Traveling to Italy & France

Hello,

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.

My itinerary:
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)

Umbria:
Assisi (7 days – this includes from Assisi to Orvieto)
Perugia
Orvieto

Tuscany:
Cortona (7-8 days – this includes all of them below)
San Gimignano
Siena
Montalcino
Montepulciano

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?

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?

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
9104 posts

Isabella wrote: 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?None of Rick's tours fits your itinerary because it (your itinerary) includes France and Italy. The closest match is this Rick tour http://tours.ricksteves.com/tours09/product.cfm/rurl/code/EPR09/Did you want a recommendation for just the Italy part?

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2187 posts

Trip sounds wonderful and I think a fall trip over summer is better anytime. Do not worry about rain, plan for it with proper footwear and coat and enjoy. You might consider a car rental for Tuscany & Umbria, it is not easy via public transport there. My opinion is Genoa is not worth a visit for a tourist(unless just a overnite on way to France) and I would not go out of my way for Lucca.

Posted by Isabella
Courtice, Ontario, Canada
55 posts

Hi,

Thank you for your message. I guess I should have been more clear in my message. I don't want a tour that includes both France & Italy. I would actually prefer separate tours, one for Italy and/or one for France.

I notice that they have one for 7 days in Paris. I would prefer to join short tours like this vs. 2 weeks. I don't see any short ones for Umbria or Tuscany. Many of the Italy tours include Rome, which doesn't fit with my schedule.

I don't know what the tours are like but from what I have read, they sound wonderful. I just don't want to feel like I'm on a Contiki tour again. It would also be nice to meet and chat with other European travelers especially since I'm traveling on my own.

Thank you.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
9104 posts

You wrote: I don't see any short ones for Umbria or Tuscany. Many of the Italy tours include Rome, which doesn't fit with my schedule. Isabella: You're correct, what you saw on the link I provided is what they've got and none match up with what you're looking for.

Posted by Isabella
Courtice, Ontario, Canada
55 posts

Hi,

Thank you for your message. I guess I should have been more clear in my message. I don't want a tour that includes both France & Italy. I would actually prefer separate tours, one for Italy and/or one for France.

I notice that they have one for 7 days in Paris. I would prefer to join short tours like this vs. 2 weeks. I don't see any short ones for Umbria or Tuscany. Many of the Italy tours include Rome, which doesn't fit with my schedule.

I don't know what the tours are like but from what I have read, they sound wonderful. I just don't want to feel like I'm on a Contiki tour again. It would also be nice to meet and chat with other European travelers especially since I'm traveling on my own.

Thank you.