14 days Europe IT, need suggestions, tips and advice

Would like suggestions, tips, advice. =) 14 DAYS in EUROPE Day 1-3 (3 nights) Rome, ITALY via EUROSTA train 2 hrs to Day 4 (1 night) Assisi, ITALY via Bus 3 hrs to Day 5 Siena, ITALY (1 night) via Bus 1.5 hrs. SITA buses leave Siena for Florence 2-3 times per hour starting at 06:45 and the last bus leaves Siena at 20:15. Day 6 Florence, ITALY (2 nights) via Train 1 hr- Maria Novena Station Day 7 Pisa, ITALY go back to Florence via EUROSTAR Train 2-3 hrs Day 8 Venice, ITALY (1 night) Depart to Milan in PM 2-3 hrs via Train Day 9 Milan, ITALY (2 nights) via plane to Paris 2 hrs Day 10-11 (2 nights) Paris, FRANCE via EUROSTAR Train 2 hrs, take 5 pm schedule Day 12-13 (2 nights) London, UK Day 14
Depart back home

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2600 posts

The one night stays in wonderful places seem to be such a waste of time....you spend half the day getting there...check in to a hotel, have a few hours, and then the next morning back out. So expensive to spend all that time on the train. You fly into Rome and out of London? There are lots of people here who are great planners with train travel (I do lots of cars) but I would definitely cut down... if you want to do just the city thing... I would do Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris and London and forget the rest, but I am sure most here would cut that down....I have done the few hour or one night stops many times with a car... but then you can just throw your stuff in and drive to the next stop (Pisa, Sienna, Assisi,even Venice) but that doesn't work as well with the train. Have you been to Europe before?
Good luck and you'll get lots of advice here!

Posted by Roe
Reston, Virginia
398 posts

Gen: Well, my advice will be the same as everyone else who posts in response to your request...be more ive. Your memories will be mainly of transportation rather than the wonderful experiences that justify the very high price you will pay to fly to Europe. What to cut? Well, as I see it, you can either do an Italy trip or a European highlights trip in 14 days. EH Option ....fly into Rome. Arrive Day 1. Don't expect much out of this day. You'll be in a jet lagged, sleep-deprived fog. Days 2, 3, 4,5 Rome. Day 6 Train to Venice. Days 6,7 Venice. Day 8: fly Easyjet to either Paris airport. Days 8, 9, 10 Paris. Day 11 Eurostar to London. Days 11, 12, 13 London. Day 14 fly home from London. This is still too rushed, and by cutting Venice you could add time to Paris and London. It option..arrive Rome day 1. 5 nights in Rome. Train to Naples/Pompeii via long day trip on Day 4. Day 6 to Siena. Nights 6,7 in Siena. Day 7 Rental car daytrip through Tuscany. Day 8 bus or train to Florence. Nights 8,9,10,11 in Florence with daytrips to Pisa and Lucca. Day 12 train to Venice. Nights 12,13 in Venice with daytrip to the Veneto. Day 14 fly home from Venice.
Neither of these is perfect, and other posters will have better ideas, but I would suggest to you that this shows the sort of hard choices that you will need to make.

Posted by Kathy
Germany, Germany
800 posts

Itineraries like these show me that you'd rather just check off a list of cities to say you've been there than actually see or do anything. Sorry if that sounds harsh. Pisa is a such a dump honestly. I suggest Rome (days 1-5), train (day 6) to Venice (days 6-9), you could stop for a night in Florence or another small town on the way, but not ALL of them,
fly to Paris (days 10-14), depart to US from Paris. That is really only 4 days in Rome, 3 days in Venice, and 4 days in Paris.

Posted by Lisa
White Plains, NY, USA
491 posts

Whoa, slow down! I agree too much too fast but if you must follow something like this Go Rome, Assisi, Florence from there day trip to Siena, Pisa. Only one night it Venice yet two in Milan? I don't get that. Europe will still be there in a few years you are better off sticking with Italy than spending 2 nights each in Paris and London.

Posted by Matt
Washington, DC, USA
566 posts

I would generally join the chorus here and advise that three countries in two weeks is too much, but I'll adopt the spirit of your plan and suggest an itinerary that gives you some time in Italy, plus a taste of the French and British capitals. (All that extra travel will add $$ to your trip, I'm afraid.) Day 1. Arrive Rome, settle in, dine. Sleep Rome. Day 2. Rome Day 3. Rome. Day 4. a.m. train to Florence, settle in, site see. Sleep Florence Day 5. Florence, or day trip to Siena OR hill towns. Sleep Florence. Day 6. Same as 5. Day 7. Train to Venice (your choice early or later). Sleep Venice. Day 8. Venice Day 9. Depart Venice by air to Paris. Sleep Paris. Day 10. Paris Day 11. Later Eurostar Paris to UK. Sleep London. Day 12. London Day 13. London Day 14. Depart for home. Since you would fly to Paris to save time, the Italy part of your trip could conceivably be done starting in Venice and working toward Rome, too. Investigate best airfares and also which days of the week you are in each city: Be sure to know the museum closure schedules. Skip Milan. Skip Pisa, in my opinion. (If it's important to you to get your photo in front of the leaning tower, then take time from Florence. ) Skip Assisi, only due to time constraints. You'll have an extremely limited taste of France and England, so be prepared to hit the ground running and know what you want to see. Day 15. Regret not having enough time in Fra + UK.
Day 16. Start planning your next trip.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7949 posts

That's the darnedest thing I've seen in a long time. It's nothing but trains and buses. You can't poof youself from a hotel or sight to transportation - - there's a lot of logistical time at both ends of a journey. I'm not a big fan of that chunk of Italy, but I've seen it a few times - - you can't begin to do it justice in the whole two weeks. Lob a couple of things off, starting with Pisa. Have you priced out the transportation costs? Are you aware of things such as it's a couple of miles uphill from the train station into Assisi? Your idea for Paris and London makes my eyes water. Make it one or the other and spend at least four days there. Note: This is the watered-down, tactful version of what I typed the first time. :)

Posted by Sarah
Chicago (formerly St. Louis), IL, USA
1311 posts

Stay in Italy for your 14 days and make London and Paris another two-week trip. Suggested itinerary: -4 days in Rome -4 days in Florence (Assisi and Siena can be daytrips from Florence) -Skip Pisa. It isn't that interesting. -I'd say at least 2 days in Venice. I was only there for a day and at the time I didn't know better, but now I do. -2 days in Milan (what do you want to see there?) -Or skip Milan also and add a day to Venice and a day to Florence

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10844 posts

It is an exhausting schedule just to read it. I was tempted to add up the travel time along just to see if it was over half of the trip. Everyone is going to say, "Cut it in Half!" But I think a lot of us have had one of these trips which is why we are so quick to say, TOO MUCH !! IMO a trip should be somewhat relaxing. We have learned to plan a dead day, sailors call it a lay day, in which nothing is planned. We do it about every four days. Allows us to recover physically, maybe add in something we had not planned, maybe do some laundry, and if there has been some problems with our schedule - delays, etc. then the off day allows to adjust and get back on schedule. If there is a hick up in your schedule you will never recover. Also you will have a couple of Mondays in your schedule and a lot of the tourist sites close on Monday to compensate for being open on the weekend. Again, from our experience, you need contingency plans because nothing ever works as totally planned. I see no wiggle room in your schedule should something not go as planned. And it will.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17718 posts

Gen, Unfortunately, I most definitely agree with the "growing chorus" of comments that you're trying to fit too much into a very limited time frame. As Frank noted, if there are any "unexpected occurrences" this will throw the entire plan "for a loop". This is a "blitz Itinerary" and to paraphrase one of the other comments, I had to take a rest after reading it. To begin with, I'd suggest dropping Pisa (not worth the travel time just to see the Tower) and Milan (unless you really want to see The Last Supper or something else). The Itinerary suggested by Matt is along the lines of what I'd recommend. However, I'd drop one day in Florence and add it to Paris. One day is not much time to really see much in Paris. In planning your Itinerary, remember one of Rick's frequent sayings, "assume you will return". Good luck!

Posted by Gen
simi valley
4 posts

lol I love how you all responded to my IT. =) Thanks to all of your suggestions, tips and reactions. hehe So, change of IT. Rome day 1-5 Venice day 6-9
Paris 10-14 I want more tips please! Its going to be our first time in Europe. I would love to hear from people who have been there.

Posted by Frank II
USA
4376 posts

When I read your question, and before I looked at any of the responses I thought.....Is this a vacation to see how much time you can spend on different modes of transportation or is it a trip to see Euorpe. Then I read the rest. I'm glad you're changing. You'll be much happier and less stressed. Now, I'm going to suggest you add something. Since this is your first trip to Europe, and I know you want to see a lot......your train between Rome and Venice goes through Florence. Why not take an early train out of Rome, spend a night in Florence, and at the end of day two take a later train to Venice. (Both are very quick trips.) At least you can see the major sights of Florence. It's only 1.5 hours between Rome and Florence and 2 hours between Florence and Venice St. Lucia.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2600 posts

Good choice for beautiful cities... my only suggestion would be to try and get out of those cities for a few day trips to see some of the surrounding villages or countryside. That way you will have a more well-rounded view of these countries. For me, I can only handle the crowds, tourist attractions and overall intense energy for a few days until I feel the need to escape. I also would not feel I had been to Europe if I did not have a little time at the sea. Have a wonderful time! (I am definitely a traveler who is happy missing some of the 'highlights' to be on the 'road less traveled.'
It's the surprises that make the trip for me.

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2197 posts

Good change of plans, Gen. I predict you will be planning your return to Europe by the time you are on the train to Venice. :-)

Posted by Lisa
White Plains, NY, USA
491 posts

Looks much better already. I agree don't forget a day out in the country too.

Posted by Gen
simi valley
4 posts

Terry, Laurel and Lisa:
Thank you again. =) Frank: Sorry my reaction offended u in any way? I really appreciate all of the comments. It's just that havent been to Europe. and just got so excited to hear all this information/reactions. Our trip is not until October, but Im getting so OCD about planning this trip. And its really hard planning an IT, esp if u want to see all these beautiful places. It really helps me a lot reading this site. =)

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3058 posts

OK, let's translate for Frank: Rome days 1 thru 5 Venice days 6 thru 9
Paris days 10 thru 14

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17718 posts

Gen, Your new Itinerary looks much more reasonable. However, I agree with other comments that it would be a good idea to take at least one day in each location for a day trip to a nearby "smaller" city. For example.... In Rome, a day trip to Orvieto (a beautiful hill town in Umbria) would be nice. It's only an hour by train. In Venice there are lots of choices - Padua, Vicenza, Verona (while there you could visit the fictional Romeo & Juliet garden). In Paris, Versailles is an easy day trip. For your visit to Paris, you might consider getting a two-day Paris Museum Pass (check their website for details). Also, if you're planning to visit the Louvre, don't try to see all of it as it's huge! If you're mostly interested in the Mona Lisa, that's in the Denon wing. One of the most important bits of advice (since this is your first trip) is that it would be a really good idea to read Europe Through The Back Door, as that will provide you with lots of good information on "how" to travel in Europe. Pay careful attention to the "Rail Skills" chapter. Also, both of you should be sure to wear Money Belts! The ETBD country or city-specific Guidebooks will have lots of information on sights to see, opening and closing times, transportation, Hotels, Restaurants, etc. Cheers!

Posted by Gen
simi valley
4 posts

Thanks Tim, Ken and Frank.
I am making a note on my "Europe travel binder".