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Help with Southern France & Italy Itinerary

Help with Southern France & Italy Itinerary

Oct 20th, 2014, 04:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Help with Southern France & Italy Itinerary

I am planning a 10-12 night trip for my dad, sister, and me for the end of May. I will be ending me study abroad in Paris so I am planning on them flying into Paris then staying a night or two there before heading south by train. I want to stay the next couple nights in Nice and possibly visit Monaco & Èze as day trips. Should we stop in Lyon on the way down or just go straight through? Then from there I want to go into Italy and possibly stop by in a cute little town for a night if that makes traveling easier then possibly continue to Venice and definitely end in Rome. I need help thinking of an itinerary that would make the most sense.
Any suggestions at all such as routes, hotels, things to do will help greatly! Thanks!
hcrank5 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 04:29 PM
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Covering Paris, Lyons, Riviera, cute town in Italy, Venice and Rome in 10 days is really not possible. Once you take away the arrival and departure days and the 4/5 days getting from one place to another you would have less than one day in each place.

If you have 10 full days (11 nights) on the ground I would reco no more than 2 place (Paris and Rome?) If you have 12 full days (13 nights) you might add a 3td place (Riviera or Venice).

Otherwise you will end up spending the bulk of your time sitting in trains and trekking back and forth to train stations and a different hotel every night.

Please lay the trip out day by day, indicating where you will sleep and allowing a realistic amount of time for travel (bahn.de has train schedules for all of europe) so you can see how much time you would actually have in each place - versus the places that you want to see there.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 04:45 PM
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Do you have to return to Paris or will you be departing Europe in Rome?
kybourbon is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 05:27 PM
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Sounds like a fun trip with your family. You never have as much time as you think, so I would do 2-3 nights in Paris, then straight to Nice(a great city, you will have fun there). Then I'd go straight to either Venice or Rome, not both. You could do a stop in a smaller town on the way to Rome for a night but remember that it takes up a lot of your travel time when you have to check in and out of hotels. Lucky you that you get to study abroad in Paris. I minored in French in college and it is my greatest regret that I didn't do that. Have fun.
sanderskn is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 05:44 PM
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I would skip Nice, fly from Paris to Venice on Easyjet.

Paris to Nice on the train takes 5.5 hours, from there into Italy you need to catch a local train to Ventimiglia. From there to Venice takes almost 7 hours. Add 2 hours to a train ride when changing hotels. So that means 2 days pretty much shot with travel.

Look up train schedules here using italian city names:

RonZ is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 08:41 PM
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Thank you for your feedback! I wrote a rough draft itinerary and am thinking something along the lines of this:
They arrive in Paris Sunday morning (leave US on Saturday) then spend all that day & the next in Paris. Then overnight train Monday to arrive in Nice on Tuesday. Spend that day in Nice then the next day (Wednesday) do a day trip to Monaco then on Thursday a day trip to Éze, spending both nights in the hotel in Nice. Then spend Friday as a travel day leaving Nice by train to Ventimiglia then from there to Florence. Spend Saturday and Sunday in Florence and leave early Monday morning to go to Rome and spend all day Monday and Tuesday in Rome and half a day Wednesday there then fly home Wednesday night.
Does that plan sound more do-able?
hcrank5 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 02:41 AM
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Doable: yes, for people who are used to sleep in planes and night trains.
Monte Carlo and Eze can be visited the same day.
You will waste too much time in trains between Nice and Florence.
Many museums in Rome are closed on Mondays.
neckervd is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 03:10 AM
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Don't know if this would be affordable, but flying from Nice to Rome and doing a day trip to Florence from Rome would spare you the really very tedious train journey from Nice to Florence.

I think I would find it very hard to take a transatlantic flight and then within 2 days take an overnight train.
sandralist is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 04:37 AM
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>>>They arrive in Paris Sunday morning (leave US on Saturday) then spend all that day & the next in Paris<<<

I'm not sure you can count arrival day as a day in Paris. It may be noon before they actually get into Paris and they could be quite jet-lagged.

>>>then fly home Wednesday night. <<<

Does this mean fly back to Paris? There aren't any night departures to the states.

>>>Then overnight train Monday to arrive in Nice on Tuesday. Spend that day in Nice <<<

Many people can't sleep on overnight flights and don't sleep well on overnight trains (this train will make quite a few stops in the night which may be noisy). This train only has couchettes (4 and 6 person). Your group would either have to share or pay a supplement and book the whole couchette. You are assuming you will hop off the train and start sightseeing. You might have to figure out something to do with your luggage as you might not be able to get into a hotel until afternoon. Some hotels will store luggage until check-in, but many won't. Overnight trains seem to be dying out and I'm not sure this one runs every day or will still be an option next year.
kybourbon is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 08:31 AM
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It's only do-able in that one can actually do it, not that it makes a good trip. This just seems ill-advised to me to spend so much time and money to go to Europe only to run around and spend a day in a city here and there. What's with the obsession with Monaco and Eze, anyway? I could understand seeing them if you had tons of time on this trip, sure, but I"m surprised you'd spend only 1.5 days in Paris and then go all the way to Nice to do those things.

BUt if your relatives really only want to spend one day per city as they get bored, otherwise, then you know them best. I agree with Ron, I'd cut out Nice.
Christina is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 09:03 AM
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I agree with Christina: Nice, Eze and Monaco are certainly not among the 200 most interesting places of Europe.
neckervd is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 09:14 AM
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hcrank - I bet that one of the things that your family are going to be looking forward to is seeing Paris with you - so I would add at least one more day to Paris, both to enable this to happen and to let them recover from their journey.

when you've done that, you've really only got time for 2 more places - the SoF somewhere [why not Avignon?] and Rome, or Venice and Rome.

where do your family want to go?

And I agree that night trains are not the way to go - half the fun is being able to see the scenery as you trundle [or in the case of the TGV] speed through the countryside, and it isn't always very easy to sleep.
annhig is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 06:49 PM
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less is more. Paris for 3 days (your family will need a recovery time). Travel to Provence, go to a smaller town, such as St. Remy de Provence and rent a car to wonder around for three days? Travel to Italy, Rome for 3 days and home. Even with this 20% of your trip are travel days that to my experience are just more stressful! Enjoy
Johnangiulo is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 06:58 AM
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You can get a nonstop flight from Nice to Rome on Easyjet. Paris to Florence there is a nice early evening flight on Vueling from Orly.
RonZ is offline  
Oct 26th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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Agree with most that you are trying to do too much. Bordighera is nicer than Ventimiglia. If you decide that is as far as you are going to go, you could take a beautiful train ride up to Cuneo, which is a wonderful little town.

Either that or just fly to Venice from Nice and spend a few days there. Stay in Venice to get a real feel for what it is like. Then everyone could leave from there. Good luck with your trip!
flirtinfilly is offline  
Oct 26th, 2014, 05:26 PM
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With ten days, I would suggest:

Paris: 4 days You'll probably lose some or most of first day to jet lag!

Fly to Nice on Easyjet Takes just under 2 hours

Spend 3 days in Nice with day trips by train to: Monaco (20 minutes by train),and/ or Eze ( bus or train), St. Paul de Vence ( bus, about an hour).

Fly Nice to Rome

Spend 3 nights in Rome with possible day trip to Florence (1.5 hours on train)

Fly home

***Skip the border towns in Italy. Not worth it. Come back another time, and do the Italian Riveria/Cinque Terre, etc.
WWK is offline  
Oct 27th, 2014, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
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So much advice but no-one asking what their interests are as that would obviously influence the best itinerary.
jtpj777 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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well, i did ask where the family wanted to go, and as yet no reply from the OP.
annhig is offline  

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