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kmwhill Jul 28th, 2007 04:30 AM

May in Western Europe
My husband and I are taking my mother (she's 65 but a young 65) to France, Germany and Italy in May for 15-20 days. She majored in French in college but never had the opportunity to travel to France, so we want the experience to be very memorable for her. We would like to see Paris and at least one other area in France (Alsace region?). We would like to see Munich and 1-2 cities in Italy as we have family history in Germany and Italy. We are considering Florence, Rome, and Bologna in Italy. Cost is somewhat a factor in our travels as plane ticket prices are higher than I anticipated. Please help with an itinerary and any let me know if I am planning too much. We need advice on travel between the cities and any suggestions for lodging.

sjj Jul 28th, 2007 05:27 AM

I think you're going to too many cities. My wife and I have made trips like the one you've outlined, and when we got back home we realized we'd spent too much time traveling between cities. One possibility for you is 1) fly to Paris, 2) fly from there to Munich, 3) fly to Florence, 4) take the train to Rome, and 5) fly back the states from Rome. This assumes a 20 day trip. If it's a 15 day trip, I'd omit Munich.

bettyk Jul 28th, 2007 09:05 AM

Check for cheap flights within Europe. I agree that you are trying to do too much in the time you have and should rethink your itinerary.

janisj Jul 28th, 2007 09:10 AM

Unfortunately, your plan is impossible in 15 days and pretty darn difficult in 20.

Paris, Alsace, Munich, Rome, Florence and Bologna would require about 4 weeks when you factor in travel time to/from Europe and travel w/i Europe.

You could do Paris, Munich and 2 cities in Italy in about 16-20 days. It would still be a bit rushed but certainly doable.

kerouac Jul 28th, 2007 09:31 AM

With the new TGV-Est train line, at least the Paris-Alsace-Munich part would be easy. No need to fly.

nytraveler Jul 28th, 2007 10:30 AM

You're trying to pack too much in - and will end up enjoying nothing. The itinerary you have needs a month. Or - you will be racing every minute and have no time to relax and enjoy the various cultures you will be visiting.

A lot of the joy of europe is sittin in a cafe with a drink or dessert and just watch the world go by. May is ideal for this (pleasant weather but not too many tourists yet). Take advantage of this - don;t turn it into the Bataan death march.

Either do France and Germany or France and Italy. You really can't do all 3 unless you want to spend the bulk of your time in trains, planes and stations/airports.

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