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1. Posted by Isabella36 (Budding Member 11 posts) 7y

Isabella36 has indicated that this thread is about Italy

Hi,

I'm traveling to Italy and France this summer (end of May to mid-July) and will be visiting this cities (as well as visiting family/family friends for about 3 of the 8 weeks).

This is my plan but I'm not sure if this is the way to go about it:

Start in Venice (5 days)

Rome (3 days)

Formia (family) (6-8 days)

Tuscany - Siena, Cortona, Assisi, Umbria, Lucca (6-7 days)

Scigliano (12-14 days)

Sicily (3-4 days)

I will visit my grandmother for about 6 days; go to Sicily and then return to my grandmother's)

Sorrento - Positano, Amalfi Coast, Island of Capri (5-6 days) This amount includes the cities mentioned from Sorento to Island of Capri to Lucca.

Cinque Terre (3-4 days)

Provence (3-4 days)

Do you have any other suggestions on which city to visit instead of Provence? Provence sounds really nice; country like, full of sunflowers.

Paris (5 days)

Home.

How does this look? I was going to fly into Venice and then head south. I will then travel back north and was considering taking a train to Provence;

OR

Should I fly into Rome, do the southern part of Italy and then work my way north to Tuscany, Cinque Terre and Venice, and then fly to France, or take the train to France. Some suggested that I would be doing alot of extra train travel if I follow my itinerary that I described above.

I’m thinking that it would be good to travel to other locations in between my visit in Formia and Scigliano (my grandmother’s). I could go from Formia to Tuscany (and see all of the other cities) and then head to my grandmother’s OR go to Sorrento first – then my grandmother’s – Sicily (in between visits with her) – head north to Tuscany – Cinque Terre – Venice – then fly to France?

I hope that I didn't confuse you too much. lol. I'm feeling tired from all of this. I'm excited about my trip but it can certainly feel overwhelming at times.

Thanks.

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

If you travel from Venice to Rome you travel through Tuscany. Cinque Terre is in Tuscany.

It would make a lot more sense to go Venice-Tuscany(incl. Cinque Terre)-Rome-Formia-Sorrento-Sicily-Scigliano-Rome-France or Rome-Formia-Sicily-Scigliano-Sorrento-Tuscany-Venice-France. Saves you travelling time and money.

Essentially put everything in a logical order, starting either in Venice or Rome and then go south to Sicily once and up to either Rome or Venice, hitting all the places you want to see along the way.

Note that 5 days are a bit much for Venice, I would spent more time in Rome. If you end your trip in Rome or Venice consider using a budget flight to get to Paris.

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

One more thought: Consider reversing the order of you trip, flying into Paris and out of Rome or Venice. This is because if you go to France first you can do a little train-ticketing trick: Buy an international train ticket for Italy in France. Cheapest way to do it without a railpass, even cheaper than regular tickets bought in Italy. Only requirement for this is that you go to France first and that all the stops in Italy are in a logical north-south-north order. If that is an option for you I'll gladly explain the process in detail.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Apr-2009, at 22:37 by t_maia ]

4. Posted by Gurt (Full Member 62 posts) 7y

My suggestion is to start in Roma. From there you explore Roma, Napoli, Pompeii. In Napoli central station take the Circumvesuvius train to visit Pompeii and Sorrento.
Then go south to Sicily; perhaps the overnight ferry Napoli - Palermo is an idea? You leave at 22 PM,
arrival time about 6.30 in the early morning.

I should take a bit more time at Sicily. Palermo, Cefalu, Arigento, Noto, Catania are very worthwile and this trip will cost at least 5 or 6 days.

After exploring Sicily start travelling North. By bus? I took a bus from Catania up to Catanzaro (Calabria).
Of course train travelling is possible too.

Cinque Terra is very beautiful. There's a train passing the most beautiful villages; take a hike or two!
Do not take too much time for Venice. 1 or 2 days will be enough.
About France: Monte Carlo, Nice and hitting Reims when you travel to Paris.

If you have more detailed questions, you know where you can find me!!

5. Posted by daisan (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

Hi
we are going to do a great vacation and you choose a really good period!!

I think that 5 days in Venice is too much, near Venice you could may be visit Padova or Ferrara but there also really beutifull montain (you can be in both city in more or less 1 hour by train more for mountain).

Between Formia and Lucca there's also Maremma if you like food (but also sea and nature) you have to stop there.
Why you don't want to visit Napoli or Firenze?

My suggestion is to go first in the south and than in the north, as moving in France will be more easier (and also quick).
From Milan there's more night train, tgv (high speed train) and flight to Paris than in the south.

bye

6. Posted by vin10is (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

Isabella.........If I were you I would skip France...Fly into Naples. Do your stops in south and then head north to all the wwonderful places you mentioned....don't forget Pompeii, once you get to Rome continue on to MILAN...Torino..and Cortina in the Dolemite Mountains...That would round out a wonderful trip to Italy....5 days in Venice is great.. Ciao

7. Posted by Isabella36 (Budding Member 11 posts) 7y

Hi,

I was happy to see responses to my post but feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of it. I'm not sure what to do. I'm still dealing with a sinus headache/cold so I'm not feeling 100%. I'm on my last 3 of antibiotics and even though it has helped, it certainly hasn't cleared it. Hence, I'm having a hard time thinking or concentrating about my travel plans right now.

Okay. I'm going to respond to your comments and questions.

Isabella.........If I were you I would skip France...Fly into Naples.
I had thought about taking France out of my itinerary but I'm pretty sure that I would like to go. I didn't mention this in my post, but I have been to Europe before. I went to Italy with my family for 2 months when I was 12 and turned 13 (July 1). We visited my mom's family. I then went on a Contiki tour when I was 24 and turned 25 in Greece. I visited 15 countries including England, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Austria, Switzerland and Holland. The trip was 46 days and I stayed an extra 1.5 weeks in London prior to the trip. Mind you, it was a quick pace trip. My longest stay was in Greece (1 week) and the rest of the visits lasted between 1-3 days, depending on what country we were visiting. It was a good trip but I don't remember a lot of what I saw. I do have great memories but everything was set and go-go-go so I didn't get a chance to savour it as much as I wanted to.

So, I would like to go to France again. I would love to go with someone special but what if it doesn't happen one day. I have met women who travel but their spouses' don't enjoy it so they stay home! Also, I have the opportunity now, so I decided to plan it in. I'm not working full-time right now so I'm able to be flexible with my schedule. Upon my return home from my trip, I planned on looking for a new career and home. I feel that I may not have this opportunity again however, I would like to think that I will. I have read so many posts of people traveling every year or two. It is possible but every situation is different.

With regards to going to Naples, I'm not interested. I have read some negative reviews about Naples and my mom shared some things with me about it so I decided not to go. However, I never planned to go there in the first place. My mind was not set on traveling to Naples although, I am planning on visiting Positano, which is close by.

Do your stops in south and then head north to all the wonderful places you mentioned....don't forget Pompeii, once you get to Rome continue on to MILAN...Torino..and Cortina in the Dolemite Mountains...That would round out a wonderful trip to Italy....5 days in Venice is great.. Ciao!
I have been to Pompeii and have no desire to go there again. I also not interested in going to Milan (on this trip). Perhaps in the future I will. My sister went there with a friend and it doesn't sound like a city that I want to visit on this trip. This trip is about getting away, relaxing, doing some sightseeing, being at peace and becoming friends with myself again. This might sound strange but I have gone through a lot in the past few years (3 friends' died within 1 year - 2 from cancer and 1 suicide; I went through a very painful breakup (twice - 2004 & 2007) with my ex-bf who came back into my life 3 years after getting engaged to someone else (I didn't know) and declared that he made a mistake; got married to her and they had a child together (she has 3 teenage kids) and he expected me to be in a relationship with him and his 2 daughters (1 from a previous marriage) as if nothing happened. Do you have a headache yet? And a friend of the family was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Needless to say, I fell hard, to the bottom of the hole. It took me a long time to pick myself up and make my way up to the top. It hasn't been an easy or happy 2.5 years. So, traveling to Europe is not about seeing all of the major cities. I want to travel like I live there - being with the locals, observing, being in the country, going for walks, going to flea markets. I just want to chill. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? I'm not sure what I'm trying to say! lol. I'm excited about my trip but feel nervous and scared at times. I'm not sure why. I guess I'm scared that I will feel sad or lonely while I'm there and I don't want to feel that way. However, these are normal feelings and there is nothing wrong with feeling that way but as humans, we tend to want to fight off those feelings.

My message is too long so I will need to post another message.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Apr-2009, at 16:06 by Isabella36 ]

8. Posted by Isabella36 (Budding Member 11 posts) 7y

So the message continues....

A few members have suggested that 5 days in Venice is too long. My sister went with a friend for 2 weeks! They had a good time. They just "chilled" most of the time. They would hang out somewhere and have a drink or pizza. It wasn't about seeing everything for them. I just figured that 5 days would give me time to visit the sites and just take my time going through the city. However, someone suggested going to Padova or Ferrara so that might be something that I could do.

Between Formia and Lucca there's also Maremma if you like food (but also sea and nature) you have to stop there.
I will check it out!

Why you don't want to visit Napoli or Firenze?
I mentioned the reason for Napoli above. I have been to Firenze and it's a beautiful place. I think the reason why I didn't include it as one of the cities to visit is b/c I knew that it would be a very busy place. I also didn't really think about it. I also wasn't planning on going to Rome but I got a lot of flack about that. lol. It was like saying "no" to chocolate. I see Rome as a busy place and since I have been to the Vatican (twice), seen the Sistene Chapel, Spanish steps and Trevi fountain (although it would be nice to this again and spend more time there). There's a lot of busyness and go-go-go where I live and I didn't want to be in that sort of environment.

My suggestion is to go first in the south and than in the north, as moving in France will be more easier (and also quick).
Several people have suggested this - starting in Rome and traveling south first and then north, ending in France.

Someone else suggested going to France first and then head to Italy, flying into Rome.

One more thought: Consider reversing the order of you trip, flying into Paris and out of Rome or Venice...... Only requirement for this is that you go to France first and that all the stops in Italy are in a logical north-south-north order. This sounds good too.

It would make a lot more sense to go Venice-Tuscany(incl. Cinque Terre)-Rome-Formia-Sorrento-Sicily-Scigliano-Rome-France or Rome-Formia-Sicily-Scigliano-Sorrento-Tuscany-Venice-France. Saves you travelling time and money. I don't know what to do. They are all great ideas. I need to decide soon what I will do (fly into Rome, Venice or Paris). I want to start booking my accommodations and places to visit. I will be going within a month and I don't want to rush through my preparations.

If you travel from Venice to Rome you travel through Tuscany. Cinque Terre is in Tuscany. Oh, I didn't know that Cinque Terre is in Tuscany.

I should take a bit more time at Sicily. Palermo, Cefalu, Arigento, Noto, Catania are very worthwhile and this trip will cost at least 5 or 6 days.
I didn't realize this. Originally, Sicily wasn't in my agenda either but a few members mentioned that it's wonderful there. I read so many positive reviews about it. I thought 3-4 days would be enough.

After exploring Sicily start travelling north. By bus? I took a bus from Catania up to Catanzaro (Calabria). Of course train travelling is possible too.
I thought of going to my grandmother's (Calabria) for about 5-6 days, heading to Sicily and then going back to my grandmother's for about 9-10 days. I haven't seen my grandmother in 15 years so I don't want to have a quick visit and leave. She's a wonderful and funny person. I adore her and miss her a lot so I want to spend quality time with her and my other relatives. Some people have said that 12-14 days is too long but when you leave half way around the world and haven't seen a relative in 15 years, it's not long for me. I feel this way now. It might be different when I visit but I will be breaking up the visit by going to Sicily so I figure that the days will go by.

Cinque Terra is very beautiful. There's a train passing the most beautiful villages; take a hike or two!
Thanks. I also heard that it's beautiful from other travelers. I will be sure to bring comfortable shoes for the hikes.

About France: Monte Carlo, Nice and hitting Reims when you travel to Paris.
I can't remember if I have been to Monte Carlo or Monaco. It's been a while but it was like a 30-45 minute experience. That's what happens when you travel on a tour.

Note that 5 days are a bit much for Venice, I would spent more time in Rome.
Several people have mentioned that 5 days in Venice is too long. Why do you feel that way? I have only been there once (when I was 24) but we didn't stay very long. I'm curious to know what the reasoning is for visiting Venice for less days and Sicily for a longer stay. I would appreciate your feedback.

If you end your trip in Rome or Venice consider using a budget flight to get to Paris.
I considered this. I also thought of taking the train. Which would be better (cheaper and convenient)? How long would the train ride be from Rome to Paris or vice-versa? Are the trains nice? I'm wondering if they are the European trains that I will be traveling in or typical everyday trains - like a city bus.

Question - What do you think of the time frame that I have given myself in France? I think I planned 5 days in Paris and 3-4 in Provence? I can always take Provence out. I read that it's a beautiful place and added it to the list a few days ago.

If you have more detailed questions, you know where you can find me!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. : )

Thank you ALL for your help. It is very much appreciated!

Cheers.

P.S. I'm sorry for getting a bit personal with my story. I just wanted to let you know where I was coming from and what this trip meant to me.

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

If you end your trip in Rome or Venice consider using a budget flight to get to Paris.I considered this. I also thought of taking the train. Which would be better (cheaper and convenient)? How long would the train ride be from Rome to Paris or vice-versa?

Flight would be cheaper and more convenient. The only people taking the train between Paris and Rome are Eurail and Interrail pass users and people who don't fly on principle. Train ride from Paris to Rome would be something around 12-16 hours and cost about 150 EUR one-way in a couchette. For the night train, the EN 227, I found the the information that it has no seats, only sleepers and couchettes. To me that indicates a modern train. The other connections with TGV, CIS and ES trains should be very modern too.

As a rule the ES (Eurostar) trains in Italy and the TGV in France are the most modern trains (=European trains as you call it), it is the cheap regional trains that are more like city busses.

About Cinque Terre - it is actually in Liguria not in Tuscany (my mistake), but sufficiently close to Florence to make it a popular day trip. So it would still be easy to combine Tuscany and Cinque Terre.

Provence - I was there about 15 years ago on a camping trip with my parents, it seemed to me as if there was not much public transport. The attraction of the Provence are the small villages and backroads with the lavendar fields, I think you'd have to rent a car to see them properly. 3-4 days would be good for the region if you got a car, if you go by train I would not bother as the hassle of getting around would be too time-consuming.

10. Posted by daisan (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

I can understand what you said in your post so i have to try to help you! :-)

I agree with you on Milan (i live in Milan, I love it), it's not a place to relax and becoming friend with yourself but it's place where you have to do somenthing (but there's lot of things to be watched).
So you can use Milan, if you need, as a logistic place. Night Train to Paris start from Milan (time to sleep and you are in Paris), but there's also 3 airports with budget fly. You can also find a lot of budget fly in Rome.

I think 5days in Venice is too much i don't know how to explain, it's a place like no one but after 3days i need something else.

Maremma is the place to stay in contact with local people and relax (for example search Saturnia). there are also some other place like chianti or umbria (but you haven't so much time).

To move to Cinque Terra yes there's a train. Take that both in Toscana than in Liguria near cinque terra there are beutyfull place but noone is really cheap.

About Sicily, it's wonderfull really but travel with pubblic transport will be a little bit difficult (there isn't a lot of highway or train) so i suggest you to choose a zone and visit it. i can not suggest with part!

Provence is great, something like toscana or umbria but in France.

About save money if you come Us ( i think so but i'ma not sure) check Aer lingus i think it has cheapest flight from NY to
Milan. and as told move from Milan to everywhere in Italy will be simple.

Cortina and Dolomiti are not near Milan or Torino, but more near Venice.

I vote to move before in the south and in the north, it will allow you to do short travel.