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Itinerary Help - Only 10 Days - I know Crazy!

My husband and I are going to Europe in April 2011 for 10 days. We would like to see Paris and Rome for sure, and hope to mix in a little wine country in either France or Italy or both. Right now we are looking at the first two days in Paris, then to Beaune for a day, then to Cinque Terre for about a day and a half, and then to Rome for three days. Is the train the best way to get between the listed cities? Is this too much? Would you mix in anything different than what we have listed? We really want to experience the food, wine, and culture of the countries we visit. We will do the top museums, but would really like to spend some time off-the-beaten-path. Any feedback is welcome! Thank you!

Posted by
282 posts

So since your 11 days includes your travel days (congrats on open-jaw) here is the itinerary I would start with: 1 - travel day to Paris 2 - Paris 3 - Paris 4 - Paris/travel to Beaune 5 - Beaune 6 - travel to Rome 7 - Rome 8 - Rome 9 - day trip (Orvieto, Florence, Ostia, etc.) 10 - Rome
11 - fly home If you end up having only 10 days, then I would cut out day 9 (the day trip). Just a start!

Posted by
1589 posts

As much as we love the CT area, you should drop it from this trip. Too much for the time listed, but on the next trip................have a great time!

Posted by
23977 posts

While I like Beaune very much it sure puts a kink in your journey to Roma. According to DB the following 11 hour journey is shortest (note the long stops and many changes, and Dijon is backtracking): Beaune(Chagny) Tu, 11.01.11 dep 09:05 RE 17606 Regional-Express Number of bicycles conveyed limited Dijon Ville Tu, 11.01.11 arr 09:24 Transfer time 14 min. Adjust the transfer time Dijon Ville Tu, 11.01.11 dep 09:38 TGV 9261 TGV Subject to compulsory reservation, Bicycles conveyed - subject to reservation, Global price, Bar coach, space for wheelchairs Mouchard dep 10:19 Frasne dep 10:49 Vallorbe Lausanne Tu, 11.01.11 arr 11:37 Transfer time 43 min. Adjust the transfer time Lausanne Tu, 11.01.11 dep 12:20 3 IR 1725 Interregio Number of bicycles conveyed limited Vevey dep 12:34 3 Montreux dep 12:40 3 Aigle dep 12:51 1 Martigny dep 13:08 2 Sion dep 13:24 2 Sierre/Siders dep 13:34 2 Leuk dep 13:42 2 Visp dep 13:55 Brig Tu, 11.01.11 arr 14:02 6 Transfer time 42 min. Adjust the transfer time Brig Tu, 11.01.11 dep 14:44 4 EC 57 Eurocity Subject to compulsory reservation, Bicycles conveyed - subject to reservation, Bordrestaurant Domodossola dep 15:17 Stresa dep 15:39 Milano Centrale Tu, 11.01.11 arr 16:38 Transfer time 22 min. Adjust the transfer time Milano Centrale Tu, 11.01.11 dep 17:00 ES 9631 EuroStar Italia
Subject to compulsory reservation, Global price, Snacks and beverages available, space for wheelchairs Roma Termini Tu, 11.01.11 arr 19:59

Posted by
2908 posts

Hi Christa!
With 10 days, would you consider just spending your time in France for this trip? You could easily spend 5 days in Paris - especially if you want to see the top museums. Then you could travel by train to Beaune and possibly some smaller cities in Provence. Save Rome and Cinque Terre for your next trip!

Posted by
3313 posts

Christa - Is your 10 days inclusive of your arrival and departure days or are those 10 complete days (waking up there and going to sleep there)? Are you flying into Paris and out of Rome and have you already made your flight arrangements?

Posted by
9110 posts

Your four spots are by no means off the beaten path. Beaune and the CT are easily on the fourth tier of things to see, but are populated mostly by tourists (crammed for their seize might be a better description). You don't really have a lot of time. An idea would be Paris with a Champagne and Picardie swing to catch a little of what most folks miss (concentrating on the small towns rather than the ones that are beaten to death). OR Just Paris and Rome. In this case, it would probably be best to weight Paris by the extra day or two - - maybe five to three. The problem with this is you're going to burn a whole day moving between the two and you really don't have a day to toss away.

Posted by
31073 posts

Christa, As a previous reply mentioned, it would help to know whether you have 10 days for the entire trip, or is that the time just for touring? You'll lose two days in getting to Europe and back, and will also be jet lagged for the first day or two so won't be up to full "touring speed". With such a short trip, you'll have to be very selective with the "top museums" you visit, as you won't have the luxury of spending too much time. If you're planning to visit The Louvre, it might be a good idea to focus just on the Denon Wing (Mona Lisa). A Paris Museum Pass may be a good idea. Given the cities you listed, travel by rail is the best method (preferably fast trains such as the TGV, but those will cost more). I assume you're planning to use open-jaw flights (inbound Paris / outbound Rome)? Even with such a very short time frame, it should be possible to work out a realistic Itinerary that's similar to the one you described. If this is your first trip to Europe, I'd highly recommend pre-reading the Guidebook Europe Through The Back Door. Cheers!

Posted by
11 posts

Well, my husband only signed up for 10 days total. But, I think I can stretch it to 11 to make things work the best. So, 10-11 total including travel days to and from Nebraska. We are looking at flying into Paris and out of Rome. But, really are open to advice from those who have been before. Thanks everyone! Christa

Posted by
1976 posts

I agree with Sharon and would say to spend your 10-11 days in either France or Italy.

Posted by
11 posts

You are all very helpful! Ok, so if we chose to just do Italy for the whole trip, what are your can't miss cities? Would you recommend renting a car? If we fly open-jaw, where would you recommend flying into and out of? THANKS!

Posted by
951 posts

If this is your first time to Italy, then a Venice, Florence, Rome tango is a must, in a 3-3-4 day fashion. I recently went for the first time and that is the amount I spent in each city. If you could go for 2 more days, maybe then add Siena. But I would do the hustle and bustle of Rome first, then end it chilling in Venice. Venice is the perfect send off, IMO.

Posted by
23977 posts

What Kelly said - Venice 3, Florence 3, Rome 4. However with the trains ever faster, if you could get to Florence first, absorb the art and the small city centre, then on to Rome now that you are getting used to Italy, then back up to Venice, ah Venice, like the icing on the cake.... So into Firenze, out of Venezia. And, if going to Italy, breaking out the language tapes will help you no end. (there are some good podcast ones, too)

Posted by
1003 posts

I agree with Kelly, prioritizing the nights based on your interests. For example if you are really into ancient stuff, then maybe more time in Rome. If you're really into Renaissance art, more time in Florence, etc. for your desire to get off the beaten track a little, all you have to do is explore outside the main areas a bit and go to some of the less-popular sights and i think you can accomplish that, even in these popular cities. i think you've made the right choice and will have an absolutely fantastic time. If you're going to be there near the end of the month around Easter, you may want to do some extra research on the limitations and concerns so you avoid any headaches and get to see everything you want. Have a great time!

Posted by
31073 posts

Christa, I'm going to suggest something a bit different than the majority, as I feel it would really be worthwhile to get a taste of both countries you originally mentioned. However, given the VERY short time frame, some compromises will be necessary. I'd Beaune as it doesn't "fit" well with the circumstances. You might consider something like this: > D1: Depart for Paris > D2: Arrive Paris > D3: Paris, touring (a two-day Paris Museum Pass may be a good idea, depending on what you're planning to see?) > D4: Paris, touring > D5: EasyJet Flight CDG to MXP (Dep. 08:30, Arv. 10:00 - this will mean an early trip to CDG though); Express or Shuttle to Milano Centrale; ES/AV to Florence (departures every hour, travel time 1H:45M) > D6: Florence, Museums (reservations advisable) > D7: Florence (morning); train to Rome (afternoon) - travel time ~1H:30M via ES/AV > D8: Rome, touring > D9: Rome, touring (day trip to Orvieto?) > D10: Rome, touring (assuming you can stretch trip to 11-days) > D11: Flight home from FCO This somewhat covers the objectives in your original post, but achieves the wine portion in Italy, rather than France (you can sample French wines in Paris). You could perhaps add some time in Florence to allow a Wine Tour. Most of the Wine tours I've looked at (for my own trips) based out of Florence seem to be a bit "pricey", however This One seems more reasonable (but of course you'll have to decide whether it fits your budget). Check Trip Advisor for Reviews. IMHO, the pace of the trip is reasonable and should provide a good sample of the two countries. Cheers!

Posted by
31073 posts

Christa, Your revised Itinerary looks much more realistic. However a few comments.... > April 7 - you probably won't be able to "Enjoy Rome" too much, as you'll be tired and jet lagged. You likely won't get to your Hotel before about 11:00. Try to do what touring you have the energy for, and hopefully stay awake at least until early evening. > April 15 - you might consider using ES / AV train rather than flying to Rome. While it's more expensive, it will probably be faster and less of a hassle and probably a more relaxed and pleasant journey. The trip by train is 3H:45M, second class fare €73 PP. Travel by air will be at least four hours and probably closer to six hours, when all is considered. You'll also have to budget for transport to and from the airports at either end, which will add to the low air price of €25 (if you're arriving at FCO, the Leonardo Express will add €14 - I didn't check costs on the Venice end). If the schedules don't change, there's an ES / AV departure from Venezia S.L. at 08:27, arriving Roma Termini at 12:13. Cheers!

Posted by
7743 posts

I would start in Rome and end in Venice...or visa versa. It is a waste of time and $ to start and end in Rome, plus you end up spending more time in transit. You could let airfare dictate which order to do the trip. I recently went to Italy for the first time. We started in Rome and I found it to be a bit chaotic and stressful. I don't know how big Gretna is, or how much time you spend in cities, but you might want to start in Venice. It is quieter and and a little easier to just "be" there. By the time you get to Rome you will be well rested. It would not be such a shock to the system.

Posted by
11 posts

Ok, my husband really thinks that squeezing in Paris will be too much. So, here is an itinerary that we worked up. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks again all for your help! April 6 – Depart Omaha at 11:33 AM April 7 – Arrive Rome at 7:45 AM Enjoy Rome April 8 – Enjoy Rome April 9 – Day Rome, Evening train to Florence (5:15 to 6:50, €44) April 10 – Florence April 11 – Day trip into wine country? April 12 – Day Florence, Evening train to Venice (6:30 to 8:21, €42) April 13 – Venice April 14 – Venice April 15 – Fly to Rome (8:45 AM to 9:50, €25) Afternoon in Rome
April 16 – Fly Home Christa

Posted by
1003 posts

I agree that if you can, fly in to Rome and out of Venice or vice versa. You save the backtracking and the money and the open-jaw ticket probably won't be that much more expensive and you get more sight-seeing time. I'm sure you'll have an awesome time!

Posted by
31073 posts

Christa, Generally speaking, I tend to agree with the others in that it's better to us open jaw flights when possible to avoid "backtracking". However in your case, it's not really that difficult to get back to Rome via EuroStar Italia / Alta Velocita for your flight home (travel time 3H:46M, second class fare €73 PP). In the same situation, I'd make my decision on which method to use based on: > Have you already purchased return tickets to Rome? > What is the difference in cost between return tickets to Rome vs. open-jaw tickets (inbound Rome, outbound Venice) ? Compare that cost to the €146 you'll need to take the train back to Rome. If there's only a small difference in price, choose whichever method is easiest for you. Cheers!

Posted by
109 posts

Hi Christa,
Since you mention wanting to spend some time off the beaten path, I would recommend dropping one of the big cities (in this case Florence) for some time in the countryside. On my first trip to Italy I chose Rome and Venice as my 2 big art/church/architecture cities and then spent time in Orvieto and elsewhere. I was glad I did. I think restricting yourself to the 3 "biggies" of Rome, Florence, Venice, will not leave you much down-time. Whichever way you choose to do it you will love Italy, but every time I go I plan more time outside of the big cites (I realize this is partly because I've seen them on other trips, but the point I'm making is that in 10 days if you see 2 of the biggies and spend some time in smaller towns you will have a better chance of hitting everything you say you want do). Have a great trip!

Posted by
500 posts

It sure seems like a waste of time especially on a cramped schedule to fly back to Rome each airport segment takes at least 3-4 hours not including flight time. You should try do fly out of Venice.

Posted by
11 posts

ok, we booked our airfare! we found that it was cheaper to fly in and out of rome. we got a great deal! now, rome hotels. we want to stay around 150 euros per night. a couple that i have identified are hotel nardizzin, hotel oceania, hotel giardino, and hotel aberdeen. help! thanks all!!!

Posted by
26 posts

I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Italia in Rome last summer. It was within walking distance of the Termini station and I was able to walk or take the subway anywhere I wanted to go. The entire staff was very friendly and helpful and a lovely breakfast was included in the price of the room. Even though my single room was small, it had a full bathroom and AC was available for an additional charge (which I was more than happy to pay!)

Posted by
31073 posts

Christa, You might also have a look at This Hotel in the same area as Hotel Aberdeen (close to Termini). Cheers!

Posted by
247 posts

Christa, We stayed at the Hotel Americana Nardizzi twice. Nice, good price and rooms were clean. We picked a convent in April just for a different experience other wise I would stay again. Happy travels, Jo

Posted by
1018 posts

For hotels in all of your cities you shold check with venere.com and tripadvisor.com. Both sights will give you all sorts of choices, pricing, map locations, and client reviews. Buon viaggio,