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Traveling to Europe to see France and Italy - Need Advice!

Traveling to Europe to see France and Italy - Need Advice!

Jan 21st, 2012, 11:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Traveling to Europe to see France and Italy - Need Advice!


My husband and I (both 27) are finally doing our dream trip to Europe this spring. We have already booked our flights, so we will be landing in Paris on May 2 and flying out of Rome on May 24.

My dream trip has always been Italy, so that will be the focus of this trip, but in recent years I've been really drawn to France, which is why are starting our trip in Paris. We'd like to spend 4-5 days in France and then head to Italy where we want to see as much as possible in the time remaining. So here are the places that are a must for us:

- Paris (how long do we need here to see the big POIs? Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg Gardens, etc)
- Provence (I'm not sure what this looks like with our time frame, but I'd LOVE to at least get a glimpse of Provence. Perhaps we travel from Paris to Provence and then scoot over to Italy?)

- Venice
- Cinque Terre
- Milan (Not sure about this one)
- Lake Como
- Rome (How long do we need here to see the main POIs?)
- Florence/Tuscany
- Amalfi Coast
- Pompeii
- Naples (Is it worth it?)
- Any other's I'm missing?

Ok, so that's what we're looking at. I really don't want to miss anything, but at the same time don't want to feel like we're flying through and not getting to absorb much. We are travelling on somewhat of a budget, but not "backpacking". Will be staying in low to moderately priced hotels (not hostels), but will be trying to do things as inexpensively as possible.

Any help or advice would be SO appreciated! Thank you!!

P.S. My husband and I have only been to Europe once before, to Greece last summer, so we don't have much experience there!
Anna_Halliwell is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
i would skip milan and naples. i have been to naples and actually quite liked in but would not consider it somewhere to include in a "dream trip', i would replace with extra time in tuscany (perhaps siena)

Not been to milan but i hear quite a lot that unless u are mad on fashion its not that great,

Would say minimum of 3 nights in paris too.

Have a lovely trip
HG001London is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Congrats on your journey have been a bunch going for several weeks in April.General game plan for my wife and myself travel
cheaply around by regioanl train hopping like a local on and off neat places. www.seat61.com for train www.eurocheapo.com
great budget tips and hotel site.Route for you Paris beaune.com Geneva Interlaken Baveno/Stresa Milan Como Garda
Venice-tourism.com Florence orvieto.info Rome Sorrento/Positano.Plenty to do. ricksteves.com good newbie info. insuremytrip.com Do beware the apartment scammers that troll here and consider a good no foreign fee CC to use at Big Banks. www.spg.com one we use got 3 free nights on points
at the Westin in Venice for signing up a great hotel.
Money changers can clip you up to 35% is biggest
rip off Rail Pass costly many surcharges rip off #2.

Congrats PM if I may help further.
qwovadis is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,507
..... I really don't want to miss anything, but at the same time don't want to feel like we're flying through and not getting to absorb much ..... That is a dichotomy !! Cannot have it both ways. You need to be far more realistic. You are suggestion 12 location (some are areas) in 20 days. One each day or so? No consideration of travel time and distance. Any time we shift locations I always plan to lost a half day PLUS travel time. Twelve location changes is closed to 8 to 10 days of lost time or about half of your allocated vacation time. Also ---"will be trying to do things as inexpensively as possible.".... That much travel will blow huge holes in any attempt to be inexpensive. Even with advance discount tickets, it will still be expensive.

Our approach is to plan three or four days minus travel for each location. With 20 days I might consider four or five cities or areas. If the is acceptable I would have some recommendations.
fmpden is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
oh and i would say 3 nights rome, although u could easily stay more, it would mean all the other places will become more rushed. I would also suggest if you do go to provence to stay 3 nights or its quite a long trip for just 1/2 nights when you could fly from paris to italy.

Hope this helps, amalfi is lovely-def recommend keeping that one in.
HG001London is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
i also agree with fmpden, i think the trip would be far more memorable with fewer locations.

You could drop cinque terre as i expect will be similar to amalfi and weather will be warmer in amalfi that time of year i would imagine. I would also

if it were me (and this is just me!!) i would spend 22 nights as follows:

tuscany (other 4)
Amalfi coast 4
rome- 3

Hope this helps, provence im sure will be lovely but it would be so much easier for you to spend more time in tuscany, which is lovely.

If you wanted to take the train from Paris you could go via switzerland and spend a night there


good info

HG001London is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
actually am going to super back track now and suggest sawpping amalfi with cinque terre..it will be easier to fit in as nearer to other sites.

oh and have a lovely trip- it will be great!!
HG001London is offline  
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