Switzerland, Italy & France

Old Feb 7th, 2023, 05:20 PM
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Switzerland, Italy & France

We are booking a trip in September visiting Italy, Switzerland and France.

I need help with which country to start Italy (visiting both Cinque Terre and Bologna) or should we start in (Zurich) Switzerland.

We know France is our flight home.

TY
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Old Feb 7th, 2023, 05:22 PM
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There is no one answer, check all multicity possibilities.choose the best schedule-price combo.
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Old Feb 7th, 2023, 08:38 PM
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Could use a little more information as to specific destinations within each country, and how you plan to travel (train, plane, or car). Also confirm that you plan to fly open-jaw and don't need to make a full circle (i.e. flying in and out of the same place).

I've done both, and our mode of transport when going to these three countries on one trip has been by train. The times I've stayed in one country, I usually rent a car.

So, if traveling by train, flying into one country and out of the other, I've flown into Geneva or Zurich, then down to Italy, and then up to Paris to fly out. Although it's a dying mode of transportation in Europe because of the fast trains and cheap internal flights, we loved (and still love!) taking night trains when we can for long haul distances. In fact, this September, we're flying London to Milan, so we can take the 20+ hour night train from Milan to Palermo, Sicily, which has the last remaining train ferry from the boot of Italy to Sicily!

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Old Feb 7th, 2023, 10:42 PM
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It would be nice to know how long you are coming for. 4 weeks, 5 or 6?
Then perhaps, who are "we" any physical limitations and any must-do interests?
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 04:45 AM
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I would prefer traveling by train and not renting a car. Driving abroad makes me nervous. If necessary we could book a short flight but my first choice is using the train.
Possibly 7 nights in France, 7 nights in Switzerland and Italy 10 nights. (I can extend additional time if needed) This will be our first trip to France and Switzerland. Switzerland and France I’m looking for one destination and day excursions.
TY
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 05:07 AM
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Ok, does that mean 2 people?
Fit and healthy and a preference for train travel?
September
24 days in Europe?
One base in each country preferable with day trips?

My first thoughts are it might be better to think of 2 bases per country and by the nature of the geography you will be looking south eastern France and north western Italy.

Does you local airport have easy access to Geneva, Nice, Pisa, Florence or Milan?
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 05:28 AM
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Yes we can fly into all airport. Some might need 1 connection flight. Two traveling in our sixties. TY
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 05:58 AM
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To answer your specific question, as phrased, and considering you are traveling in September (my favorite time to travel to Europe!), on the basis of climate alone (not that we can rely on this any longer), start in Switzerland, where it cools off quicker in September. Then move down to Italy, then finally France. Harvest time, yum!
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 07:42 AM
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I don't know enough about Switzerland to advise where to visit but going there first makes good weather sense as above (it looks small but is very folded up) but consider fly into Geneva, spend time in Switzerland.

Train to Lyon and enjoy this second city, then train south to say Avignon, Nimes, Arles (other prefer other groups of towns but interesting option.

Train through to Tuscany (CT is possible) Florence, Pisa, Siena and final train to Bologna, Padova, Ferrara, Ravena and then fly out of Venice or train into Roma for flying home
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Old Feb 8th, 2023, 04:42 PM
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Yup, book an open jaw flight. Fly into Zurich and cover Switzerland first to (hopefully) take advantage of the weather. Easy to fill 7 days there, ending up in the south for entry to Italy. Then come out of Italy into Lyon and Paris for your flight home. The only long leg on this route is from Italy into Lyon.

But, if you're going early enough in September, like the first of the month, and you like heat, it would make sense to fly into Rome. Then you could go Italy - Switzerland - France. Good logistics. (But bad weather?) Can't predict the weather but we've had good luck with it in Switzerland in mid-September.
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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 11:33 AM
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Fly into Zurich, go to Luzern/Lucerne and then into Interlake and into the Bernese Oberland/Alps. You can pick one of the towns/villages to stay on the systems of railways/cogways/cable cars. Go directtly to Montreaux (take the Panaromic Express from Interlaken). After a stay, head to Bologna via Milan. From Bologna, you can transfer to the Cinque Terre. From the Cinque Terre, you can train to Nice. From Nice you can take a TGV to anywhere you need to be in France. Alternatively you can return to Milan from the Cinque Terre and take the high speed Trenitalia line to Lyon or Paris.


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Old Feb 11th, 2023, 12:10 PM
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Thank you gooster great tips. I booked our flight starting in Zurich and ending in Paris. I’ll follow your recommendations but I have an additional town my husband wants to visit Umbria.
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Old Feb 16th, 2023, 08:50 AM
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Umbria isn't a problem. You can reach it easily from Florence and from Rome.
But you should define the other places you plan to visit. then we can propose you a itinerary.
The zig zagging proposed by gooster wouldn't make much sense IMO.
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Old Feb 16th, 2023, 09:00 AM
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looks like the intro from 3rd rock from the sun
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Old Feb 17th, 2023, 04:21 AM
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This is the latest itinerary we’ve been working on. TY

We fly into Zurich spending 7 nights in Switzerland.
(Train transfer to Milan - need suggestion on best Switzerland train location)
Italian Riviera 4 nights (Booked Hotel)
Umbria 3 nights
Bologna 3 nights
(Flight from Italy to Paris)
Paris 7 nights (Booked Hotel)




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Old Feb 18th, 2023, 11:19 AM
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Ah, so you've changed your preferences, so I'll change my recommendations. I proposed the last based on all the other responses and the desire to stick by train. (I forgot to mention that I lived in Lausanne and we had an office in Milan, so I made the trips between the two everyway imaginable. And now we have a place on the French Riviera). Regarding your question on the best train route from Switzerland, it still depends on your itinerary. If you want to stay all in once place in Switzerland, you could stay in Zurich. It depends on your priorities on what you want to see, but it does tend to have a bigger city feel to it and is the most expensive. While the transportation connections are excellent and the country small, you might get the most of trips that base in two locations, such as one in the Alps (Bernese Oberland/Jungfrau) and then perhaps Zurich. You can train down via Milan and connect to the Cinque Terre (or other parts of the Italian Riviera), The route goes down from Zurich (or a different path if you depart from Lausanne/Montreaux).


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