Please give input on my Europe Plan

Old May 19th, 2001, 06:18 AM
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Please give input on my Europe Plan

My family of four (2 girls 11+14) is planning a two week trip to Europe this summer and would appreciate some input.

First five days in Paris, hotel de Fluerie.
Then considering high speed train to Nice, where we would rent car and make our way to Rome for four days.
The car ride (four days - maybe 5) is where I need input. Reasonable to drive this distance, stop in Nice Montecarlo? San Remo? Tuscany? Florence? Other points in N. Italy? Would be ideal to have 3-4 days at a beach resort to relax.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Old May 19th, 2001, 06:47 AM
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Too little time (2 weeks) for what you want to cover! Or, if you're firm on covering this much territory, then too much time (5 days) in Paris, since you can definitely return there on many future trips, while you may be less likely to return to the smaller places in the near future. Would you consider doing just France OR Italy? Or maybe southern France plus northern/north-central Italy. Florence is not a quickie top, and you could easily spend two weeks just in Florence and the rest of Tuscany. Rome will be tiring, I think. Long car ride can be tough on children. Though it is a good way to get a quick impression of scenery, you get much less contact with the local people and languages, which would be part of the fun and learning of a foreign trip.
Old May 19th, 2001, 06:57 AM
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OK Glenn, lets do some math. Considering you have 14 days for your trip, subtracting the first and last days for travel leaves you 12 days. Then subtracting your five days in Paris, you have seven days left. Subtracting another day for the train trip from Paris to Nice leaves you with five days to travel in Italy. Oh by the way, do you have to get back to Paris for your return trip or are you leaving from Rome?

Yes, it's doable; however, I would suggest spending those days in France rather than using at least two of those precious 14 days on the road (Paris to Nice then Nice to Italy) during tourist season. Maybe taking the train to Nice and then spending your four to five days at a beach resort on the French Riviera would be a better option.

Anyone else?
Old May 19th, 2001, 07:01 AM
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Oops, make that SIX days left to travel in Italy--using one of those days to travel from Nice to Italy. Can you believe I was a math minor in college?
Old May 19th, 2001, 07:03 AM
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Thanks - I had already cut out travel days so we have 13 days on the ground.

Am planning on high speed train from Paris to Nice, and flight from Rome back to PAris.
Thanks for the input.

Old May 19th, 2001, 04:50 PM
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I would cut the Paris time by at least a day, probably two, as I think your daughters in particular will enjoy the driving/seaside areas in Southern France and Northern Italy much more.
On the Riviera I would pick either Villefranche, just outside Nice, or Mentone, past Monaco on the Italian border for the first night or two after the train ride.
From there, skip San Remo, and head straight past Genoa to Santa Margarethe, from where you can swim. walk, or cruise, around the Portofino area. Incidentally there is an impressive beach resort about half way between Santa Margarethe and Portofino -unfortunately the name escapes me,but it should come up on a net search of Portofino or Santa Margarethe.
From this area it is only a short drive to the Cinque Terre, and then depending on how you are going for time you could either drive straight to Rome, down the coast or cut inland to Pisa en route.
There are fast trains from Pisa or Cinque Terre to Rome, so it might pay you to drop off the car, as it will be a nuisance in Rome.
My personal choice would be 2 nights Villefranche/Mentone, 2/3 nights Santa Margarethe, and 2 nights Rome.
Old May 19th, 2001, 05:19 PM
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I agree with cutting one day from Paris. I find that it fits well with many itineraries to have an extra day or two in Paris, so unless you hate Europe, there will always be more opportunities to see more of Paris (and nearby destinations in that part of France). Flying from Paris to Nice can be a worthy alternative to the train. The train is only high speed to about Avignon; this could also be a good alternative - - rent the car there - - and make a two night/three day trip of getting to Nice.

Renting in Nice (train station or airport) will cost you a hefty surcharge to drop off the car in Italy. It's a short train trip to San Remo (does require a change at Ventimigila, though), and you can rent easily there. On the other hand, it depends on what oher destinations you choose in Italy - - you might want to rent further "into" Italy.

Although the Cinque Terre region is a favorite destination of many, the drive from San Remo to the Livorno/Pisa area is a big disappointment to a lot of people - - there are 154 tunnels from Nice to Pisa - - I kid you not - - the road goes tunnel, bridge, tunnel, bridge - - as if they took a laser and drilled right through a series of vertical rock plates.

I have never found a great beach resort in Italy (and I haven't really looked for one) - - but others will offer differing opinions on this, no doubt. I think that the best beaches are in Florida.

Traveling with kids at this age can be a wonderful experience; I have done it (with and without my wife - - with our own kids, and with others) numerous times. With any luck, it won't be your last trip like this.

Best wishes,


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