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Your only chance to visit France/Italy - what would you do?

Your only chance to visit France/Italy - what would you do?

Old Aug 20th, 2003, 08:53 PM
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Your only chance to visit France/Italy - what would you do?

My husband and I are graduating from med school this year! and we have never been to europe and figure that this is our last chance before working in the real world starts.

We are planning to go budget all the way and want to spend 3 weeks total in the spring of 2004 (I'd love to spend even more time, but hubby won't hear of it). *guilty admission* I love shopping/browsing - want to go to the outlets near Florence...and the museums...other than that we are completely completely clueless.

I was thinking one week in Paris? 2 weeks tooling around Italy? We will just have to hit up the highlights...Would love to hear what other people would do in this situation...Thanks so much in advance!
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Old Aug 20th, 2003, 09:27 PM
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Congratulations on graduating from med school--you deserve a great trip!

We did this trip the first time we took our daughter to Europe and it worked out great for us--did a combination train/rental car as follows:

flew into Paris--6 days
train to Montreau overnight
train to Venice--4 days
rental car to Florence--4 days
Portifino-2 days
Nice--4 days

Happy planning--it's part of the fun of it!
artlover is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2003, 10:39 PM
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The best advice I can give you is to take as long of a European trip as you can. Three months as opposed to three weeks. Internship probably doesn't start until the end of June so depending on when you finish your final rotation, time needed possibly to move for your internship, and graduation date should be your major issues. Cost for such a trip will be small in comparison to your med school costs, especially if you went the private school route. It is highly likely that you will not have this kind of time again to travel until you retire so you should make the best of it. The future for you otherwise is 3 to 9 years of further training, possibly children, possibly starting practices etc which means only short one week type vacations for a long time (10 years+ usually).
Rick Steve's books will be of great help
for planning your trip. If you stick to about three weeks I would recommend something like 5 days Paris, overnight train or fly (find budget airline)to Venice for about 3 days, train to Florence for at least a few days possibly with day trips to Siena and Pisa or Lucca, than possibly on to the Cinq Terre for a few days. You may wish somewhere here to rent a car to explore Tuscany. It is than on to Rome for at least 4 to five days than possibly a few days on the Amalfi Coast. You can probably fly home via Naples.
Again however I would tell you to take off more time and explore more of Europe while you have this time. Talk to some of your Attendings for further advice. You will not regret taking all this time off now to vacation as soon time will be what you really lack. Good luck.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 04:48 AM
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Congratulations on your graduations. Lucky you to have 3 weeks to take off.

May I point out that, this is NOT the last chance to travel before you retire, and don't try to see/do everything this trip.

I suggest the following:

Paris one week. Overnight train to Venice. Spend 4 days.
(see http://www.voyages-sncf.com)

Train to Florence. Spend 4 days.

Train to Rome. Spend 6 days.
(see www.trenitalia.com)

Fly home from Rome. Cost of open jaw flights is about the same as RT and will save you a day of traveling.

Have a lovely trip.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 04:55 AM
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Ummm... I went to medical school, in part, so there would be never be such thing as my "only" chance to do something or go somewhere.

The combination of time in Paris and Italy seems reasonable, but don't let this "only" chance thinking spoil your enjoyment of your trip. There will be more, unless you find out that you really just don't like overseas travel - - in which case it won't matter.

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers, M.D.
Floyds Knobs, Indiana

rex is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2003, 05:05 AM
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Unlike ira (who gives great advice anyway!), I'm from the 'more is more' school of travel. Even if many more trips will come your way, I'd still head for at least 5 destinations in 3+ (keep pushing for it, girl!) weeks. My ideal trip would be:
Burgundy or Alps
Tuscany (based in Florence)

Too much, I know, but your trip is for seeing and doing rather than relaxing, right?
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 05:12 AM
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If you cannot extend the trip beyone three weeks, I'd stick to one part of one country, and I'd choose Italy. I don't like the "travel" part of traveling, so I don't cover long distnces on trips once I arrive at a destination. I also like to focus on single area for a while to get the feel of it.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 05:49 AM
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Floyds Knobs, Indiana?
When did that happen??
Old Aug 21st, 2003, 06:26 AM
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I think Ira's itinerary is wonderful. It includes most of my favorite places in the world. Only one suggestion - if you love the countryside and want to include that in addition to cities, cut one day from each city (except Paris!)and spend 3 days in Tuscany or Umbria (between Florence and Rome) for a change of pace from the cities. At the end of 3 weeks, you will want to go back as soon as possible. Have a wonderful time.
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Old Aug 21st, 2003, 06:26 AM
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Nothing specific to offer exccept:
Take your time. Enjoy. There will be other trips.
I could easily spend three weeks in either country, but I think going to both is a fine idea, IF you don't try to do too much.
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