I'm 18 and as a graduation present my mom and I are going to Europe from June 5th to June 26th of 2012. This will be both of our's second trip to Europe. We have booked flights arriving in London on June 5th and departing Barcelona on June 26th. In between we've planned 3 days in London, 3 days in Paris, 3 days in Venice, 1-2 days in Florence/Pisa, 1-2 days in Cinque Terre, 3 days in Rome, and 3 days in Barcelona. This leaves us with 3-4 days of unplanned travel. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of destinations to include or changes to be made to our itinerary. We plan to travel mostly by train if possible. We're interested in architecture, food, history, natural beauty and experiencing authentic European culture. Our budget is 8,000 to 9,000 dollars not including airfare. We've also considered Porto, Portugal, the French Riviera, more time in France or Italy, or a quick trip through Germany. We're open to any suggestions though! Any advice would be much welcomed!
I'd recommend the French Riviera. Nice is a pleasant place (I was going to say 'nice'). The beaches might be a bit crowded in the summer, though.
I note you say 'going to Europe' and do not say vacation or holiday. Is this the pace you travelled on your first trip and did it suit? Have you visited some of these destinations before and that is why so fast paced? Do you like travel just for the sake of it? If, you want more to do, I suggest you do less moving, slow down and smell the coffee (or vino, croissant, pizza or tapas) and do side trips from the cities on your wish list, as those cities are not fully representative of the country.
Are you quite sure you have factored in travel time? i.e. if 3 days somewhere includes the travel, door to door, to the destination, it will be far less than three FULL days, ergo you may not be doing the justice you want (or is deserved) to this destination.
I reckon spending the time in France or Italy is a good idea, Germany or Portugal would be a fairly major diversion that you don't really have time for. Stopping off in a few places en route is a good idea - how about Avignon maybe?