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2 weeks France and Italy

I am planning a honeymoon starting the 6th of september for two weeks. we fly into charles de gaul. I would like to spend at least 1 night in paris then work our way to venice (a must), stopping along the way. we will likely not do rome, as i feel i could likely spend a week there alone. So far I have been advised to see lake of garda, verona, firenze, siena and cinique terre. I would prefer to enjoy the places we go than try to see as absolutely much as possible. any advice on what route to take, how long to stay where, what to do, see, eat, drink would be much appreciated. we are not wealthy, but I would like my wife to be comfortable. thanks, Jamie

Posted by
1201 posts

More info please James....

Sept. 6 as in a week or Sept 6 next year?

Are you locked into flying into and out of Paris CDG?

Could you fly open jaw into CDG and home from Venice Marco Polo?

US Air has a direct flight from FLL to CDG and then direct from VCE to FLL. That will save you from backtracking.

If it were me (and it's not) I'd fly to Paris spend half the time there. Maybe rent an apartment rather thana hotel. Then I'd maybe fly a budget euro carrier to Venice and spend the remainder of the time there.

Posted by
32269 posts

James,

First of all, congratulations!!!

To start with, my suggestion would be to spend two or three days in Paris. It's a wonderful city (often described as "romantic) and one other benefit will be allowing some time to get over jet lag.

For travel to Italy, you could look at either rail or budget flights. In this case I'd suggest rail but the trip from Paris to Venice is LONG with several changes, even when using fast trains. You can minimize this to some extent by choosing an "intermediate" point in the route and stopping there for a day or two. For example, you could consider something in the Milan area. There's a direct train from Paris Lyon to Milano Centrale departing 07:42, arriving 14:55 (time 7H:13M, reservations compulsory).

One location you might consider is Lago di Como and specifically the town of Varenna (one hour from Milan). This is another location that's perfect for Luna di Miele (honeymoon). From there you can take day trips to Bellagio or other locations on the lake. I was there for a return visit in June, and I always enjoy that area.

From Milan you're only about two hours from Venice, although you could stop in Verona for a night to see the fictitious "Rome & Juliet" balcony (if that interests you).

For the trip into Venice, note that you'll be using Venezia Santa Lucia station and NOT Mestre. How many days were you planning to spend in Venice?

Which other cities you'll be able to visit will depend to some extent on where your flight home will originate from? You'll need to allow time to get back to Paris if you've booked a "return" flight.

If you could offer a few more details, it would be easier to provide more specific advice.

Happy travels!

Posted by
11507 posts

Hi James.

First, when considering budget,, the more you actually travel,, the more you pay in transportation costs,, and they can add up. You are too late to buy some of the cheaper advance tickets.. so you may pay alot more then you thought. A flight from Paris to Venice can be very cheap,, but just checking on the first 2 weeks in September show that my airline of choice( Vueling) is filled up) , you will need to check out Easyjet and Ryanair. I think by leaving planning last minute you will be required to spend alot more , the price of being footloose and fancy free .

I do think it would be very sad to arrive in Paris and give it one day.. you will basically be tired and likely find it overwhelming.. spend at least 3 days there,, so that you can sit at a cafe and relax and enjoy the real Paris.

Posted by
3260 posts

Hi Jamie,

Ken has some great suggestions--I absolutely agree that you should spend more time in Paris--at least 3 nights and maybe even as many as 5!

There are LOTS of options here's one:

It's not clear whether or not you're flying in and home from Paris. If so, you could spend 3 days there at the beginning of your trip and then 2 at the end before you fly back to Florida.

Consider checking out one of the discount airlines and fly from Paris to Milan (EasyJet for example). From Milan take the train to Verona and spend 2 nights--there is so much more there than just Juliet's balcony!

Then 3 nights in Venice. Train to either Florence or Siena and spend 3 nights--you can take a bus to do a day trip from one city to the other (for example if you stay in Florence take a day trip to Siena or vice versa.) Then train back to Milan for a flight back to Paris.

Pat is correct that the more you move around the more expensive it will be--plus you'll want to relax and enjoy your honeymoon!

Another option would be to divide your time between Paris and Venice doing a few day trips from both cities. For budget airline options check out www.whichbudget.com

Best wishes!

Posted by
15717 posts

I was thinking the exact same as Sharon but she beat me to it. :)

Paris, Milan, slow train to Venice. You could train to Milan with a stop for a couple of days in the Alps.

Leave Florence and the Cinque Terre for your next visit when you do the rest of Italy.

Remember, it is your honeymoon. No need to rush, rush, rush.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your valuable info.  I am locked in to flying in and out of cdg this sept 6 (1week).  I know its late planning, but the wedding consumed me.  I have a friend in Klosters, Switzerland, so I considered staying in France 2 nights, 3 days, then catching a train to Klosters then down to Merano then to venice for 2 days then to verona and on to cinique terre, and possibly florence.  After reading replies I realize im puting myself in the exact position I dont want to be in...rushing. An Italian friend advised that I really should see the Dolomiti mts, Lake de garda and cinique terre. I agree its covering alot of ground though. again any input is much appreciated. Jamie

Posted by
3260 posts

Kent's post will help you plan travel times between the places you want to visit:

Trip Planning

No matter what else you decide, I highly recommend that you stay in Paris for at least a few days when you arrive!

Posted by
1201 posts

James - I have it on reasonably good authority that Paris and Venice are very romantic spots. But you actually have to be there long enough to experience them.

So stay longer in Paris and Venice and one or at most two spots actually in between them.

When you change locations, under perfect circumstances you'll burn at least half a day probably more. You've got 5, 6 or 7 places and they are scattered across the continent.

Posted by
689 posts

I agree, a few nights in Paris (with one night you'll probably still be jet lagged and unable to really enjoy it), then fly to Venice and train to Florence/Siena and one other Italian location. Do not go to Paris or Venice without hotel reservations--do this online now. Look at train maps to see what makes sense. You'll have to come back to see all the places you want to go--it will be a nightmare to try to see they all. Does your wife really want to visit an old friend of yours on your honeymoon?? I'd skip that. Do a Swiss trip another time.

Posted by
113 posts

James, by all means give yourself more than one day in Paris. You won't regret it. The challenge is getting from there to your other "must" destination, Venice. The train trip will take a LONG time. The budget airlines (like EasyJet) can get you over to Italy much faster, but with such short notice you'll pay a higher than normal price. From Venice you could travel by train to either Florence or Siena. And keep in mind that Florence and Siena are a short bus ride apart. You could potentially stay in one of those cities and make a "day trip" to the other. But you've got a lot of decisions to make quickly. Good luck, congratulations, and keep it simple!

Posted by
32269 posts

James,

Thanks for posting the additional information on your trip. That clarifies things a bit.

Your Italian friend has provided some good suggestions for interesting places to see, but IMO these are not practical for this trip given the circumstances and especially the limited time. As Rick often says, "assume you will return" and plan to see those locations on a future visit.

Stopping in Klosters is a good idea, as that's a perfect "intermediate stop" on the way to Italy. Could you clarify whether the visit to Merano is essential, or a city that could be left for another visit?

I couldn't tell from your last post whether you had worked out all your rail journeys. If you'd like suggestions for those, post another note.

Based on your last post, it appears that you definitely want to visit:

  • Paris (3 days / 2 nights)

  • Klosters, CH (? days)

  • Merano, IT (? days)

  • Venice (? days)

Those four locations could easily use 10 days, but you may have time for at least one other place. It would help if you could indicate which places both of you most want to see (aside from Venice, which you've already mentioned). Keep in mind you'll also have to allow travel times between destinations and especially time to get back to Paris for your flight home. MOST importantly you'll have to plan this so that you're not rushed and can enjoy your honeymoon.

Since time is so short, you'll need to get this sorted very quickly!

Good luck!