I don't know where to start!

Mar 8th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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First of all, I respectfully disagree with ira. While an Orvieto would be a good choice, if you are going to be visiting France, you might also consider a nice Bordeaux. I think LJ is right on the money, so much of your experience just can't be charted or graphed. Europe is the perfect place to see those things you've only seen in art history books, but also the perfect place to sit back and experience some of the simple pleasures of life. And your daughter is at a perfect age for this trip, by the way. My advice: Limit your two week visit to two major cities and one smaller city (which will probably be dictated by what you two decide to see). As the parent, I would probably present a list of some sites/places to discuss, but allow yourself to slate some things she might not necessarily chose. I find planning trips in half day increments is good. Plan something for the morning and something for the afternoon. This allows you to not be sooo rushed and overscheduled and allows for timing misjudgements, as well as the option of stopping at a really neat bookstore you passed earlier (and other things like LJ mentioned). Leave with maps of the cities you will visit and print out web pages of the museums, churches, that are on your itenerary. Take these with you in a pocketed folder. Also print out any confirmations or receipts. My city choices (if this is your first time): Paris, Rome and Orvieto.
Mar 8th, 2007, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 9
Consult "1,000 Places to See Before You Die," by Patricia Schultz. This is an excellent book which will give you information about sights that make each destination special, some of which you may have never heard of before, and see what appeals to you. Personally, I heartily recommend spending a week in Rome,take a train(and see the countryside) to Venice, spend a few days there and spend a few more days in Paris. Last summer, we took our 18 year old son to Paris and did a side trip to Normandy. Very cool! Brussels was kind of boring; I've been told Bruges, Belgium, is fascinating. You can take trains everywhere and they're a fun way to travel. Good luck! Dee
Bigdee is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,089
Where to start:

You need to get an appreciation of the distances and travel times involved. There are several ways to do this, e.g.

A decent map of France and of Italy. An atlas will not do, the scale is too big and thus misleading. Invest in a michelin map of each country, available at bookstores. This is NOT wasted money!

And/or: Visit this site: bahn.de. It is the German rail site but gives schedules for all of Europe. Click on 'Internat. Guests' for english version.

example: Paris to Geneva is a fast train route, 3.5 hours

Geneva to Milan, Italy, fast (and scenic train, crossing the alps): 3.5 hours. OR: Geneva to Venice via Milan, Italy, fast train: 6.5 hours.

Milan to Rome, fast train: 4.5 hours. OR

Venice to Rome, fast train:4.5 hours.

Total: Paris-Geneva-Milan-Venice-Rome: 14.5 hours. Dropping Venice: 11.5 hours.

How long do you want to spend travelling any given segment? My own personal limit is 3 or 4 hours or so.

That makes it 1 (for the first stop) plus 14.5 hrs (total route time)/4 hrs (max hrs per segment)= 3 or 4 stops, for 4 or 5 places visited, total.
e.g. Paris - 4 nights
Geneva - 1 night
Milan - 2 nights
Venice - 3 nights
Rome - 4 nights
Total 14 nights.

Forget planning the shopping at this point, that's like accessorizing before you know what you're wearing, period.

Bon voyage, and have fun planning.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,760
It sounds like Paris is a given. I've heard there's a night where some of the streets are shut off from traffic for a night of rollerskating. Sounded fun! I also enjoyed climbing the stairs to the top of Sacre Coeur, and seeing the Parisian Catacombs.

If you are going to Rome, we really enjoyed Florence, an hour away from Rome by train and a nice walking city. We enjoyed the shopping there, although it gets less press for that than its art. I would stay over one or two nights in Florence if possible.

You might also check some of the college-oriented travel materials to see if some things might work for you. Let's Go: Europe, or Let's Go: Paris, etc are all written by college students.

5alive is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 101
Suzy Gershman has a series of "Born to Shop" books for the major cities in Europe that you might find interesting, but I agree with the above poster and would forget about shopping at this point. Make your travel plans and you will always find places to shop along the way.
BellaItalia is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi 5,

>I've heard there's a night where some of the streets are shut off from traffic for a night of rollerskating.<

The rollerbladers come out on Friday nights.

See http://www.pari-roller.com/

ira is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I took my daughter (12) to Paris last summer and we went to one of the free fashion shows at Galleries Lafayette dept. store- she loved it. They are also held at Printemps. If you do a search, there is lots of information about the fashion shows as well as shopping.
namaka is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 09:20 PM
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Thanks, Ira, I've bookmarked it for someday... when my kids are old enough.
5alive is offline  
Mar 12th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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anyone actually been on the Friday night Paris skate? Is it slow or fast?

PalenQ is offline  
Mar 12th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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I haven't done it, just watched, but it isn't for beginners on skates.
amwosu is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 07:17 AM
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amwosu: that's what i thought - the average 13 yr old may find that pace to much - it sounds like an exercise dash thru Paris and not a sightseeing thing.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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According to the site it is 18 miles and approx. three hours in length.
amwosu is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Like Queener, I gave my then 16 yr old nephew the choice of anywhere he wanted to go in the world, but he wasn't sure so asked to wait for his trip. This year, for his college graduation he finally told me he wanted a trip to Vatican City. With that as our starting point, my frequent flier miles left a wide span for our itinerary. We will be flying into Geneva in July with an open jaw from Rome, stopover in Paris on the return. We will be visiting the Interlaken area for a few days to see the Alps in their glory... cog railways, gondolas, etc. His other request is to see Dachau and Berchestgaden, so we are doing a car rental with 3 packed days. Then onto Italy with Paris after. I didn't want to spend time in cities only, the real feel of a country is getting into smaller villages,etc. The reason I give you for this summary is that I have always found keeping busy prevents boredom and gives my nieces, and now nephew, a good idea of what they want to do upon their returns to Europe. We have a combination of museums, boat trips, luge rides, castles, etc. For every museum, we have an "active" balance.
I have led many college and high school trips worldwide and this balance seems to be what works best for young adults.
As far as shopping, unless you want the designer outfits, there are millions of possibilties. My students and nieces have never lacked for places to spend money and buy souvenirs. One student spent $3000 USD in one hour in London - a must have leather outfit! His father was called because he maxed out his cc with 3 weeks left to tour Europe. I hope he's still enjoying the outit today because his father authorized $200 for the remaining time. You know your daughter, and I doubt she'll be shopping without you, but the possibilities are endless. I always visit the markets in each city and especially love grocery stores. Spices, kitchen tools, etc are great souvenirs for cheap money. Italy has beautiful inlaid tables, etc that are relatively inexpensive but make a great souvenir for when your daughter has her own home. The T shirts will be thrown away, but a household item (salad tongs from Assisi) will be constant reminders of the fun you will both surely have!
Maybe we'll cross paths...July will be hot so plan water activites, too.
tinkertina is offline  
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