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Waysie Sep 4th, 2005 07:55 AM

Italy/Switzerland itineraries?
I am planning a trip to italy next summer(2006), I am sixteen, but will be travelling with my mom. We are both interested in history and art. We think we will be flying into switzerland, probably Zurich. It will be my first time to both Italy and Switzerland, and I am wondering if there are any places you would suggest in either country which would be must-sees? I definatly know that we will be going to rome at some point, and my mom has shown interest in the Amalfi coast and Lake Como. If there are any itineraries you could suggest it would be much appreciated. thanks

ira Sep 4th, 2005 08:12 AM

Hi W,

Lucky you,

How long is the visit?
What's the budget?

Have you looked at the mini guides to Italy ans Switzerland under "Destinations"?


Waysie Sep 4th, 2005 08:28 AM

We're planning a 16-day trip to allow for travel time between north america and Europe, and therefore having 14 full days of touring time. My mom says a "mid-range" budget would be good. Also she doesnt feel that she would feel comfortable driving in italy, so we will be dependant on other forms of travel.

SusanP Sep 4th, 2005 09:07 AM

Waysie, "mid-range" budget can mean a lot of different things to different people. If you want help finding hotels, you will get more input if you tell us exactly how many Euro per night you want to spend. Obviously, you'll have to decide on your itinerary first.

Waysie Sep 4th, 2005 09:21 AM

sorry about the vagueness. I think about 125 euros a night is what we're thinking.we're still having a hard time figuring out a starting point. Because we're flying on points, we're too late to get into a major airport in Italy for next July and so we'll need to plan another european entry and exit destination. From there we'll make our way as far south as rome, because that is the one place that I really want to visit. We were originally thinking Switzerland for sure, but have just recieved suggestions from others that we could come from either france or austria. It doesnt really matter to me, as its all new to me anyways. thanks for your help

Edward2005 Sep 4th, 2005 10:25 AM

Knowing nothing about your interests or priorities, I will tell you what I would do with 14 nights to split between Switzerland and Italy.

Fly into Zurich, take train to Berner Oberland region in Switzerland. Stay in Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, or Gimmelwald. 3 nights.

Take train to Lake Como, 2 nights.

Take train to Florence, 3 nights.

Rent car from Florence and settle into a remote hill town. Use car to explore other small towns in area. 3 nights.

Return rental car and take a train to Rome, 3 nights.

Fly home.

Don't try to do Venice, Florence, AND Rome. That would be too many big cities. And driving a car in Italy is no big deal as long as you stay out of Rome.

jd_dallas Sep 4th, 2005 10:39 AM

As long as you are staying in cities, as suggested in most of the itinerary above, you can manage quite well without a car, as the trains will take you from city to city. On the other hand, driving in the countryside is not difficult.

I would definitely include Florence in your plans if you are interested in history and art. I suggest looking into walking tours or other means of taking advantage of all it has to offer. However, also be aware that Florence and Rome will be very crowded in July.

You have a great opportunity, and lots of time to read up on your possible destinations. Good luck!

JN Sep 4th, 2005 10:56 AM

If art and history are your thing, your itinerary definitely should include Florence and Rome.

You might consider something like this:
--land in Zurich and train to Luzern for a couple of nights (beautiful lake views, Mount Pilatus, a couple of cool museums that provide an art as and/or historical perspective such as the Rosengart, Transport Museum, Bourbaki Panorama)

Lake Como area for a couple of nights if you want a lakeside vacation experience--or consider Locarno or Lugano: beautiful lake areas with Swiss efficiency plus Italian charm.

Venice three nights

Florence three nights

Rome 3 nights

Fly from Rome to Zurich on low cost, Helvetic airlines, or Air Berlin, stay in Zurich overnight and fly home the next day.

If you are at all concerned about driving in Italy, save yourself the grief and use trains, busses and cabs. I'd never drive in Italy, and I consider myself a capable city driver. They drive like madmen and parking hassles only add to the problem in having a car.

suze Sep 5th, 2005 08:04 AM

I consider Venice a "must see" in Italy. You can get around on the trains just fine. If you're interested in spending some time in Switzerland, Geneva is an easy city for airport & train connections (the station is connected to the airport, actually same in Zurich I understand).

I think the trickiest part of your question is simply that you want to visit Italy, but can't fly into an airport there! So some extra time and/or expense will be involved (landing in Zurich, then taking the train on to Venice, for example).

Going to major cities on the train is very very easy. Geneva, Zurich, Venice, Florence, Rome, etc. I'm not sure about the connections that you'd need to get to Lake Como or the Amalfi coast.

bobthenavigator Sep 5th, 2005 08:23 AM

With only 14 nites, limit yourselves to a max of 5 destinations. Look at the Alps & Lakes itinerary here and add Venice to the end---flying home from there if possible. Good luck !

__________________________________________________ ______________

* Arrive and depart Munich--14 nites--May thru Sep.--car travel
* ITINERARY: Salzburg, Dolomites, Venice, Lake Garda, Bavaria
* Arr Milan, dep Venice--15 nites--car & train travel--April thru Oct.
* ITINERARY: Lakes, Ligurian coast, Tuscany, Florence, Venice
* Arrive & depart Rome--12 to 14 nites--car & train travel, all year
* ITINERARY: Florence, Tuscan & Umbrian hilltowns, Rome
* Arr & dep Rome--12 nites--car & train travel--March thru Oct.
* ITINERARY: Amalfi coast, Tuscan hilltowns, Rome
* Arrive and depart Zurich--12 nites--train travel--June thru Sep.
* ITINERARY: Berner Oberland, Lugano, Lake Como, Luzern

THE VILLAGE SAMPLER: My personal favorites—north to south.
• Arr Milan & dep Rome---car travel---plan 3 nites per location
• Lake Orta, Castelrotto, Portovenere, Montalcino, Ravello

isabel Sep 5th, 2005 09:06 AM

If you have 14 nights, and the major reason for the trip is to see Italy, then I would plan on 3 nights Venice, 3 nights Rome and 4 nights Florence (but do one or two day trips to smaller towns in Tuscany (like Siena or San Gimignano), which are easily done by bus or train from Florence). Three nights is a good amount of time to get the feel for a city, and to see the highlights, and by train from Venice to Florence and from Florence to Rome is less than 3 hours each.

That still leaves you four nights to get to and from where ever it is you have to fly into and out of. Have you considered flying into London or Paris (both of which have so many flights per day from the US that availablity is usually pretty good) and then flying a low cost airline into Italy. Try for ideas of what airlines fly between what cities. For example, if you were able to get flights to London you could then fly London to Venice and Rome back to London, and have two days at either end of the trip in London. Same thing might work for Paris, Munich, etc.

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