Jan 8th, 2013, 06:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3

My sister and I are going to Europe for the first and I am sure only time. We have 21 days. We are leaving about April 30, flying into Amsterdam, spending a day there then flying to Munich to spend 3 days with my son. The rest of the time we want to spend in Italy with the exception of our last few days where we will go to Paris where we will fly home. This is what I am thinking- and need lots of help and ideas I am thinking of taking the train from Munich to Venice spending 2 days there. Want to get to Rome, Cinque Terre, Portofino and Florence. ( I would love to drive down to the Amalfi Coast but I do not think time will permit this?). We would really like to rent a car and drive around the Tuscany area and maybe up to Milan and the Lake Como area. Ideas? Thoughts? Are we crazy to rent cars( we would not drive in the big cities) Nice smaller traditional Italian towns to visit? Things to see things to skip? We are quite adventurous . Our Budget is $ 10,000 but I expect to go over.
Thanks for any and all help!
Lynn232323 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,237
no reason not to use cars and April/May will not be too hot. You really don't need a car in cities but up to you. Milan has a big church, some shops and an Opera but so do many cities and many are far prettier. Why not look at Lucca, Bergamo, Ferrara, Bologna, Padua, Mandova, Palma as alts.
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,920
Do you have 21 days total or 21 days for Italy?
kybourbon is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,029
Before you get into the nitty-gritty, here is a tip that sounds simple but most people overlook it. Write down a list of your days and places, as that is the best way to figure out travel time, etc.
April 30 Amsterdam
May 1 Munich
May 2
May 3
May 4 arrival in Venice
and so on, working backward from your arrival in Paris.
I know of no better way to visualize exactly how many days you have to work with. Fill in the blanks with the places you want to see the most, and then you'll know what has to go, etc. Once you have YOUR must-sees figured out, then you can determine where to pick up and drop off the car to avoid city driving/parking, etc.Good luck!
yorkshire is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,437
Why are you flying into Amsterdam for only 1 day? You'll be jetlagged and that day could be a waste. The next day is likely to be a strain,too...going back to the airport and on to another major capital before you've even recovered. I wouldn't relish starting a trip like this.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 8th, 2013, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,188
(Per another post, they are going to Amsterdam for one day to smoke.)

I believe from you description that you have 21 days total. I will assume that the day they fly from the U.S. is not one of those 21 days.

A rule of thumb is to assume that every tme you change hotels you will lose at least half a day traveling (checking in and out, traveling and waiting at train stations or packing car and getting out of city, traveling to the next city, finding your way to the next hotel, checking in). So even if it's only 90 minutes by train between Florence and Rome, you will use at least another hour or two getting there.

Putting ALL your wish list destinations into your 21 days has this result:

April 30: depart home
May 1: arrive Amsterdam
May 2: travel to Munich
May 3: Munich
May 4: Munich
May 5: travel to Venice
May 6: Venice
May 7: travel to Florence
May 8: Florence
May 9: travel to Rome
May 10: Rome
May 11: travel to Tuscany
May 12: Tuscany
May 13: travel to Cinque Terre
May 14: Cinque Terre
May 15: travel to Portofino
May 16: travel to Lake Como
May 17: Lake Como
May 18: fly to Paris
May 19: Paris
May 20: Paris
May 21: fly home

As you can see, you would be on the road/rails every other day. In my opinion, time to edit locations or add more days to your itinerary.
ellenem is offline  
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