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Two week September honeymoon- can we do both France and Italy?

Two week September honeymoon- can we do both France and Italy?

Jul 1st, 2014, 06:16 AM
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Two week September honeymoon- can we do both France and Italy?


My fiance and I are getting married next September 19, and our 2 week honeymoon will begin on the following Monday or Tuesday.
He wants to go to France and I want to go to Italy- is it possible to do both without feeling horribly rushed?

We want to do Paris, the French Riviera (1-2 places), Florence, and the Amalfi coast. (and possibly Venice?) I'm concerned that it's just too much travel time- I don't want to sit around in one location for two weeks, but I also don't want to feel hurried on my honeymoon. Normally I love to pack lots of things into a vacation, but I really want to be able to get a feel for the places we go and actually be able to relax. We want a good combination of relaxing on or near the beach and exploring cities and art. We are also huge foodies.

Any help is so appreciated!
de_stijl is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:24 AM
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Yes, it will be far too rushed to fit in all those places.

What does "huge foodies" mean to you? You want to eat at famous restaurants? Seek out producers? Take cooking classes?

Where will you be traveling from? Are you speaking of this year? If so, you ought to make your hotel reservations fairly soon.

This might be a good time to combine Amalfi Coast with either Florence or Venice, or maybe both. Have you been to Italian beaches before? If so, you know that they are unlikely to be long stretches of white sand but, rather, small coves or lengths of rocky shoreline.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:29 AM
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You have one too many destintaions--plan on 4.
I would do Paris, fly to Venice, Florence, and the AC.
Try to fly home from Naples.


If you decide to see the Riviera then drop the AC.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:39 AM
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ekscrunchy, we love to explore different cuisines. We will probably choose 1-2 well renowned restaurants to dine at during the trip but otherwise will seek out smaller, local authentic cafes/restaurants.

We will be traveling from Louisville, KY. 2015! I'm trying to plan as far in advance as I can.

I have not been to Europe, but my fiance has been to both countries.

bob, that was my thought as well. do you think just Paris, the Riviera, and Florence would be a good trip? Or possible Paris, Riveria, Florence, AC? I am not set on Venice.
de_stijl is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:40 AM
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Concur with Bob the Navigator, but I would drop the AC as it's difficult to get to and out of the way for the rest of your itinerary. Instead, do the Riviera as it--and Venice--would be great honeymoon destinations. If you leave the AC out for this trip and do it next time in conjunction with Roma, it's somewhat rushed but IMO doable.

Plan by number of nites, not days. That way, you can see how many nites of lodging you need to book where and how much time you have in each place.
Fly into Paris
Stay in Paris
train to the south of France (Marseilles or Nice)
Stay somewhere along the Riviera--I don't think I'd try to do two places in the amount of time you have. So I'd just pick a place that has a good beach--not all of the Riviera does--and relax there.
train or fly to Florence
Stay in Florence
train to Venice
Stay in Venice--Venice has a beach on the Lido, but that's not really the attraction.
fly home from there
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:40 AM
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I should mention we are open to all types of travel from place to place- car, train, air, etc. Whatever will be the best combo of convenience and cost.
de_stijl is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 06:46 AM
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Thanks for the tips dwd!
The more I consider all of the logistics I am thinking 3 destinations, 4 tops will be best. I like your idea We were looking at Nice or Cannes for the Riveria destination. Anyone have any favorite spots there?
de_stijl is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 07:19 AM
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Sorry to come into this thread at this point, but the one place I would drop from your itinerary is the French Riviera!

I think I might do this if you are not averse to taking one plane fight in the middle of your honeymoon.

Venice 3 nights
Florence 2 nights
Amalfi coast 4 nights
Flight from Naples to Paris for the rest of the honeymoon
Fly home from Paris

or the other way around.

Just for sheer personal preference, I would probably nick a night off Venice or the Amalfi coast and give it to Paris. The problem with a honeymoon is often that people start traveling immediately following the wedding, when they are sometimes quite exhausted. If you think you will need to start to your honeymoon with a deep rest, then consider:

Fly to Naples, private car transfer to the Amalfi coast: 4 nights
Florence 2 nights
Venice 3 nights
Fly to Paris for remainder, and fly home.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 07:29 AM
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I just noticed your interim post saying you were not "set on Venice." Fine. Drop it. It is geographically an outlier.

If you want to make your trip more compact, substituting the Italian Riviera for the Amalfi could work well. You can fly or take a train from Paris to the Italian Riviera (and Florence too). Someplace like Camogli on the Riviera could be dreamy and beautiful enough (more so than Cannes), or if you fly into Pisa, stick to the areas closer to le Cinque Terre.

You could order the itinerary just about anyway you like:

Italian Riviera

Italian Riviera (fly into Genova airport or Pisa)

Florence (fly into Bologna or Florence)
Italian Riviera

Food on the Italian Riviera is lovely...
sandralist is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 07:30 AM
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sandralist, please don't apologize! I am looking for all the advice I can get. Why are you against the Riviera?
Agreed, I'm not interested in being in Venice for more than 2 nights.

Your second itinerary sounds really lovely.
de_stijl is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 08:50 AM
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You can easily do two countries in 2 weeks, of course, rushing really depends on you and what you choose to do with that time. For example, if you only stayed in one city in each country (eg, Paris and Rome), it wouldn't be rushed at all. Then you could do some day trips from each (or Florence, whatever). The problem is not just the number of countries but that you have this grand itinerary. For example, why on earth do you want to go to the Riviera when you've never been to Europe? What is so important there that you want to see? You could certainly go to beaches at home and lay in the sun if that's your goal.
Christina is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 09:05 AM
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I love the Italian Riviera, but I'm actually going to the French Riviera this year.

I think if you want some France and some Italy, it makes sense to go to the Italian Riviera. Certainly the food is remarkably good and the scenery is outstanding.

We are going to the French Riviera largely to see some art and that probably isn't your priority. If food and wine and scenery are, you would love the Italian Riviera.

Is Florence a priority for you? If so, the combinations suggested by sandralist sound really good.

While in Paris, you can do a day trip if you or your fiance are anxious to see a tiny bit more of France. I find that there are more day trips from Paris than I could ever take. Cities, country side, castles, cathedrals, endless choices.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 09:18 AM
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I would concentrate on Paris/Provence, or 3 destinations in Italy.

Including Paris, along with Venice, Florence, AC or Ligurian Riviera, will mean so much rushing around for a two week trip. But I am in the minority here. You will most likely have other trips to Europe in your future. Spending two days in Venice, or in Florence, means that you will likely be checking off the "top" sights on your list and have very little time for the meandering around that is so rewarding in these cities.

I admit that I usually confine my European trips to one country. Want to see Florence for the art? Then spend 5 days there, then rent a car and explore Tuscany from one rural base. Then drop off car and take train to Naples and car to Amalfi area. Or drive or take train to Italian Riviera. Or begin the trip in Venice and drop the beach areas. I really do not like these quick visits. You might spend a full week in Paris, which allows time for strolling around, visiting food markets, seeing museums, etc etc. Then take a week in the hills of Provence or on the French of Italian Riviera/Liguria.

Whichever you choose, make sure to fly into one destination and home from another to avoid backtracking.

Do you have a budget for hotels?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 09:20 AM
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We stayed in Villefranche-sur-Mer just east of Nice. Stayed at the Welcome Hotel and loved it. We did a day trip to Cannes, but it's not our thing. I remember a good beach there, though. The one in Villefranche is mostly rock, unfortunately.

Venice is probably the most romantic city in the world (although a lot of people would argue for Paris). If we had the money to honeymoon in Europe, we'd certainly include Venice, if not spend the entire time there. Two nites (one day) is not enough. Once you get there, you won't want to leave.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Jul 1st, 2014, 09:59 AM
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For a honeymoon right after the wedding you need to allow yourself time to unwind (after the mad rush up to the event).

I would probably do 3 destinations - 4 is doable but there won't be real relaxation at the beginning.

For Venice I think you need at least 4 nights to start to get a feel fr and explore he city. If you don't want to do that I would drop it.

And while I love Paris I'm not sure I would start there.

I might start in the Riviera (FRench) - lovely and as relaxing or as active as you want. Then head to Florence or Venice by train - and fly to Paris for the end of the trip. (If you want beaches check out the various towns and resorts to make sure you will have a sandy one with easy access.)

I would not do the AC since transit can be quite inconvenient - unless you want to just sit in one of the smaller coastal towns - but you need to be aware of what the beaches are like (small, town center, pebbles or even rocks and often fishing boats pulled up on them - nothing like US or Carib beaches - wide pure white sand that runs for miles with pounding waves).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2014, 08:57 AM
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Thanks so much for everyone's advice!

Florence is definitely a priority if we do indeed decide to do both countries. I studied art history in college and the Italian Renaissance was my concentration. I am starting to lean toward 2-3 destinations, perhaps Cinque Terre, Florence, and Paris. We can always do a day trip from each city to see more, but I am sure we won't even need to with everything there is to explore. I know I could easily spend an entire day in the Louvre and the Accademia!
de_stijl is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2014, 09:03 AM
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The Cinque Terre is very near Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli, mentioned earlier, and can be seen as a day trip from those locations as well. The CT tends to be very crowded.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2014, 09:33 AM
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I'm not really "against" the French Riviera but for me it lacks the color, texture and flavor of the Italian Riviera, plus it can be a surprisingly tricky place to get in and out of if you are trying to put Italy into the mix. It is just simpler to get from Paris to various points in Italy than it is from Nice, especially overland. Flying from Paris to points convenient to the Italian Riviera or Florence is really quite simple too.

I hope you get to Florence, given your interests. It is so thrilling.

One routing you might look into is

train to Camogli/Santa Margherita Ligure via Torino

Fly home -- or vice versa.

Train to Florence (longer, I think, and less scenic
Italian Riviera -- fly home from Pisa or Genova

Or fly into Bologna or Florence
Italian Riviera
Train or plane to Paris

Or if you want to slip a plane flight in there to travel between Paris and Italy, then using the Pisa or Florence airport is usually cheaper than the Genova airport.

If you want to avoid the crowds of le Cinque Terre but want to use the Pisa airport, there are some alternative towns. But if you are spending nights in le Cinque Terre for a honeymoon, then the crowds dwindle at night and you might want the sunset views. In that case, plan a few day trips by boat to give the crowds the slip, and then return to a pretty perch at night.

If hiking isn't important to you, but less touristy ambience is, then try the village of Camogli or Santa Margherita Ligure for a slightly bigger town and more upscale hotels. Enjoy the pesto and fresh seafood. They are fun places.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2014, 09:52 AM
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Between Camogli and SML you also have the Portofino park, which has great hiking without the crowds of CT. I admit the views are not *quite as stunning because Italian towns/gardens/orchards/vineyards have a way of accentuating the natural beauty, but still some scenic and peaceful walks!
yorkshire is offline  
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