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What would you do? Spend your whole vacation in Italy, or split time between Rome and Paris?

What would you do? Spend your whole vacation in Italy, or split time between Rome and Paris?

Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:06 AM
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What would you do? Spend your whole vacation in Italy, or split time between Rome and Paris?

I am fairly new to the Europe boards -- I am usually on the US board, and the threads here on the Europe board are so great, I've learned a lot already

My husband and I are hoping to plan a trip to Europe for April 2006. I have been once to Paris and other parts of France about 10 years ago (as a teenager), and he has been once to Ireland. We will only have 8 nights to spend, and we have narrowed it down to Italy for the whole time, or Rome and Paris.

If we stayed in Italy the full 8 nights, we would do Rome, Florence, and Venice, I think. How far are these cities from one another? Are there any other places you would recommend? It seems like Amalfi Coast is for summertime.

Our other option would be to spend 4 or 5 days in Rome, then take the overnight train to Paris for 3 or 4 days. Please keep in mind, that we do NOT mind being on the go the whole time because we usually take relaxing beach vacations (Hawaii, Florida, etc...) and are looking for something different this time. And we do not mind the idea of the overnight train because we don't feel as though we would be missing out on any sightseeing time the way we would if we were flying in the middle of the day between countries.

Part of me thinks Italy the whole time would be amazing, but the other part of me that was a 16 year old in Paris 10 years ago, is DYING to see Paris again as an adult. Thanks so much!
beachgirl86 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:16 AM
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I understand that you don't mind being on the go, but consider how very little you will see of Rome, Florence and Venice if you go to all three in 8 days. That would make me slow down.

I would suggest Rome and one other Italian city or town, or your Rome and Paris choice. Whichever you do, remember that you will be back to do more.

Just as you long for another sight of Paris, I predict that you will long for another sight of whichever of these places you choose.

I would pick Rome and another place in Italy. I like Paris but I like to keep my countries separate, and one trip at a time. That way, I get to know more about the customs, food, history, social aspects, etc., of each place I visit.

tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:23 AM
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With only 8 days, I would do Paris or I would do Rome and one other city (Florence or Venice). In my experience, you should have about 12 days to do all three cities. Paris is absolutely the greatest but if you want to visit Italy as well in 8 days, I would not stop in Paris this time.
mamc is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Depends on your interests but you might consider Venice and Paris or even Venice and London.
AisleSeat is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Hi - either one would be great, that's the big dilemma when planning travel, so many amazing places. You just have to choose.
LAwoman is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:36 AM
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With 8 nights you could spend 4 nights in Rome, 2 in Florence, 2 in Venice.
Take evening trains to save sightseeing time during the days. On your first day after an overseas flight, no matter how young and energetic you are, you will crash at some point, so it won't be a 100% efficient sightseeing day, leaving, at best, 3.5 days for Rome. It's doable, of course you won't see everything.
At least book air fare so you can fly into Rome (or Venice) and fly home from the other, (even if you have to make a connection) so that you don't waste more travel time in backtracking.

Save Paris/France for the next trip.
Paris often has winter vacation and air fare specials that make it easy to go from the US for a long weekend; Rome is farther, and airfares to Italy never get as inexpensive as those for Paris.
Nike is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:38 AM
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In answer to your other question, i've been researching this recently,
Rome to Florence is about 90 minutes by train, Florence to Venice about 2 hours (i think, not as sure about that one) and Rome to Venice about 4.5 hours
Nike is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:40 AM
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I'd suggest that as long as you have eight clear sightseeing days (i.e. that your eight days don't include travel to and from home), you could visit both Paris and Rome. Catch an evening flight to your next city to maximize that day of touring (a friend and I did that last fall, between Paris and Venice, and it worked fine). Buy an open-jaw air ticket. Have a great trip!

Or visit Rome and Florence, or Rome and Venice, but I agree with others that three cities in eight days (along with your travel time) is pretty rushed.
BowenLinda is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Thanks everyone! What great suggestions!

If I had to chose right now, I would say I'll either do Rome and Venice, or Rome and Paris. I think I will stick to 2 places. But I always welcome more suggestions/ideas!
beachgirl86 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 12:57 PM
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Then I would suggest Rome & Venice. Paris absolutely deserves its own 8 day trip (so does Rome, but that's a whole other thread...).
bardo1 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 01:01 PM
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If you are palnning on 8 days total does that include the day you get there? If so I would stay in Rome the whole time (or Paris) and take daytrips. Why not daytrips to Ostia Antica, Florence or other places from Rome to break up the trip. I surely would not go to Paris from Rome even though I love Paris. You would get to really see and experience Rome. Don't forget, you will return.
jay is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 01:09 PM
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www.go-today.com offers packages that include air and hotel. Some of them are combinations, like 3 days Paris, 3 days Rome, etc. You might want to check that out. We've used go-today, as have several friends, and it's a reputable company.
mermaid_ is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 07:49 PM
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Thank you for all the great suggestions! I am pouring over old trip reports on all these places!

Mermaid: I had always wondered about go-today.com as they seem to have great deals. You've been happy with them? What types of trips have you been on through them? Thanks!
beachgirl86 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 07:52 PM
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I think if it were me, I would stick to Italy and give myself a chance to fall in love with a new country. How about 5 days in Rome and 3 on the Amalfi Coast? Paris isn't going anywhere.
Grasshopper is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 08:20 PM
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I would do Rome and Florence, but I would rent a car and spend a couple of days in Chianti country on your way between Rome & Florence. Siena is a nice Tuscan town, not too far from Rome. Also Castellina in Chianti is charming. There is so much to see in Italy, and so much good food & wine, if I were you I would stick to Central/Southern Italy for one trip.

The Rome/Amalfi coast idea is a good one too.
millemar is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 08:35 PM
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Hi beachgirl. We've used go-today to book our hotel and airfare package. We didn't have a choice about the airline but I did pick the hotel (a slight upgrade that didn't cost much). I was pretty happy about the airline because the connections were much better than I could have done myself. Actually, the entire thing was better than I could have done. I know because I spent months looking for good prices! Most of my friends who've tried go-today have had similar experiences. They offer a variety of deals--we did the hotel and air, but you could choose car rental and air, or air and hotel and a choice of cities. I was reasssured about them because not only did I have personal recommendations, but I have seen their packages mentioned in several travel magazines, too, as good deals.

If you put "go-today" in the search box, you'll come up with a few posts here and there about them.
mermaid_ is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 10:51 PM
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This is your first time in Italy, I suggest you stay the full time and save Paris for another year.
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 11:18 PM
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I think it is important to plan your trip in the prospect of following possible trips. This means that it is good to see one spot or region in Europe at the time instead of hopping allover Europe at each trip you come here.
I would suggest to only do Italy because you only have 8 days, 5 of which should be spent in Rome.
The weather in Italy in April should be milder than in Paris also.
You could stay in Rome and have wonderful daytrips to Orvieto, Naples.
You could stay in Rome for 5 days and then go to Florence or Venice. I would suggest Venice, because the aspect of all the canals in town is just unique. I would regret Florence, but to a lesser degree than I would regret Venice.
I've also noticed on the board that it is quite easy to find an open jaw ticket from the US, arriving in Rome and departing from Venice.

I could maybe figure out the following: stay only 4 days in Rome, take the train to Florence in the morning and spend 1 night there and take the train to Florence to arrive in Venice in mid-afternoon.

Happy travels!
baldrick is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 11:48 PM
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With the world being so big and so interesting, it is hard to pick where to go! It's really hard for me to narrow down choices too so I completely understand your dilemma.

I'm with the others who say to pick 2 places for 8 days and then make sure the distances between them are reasonable. I think if you try to fit in a 3rd city, you'll come home thinking you missed on too much. Don't forget, travel always eats up more time than you think--getting to/from each destination, waiting for the train, checking in and out of hotel...you know the deal

If it were me, I'd probably do Rome and Florence, or Rome and Venice, or Paris with day trips this time around. Then as soon as I'd get home, I'd start planning the next great adventure.

Don't stress too much. You will have fun no matter what!

OneWanderingJew is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2005, 07:40 AM
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Hi Beachgirl - I will offer an alternative viewpoint...since I love to travel and would really like to go just about everywhere, thus don't know when I'll ever get back to another country or place again, I would suggest you visit as many places as you can while you're there based upon your preference for 'pace' of vacation. Some people prefer to move slower, and certainly you do get a better feel for a place the longer you're there, but you've got to balance that with your interests & amount of travel time. I say research heavily and see all that you can in those 8 days! I too am in my late 20s, and want to get in as much travel as possible (not wait until I retire!)....on limited vacation time.

That being said, my vote is Italy, hands down. I have had two lukewarm experiences with Paris (though it may have been my travelmates that made the trips less than stellar) but I LOVE ITALY.

I would put forth that I think you can do at least 3 places...possibly more. If it's Venice-Florence-Rome, depending upon what time your flight lands, you could immediately transfer to Rome Termini (train station) to train to Venice. You can relax/sleep on the train, and spend the day you'll be most groggy travelling. Spend 2-3 nights each in Venice, Florence, and Rome, depending upon your personal preferences. For me, my preferences in order would be Florence, then Venice, then Rome.

Or, drop Venice, and do Florence - Amalfi Coast - Rome. The Amalfi Coast is an incredibly beautiful, memorable, and romantic place - I went there with my friend last spring on a *gasp* 5-nt trip to Italy which included Sorrento, Capri, and Rome. Were we able to do everything in each place? No. But am I glad we did it, considering I have no idea when/if I'll get back again? ABSOLUTELY!

I will add that my first trip to Italy was 11 nts and included Rome, Florence, San Gimingano, Pisa, Lake Como, Verona, Venice, Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, and Pompeii...so perhaps I am used to that pace...and while it was absolutely busy, it was INCREDIBLE.

Lastly, to your question about go-today, I have used them twice to book trips to Europe (once London, once Paris) and had excellent experiences with that company. The hotels were clean & comfortable in great locations, and the flights were on good airlines. My only complaint would be re: the airport transfers - they put you on a transfer shuttle that usually stops at several other hotels, and if you're last to be dropped off it takes forever! Good luck!
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