The temptation to visit as many sites as possible is usually a big part of planning a trip. However, you must resist that temptation if you want to have a really enjoyable time.

Before anyone can recommend hotels, restaurants, etc. you really need to try to narrow down your choices to what would be your "must see" locations. Also consider the fact that cities such as Rome and Venice and Paris are considerably more expensive to visit than the countryside. So you might want to balance the cities with the countryside.

Also, keep in mind that eleven days minus two travel days leaves you with nine real vacation days to plan. And then there are travel times within those nine days which take up time as well.

As an example, if you do Rome for three days, Tuscany/Umbria for four days and then Florence for two days, you will limit extensive travel time during the nine days and also balance the cost of cities and countryside.

You will find English spoken almost everywhere in cities and less so in smaller towns. But in all our travels, we managed just fine. A huge help would be to know basic phrases...there are lots of beginner books available.



Lorac1127 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 09:40 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Kuku, I think you posted 2 messages so be sure to check the responses to both.
mamc is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 11:16 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I've developed itineraries for dozens of people on this board, and on aol also. I think the best itinerary for first timers to Europe is what Lorac suggested:
Rome 4 days
Tuscany countryside & small villages 4 days
Venice or Florence (I prefer Venice) 3 days

Rent a car for the Tuscany portion - it's easy & probably not any more difficult driving than where you live. You can train from Rome to Chiusi in Tuscany and pick up/drop off the car there & go on to Venice.

Stu Dudley
San Mateo (San Francisco), Ca
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