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2 week vacation to Spain and Italy

Hey all! My roommate and I have just started thinking about a 2 week vacation to both Spain and Italy. Neither one ofus have ever been to Europe so this is very new and scary!! We started off wanting to go to a different country very day (again we are beginners) and finally decided to narrow it down to out top 2 countries. We plan to travel in September 2013 and would like to know if that's a good time to travel? Also any suggested routes To take? We do not have flights as of yet, and I guess that will depend of what cities we decide on. Since we are so new to this any help/suggestions on how to even get started would be great help! And we also apologize for the vagueness! Amanda and Corey

Posted by
2 posts

Also, how much should we budget for once we are there? We were thinking $2,000-$3,000 per person for 2 weeks of transportation, hostels, food, entertainment, etc.

Posted by
1244 posts

Hi Amanda. I think nearly everyone here would agree that your best first step is to go to bookstore or library and get RickSteves book 'Europe thru the back door'. It will help you turn your 'new and scary' feelings into 'confident and excited'. Enjoy!

Posted by
359 posts

definitely get some good travel books like RS and start reading. You will need to narrow down a feasible itinerary for your two weeks.
With only two weeks I would in general pick just Spain OR Italy. In general Sept is a good time to travel to Europe but of course it really depends on exactly where you want to go.

Posted by
12193 posts

In two weeks, I'd probably do Venice, Florence, Rome. Another choice is southern Spain, Seville, Granada, Cordoba, or northern Spain, Barcelona, Toledo, Madrid, but not both. Any of the three leave you some time for added stops/sites. If you try to do more than one of the three, you won't really have enough time to enjoy anything, you will spend too much time in transit.

Posted by
799 posts

You could go to both Spain and Italy in one two-week vacation if you'd like, but there's more than enough to do and see in either country. It would be easier as first-time European visitors to visit only one country. Which one? I love them both. Get many travel books from the library, as well as watching travel shows - I really do like Rick Steves. You can see them on the website or on Hulu. They'll give you a good feel for the places that you're considering. And September is a great time to travel to either country.

Posted by
3696 posts

First time to Europe... you sound young (hostels) so I would disagree with other posters and say you can definitely visit two countries. No, you cannot see everything, but you can pick an area of Spain and an area of Italy and make it work. The south of Spain is beautiful. Tuscany would be a good choice in Italy, including Rome. I think it is really fun to see more than one country. You can always decide if you like it enough to return and see anything you missed. Being young I am assuming you will be beginning a career, life, marriage, etc. so you never know how soon you will be able to return. I would see as much as I could (within reason!) Seriously, there is nothing like your first trip to Europe.

Posted by
4535 posts

I'm with Terry - while I personally would not do both countries in 2 weeks anymore, I certainly would have in college or my 20s. You won't see near everything, but you can get a great taste. A few itinerary options: Barcelona -2 days Madrid - 3 days with a daytrip to Toledo Venice - 2 days Florence - 2-3 days with a daytrip to Siena
Rome - 4 days minimum That's 14 days BUT will be a lot of long distance travel. Plan to fly open-jaw coming and going from the US and to fly Spain-Italy. And yes, September is a wonderful time to visit both places. You really need to do more research to determine budget. Airfares constantly change and what types of overnight accommodations you chose makes a huge difference. Will you eat street food or fancy meals? You get the point... Finally: Get some guidebooks! We are best here at answering specific questions or places not in RS guidebooks. But you need to research on your own first.

Posted by
1178 posts

I can only speak as to Spain, as I have not visited Italy. That will be on a future trip. Spain: Get the Moon Guide To Spain, Amazon Checke out www. Madridman.com - information on much more than just Madrid. Places in Spain to be on a list for consideration: Barcelona - The Paris of Spain Madrid - Museums, Art, great sites Toledo - Histoyr abounds Salamanca - Great educational center Zamora - A bit off the tourist track ,but certainly well worth a visit. Segovia - Roman aqueduct, but not much more I understaion
Sevilla -- Amazing connection - Columbus, and the influences on so much of the world. Whatever you choose you will be correct in the choice. PS I am heading on March 14 for 2 1/2 months in Spain and a week in Paris....

Posted by
12193 posts

If you do see both, understand that you won't have 14 days. The first day is lost to travel (you arrive the next morning). The second day is all but lost to jet lag. You will need to plan a full day getting from Spain to Italy. The day coming home is lost to travel. You lose at least a half day traveling between Barcelona and Madrid, Venice and Florence, and Florence and Rome. So you will have essentially nine days to see five places, less than two days per city - which means four days in Rome, or anywhere else, isn't likely to happen. I'm not trying to discourage you as much as help you plan realistically. It's equivalent to saying we want to visit New York and Florida on our two week vacation. While it's possible to do it, you won't have time to see much.