Paris to Italy

Aug 20th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Paris to Italy

I have a place to stay in Paris for 6 days. From there I want to travel south through the wine country of France to Cannes, St.Tropez, etc and then to Florence and Rome. Any suggestions on where to stay, is it better to go by car or by train, I was planning on going next Spring(is it good to go when the film festival is on?)and how many days in each destination for a good feel of the area. Are there events going on during the Spring that we should partake in? Any thoughts on restaurants as well. This is an anniversary present for my lovely wife.
arturofox is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 05:26 PM
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How long will this trip be? What sorts of things do your wife any you like to do? What is your budget for lodging? We really need more information before we can give you meaningful suggestions.
nukesafe is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 05:45 PM
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Go during the film festival only if you have an unlimited budget and can reserve 6 months in advance.

We came into Venice the last day of their film festival (we were doing a meeting in the convention Center that started 3 days later). My hotel room (discounted since we were going to have more than 60 people there for at lest 4 nights - was almost $900. Once the festival left town it went back to about $400 a night (still discounted). You are also likely to find the area mobbed with traffic at a standstill. I would avoid the film festival at all costs - unless you're a part of it.

As for how to travel - it sounds like a road trip to me - but you haven;t said how long you have for the whole trip - and if you can stop at quaint places in between or need to hop directly from city to city.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 11:48 AM
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Approximately 18-20 days. Although I do not want to spend a huge amount of money, this is a once in alifetime trip and I want to do it right. Money is a secondary concern at this stage.
arturofox is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 11:55 AM
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If you have a total of 18 days and spend 6 of them in Paris that leaves you 12 for the French countryside on the way south, the riviera, Florence and Rome (IMHO a real rush).

For Rome you need at lest 3 days (4 nights) to see the basics and 2 days/3 nights for florence (more if you want to see any of the Tuscan hill towns).

If you want to rent a car in Paris and spend a couple of days driving south (see one or two wineries_ and then a couple on the Riviera that makes sense. Then drop the car and take the train to first Florence, then Rome.

Definitely get an open jaws ticket into Paris and out of Rome.

You need to realize that this trip is just a brief taste of anything except Paris - you'll need to go back to see any of them in depth.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 12:05 PM
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Paris, Florence, Rome are easily done by train. But wandering around in wine country you'd probably prefer to have a rental car for that part of the trip.
suze is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2010, 05:45 AM
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to mytraveler: Any suggestions on where to stay, eat, vineyards etc. i could stay longer or knock a day off in Paris. please advise
arturofox is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2010, 12:35 PM
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What do you mean by the wine country? Practically all of France produces wine. Well, ideally you take the TGV to Bourdeaux, pick up a rental car, spend, say 4 days around there, drive to Cannes or St. Antibes, say with a stopover in Nimes for 2 or 3 days in Provence. After 3 or 4 days on the French Riviera, turn in the car and take a train to Florence. 2 days there, then continue to Rome for the rest of your trip.

Or you could go south by way of Burgundy.

How did you pick Cannes and St. Tropez? Consider basing farther east, in Nice, dropping the car on arrival and using the train for day trips to Cannes and Monaco.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2010, 12:36 PM
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And don't worry about restaurants until you know where you will be going.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Hi AF,

You've got a lot stuffed in there for only 12 days.

I suggest staying in France.

I also suggest visiting farther West than the Riviera.

You might find these helpful:
Ira Returns From 22 Loverly Days in Europe - Sep, 2009

Ira Visits Zurich, The Bodensee, Alsace and Paris – May 2008

Ira Visits Europe – May, 2007 (Salzburg, Fuessen, Bodensee, Burgundy, Alsace)

Ira Does France (Bordeaux, Dordogne, Paris) 2005

ira is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 05:34 AM
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Still need some help. First 5 days will be in Paris and have a place to stay. My wife has been to Paris a few times in the last couple of years so I do not need any help with that part of the trip. On the 6th day, we will leave Paris and take the train to Nice. Recommendations for seating on the train and where to stay and places to visit around the Nice region. Spend 2-3 days and then travel to Florence and Tuscany area. Thinking about driving so recommendations on the road and stops along the way. Please help me with places to stay in Tuscany(prefer a villa or quaint inn). Hotel in Florence is needed. Logistics on distance between Florence and Tuscany. 3 days in the region and then drive to Rome. Everyone tells me not to drive in Rome. Where to stay in Rome. Spending 5 days in Rome. We enjoy antique shopping, good wine and food(but not a priority for every night), a museum or two, getting the flavor of the local area, and visiting historical sites for the region. Are there any recommendations on a travel agent that maybe able to assist me with my plans. Thank you again.
arturofox is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 05:57 AM
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Have you decided when you will travel? If the only stop between Paris and Florence is Nice, I would skip Nice and find an economy flight directly to Florence From Paris. Visit Florence but do NOT rent a car until you are ready to leave Florence for the Tuscan countryside. Spend more than 3 days in Tuscany. Return your car in Orvieto and train to Rome. You do not want to be driving into major cities - parking is difficult and traffic is impossible.
mamcalice is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 06:41 AM
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arturofox - consider the Hotel Pendini in Florence.

teacherCanada is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 07:08 AM
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Sorry, i will be going in the Spring of 2011. why skip nice?
arturofox is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 08:15 AM
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Maybe mamcalice says to skip Nice because you don't have a lot of time. Since the French Riviera seemed something of a priority with you, I agree you can take the train to Nice, base there for a few days and do daytrips by public transportation. If you search this forum, you will find lots of suggestions for daytrips from Nice.

Have you checked the surcharge on the rental car picking up in France and dropping in Italy? Driving seems the quickest way to get to Florence -- now that the Italians have made crossing the border by train a bore.

A time-saving option might be flying from Nice to Rome. You could then go up to Tuscany and Florence and fly home from Pisa (an easy train ride from Florence).

Without knowing how much you want to spend, a definite number, it's hard to recommend hotels.
Mimar is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Well, first, Florence is IN tuscany - so there's not distance between them.

And agree, if you want recommendations for places to stay you need to give a budget - in dollars or euros. (Reasonable or not too much can mean completely different things to different people.)

And you still have a rushed trip.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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If I skip nice and go from Paris to florence by train, please give me some hotel or villa suggestions in Florence?Tuscany and Rome. $150-$250 per night for hotel. No one has given me a ringing vote of approval for the French Rivera
arturofox is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 09:02 AM
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Do you want to focus on the big cities, or mix in a bit of Provence & Tuscany? I would suggest a basic plan like this:

Paris - 4-5 nights
Provence - 4 nights (you could take the train to Avignon, rent a car, and enjoy visiting the little towns & drinking local wines)
Figure using the day after the 4th night to travel to Florence, whether training to Paris & flying from there or driving to Nice and flying from there)
Florence - 2 nights on 3rd day, rent a car and spend 3-4 nights in Tuscany or even ranging into Umbria, return rental car and train it to Rome for the remainder of your trip.

A general plan for Provence, might be to base in St Remy -- from there you can even mount a day trip to Cassis, which gives you a wonderful Mediterranean coastal town without the hype of the Riveria. Quite a few Fodorites have recommended places to stay in St Remy. I've also found that when looking for a specific price-range, is particularly useful for some "shopping" then you can check out potentials here and at Trip Advisor or Travelers To Go for confirmation of the quality of those potentials.

My own trip to Italy was over 10 years ago, so I am loath to suggest hotels. But in general, we found we were staying at MUCH nicer places in the countryside than in the cities at the same (or lower) costs. In Florence we stayed at a very simple hotel, Hotel Casci, which was walking distance to everything. In the Tuscan country side, we stayed at Castel Bigozzi, which was fabulous and a good base for exploring "Chianti country." A quick look at turns up this place as well as this one which both are within (or even below) your price point. You'll find it is more likely you'll spend more in Rome, so if you spend less in the countryside, you can afford more in Rome. The Hotel San Carlos is a favorite of some of my best friends and I'd stay there in a flash.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 09:21 AM
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Sorry - I realize after posting that you are committed to 5 nights in Paris, and that's great. I do think you and your wife would enjoy the chance to see Provence before heading off to Italy. And I think you can basically block out almost half your trip in France and the rest in Italy.

A lot of people have a "hard time" with Rome on their first visit. We didn't have any problems at all (of course we love big cities). My own opinion is that by spending time first in Florence and the Tuscan countryside, by the time you reach Rome you will be "ready" for the city and all it's glories. I think you've got the basic structure here for an exceptional trip!

It also lets you get the most out of driving around and exploring on your own where it is easiest to do so, and having the advantage of public transportation and saving on not having to park in the cities.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Oct 18th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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For Rome, I would suggest Residenza Canali. It is located on Via dei Coronari, an very charming, pedestrian street that is known for its quantity (and QUALITY!) of antique stores. Very conveniently located 3 short blocks from Piazza Navona.
bardo1 is offline  

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