Old Jun 20th, 2008, 09:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 30

Help!!! I am planning my first trip to Europe. There is so much to see and do!! What would you recommend I do as a first timer. I will spend at least 14 days there. Should I concentrate on one country like Italy or visit as many as I can in the 14 day span?
dchoate is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2008, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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I recommend getting a guidebook and leaf through it to see what appeals. Many people do the "big 3" on their first trip. Rome, Florence, Venice. Fly into one city and out of the other.

I would stick to one country.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It really depens on your interests.

We almost always do more than one country - since we like a contrast (that is usually do a more Latin country plus a more Germanic or slvic one). But - then you have to limit yourself to one or 2 places in each - and realize you'll come back later to see the rest.

In 14 days you do not want to stay in more than 3 places - 4 at the most - or you will spend way too much time and energey just getting from one place to another.

Agree to start with some tour brochures- not to take one - but to get an idea of what you want to se/do - as well as couple of gneral guidebooks. Then come back with more specific questions.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2008, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You can do a very nice Italy trip in 2 weeks and visit a few areas. It would not be rushed and you can see many of the main sights. If you really want to add another country, you can do something like 5 days Paris or London, then the remainder in Italy where you maybe pick 2 major cities (Rome and either Florence or Venice) and possible do a day trip or 2. You can probably get a fairly reasonable flight between the countries.

Keep in mind that any major city generally deserves at least 3 full days for sight-seeing, and even that is pushing it in places like Rome, Paris or London. Your arrival day after an overseas flight will most likely be lowkey, just because you'll be tired and jet-lagged. Also consider that you loose a day with overseas travel time.

Much also depends on your interests. Are you interested in art, architecture, history, hiking, countryside, city life, etc.?

Italy is a great country to explore. Maybe you should check out some of Fodors suggested itineraries for the main cities (Rome/FLorence/Venice) to get an idea as to what intesrests you most.
MFNYC is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,567
Hi d,

For two weeks, I suggest:
Fly into Venice - 4 nights
Train to Florence - 4 nights,
daytrip to Siena
Train to Rome - 5 nights,
daytrip to Orvieto
Fly home.

This is pretty much your Big3 Grand Tour for 1st timers.
ira is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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If you have at least 14 days, I would do the following but of course, it all depends on what YOU are most interested in.

First of all I would go in the months of Sept, Oct., Nov, March, April, or May.

I suggest flying into Rome and spending Days 1,2,3,4. Day 5, taxi to a car rental place on the outskirts of Rome and then drive to Montepulciano in Tuscany and stay in a hotel or apartment in the city center.

Spend Days 5,6,7,8 exploring Tuscan hilltowns in the area.

Day 9 drive to Florence and turn in car at the airport. Taxi to a hotel or apartment in the center of Florence and spend the remainder of Day 9,10,11,12 exploring Florence.

On Day 13 take train to Venice and spend rest of day 13, 14 and Day 15 if you can. Then fly back home from Venice.

If you are not interested in exploring Tuscany, then I would substitute Cinque Terre for that portion of the trip. You could go from Rome taking the train to Cinque Terre and spend 2 full days, train to Florence and then train to Venice. That way you would avoid car rental.
caroltis is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2008, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,525
Here are some ideas:
After 23 trips to southern Europe, and having developed more than 180 customized TRIP PLANS for others, I am now older and hopefully wiser. Here is an updated version of my favorite itineraries & my “Bella Italia” photo gallery. I hope you enjoy.

1. BELLA ITALIA: Five destinations in 15 days—car & train travel
* Arrive in Milan[MXP] & depart from Venice[VCE]or vice versa.
* Itinerary to include the Italian Lakes, Ligurian coast, rural
Tuscany, Florence, & Venice. Suggested timing is 3-2-4-2-4.
* Option: Drop the coast & rent a villa in Tuscany[ 3-7-2-3].
* Best time to go: May & June or Sept. & Oct.

2. LA DOLCE VITA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome[ FCO] or arrival in Naples
* Itinerary to include Rome, the Amalfi coast, and Tuscany
* Best time to go: Easter to end of October
* Option: Fly into Naples & stay at 2 locations on the coast

3. CLASSIC ITALIA: Three destinations in 12 to 14 days-car & train
* Arrival & departure from Rome—may start trip in Florence
* Destinations to include Florence, Rome & Tuscany/Umbria
* Best time to go: Anytime, but May & Oct. are my favorites
* Option: Consider a weekly rental in Tuscany/Umbria

4. SICILIAN CHARMS: Five destinations in 15 days—car travel
* Connections to Catania & Palermo via Rome or gateway city.
* Itinerary to include Taormina, Siracusa, Palermo & more.
* Best time to go: March to November—May is best for flowers
* See:

5. THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: My favorite venues for those who enjoy natural beauty and quaint, small villages. Arranged north to south.
* Arrive Milan & depart Rome—car travel-- 3 nites per location
* Itinerary to include Lago Orta, Castelrotto/ Ortisei[Dolomites],
Portovenere[Liguria], Montalcino[Tuscany], & Spello[Umbria].
* Best time to go: May to October for the lakes and Dolomites
* Option: Pick 3 out of 5 and stay longer in Tuscany/Umbria.

bobthenavigator is offline  
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