London then Rome, or Rome then London?

Old Jul 10th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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London then Rome, or Rome then London?

Dear Fodorites,

I will be traveling with my father to Europe this fall for 2 weeks (London, Paris, Rome). My question to all you travel experts is the following: Should we do London-Paris-Venice-Rome OR do Rome-Venice-Paris-London? The logical route seems to be starting off in London (I've noticed tour companies do it that way and it struck me as intuitive, too, to start off with London) BUT... I'm thinking Rome would be best to tackle first (when we have the most energy and aren't exhausted from a week of travel before we even get there) since Rome will be the most hectic and overwhelming.

Any thoughts on whether Rome or London are best to tackle first and, if so, why?

Many thanks in advance!!!
alexsmith is offline  
Old Jul 10th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Those are all Hectic Big Cities that will wear you out from walking. That is a lot of cities to cover in 2 weeks. If your flying to London first or have a layover there, start there as it will give you a chance to recover from jetlag. I highly suggest you have some comfortable shoes you are going to need it.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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I like to start in London because it's a more familiar environment -no language issues- so it's a good place to get your feet wet before total immersion. I think London-Paris-Venice-Rome would be a great trip. Didn't find Rome at all overwhelming (just beautiful). Just don't try to do too much, in any city, and you won't be overwhelmed.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Hi, Alexsmith! One concern about visiting Europe (I presume you are starting out in North America) is the final flight home across the Atlantic.

I usually try to make that flight as brief as possible by returning from one of the closer cities. Thus, my suggestion to you would be: London (or Paris)-Rome-Venice-Paris (or London).

Whichever sequence you choose, you'll certainly have a nice vacation. Bon voyage!
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Hi alexsmith!

Guess what?

I'm going to vote Venice first!

It's really the least abrasive of the cities, and if you hear anything other than English being spoken, let me know!

London can be exhausting. Things are very spread out, and you can end up walking a lot in inclement, chilly weather. They speak English, but they drive on the other side of the road, which is actually more demanding than you'd expect as a pedestrian when it comes to crossing streets and reacting to traffic.

Rome is no better, since it has no sidewalks and even where it does, Romans drive their motorcycles on them and use them as parking lots (when they aren't running you over).

Venice is quite peaceful by contrast but full of interest. And Venice deserves your best weather shot. You may end up with rain, but earlier in the fall gives you a slighter higher chance of sunny days, and the sunlight sparkling on the water in Venezia adds to its already considerable charm.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 05:59 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful and useful analyses!
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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When you are at the top of St. Peters or Castel Sant Angelo and gaze out on Rome, you see buildings and tile roofs and no green...I wondered "Is this pretty, or just interesting?" Except for the Borghese park, there is little green space in Rome.

We had an "involuntary" overnight in London (airplane issues). It really struck me how much park and green space there is in central London.

I just wanted to point out that difference, in case that makes you want to visit one before the other.
missypie is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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i would go Rome, Paris, London. huge task. you could easily just do 2 and be plenty busy. i left london last as i needed full strenght and attention to deal with language issues...back in london i could ease up when exhaustion finally hit.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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I think you could make a case for doing the cities in any order. It probably won't matter much.
Truly, the determining factor will probably be air fare, flight itinerary, and travel times. I'd check with the airlines and see if there's a big difference one way or the other. You might get a much easier flight schedule and/or price doing it one way vs. the other.
But in two weeks, I'd limit it to three cities myself, especially if your father is older and might tire easily. Moving from city to city, checking in and out of hotels takes up valuable time that could otherwise be spent in soaking up culture in the beautiful places you will be. Choose three, any three, in whatever order-- and you will both have fun!
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