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Help me with my Italy/Switzerland/France itinerary, please!

Help me with my Italy/Switzerland/France itinerary, please!

Jan 24th, 2002, 07:20 PM
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Cindy-I'm exhausted just contemplating this overly-ambitious trip. You need to know that train travel in Europe isn't hard but it is work - you have to haul your own luggage as porters are scarce. You have to be in the right car or risk being disconnected somewhere mid-trip. You have to be ready to alight when your stop draws near as you may only get a couple minutes to do so. You have to make sure you're at the right station (Paris, for example, has several with service for specific cities).
I love the Ticino area of southern Switzerland - it's the Italian section. Day trips into mountains can't be beat.
And you can eat fondue!
Jan 25th, 2002, 06:08 PM
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Actually, I was wondering what your kids would like to see.
My kids desperately wanted to see the Leaning Tower, and they still talk about it. Definitely one of the highlights of their trip. Ditto the Gondola ride in Venice, which my daughter loved. In fact, I would visit places that are unique, especially to your kids. Therefore, although the Lakes are very pretty, I would not visit them if it means missing out on Venice (this place is definitely unique! My son was totally impressed and a friend of mine who has a son who's into "transportation systems" insits every year that they drive to Venice from their Austrian vacation spot).
I have never been to Rome, so can't comment on it, but how about flying into Florence (if feasible), visit Pisa and Florence, go to Venice, stay either in town, the Lido, or in one of the resorts on the Adriatic sea (not terribly pretty but the kids can swim); then go to Switzerland (not too far of the train line to Paris), stay a few days in Switzerland, then on to Paris. As for Amsterdam, I would skip it. It's a great city but not really with kids. My husband is Dutch, so we've been there with/without kids. The cafes and restaurants aren't really set up for kids, not to mention all the dog doo on the sidewalks
Jan 25th, 2002, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for your help, everyone. I think that I've decided to not go to Florence, but am hanging on to Venice. Your words about your boys loving Venice are helpful, Ingrid. And my son's already excited about the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We're not going to Amsterdam -- I've been there already (on a teen bike trip), and absolutely loved it, but don't want to repeat myself. I've also decided to cut out any time in France, except for Paris. I think that we'll just do a night or two, probably one, in Switzerland on the way to Paris, and then spend more time (3 days) in Paris. Or maybe two in Switzerland, and two in Paris. Still working on it!
Jan 25th, 2002, 06:50 PM
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Sorry Ingrid, I said, your boys, and you have a boy and a girl. I'm usually a better listener! And kh -- I've been thinking about fondue all day!
Jan 26th, 2002, 04:14 AM
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Hi, Cindy.
It's not so much that I prefer Bern to Venice, but rather I am considering logistics.

I should have done this before, namely ask you to clarify your main goal. I assumed you wish to travel from Rome to Scotland, mainly by train, and to see as much as is practically, if not leisurely feasible along the way.

The reason I suggest 2 nights in Bern is two-fold. First, your schedule might get disrupted by various train disruptions (regular delays, or even 24 hour strikes, which aren't uncommon in Italy.)Having 2 nights in Bern puts a little slack into your itinerary, in case you arrive later than expected.

I'm also considering the need for a little down time, including time for such humble but essential chores as laundry. When we travel, these chores always seem to take more time than we thought.

If you really, really want to see Venice, then maybe you could consider, oh, maybe flying into Pisa/Florence instead of Rome and starting the trip off in Florence. This would free up some time for Venice. You could also do a day trip out of Florence into Tuscany.

Jan 28th, 2002, 12:54 PM
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I agree with Sue: forget about Rome, unless you really want to see it, and fly into Florence/Pisa. You have already have quite a few cities on your itinerary (and Paris and London should be plenty). Then, of course, I know that my son would love to see Pompeji and Herculaneum. What will your 11-year old have learned in school by the summer? You might want to tie it in with some of his social/world studies content.
For Switzerland, I would try to get in some "snow in the summer", bu then you really need two overnights.
Jan 30th, 2002, 07:42 AM
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Ingrid: My son will have learned about the American Revolution (oh, well). For "snow in summer," somewhere on the train line between Milan and Paris, where would you go? Thanks.
Jan 30th, 2002, 07:44 AM
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And Sue: Thanks for the reminder about having to do laundry! I'm sure that will be a real joy!

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