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switzerland and florence need help planning

Hi there I could use some help planning our upcoming trip to europe - we have 14 days total
we are flying into Paris and arrive there on june 5th mid afternoon we are planning to stay 3 nights in Paris to give us 2 days for paris highlights - then we were going to head to switzerland but have no idea of the best place to go - we are from colorado and love the mountains - then from switzerland we would like to go into italy we have to be in florence by the 5th of july but were hoping to have 3 days there as we hear it is beautiful. so that leaves us from the 28th of june to travel to switzerland then thinking of travel to florence on the 1st of july. does this sound good?
any suggestions on night trains or flights to destination and should we get a car in switzerland?
also should we go through milan into florence or get to florence and if we feel like it take a day trip to milan?
also - lastly we have to get from Florence to frankfurt we plan to leave florence on the 6th our flight out of frankfurt is on the 7th would you suggest a train or flight? 1st trip can you tell :)

any suggestions would help.

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1831 posts


We did this trip in March of this year.

Flew Chicago to Paris non-stop, stayed in the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement) for 4 nights. Then, from Gare du Lyon train station, we took the train to Lucerne, Switzerland, with one change at the French/Swiss border in Basel, Switzerland. Stayed at a Lucerne hotel right across the street from the station. 2 days there, should have been three or more as the country and people are magnificent, very nice & 'can-do', although it can be expensive to stay there. As an aside, since we've returned we have heard wonderful things about the Interlaken & Murren areas, spectacular scenery. But Lucerne was great. Can't advise about renting a car, but I do know that Swiss trains are on time like clockwork, very well-apportioned & are extremely efficient.

Then we took the train from Lucerne to Milan (as almost all Swiss trains going to Italy do, through Milan), with a change at Arth-Goldau. The scenery out the train window through the Alps was more than spectacular. We were at the Milano Centrale station for about an hour, then took another train to the main Florence station, Santa Maria Novella. We stayed at a VRBO apartment near the station for five nights, and enjoyed every minute of it. It being March, the tourists weren't there during the week, although they still came out in droves over the weekend. Finally, we took the train down to the end of the Fresciarossa line in Salerno, stayed at a wonderful B&B for five nights, at which time we visited Amalfi & Pompei, and flew back home out of Naples, via Munich to Chicago.

Your post is a little confusing in that you say you have 14 days, yet you say you arrive in Paris on June 5 and Florence on July 1. If you have that long, you can do so many more things!

Enjoy your planning!