10 days in Europe, Paris (one week) + Northern Italy

Hi All,

We were recently awarded with a week in Paris by our company. Being our first trip to Europe we thought that we might as well extend our stay by a week and travel parts of northern Italy.

I’ve worked up a schedule to see Venice, Florence + Siena & Cinque Terra. My fear is that the schedule might be a bit aggressive and would welcome opinions from those more traveled than myself.

The itinerary looks like this...

Saturday Seattle to Paris
Sun-Thursday: Paris
Friday: Travel to Venice (air)
Friday-Saturday: Venice
Sunday: Travel to Florence (evening train)
Sunday-*Wednesday: Florence
Wednesday: Day trip to Siena
Thursday: Travel to Vernazza (Train)
Thursday-Saturday: Cinque Terra
Sunday: Travel to Milan (Train)
Sunday: Fly Home

All thoughts welcome,

Thanks
-Lou

Posted by Adam
Boston
2633 posts

You can always make the case to spend more time in these fabulous destinations.

But I think your plan is great.

Posted by Angela
Chicago/Rural WI
809 posts

I, too, think the itinerary looks fine and well-allotted for your time frame.

The only part of the plan I might be a little wary of is your last day when you'd travel from Vernazza to Milan to fly home. It's an awful lot of travel in one day with the approximately 3 hour (?) train from Vernazza to Milan and then a transatlantic flight. We did something similar one year, traveling from Sorrento to Rome to catch our flight and it was a looooonnnngggg day (and we were only flying to Chicago). The other thing to consider is that Italian rail is prone to strikes...

But perhaps someone who has done the CT - Milan - North America-bound flight can weigh in from personal experience.

Either way, hope you have a great trip!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

I agree with Angela about giving yourselves plenty of time to get to Malpensa. It's wise to be there three hours before a flight across the Atlantic.

If you leave Vernazza at 04:51 and connect in Monterosso, you'll arrive at Milano Centrale at 08:20.

The scheduled travel time for buses from Milano Centrale to Malpensa is 50 minutes.

If you can't get to Malpensa with good time to spare on Sunday morning, you'll need to spend Saturday night in Milano.

Posted by Lou
Kirkland, wa, usa
2 posts

Thank you all very much for commenting. I suspected that coupling a trip to Milan and flight home in the same day was long and risky. I'll adjust.

Thanks!

-Lou

Posted by Mike
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1447 posts

looks like a good plan to me. One suggestion is to consider taking a guided tour in Venice and Florence (not a private tour, but a scheduled one). Personally I've found that the tours are very informative and a better way to get a sense of the history of a place and understanding what you're seeing than walking around following a few pages out of a guide book. The tour companies recommended in the RS book are pretty good. In Paris they also have those get-on-get-off buses; I don't get off, but like riding around a new city the 1st day I arrive to get a sense of the layout of things and so I can recognize where I am later on foot.