Adding Italy to France vacation

Dear seasoned European traveler, We're a California couple in our 50-60s We like our vacations with affordable quality, lots of day nature & artifact sightseeing, and balanced relaxation time. We're planning on traveling to France in mid September 2011 for two weeks max to tour the Burgundy/Loire River Valley area. We've already flown into and seen Paris/Versailles and Brittany areas in 1994.
Our question is we'd love to see and stay but should we/can we quick rail from Lyon to Lake Como & Cinque Terre areas of Italy easily enough as part of our two weeks and fly home from Milan, or should we concentrate? Thanks for any sage input. Mike & Sue

Posted by Sarah
St. Louis, MO USA
1841 posts

Hi Mike. Since you have only 2 weeks, stay in France - there's plenty to see in Burgundy and the Loire River area.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6030 posts

I agree. Concentrate on France. There is plenty to do there. Even though you have been to Paris it has been quite a while. You might want to spend a few days there too. Save Italy for another trip. Have fun!

Posted by Diane
1400 posts

I would concentrate on France only. It sounds like the Dordogne might fit in quite seamlessly into the trip that you are envisonning.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3556 posts

I love both kinds of trip...where you stay for a time in an area and really get to hang out, or where you get a taste of an area and decide if you want to go back. If you last trip to Europe was 1994 and you have never been to Italy I would go to both. I love both Cinque Terre and Lake Como, but if i had to choose one it would be CT. I love to see the Mediterranean when I am in Europe and from there you could go to Milan
and see it for a day before you leave. And everyone says you will be back, but that is not always possible for everyone, so I say without going crazy see what you want to.

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2365 posts

If you can spare at least 6 days then I would say you can accomplish LC & CT. there is a fair amt of train travel involved w/ transfers w/ your proposed itin. But "balanced relaxation time" I do not believe can be enjoyed w/ those distances even in 6 days. I have done something similiar but stayed 3 nights in ea LC & CT the flying out of Milan. I would concentrate in France you could perhaps add the French Alps (Chamoix) or French Riveria much closer to Lyon. ANd both w/ lots of day nature and relaxation
particularly in Chamonix French Alps. From Chamonixi bus shuttle to an easy flight out of Geneva Switzerland to USA.