Italy and France

Old Dec 14th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Italy and France

We are planning a trip to Italy and France with our two year old daughter in April. We plan to start in Paris and then go onto Venice. We end our journey in Nice and fly back from there. The question is: should we take the overnight train to Venice and the overnight train from Venice to Nice? Or should we drive one of those sectors, perhaps stopping in Lake Como on the way. We have a total of 9 days for the trip. Thanks.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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For 9 days, I recommend that you visit Paris for at least 5 days, then train to Nice for the remainder. You can do some short day-trips from Nice for added flavor. I think it is too much to travel so much with a toddler, and I believe a train Paris-Venice is usually an overnight train (or at least a very long trip) and not straight through.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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I agree with Travelnut - that's too much time traveling & too little time "being there" for only 9 days with a 2 YO. 2 1/2 days in each city isn't enough (especially Paris).

I would visit Paris for 5 nights. Early on the morning of the 6th day, take the 3 hr TGV to Aix en Provence. The early train arrives at 10:19. Take the bus from the TGV station to the center of Aix & explore Aix - have lunch on the Cours. In the afternoon, pick up a car at the train station in town & head towards Nice. Keep the car while in Nice & visit St Paul, Vence, Tourrettes, and some of the cute little villages and the beautiful gorges in the Nice Hinterland.

You could, of course, take the TGV all the way from Paris to Nice - but that takes an additional 2 1/2 hrs, aand the train leaves a little later in the day from Paris.

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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Paris-Venice Artesia overnight trains go direct paris-venice, via Switzerland
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Have you looked into flying from Paris to Venice and from Venice to Nice? There are a lot of cheap flights in Europe these days. Check

Ordinarily I'm a big fans of trains, but this is a lot of overnight travel in a short trip. And while I love trains for kids (more space than a car, no need to be strapped in, loo at the end of the carriage), I'm not so sure about 2 overnight trips with a toddler.

I'm afraid I have to agree. Too much travel in a short time and with a child.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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If you are from the US:
Day 0 to day 1 fly 8 to 16 hours
Day 1 visit Paris for 1/2 - 3/4 day
Day 2 visit Paris
Day 3 visit Paris 3/4 day - 14 hr overnight train to Venice
Day 4 visit Venice 3/4 day
Day 5 Visit Venice
Day 6 visit Venice 3/4 day - 10 hr overnight train to Nice
Day 7 visit Nice
Day 8 visit Nice
Day 9 fly home - 8 to 16 hrs.

With a 2 year old - and it could be rainy & cold in April.

Not my type of vacation !!!

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Another alternative would be to fly to Venice after Paris and then fly home from Venice, too. That way, after Paris you might be able to arrange for an apartment in Venice, so your little one can have more room to play and it's easier to fix snacks, breakfast, etc. Also, too much moving around is way too stressful for a toddler. Our granddaughter had a meltdown when she was 18 mo. old after a busy trip around Italy. She was inconsolable for about the last 24 hours before going home. And she is a placid, easy-going kid!

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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Hi F,

>.... two year old daughter ...start in Paris and then go onto Venice. We end our journey in Nice ......We have a total of 9 days for the trip

First day is lost getting to Paris. Last day is lost leaving Nice.

You have 6 nights.

That makes a very nice visit to Paris.

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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for suggestions. I think we will fly from Paris to Venice. Perhaps fly from there to Nice. This is a great forum.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Strong recommendation for either Paris + Nice or Paris + Venice only.
Old Dec 14th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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What will flying accomplish???

It is rathar difficult (and expensive) to get to & from the Venice airport.

Getting to the Paris airport takes more time than you might expect. We usually schedule a (expensive) cab to pick us up 2 1/2 - 3 hrs before departure time. The flight to Venice (plus hotel check out & check in) will occupy almost the entire day. The flight from Venice to Nice will occupy about 2/3 of the day.

So your itinerary looks like this:

Day 1 - 3/4 day in Paris
Day 2 - Paris
Day 3 - Paris
Day 4 - Fly to Venice - 1/4 day in Venice
Day 5 - Venice
Day 6 - Fly to Nice - 1/3 day in either Venice or Nice
Day 7 - Nice
Day 8 - Nice
Day 9 - Fly home

That gives you about:
2 3/4 days in Paris
2 days in Venice
2 days in Nice
1 1/4 days occupied by traveling within Europe
2 days getting from/to the US (if that's where you are from).

Remember, daylight hours are still rather short in April.

I think everyone has suggested that you drop either the Nice or Venice destination. The only exception is Ira, who loves Venice - but suggests that you only visit Paris.

I wish there was a forum like this before my first trip to Europe 30 years ago.

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Okay, okay. We will drop either Venice or Nice. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Agree you have way to much scheduled for so few days - esp with a toddler.

Frankly I would stay in Paris the whole time and just do a couple of day trips (by train or car - to accommodate the needs of the little one). If you really want to do 2 places, fly into Paris and home from Nice and take the high-speed train between the two.

With a 2 year old I would either rent an apartment or make sure you get a suite type room with kitchenette - to simplify snacks and sleeping arrangements.
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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I'd totally skip Italy too.

That said, we flew from Paris to Rome, checked into our apartment, visited with the rental agent for quite awhile, and still had plenty of time for a 2:00 Context Rome tour. (BUT we had teenagers - not a 2 year old, LOL).
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