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help planning trip Italy to Spain


Nov 18th, 2015, 01:04 PM
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help planning trip Italy to Spain

Hello, I would love any advice and help for a trip to Italy and Spain.

We have about 8-10 days.

Italy--Rome, Florence, Venice **Milan if possible.

Spain--Barcelona, Madrid, and a beach or Spanish Islands (The Canary Islands is the best one??)

We are happy to back-pack, hostel stay, or do airBnB, etc.

Advice on:
1- which city to start and end in
2-best places to look for transportation within the two cities
3-MUST SEE AND DO at any or all of the cities.
4-anything else you feel I should know.

THANK YOU!!! All you experts. I am sooo appreciative for any ones time with comments and suggestions.

I have backpacked Greece and Thailand...it is time for Italy and Spain!
hansen50 is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2015, 01:11 PM
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Way way way too much for such a short time - do Italy or Spain not both - everyone here is going to say that - some in stronger terms - I'd chose Italy as those cities are close together and of course wonderful - the places you mention in Spain are far removed and take more time to travel between.

Of course you're going by rail if backpacking - to get a fix on the rail system in either or both - www.seat61.com - great advice on discounted train tickets if you book in stone far far in advance; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

If you wanted to do a smidgeon of both you'd have to fly in between and that can cost moolah too.

Chose one or the other.
PalenQ is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2015, 05:20 PM
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In your very limited time you can visit 3 cities and actually see something - although it will still be a rush - depending on how many days you actually have on the ground (that is not counting the day you arrive and the day you depart). Remember you have to allow at least 1/2 day to travel from each city to the next - and more than that if you have to fly from Spain to Italy or vice versa.

If you are determined you can get to all of the places you have listed but it will mean that almost all your time will be spent in trains or planes or train stations and airports. You will have time in each city to check into your hotel/hostel, have dinner and sleep- then the next day have an hour or two and then start your travel to the next city.

If it were me I would pick 3 places in one country - but if you really want you can do 2 in one and one in the other.

And if by backpacking you mean camping - that will take even more time away from sightseeing - since camping areas are not in the center of the cities.

Also which you choose may well depend on time of year - which you don;t mention.
nytraveler is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2015, 11:26 PM
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These are the must places in the cities you are planning to cover

Rome - St Peter’s basilica, Vatican Museums, Pantheon
Florence - Ponte Vecchio, Giotto’s bell tower, Piazzale Michelangelo
Venice - St. Mark’s Square, Grand Canal Tour, Burano Island
Barcelona - Picasso Museum, Tibidabo hill, Font Màgica
Madrid - Royal Palace,Madrid's cable car, Casa de Campo
For the spanish island beaches, Playa de Ses Illetes, Es Trenc in Mallorca are great options
shreyamadhu is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2015, 03:53 AM
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If you have 8 days (not counting flight days), pick two cities to visit. If you have 10, pick three.

For transportation within the cities you listed for Italy, walk. Stay central. The historic centers are pretty compact.
kybourbon is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2015, 08:40 AM
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Of course, different strokes for different folks, but IMHO, must sees for some of those places is very, very different from Shreyamadhu's list!

Rome - the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. The very heart of Ancient Rome!
St Peter's Basilica, Pantheon, Piazza Navona.

Barcelona - Familia Sagrada. I cannot imagine going to Barcelona and not seeing some of Gaudi's work, at the very least, the amazing Familia Sagrada and at least the exterior of Casa Mila, also, Parq Guell, Palau de la Musica Catalana. Ramblas.

Florence - Accademia for the original statue of David, Baptistery, Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Basilica di Santa Croce, Piazza Della Signoria, Uffizi if interested in art at all, many, many museums.

Venice - Basilica di San Marco, Doges' Palace, plus too many churches, art museums, theaters, etc. to even list - right in Venice.

Madrid - The Prado! Reina Sofia, Plaza Mayor, nearby Toledo and Segovia.
Sassafrass is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2015, 11:21 AM
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Depending on what time of year you are going, I would suggest including Barcelona as a stop in Spain to get beach fix as well as explore the sights of the city, if beach time is very important to you.

I agree that three places or so would be most comfortable in your time frame, so decide if you would want to see a bit more of Spain and include Madrid as well as Barcelona, or a bit more of Italy, or maybe the beach is not as much of a focus and you want all Italy.

Then take a look at some flights from Barcelona and Madrid and see if there are regularly scheduled flights to your destinations of choice in Italy. You will have the most flight options between Spain and Rome or Spain and Milan; Venice will have slightly fewer flights, and Pisa (closest airport to Florence) will likely be served only by one or two low cost airlines out of Madrid or Barcelona.

If you aren't staying in one country, you would definitely want to fly open jaw, into one city and out of another - which means using the multi city search option on Kayak, Expedia, etc. Where are you flying from: are you flying from the US? An overnight flight out late Friday can work well if you're coming from the East Coast. Do you prefer flights with stops, or non stops? Madrid, Rome, Milan, Venice, and Barcelona will offer you nonstop options from the US, which may be more expensive than flights with stops, but will ultimately save you time, with more time able to be spent on the ground.

Some easier itinerary ideas to play with, and you can add more nights based on your interests (maybe Barcelona if you want to ensure ample beach time?) or if there are day trips from a place you know you want to take. I would try to stretch to 9-10 nights if possible:

Start in Rome (3 nights) - fly to Barcelona (3-4 nights) - train to Madrid (3 nights), fly home Madrid - can also do in reverse

You can apply nights and travel mode to similar shells:

Madrid-Barcelona-Milan or reverse
Rome-Milan-Barcelona or reverse
Barcelona-Milan-Venice or reverse
Barcelona-Rome-Venice or reverse

You are more likely to have stops if you fly into or out of Pisa (for Florence), so I would use it in the middle of an Italy only itinerary (Rome - Florence - Venice or reverse) or if the days sync up with the low cost carriers from Pisa to Spain, as the middle stop in an Italy to Spain itinerary (Rome-Florence-Barcelona or reverse, Venice-Florence-Barcelona or reverse, etc)

Anyway these are some starting points: knowing time of year and point of origin may help fine tune feedback.
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