Italy & France

Old Jan 1st, 2015, 10:54 AM
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Italy & France

My husband and I are in the process of planning our spring 2015 Europe trip. We are flying into Florence on 4/20 and out of Paris on 4/30. We know that we want to spend a few nights in Florence and then up to Cinque Terre. From there we will travel to Paris for the remainder of our trip. We obviously want to soak up the history but we aren't huge history people, mostly food and wine lovers!

I need some help figuring out the best route from Cinque Terre to Paris. Train or fly out of Pisa? We aren't opposed to the train, if it lets us see some great country side, just not sure how long this would take.

Also, what is the best neighborhood/area in Paris for a late twenties couple to stay? We currently live in San Francisco so we are use to the city life. Looking for an area that is young and has some nightlife but is still safe.

Since we are new at this, any recommendations would be appreciated!


Mchanatry1 is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2015, 11:16 AM
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I would certainly advise you to take a train from Florence to La Spezia and another one from there to Monterosso, which is the first of the "5 terre". You could spend 1 or 2 nights there and then take another train to Pisa to fly to Paris. The train would be veeery long and you surely would like to save this time to sightsee in Paris!
luciafamily is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2015, 11:18 AM
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it's a 12 hour rail journey from La Spezia [the main station for the CT] to Paris but less than an hour to Pisa so even taking account of having to be at the airport at least an hour in advance, and the time to get through customs and passport the other end and to get into Paris from CDG, if you can find a convenient flight to Paris out of Pisa, that should be the way to go. [approx 6 hours in total, by my calculations].

for working out rail journeys, especially cross-border ones, the website for the german railway is great -

for La Spezia - Paris, for example, it shows changes at Genova, Ventimiglia, and Nice, with 30-40 minute connections are each one. . The one advantage is that you finish at the Gare de Lyon i.e. in central Paris, rather than at CDG.
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2015, 01:25 PM
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1. La Spezia Centrale depart 10:27, Milan Centrale arrive 13:50.

From 19 euros at

Have a late lunch in Milan.

2. Milan Porta Garibaldi depart 16:07, Paris Gare de Lyon arrive 23:32.

From 29 euros in 2nd class or 46 euros in 1st class booked at with print-at-home tickets.

There's a cafe-bar on the TGV train and all seats have power sockets.


1. La Spezia depart 17:15, chnage Genoa, Turin Porta Nuova arrive 20:30, dinner & overnight stay. From 19 euros

2. Turin Porta Susa depart 07:39, Paris Gare de Lyon arrive 13:19. From 29 euros

Now the whole trip is in daylight, a nice meander at slow speed through the Alps, then a dash at 186 mph on the high speed line right into the centre of Paris.

An experience in its own right.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2015, 09:06 AM
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man-in-seat-61 - I like #2, but then I like trains.
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2015, 11:06 AM
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You should probably be clearer about what you consider nightlife. To some people it simply means enough nearby restaurants and cafes to keep the streets populated and lively until 11pm or so, while others are really hoping for some interesting cocktails bars, live music venues, etc. All of central Paris is safer at night than all of San Francisco.
sandralist is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2015, 02:47 PM
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I'd fly from Pisa to Paris Orly. The main Paris airport, Charles de Gaulle, is very large and usually crowded, with delays every step of the way. Orly is smaller and closer to Paris.

Regarding the Cinque Terre, the trails between towns have been closed on and off over the last few years. After the storms of this coming winter, they may not be open yet in April. And walking between towns is about the only thing to do there.

Depending on your answer to sandralist's question, you might like the 5th arrondissement, the Latin Quarter. But any of arrondissements 1-7 are central for sight-seeing. And have lots of restaurants.

How do you find out which arrondissement a hotel is in? Look at its postal code. The last 2 digits are the arrondissement. Here's a map of the arrondissements: I know nothing about this web site but I like the map.
Mimar is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2015, 04:34 PM
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I would also add that many younger people like the 9th and 11th arr., and don't find them any more inconvenient for sightseeing than the 7th.

If you follow the Tripadvisor forum for le Cinque Terre there is a poster there who gives regular updates about which trails are open and which are not. It is very much worth following if you are planning a trip in springtime.
sandralist is offline  
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