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Germany, Austria, Italy and Sicily in 3 wks

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Germany, Austria, Italy and Sicily in 3 wks

Old Feb 4th, 2017, 08:11 AM
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Germany, Austria, Italy and Sicily in 3 wks

My husband and I are planning a three-week trip to our respective ancestral countries (Germany, Austria, and Italy). We would like to travel by train, but since we are going to small villages only we likely need a car. Our trip will focus on Italy. Any tips for traveling 3 days in Germany, 3 days in Austria as we travel over ths Dolomites and through to the Cinque Terre, Amalfi, and Sicily? I have traveled Italy, but only by train. Any tips for a driving route with small village hotels?
Fireskigirl is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2017, 08:28 AM
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Big place Germany/Austria. Any clues? Which month?

I'm assuming you will travel between countries by train or pick up a very hefty return fee at the end. Sicily doesn't have a bridge linking it to the peninsula but you can take a ferry. I'd ditch the car and hire on the other side.

I'd use autoeurope to book all the cars, it gets you around the local insurance scam nonsense and helps sort out any local difficulties.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 09:41 AM
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"We would like to travel by train...we are going to small villages..."

WHICH small villages? Most German ones either have a train station or a short bus connection to a station. There are reasons you might want a car, but if you don't, you probably don't need one.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 05:01 AM
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"We would like to travel by train, but since we are going to small villages only we likely need a car"

Sure?

I'm with Fussgänger, almost every small village in Germany, Austria and Italy can be reached by bus (or by a short 1-3 miles taxi ride).

Tell us the names of the villages and you will get the timetable links.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 11:31 AM
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renting a car in say Germany and returning in Italy may well result in HUGE drop-off surcharges - I can see Sicilian villages not being on train lines but buses run everywhere but still a car may be neat there as the rail system is slow and spotty.

But in Germany and Austrian trains and buses from stations will take you everywhere- cars are a hassle in larger cities.

For lots on trains check www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 12:33 PM
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to see if those villages have rail service check www.bahn.de/en - German Railways site for schedules of trains all over Europe. If it is not on there then it has no rail service but most likely has bus service from nearby rail stations.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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3 nights Germany, 3 nights Austria, 2 or 3 nights cinque terre, 5 nights Amalfi? And a week in Sicily? I'm thinking you have a destination in Sicily, since there is a lot to see there.

Cinque Terre is easier to reach by train than car. It's easy to get to Naples by train, then either driver, switch to Circumvesuviana train to get to Sorrento, or ferry to Sorrento.

Here's alink for options on the Amalfi Coast:

http://www.naplesbayferry.com/en/how-to-get-to-sorrento

This will also take you to options for the other towns on the Amalfi coast.

AFter Amalfi you can ferry or take the bus or driver to Salerno to pick up a car, if you want to drive. The drive down the peninsula is not a difficult one, good highways and not much traffic past Salerno.

There is also a train from Salerno to Sicily.

Let us know more details on the towns you want to visit.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 12:52 PM
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Here's a link to my TR, you can see what transportation options we used in Italy.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...s-in-italy.cfm
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 12:56 PM
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Fireskigirl, as you can tell from the helpful replies so far, we need to know much more about your specific targets to really have constructive specifics for you.

~ Where in Europe do you plan to arrive first?

~ Please list those "villages" you referred to,

~ please tell us how many days you wish to spend in which of the five villages that make the "Cinque Terre" (not counting travel days to get there or to leave from there),

~ please tell us how many days you wish to spend where exactly in the Amalfi region (not counting travel days to get there or to leave from there),

~ how many days do you wish to spend in Sicily, and where in Sicily?

~ where will you catch the plane for your final trip home?

Add up the days that will be taken up by going from A to B, then add up the days that you will spend in a given location, and your plan will start to take shape.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 06:33 PM
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While I can certainly understand your desire to see these places, I wonder if you will actually have time to see and experience what you want. I fear that your plan is overly ambitious. For context, like many people I think Sicily alone merits 2 or 3 weeks (if not more)!

Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 6th, 2017, 08:34 AM
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Sicily in any case is an outlier on such a trip when you want to visit multiple places in limited time -like kja says leave it till you have much more time - especially a long drive even from Amalfi Coast.
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Old Feb 6th, 2017, 09:38 AM
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Pal the OP says that they want to travel to their ancestral countries, including Sicily, so I'm thinking there is a particular town or area there that they want to visit.

Otherwise, I would agree to stay in the Northern half of Italy to shorten travelling distances.

Our last trip, we started in Pisa, made our way to Sicily, then flew back to Rome. But we had 5 weeks. It wasn't too rushed, but it definitely wasn't leisurely either.
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Old Feb 6th, 2017, 10:43 AM
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Otherwise, I would agree to stay in the Northern half of Italy to shorten travelling distances.>

especially if driving-if Sicily is a must, as I can understand, fly down there from Austria or Germany - or take overnight train there from Milan, Florence or Rome (which I took in reverse once). Maybe flying to Sicilyfirst then driving up via Amalfi and Cinque Terre to Milan to fly home -that would be fine if they are spending a few weeks in Italy as it seems.

But to do Germany and Austria for 3 days each with a car - not practical unless they start in Munich - go to Innsbruck but to tour those countries much no.
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