Rome-Switzerland-Paris-Rome 2 week trip

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May 26th, 2017, 12:15 AM
  #1
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Rome-Switzerland-Paris-Rome 2 week trip

We are planning a 2 week trip to Europe in August. Our flight arrives and leaves from Rome. We were thinking of doing Italy, Switzerland and France. Any recommendation on how to plan this, How muxh time should I spend it each of these countries where to stay, what to see, etc?
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May 26th, 2017, 12:31 AM
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Hi, welcome. Going to need a bit more, like who are "we", what do we like to do, any limitations, ie budget, medical needs, etc

In two weeks I'd not try and do three countries at the hight of the holiday season. I'd also try to only stay once in each place, so if I was going to fly out of Rome at the end I'd not stay there on the way in as well.

Generally I'd aim for at least 3 nights wherever you stay. Count the nights. Moving bases uses up about 1/2 a day so if you reduce the number of moves you increase the time you actually spend enjoying yourselves.

So, museums, white water rafting, wine tasting, bungie jumping, what floats your boat?
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May 26th, 2017, 07:19 AM
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All the questions you are asking can be answered by reading some guidebooks or online guides. Do your research first and then post questions you still don't have answers to.
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May 26th, 2017, 08:05 AM
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If you haven't already bought your plane tickets, try to get a flight going into Rome and home from Paris. It won't cost much more (if any) and it will save you a whole day of getting back to Rome.

Two weeks is very little time. I can only suggest four nights in Rome, four nights somewhere in Switzerland, four nights in Paris, and a final night back in Rome. This won't be enough time for a decent visit in any of the three countries, but if that's all you have, and if you absolutely must see them all, that's how it can be done.
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May 26th, 2017, 10:00 AM
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Rome- 4 days
Florence- 2
Venice - 2
night train to Paris or fly
Paris - 4
Switzerland- 4
Fly to Rome

bit over two weeks - can cut Florence or Venice

but yes try to fly out of Paris if possible even if costs more. Trains are best for cities and Switzerland -for lots on trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

If you cut Paris it would save a lot of travel and time and make it all more easy or cut Switzerland and just do Italy and Paris.
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May 27th, 2017, 11:18 AM
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How muxh time should I spend it each of these countries where to stay, what to see, etc?>

What are your interests? Big tourist meccas like Paris or places like Provence - or Nice -for a few days -much closer to Italy.
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May 27th, 2017, 11:20 AM
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Are the round trip to Rome tickets are already purchased?

Do you want to move around by train or are you planning to rent a car?
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May 29th, 2017, 01:12 PM
  #8
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Thanks to all for your responses. We = My husband, our 5 year old and I . We have booked a round trip ticket from Seattle to Rome as we were getting a good deal. Open to renting a car if that is faster way to commute in Europe.
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May 29th, 2017, 01:20 PM
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I read the article on rent a car vs trains - https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...n/car-or-train. What would your recommendation be for considering what we are looking to cover - Italy - Switzerland - Paris and then back to Rome?
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May 29th, 2017, 01:52 PM
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What would your recommendation be for considering what we are looking to cover - Italy - Switzerland - Paris and then back to Rome?>

definitely train for 2 weeks and so many places you want to go- cars are great for meandering thru countryside but are a bane in cities-many Italian towns do not even allow private vehicles into city centres.

And trains go up to nearly 200mph often -much faster than cars.

For lots on trains check sites I listed in a post far above. and you still may want to fly back from say Paris to Rome for your return flight.
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May 29th, 2017, 02:27 PM
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night train to Paris or fly>

see www.thello.com for info on Venice to Paris night trains and booking -some fares can be as low as 49 euros!
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Jun 1st, 2017, 10:23 PM
  #12
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Thank you all for your valuable input. Regarding travelling between the cities e.g. Rome to Florence, Florence to Venice how should I go about making train reservations? https://www.raileurope.com seems to have a number of trains - what train to choose and should I buy a pass before I make reservations?
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Jun 2nd, 2017, 05:15 AM
  #13
 
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raileurope is a reseller so I'd leave well alone

the links you have will do...
seat61.com
http://www.italotreno.it/en
trenitalia

the two train companies may not share railway station
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Jun 2nd, 2017, 10:03 AM
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the two train companies may not share railway station>

Well Italo Train may have to use secondary stations but those are also served by Trenitalia. Point is Italo Train may not serve the main stations in places like Florence or Rome but secondary stations out of the center. But not much sometimes and if taking public transit or taxis no hassle.
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Jun 2nd, 2017, 12:34 PM
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You have 2 weeks that means you have 12 days, depending upon where you are flying from.

Add to that, you have a 5 year old. Does s/he need naps? Does the child travel well?

Is this his 1st trip?

How long does it take for a child to recover from jet lag, if any?
(i don't have children but this is a good place to ask what's typical so you can plan)

What are you interested in seeing?

How comfortable will you be driving in Italy?

A car will allow you the flexibility of going to smaller towns if you want.

Basically, What do you envision your trip to be? Is it art? Major sites? Great food overlooking a nice vista from a hill town?
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Jun 3rd, 2017, 12:29 AM
  #16
mjs
 
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It will be quite crowded and likely hot in Italy and you have a 5 yo who probably needs naps. Hopefully you got a really good deal RT FCO as you lose a day and the extra cost of returning to Rome. Cut out either Paris or Switzerland or even both to make this a trip about Italy. One possible itinerary would be to take the train to Florence on your day of arrival and spend 3 nights, train to Venice for 3 nights, fly to Paris for 5 nights than train/ fly to Rome for 5 nights. Same number of days as Palenq suggests. Buy some guide books and read to narrow your options. Two weeks is not a lot of time to visit a continent.
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Jun 3rd, 2017, 03:58 AM
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With your plan to visit several places, mostly towns and cities, that are further apart, and each for only a very short time, no, do not get a car. Trains go mostly city center to city center, so no worry about parking or driving in a zone where you are not permitted. It is much easier for a child to sit or walk about on a train, rather than strapped in a car seat. Train between those closer together. Fly between those further apart.

You have to be back in Rome your last night for the flight home, so it would be best to push on to next place and save all nights in Rome for the end. However, after such a long flight with a small child, that may be too much. On the other hand, you can all rest on the train.

The time listed for each place is not an accurate measure for sightseeing, so not realistic. Travel will eat up a lot of time. Allow time to check out of hotel, get to train or plane, actual transport time, then getting to new hotel and checking in. Count on using a half day for every move, especially with a little one. You need 2 nights in a place to give a full day, so anyplace you spend 3 nights will net 2 days and a bit of another day. These layouts are not even suggestions of an itinerary. They are just to show you the ratio of travel time versus sightseeing.

Day 1, depart home
Day 2, arrive Rome, train to Florence
Day 3, Florence, whole day
Day 4, Florence with day trip to Sienna (or Pisa and Luca)
Day 5, Train to Venice, 1/2 day travel, 1/2 day Venice
Day 6, Venice, whole day
Day 7, travel to ?


Or
Travel 1 nt
Florence 3 nts, (2 days)
Venice, 2 nts, (1 & 1/2 days)
Switzerland, 3 nts, (2 & 1/2 days)
Paris, 4 nts, (3 days)

**That is already your two weeks.**
You can see, you need to narrow things down - a lot!

You could cut both Florence and Venice, and spend more time in Switzerland where it will be cooler, and Paris where there is lots to do for a child. Fly between Rome and Switzerland, and Paris and Rome, but consider train between Switzerland and Paris. You might even make one stop in between.

You could also spend a week in Rome with day trips and a week in Paris with day trips.

You could forget all the extra travel and visit only Italy, heading up to the lakes for part of the time.
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Jun 3rd, 2017, 06:59 AM
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Italy has enough to keep anyone busy for 12 days.

What do you like to do on vacation?

In between all those days, you may need a day to just enjoy being in Italy.
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Jun 3rd, 2017, 01:44 PM
  #19
 
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Regarding travelling between the cities e.g. Rome to Florence, Florence to Venice how should I go about making train reservations? https://www.raileurope.com seems to have a number of trains - what train to choose and should I buy a pass before I make reservations?>

In 12 days any pass would be hard to get the value out of - so book your own tickets - at www.thretrainline.eu-a site that matches the fares on www.trenitalia.com and www.voyages-sncf.com - Italian and French railways whose site flummox many initial users.(www.sbb.ch for Switzerland but works wonderful they say -but no need to book Swiss tickets in advance usually -often no discounts but for international journeys involving Switzerland yes).

Yes www.seat61.com explains all about discount ticketing - other sites I like for general info -www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

You can almost always get on trains without pre-booking - but then you'll pay a lot more for full-fare fully flexible tickets (can be changed -discounted tickets are oft for a specific train at a specific time on a specific date and cannot be changed.)
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Jun 6th, 2017, 12:22 AM
  #20
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We are arriving Rome on Sunday morning 11 AM and leaving from Rome 2 weeks later on Sunday 10 AM (so this day does not count really).
mjs, PalenQ, LSky, Sassafrass: Thank you very much for your feedback.
PalenQ : regarding interests - we would like a mix I think, something our 5 year old can enjoy too. She recently learned about the Leaning tower of Pisa and Eiffel tower so we would definitely love to visit those so she can see them in person now
LSky : Luckily our 5 year old does not nap during the day but jet-lag is something I haven't considered yet but should. This is our first trip to Europe so not sure on the driving either
Sassafrass : Thanks for your suggestions. Thinking of skipping Venice and doing Rome, Leaning tower of Pisa, Switzerland and Paris.

Would you recommend taking the EuroRail pass for this?
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