I am planning a trip to Italy & France and going solo.
I visited Europe in the past - age 13 & 25, and on a Contiki tour for 46 days. I visited 15 countries including France, and Italy. I was on a coach with 53 other travelers so it was busy at times and very go-go-go.
Some concerns: traveling at the end of August/beginning of September until October/November. My past trips to Europe were during the summer. I read that September & October are nice months but that it sometimes rains and is cooler in the evening. I want to spend some time with my grandmother at the start & end of my trip. I don’t mind paying $40 to $60 for a flight. I haven’t seen her in 15 years so it's worth it.
Scigliano, Calabria – grandmother
Sorrento, Island of Capri, (some suggested the Island of Ischia) Positano, Amalfi Coast (7 days)
Rome to Formia to visit family (7 days)
Assisi (7 days – this includes from Assisi to Orvieto)
Cortona (7-8 days – this includes all of them below)
Then, Florence to……. (3 options):
1. Cinque Terre, Bologna, Lucca, Venice (if I decide to go to Venice)
2. Bologna, Lucca, Venice and see Cinque Terre near the end of my trip after traveling to the Italian Riveria, Genoa (I can make a short visit here), and then Cinque Terre.
3. If I don’t go to Venice, I’ll end in Bologna but don’t know where to go from here.
I hope all of this doesn’t sound confusing.
Can I take a train from Florence to Venice and then fly out to France?
Paris (4-5 days)
Nice (2 days)
Provence: Avignon & Arles (4 days)
French Riveria, the Italian Riveria, to Genoa and then Cinque Terre?
P.S. I am considering a short Rick Steve's tour. Does anyone have any recommendations for which tour would fit in with my trip?