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Itinerary Advice Please

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 41
reviews: 49
Itinerary Advice Please

My husband and I both mid 50's will be travelling from Australia to the continent for our first and probably only tour in July 2013.

The Plan so far is....after a ten day trip around England and Scotland with friends on our own

Thurs July 25th Early flight London to Rome

Fri, Sat, Sun Rome

Mon high speed train to Florence - overnight stay

Tues high speed train to Venice

Wed explore Venice, late train to Milan

Thurs explore Milan ovenight stay

Fri Milan to Zurich by Bernina Express overnight Zurich

(or fly late Zurich to Paris - is there an overnight train?)

Sat Sun Mon Paris

Tues Paris to London Eurostar

Wed, Thurs, Fri London then late flight back to OZ Friday August 9th

Does this sound do - able, sensible or fraught with difficutlies I have not picked up regarding the route and method of travel?

WE hope to stay in B&B Rick Steve style wherever possible so any recommendations would not go amiss there either.

Thanks in advance Guys!

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent
posts: 6,966
reviews: 58
1. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

Sounds like a wonderful trip, and this is just my personal opinion, but I'd suggest more time in Venice and Florence ( and perhaps a trip to either Verona or Pisa from Florence) and cut out Milan and Zurich altogether.

Venice is a "hub" airport, and you could end your Italian leg there and get a flight to Paris.

You could get a train from Venice to Paris, but for details, I'd suggest posting in the rail travel forum here on trip adviser.

The advantage of rail over internal flights is, there are no luggage allowances restrictions on trains. Flights, especially low cost carriers, impose strict luggage allowances and the fee's for heavier and/or extra bags can really push up the price of LCC flights.

For up to date information about accommodation ( and restaurants/guided walks/itinereries) ,I'd suggets reading the information and reviews for your destinations in the specific travel forums. I've found that the JBR's ( just back reviews) from other travellers to be particularly helpful, as well as a good read!

Generally, B & B's are cheaper than hotels, but as this is a once in a lifetime trip, you may want the odd "spurge" hotel. Hotels belonging to the main chains tend to offer consistent quality, but may be a bit lacking in individuality. It may also be worth checking the "speciality lodgings" in the destination forums, as you can uncover some real gems there. .

Venice has lots of accommodation for all budgets, some of which could be on the beaches of the Lido, as well as nearer the main railway station, which is less expensive but very fast and easy to travel to the Grand Canal.

Please bear in mind that the "star" ratings that hotels use, are not always a good guide for quality, as the ratings are awarded by the local tourist board. There isn't an international agreed standard for star ratings, and having once stayed in an awful 3 star hotel in Paris, I now research as much about the hotels as the destinations.

Edited: 4:52 am, November 11, 2012
Little Canfield...
posts: 474
reviews: 164
2. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

I agree about spending longer in Florence, it is a beautiful city. Perhaps do a trip to Siena, 75 minutes away by SITA bus.

Charleston
posts: 5
reviews: 23
3. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

I agree with most of this - forget Milan, Vvenice & Zurich, extend your time in London, Rome & Paris. the smaller cities offer 1 or 2 incredible things to see, while the big cities off countless options and are easier to get to and out of. save the small fry for next time, when you are fresh and not on a tight schedule...

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 41
reviews: 49
4. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

Thanks for the comments. The only reason we had Milan and Zurich on the list was because we really liked the look of the Bernini express but will have to flag that one away perhaps and as you say spend more time in the main 3 cities.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for 家族旅行
posts: 10,646
reviews: 24
5. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

Hi roses..........I think you will regret having such a short stay in Florence, and I would trade Pisa for Siena....................as someone has already pointed out, Siena is quite close to Florence, and the 2 cities have a centuries old rivalry between them, which makes them both interesting to see....................Pisa, although lovely, is centered pretty much around the "Tower" and so, with your tight time frame, you may want to give it a pass......................

Edited: 1:40 pm, November 27, 2012
Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for 家族旅行
posts: 10,646
reviews: 24
6. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

I don't think you should skip Venice............(I just noticed someone recommending this).................Venice is a unique and beautiful city, almost like a "living museum" IMO................. and you will already be in the general vicinity...................... you really should keep it in your plan and save Milan and Zurich for another time......................

Darwin, Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 75
7. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

Get the Eurostar from London to Paris, one of the worlds great cities, look up easy jet for low cost flights unless you want to lug about heaps of luggage, Venice and Rome are must sees, Siena leaves florence for dead IMO Milan is forgettable, the lakes up on the swiss border are much better. Accomodation in Pisa is tight and the most stunning country side and lifestyle is along the french riviera

Little Canfield...
posts: 474
reviews: 164
8. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

I agree do NOT miss Venice!! It is a beautiful city and well worth a visit.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for 家族旅行
posts: 10,646
reviews: 24
9. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

While you are in the upper part of Italy, the Italian Riviera is a spectacular area to visit, especially the area known as the "Cinque Terre", so beautiful it is a UNESCO World Heritage site....................there you will find translucent sea, cliffs plunging into the water, and towns clinging to rocky slopes......don't miss walking the Via dell'Amore (Path of Love).......constructed in the 1920's, this path cut into the steep cliffs is just 2 klm long, so easy to walk, but thrilling and scenic at the same time......

Little Canfield...
posts: 474
reviews: 164
10. Re: Itinerary Advice Please

Eden7, the coastal paths in the Cinque Terre were damaged by flooding earlier this year and were closed. Have they re-opened?

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