Italy and Swiss Itinerary

Old Jun 1st, 2014, 10:32 PM
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Italy and Swiss Itinerary

Hi -
Me and my husband are travelling for a week's vacation to Italy late Sept -early Oct. We will be flying in and out of Rome and got exactly 7 days there. I know it is too less a time but that's all we could squeeze in due to some other personal commitments. It is going to be our first time in Europe, which is making me super excited and equally nervous.

Please help us with recommendations for a 7 day itinerary. We do want to cover a bit of Switzerland since it is too gorgeous.

My tentative plan is to -
- Land in Rome and head via train to Swiss on Day 1 - Zurich/ Luzern or Geneva
Spend 4 days in Swiss
- Last 3 days in Rome - explore Rome city on 1 day and maybe take a day trip to Venice on one day.

Does this sound feasible? Can you suggest which Swiss city should I head to from Rome? I checked the trains and usually it takes 7-8 hours to most of these places of Rome.

And maybe 2-3 cities which I should definitely cover in Swiss.
Is Venice doable in a day from Rome?

We are a young couple and we can manage a bit of extensive travel or walking and we are willing to stretch ourselves a bit to cover the key places. Ofcourse at the same time, we don't want to waste all the time in trains/ buses etc. as well. Am really confused.

Thanks for your help!
DivyaSaggar is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2014, 11:05 PM
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No, it is not a feasible itinerary.
Your plan is:
Day 1, travel: arrive Rome, travel to Switzerland (no sightseeing this day)
Day 2, 3 & 4, Switzerland
Day 5, travel to Rome
Day 6 & 7, Rome
Using two days out of seven to travel is not such a good use of time and if you divide the total cost of your trip by 5 (your actual sight seeing time), it is not good economically.

With seven days, you need to buy multi-city tickets, fly into the first city and out of the second to save time and money backtracking to your arrival city.

The other, better plan with only seven days, would be to pick cities or places that are closer together: Rome and Tuscany or Rome and Venice. Even then, if you chose Venice, it would be better to fly into Venice, see Venice, train to Rome, fly home from Rome, no loss of time backtracking.

Venice is way to far to do as a day trip from Rome.
Sassafrass is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 12:08 AM
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And it's Switzerland.
kleeblatt is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 12:25 AM
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Thanks for your reply.

Is there no option of overnight trains between Rome and Lucerne/ Geneva? And what is the average travel duration - is it more than 7-8 hours? Day 1- I am arriving early morning in Rome, so maybe I can be in Swiss by that afternoon. And while getting back to Rome, I can take an overnight train.
Maybe you can suggest 1-2 cities which are the closest to Rome?

I am flying in and out of India, so Rome happens to be the only entry and exit point for me. No flights from Venice and not taking a round trip is way too expensive as well. Maybe I can skip Venice this time but I really want to do Swiss.
DivyaSaggar is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 03:51 AM
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Have you checked the prices of flying into Zurich or Milan and returning from Rome? These are major airports, and usually multicity flights like this don't cost much more than a round-trip flight. Since Milan is much closer to Switzerland than Rome is, that would save you both time and money on your first day, if Zurich isn't a possibility.

It would take you about 7 hours to get from central Rome to Zurich, changing trains in Milan. You could get from Rome to Bern in about 6 1/2 hours, but there are not many good connections on this route. This doesn't count the time to get out of the airport and take a train to central Rome. That would add another one to two hours, depending on how quickly you get out of the airport, and how long you have to wait for a train into Rome. (They leave every half hour and take about half an hour to get into Rome. There are trains leaving Rome Termini station at 6:00, 8:00 and 12:00 with good connections to Zurich, and at 8:00 and 15:00 with good connections to Bern. The full cost one way is about €150.

There are no overnight trains on this route. The return trip takes about 7 1/2 hours because of a longer connection time in Milan.

You can get discounts on these train if you buy tickets well in advance. However, I wouldn't suggest doing this on the way to Switzerland, because if your flight is late, you can't change the tickets. On the way back to Rome, though, you could save money that way, since you'll already be at your departure point.

Assuming that you'll have seven days in Italy, you'll really have only 5 days for seeing these two countries, because of the two travel days. You might be able to spend three days in Switzerland and two days in Rome. If the week also includes your travel to and from India, it really is impossible to see both countries in such a short time.

If you try to visit more than one place in Switzerland, the travel time will reduce your visit even further.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 04:11 AM
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No, the 7 days are clear, does not include my travel from/to India.
I will check the flight options suggested by you.
Is Zermatt closer to Rome/Milan? Maybe I can go there to save time and then get back to Rome from there.
DivyaSaggar is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 04:45 AM
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I think you might profit from taking another look at how search sites for airlines work. Using I easily found a so-called "open-jaws" ticket that would fly you into Rome and out of Venice for exactly the same price as using Rome for the round trip. These are described as multi-city or multi-destination itineraries and they are not priced as two one-way flights. The one I found was on Quatar, out of Delhi and with a stop at Doha.
Of course, India is a huge place so choosing Delhi was arbitrary, just for a test. Even so, it is worth pegging your departure city into sites such as Kayak, Orbitz, Cheapoair, Hipmonk and many others which do open-jaw. I always then check with the actual airline sites to compare prices.
More generally, I agree with the other posters that more than two stops in a week would reduce your experience to a hectic marathon.
Southam is offline  
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