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Staying in Germany, Looking for convenient side trip to Italy

Staying in Germany, Looking for convenient side trip to Italy

Jan 21st, 2000, 12:18 PM
Heidi Grady
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Staying in Germany, Looking for convenient side trip to Italy

My parents will be traveling to Germany in late March/Early April and are looking for a side trip to Florence, Italy. Does anyone know the best way for them to get there (train, car etc.), ideas on a nice hotel and activities to do?

It would be really appreciated. Thanks.
Jan 21st, 2000, 12:51 PM
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Heidi, The people on this forum will need more input to give you a good answer. From where, for how long, will
you have a car anyway, are you returning
to Germany. Many of the regulars have
done this trip several times, but it all
depends. Tell us more. I would not go
that far for less than 3 days or more.
Jan 21st, 2000, 07:06 PM
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It's an all-too common practice on this board to try to persuade you (in this case, your parents) to do something other than what you asked about. I try to avoid it, but in this case, I'm going to take the same tack.

As lovely as Florence is - - Venice is the "reasonable" side trip from Germany (specifically Munich or other southeast Germany). And Bob is right - - even Venice wouldn't make sense for under 72 hours (including travel time).

Of course, for a price, you can go anywhere on a "side trip" for 24 hours or so, but that's not what you're asking.

I'm doing almost exactly what your parents may be contemplating March 28-April 1. It is JUST BARELY enough time to make it thinkable. (The trip is with tennagers, and there will be higher than average tolerance for 16 hour days.) A day in Austria, outbound, 2 days in the Veneto (Venice and its surrounding region), and a day in Austria on the return trip (you have two somewhat different regions of Austria you can pass through easily - - Tirol and Salzkammergut.)

The trip can be done by train; I prefer car, and I think many others will say the same thing - - although it must be admitted that a car is as much a hindrance for the Veneto as a help.

If, by some chance, your parents' trip does not already include southeast Germany (for example, if they are in the exact opposite end of the country) - - be aware that there IS a cheap option to FLY to Rome from Brussels (which, in turn is close to Cologne and other western/north central Germany) - - www.virgin-express.com - - and the deals can be one way too!

Feel free to write me further if I can help with other questions.


Jan 22nd, 2000, 04:57 AM
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Just to have an idea Heidi, if your parents happen to be in Munich (best possible major city in Germany to consider a side trip to Italy), the direct day time train trip to Florence should take 8 hours. There's also a convenient direct night train that takes about 9:30 hours. The fast route, nonstop, driving time from Munich to Florence is about 6:30 hours. From just about any other major city in Germany things don't get better. From Frankfurt, for instance, you should add at least some 4 hours and at least one, possibly two train changes). The driving time would be increased in 2:30 hours. Therefore, the air route should be considered (maybe Rex has an idea on the flight availability/costs from Frankfurt into Florence/Pisa).

I agree with Rex that a more "natural" city to visit out of Bavaria is Venice, if one's driving and one's planning to get "something out" of the drive (e.g., like Rex suggested, Austrian Tyrol and Salzkammergut). Should one consider the fast drive (Innsbruck, Brennero and Verona) the drive to Venice would be only about an hour shorter. Venice is also conveniently reached from Munich by direct trains. The daytime trip should take about 7 hours and the night trip about 9 hours.


Jan 22nd, 2000, 08:51 AM
Ben Haines
Posts: n/a

Dear Ms Grady,

The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Timetable. Table 73 shows the trains from the Rhineland. Book a sleeping car, leave Cologne 2017 or Frankfurt 2247, (or other stations), arrive Milan Central 0745. Any day they can take an Italian Eurostar express, with restaurant car, from Milan Central at 0800 and reach Florence at 1045. Then later they take a night train back.

From Berlin, central Germany, or Bavaria they can take a restaurant car express in the afternoon or evening to Munich main station, and then a sleeper on the Brenner Express which leaves at 2340 and reaches Florence at 0910.

By car or by day trains this long trip would be tedious and perhaps not worth it -- even for Florence. By train Venice is no more "reasonable" than Florence, as both are a night away from Germany. Venice is certainly unique, but then so is Florence. And f you think what Florence means to the history of our ideas then I'd say Florence wins. Or can your parents take in two days in

Please write if I can help further.


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