We are just beginning to look at a trip to Paris/Italy and want some advise. Our 10th anniversary is August 29th and it would be easier to go in the late summer but I've heard it can be hot not to mention expensive. Do you think it'll be better to wait until late September?
We are looking at going to Paris for a few days and then over to Italy for a week. Is it better to find an airline that will do a stop over or to just get flights into Paris and take the train/car.
We are from Canada and you take a car everywhere but I know it's different in Europe. How much are car rentals and do you think it's a good idea to get a car. I just see that we will have to get taxi's everywhere if we take the train everywhere and the taxi fares can add up.
I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get into it.
August is supposed to be unbearably hot in Italy. I always like travelling in September--less people and less extreme heat.
The public transportation system in Paris is excellent. Don't bother with a car there--it'll just be frustrating. Between trains and busses, the only time we ever took taxis in Paris is if we stayed out too late. It's a walking city.
Where in Italy are you planning to go? You can get a train from Paris or a cheap flight on a low-cost carrier to Rome and, I assume, lots of other cities. Unless you really want to drive through the Alps (which might be nice), I'd skip the car rental--might be more frustrating than fun. Europe is really great for train service. Use it as much as you can!
And enjoy your trip!
I want to see as much as we can in Italy in a week. I really like getting a condo and staying in the same place for a week. It's cheaper and you get a way bigger space than a hotel. So to go with that I was thinking of having day trips from Rome for ease of transporation. If not what other city would be good.
The one thing that we do have to get to is the Tower of Pisa (engineers here).
Italy's big--it won't be possible to stay in Rome, for example, and take a day trip to Venice or Pompeii or something. We did Rome-Venice-Tuscany-Amalfi Coast in 15 days and booked a place in each. (To give you an idea, we drove from Rome to Venice in about 8 hours -- although we were stuck behind an accident for awhile). If you just want to explore Rome and surrounding areas, though, renting a condo and travelling out from there may be a good idea (Pisa is about 2 hours or so away, and so is Tuscany). Seeing that you only have a week in Italy, that may be your best bet.
Try browsing the accommodation section here or Cross-Pollinate for accommodation in some of the major cities.
In Paris, we stay at Home Moderne--it's about 45 Euro per room per night with a small kitchenette. Nothing fancy, but it's decent and clean and about a 10-minute walk form the Metro.
If you have any other questions, ask away!
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 4, 2008, at 6:37 AM by tway ]
If heat is really a concern for you, avoid Italy in August at all costs! I'm not one to avoid trips due to things like the time or weather but after experiencing it last summer....I normally sweat more than the average person so it was unbearable.
Thanks so much for the info tway. I had not thought that the destinations would be that far away. I just don't really want to cart luggage around too much. I'm just going to have to learn to pack light.
Thanks for the apartment rental info. They look like very good deals and with a kitchenette sounds fabulous.
As for the weather. I do burn very easily so I think I will try to avoid it as much as possible. The flights are expensive in the summer too. But if that is all we can handle with the kids going to grandparents then that is what we will have to do.
I personally would avoid Paris in August. The only people idiotic enough to wander around the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and what not in the summer heat are tourists. Real Parisiens leave the city and flock to the beaches all around the Med. If you are in Paris in August and approach somebody in halting French chances are s/he will turn around and adress you in English with a broad American accent. The French don't return until school starts in September. Late September would really be the better time to go, as you would actually see Paris the way it is year-round.