How to do Paris and Rome right

Jan 13th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
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How to do Paris and Rome right

I am planning to take my 13yr old daughter to Europe this summer; she wants to go to Paris and Rome. I have no problems with this but I have no idea the best way to make this happen.

I am also concerned about how to find out what to do and how to get around while there.

I could really use some helpful tips on how to make this trip go smoothly.
jennking is offline  
Jan 13th, 2007, 07:53 PM
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How long are you planning to stay in Europe?
Jan 13th, 2007, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
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about 10 days.
jennking is offline  
Jan 13th, 2007, 08:21 PM
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It is not a very long time for two great cities but it is doable.
Rome ( and sometimes Paris) can be very hot so make sure you book hotels with A.C.
It would be a good idea to read a gide book on each city and talk to your daughter about what you might do. ( Why does she want to go there?)

Some posters with children may be more helpful with suggestions on what teens enjoy.
Both cities have so much history, art, beautiful churches, shops , retaurants
Rome is smaller so 4 full days might do it, Paris the other 6 with one day for travel in between.
I am sure you'll get a lot of help from other Fodorites.
Jan 13th, 2007, 08:31 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,549
Are you doing this during the Easter break? I went to Italy with my daughter when she was in high school during the Easter break. It is the perfect time to go because the temperature is so nice. Italy is very hot in summer.

By the way, we even saw Pope John Paul II because we happened to be in Rome for Palm Sunday. The Palm Sunday mass is outside. You need tickets for the seats, but there is nothing to prevent you participating from the sidelines in St. Peter's Square. By the way, we're Jewish, but it was still something to see. We just happened upon it when it was happening--great serendipity.

If you have only 10 days, it would be easier to just concentrate on one of the cities. There is plenty in either one to occupy you for the 10 days. The last time I went to Rome, I stayed 17 days because I had a home exchange over Christmas. We did not do the mass on Christmas Eve as getting home would have been difficult. We stayed in an apartment in Rome but well south out of the city center.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jan 13th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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5 days in each city is good in my opinion, especially with a teenager -- I've done less, (my husband and I had 3 days in Paris and 4 in Rome the first time), and still saw plenty.

I would suggest getting a few things -- one is a good guidebook. I like Rick Steves and he has good first-timer's advice, excellent walking tours (you'll see what I mean) and I think the most accurate info for planning a trip. He has books out specifically for Rome & Paris, as well as a general one called Europe Through The Back Door. Fodors is also very good. I tend to skip Lonely Planet because it's pretty "young" like college-crowd travel style, and I find Frommers to be heavy handed with the prose, and light on good info. (this is just my humble opinion, but you can look yourself and decide what style you prefer).

I'd also head to your local public library and check out some travel videos for the cities you're interested in visiting. It'll really help you decide what interests you and your daughter.

If you want a sample itinerary to work with, I still have mine from our trips. E-mail me at [email protected] and I'd be happy to send it to you.

Happy travels,

jules4je7 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,262
Hi J,

Check Paris and Rome under "Destinations".

Also see
Helpful Information: Italy 2

Paris Superthread

100 Great Things to Do in Paris

Degas’s Paris Walks

Jacquemart-Andre’ Museum

ira is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Hi Jennking,
We spent our Christmas vacation this year in Paris and Rome. 9 days in Paris, 7 in Rome. We rented an apartment in each city and took the night train to Rome. Our kids are 23 and 14.

I began the planning by checking out guidebooks from the library, buying maps and making a list. I also read posts on Fodor's and of course advice on Fodor's led me to the right neighborhoods and websites for apartments.

I studied Paris and gave my 14 y-o son a Rome guidebook. He made a list of ice cream shops but hey, it was a starting point!

You'll find lots to do, even if your list consists of walking, window shopping and eating great food. I loved having an apartment so we could run out to the Patisserie in the morning and have our own space.

Good luck with your research.
rosetravels is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Our 16 year old son had been asking us to take a trip to Rome for about 4 years, and we finally spent a week there in late February/early March.

I agree you should talk to your daughter about what she is interested in and read up on both cities yourself. Get good maps to refer to so you have a sense of how things are laid out.

If your daughter is also interested in reading before you leave, so much the better. My son was not into reading much in advance but had studied ancient Rome and had a good sense of what the Forum and Colosseum and Circus Maximus would be like. I tried to get him to watch the BBC series of I Claudius but couldn't persuade him. His older brother (in college--could not go on the trip) loved both the Robert Graves books and the series when he was 14 so you might be able to get your daughter interested. The son-who-went-to Rome did read Angels and Demons which is not great literature but contains interesting information about the Vatican and various sights in Rome. You could also try movies set in Rome or Paris

Our son was not especially interested in art museums so we limited ourselves to the Vatican museum (where he even skipped the Pinacoteca after seeing the Raphael rooms, Sistine chapel and modern art wing) and trying to see art work in some of the churches (e.g. the 3 Caravaggios in San Luigi dei Francesci).

churches were not high on our son's must see list either, so we did St. Peter's and a few other churches that were right near other sights. My husband and I also left him in our rental apartment several evenings and early mornings for walks, but you may not feel comfortable doing that with your younger daughter.

One thing that all of us loved was the sense of getting to know our neighborhood in Rome (We stayed in an apartment which was very centrally located, right near the Piazza Mattei). We would go by the Area Sacra dell' Argentina which has a cat sanctuary
at one end and always stop to count the cats roaming the temples. We looked forward to hearing the sax player on the Ponte Fabricio as we crossed the tiber Island back and forth to Trastevere. We developed a favorite route up Via dei Cestari to the Piazza della Rotunda (Pantheon, gelato stop) over to Piazza Navonna for street artists, street theater, etc, down to Campo di Fiori and back "home."
We were fortunate in having great weather for walking. Summer will be hot.

There is a separate thread about "on/off buses" in Rome which you should consult to see if that sounds appealing to you and your daughter.

For Paris, I don't have so many ideas. We were last there very briefly on our way home from a trip to England and Brussels when our kids were younger. They liked Notre Dame especially climbing the tower (great views, gargoyles, bell) and the Bateau Mouche. We have a copy of the video of David Macaulay's Cathedral, and that would be great background viewing.

With so little time in Paris and Rome, I would not recommend day trips out unless there is something your daughter really wants to see.

Have a wonderful time!
Vttraveler is online now  
Apr 15th, 2007, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,149
Get centrally located hotels in both Paris and Rome. From the Centro Storico in Rome you can walk to most of the sights. There are several tour companies offering walking tours in Rome; search this forum for recommendations. Speaking of forums, the one in Rome really needs a guide to tell you what you're looking at.

You can walk to a lot of the sights in Paris, but will probably want to use the subway (Metro) for some destinations. It's pretty easy to use. We did a couple of walking tours in Paris also. Your daughter might enjoy one of Montmartre.

Yes, you need to educate yourself; use this forum and others, guidebooks, videos, etc. One movie you and your daughter might enjoy is Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn's first big role, with lots of scenes of Rome.

And get your daughter involved in the research. If only, so she buys into the trip. Rick Steves' guidebooks are easy reads.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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I think Paris and Rome in 10 days is a great plan. If you search this forum, you will find helpful trip reports and lots of other good tips. Here's my trip report from Rome in May 2006, with my daughter:

Have fun planning.
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