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14 replies
10 Days in Europe...
Tiffeecanoe
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I need your expertise.  Husband and I have 10 days to spend in Europe, I want to go to Holland and he wants to go to Italy… should we just stick to those 2 places?  I really want to enjoy our time and really see each country… would you suggest we cram a third place in somewhere? 
 
Flight to Italy from Amsterdam or train it?  I’ve always wanted to go on a train in Europe [8D] []  But I’ll be back again someday… lol.
 
Thanks so much…we’re at the very begining of your trip planning, so I look forward to getting to know ya all around the forum here []

Cil
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If you really want to see each country, 3 and a half days per country probably is not going to work. But a train ride would be nice.
When are you going?
Are you open to flying into one place, and leaving from another?

positiveman
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That’s a LONG train-ride – like a day gone… Ten days is not a long time and will go really fast..(The Munich to say, Verona stretch is FANTASTIC though – taking the train down through the Alps is a highlite itself – and worth doing in the day instead of overnight..)

My advice would be to work out a deal for separate trips.. Amsterdam, maybe Paris, etc.. this time, Italy next time..

And don’t go to Italy in the summertime – it’s a tourist-crammed, stupendously overpriced nightmare..

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And don’t go to Italy in the summertime – it’s a tourist-crammed, stupendously overpriced nightmare..

Now, now.
While I admit I’ve never been to Italy during high summer, it wasn’t so bad in late May early June, which I’ve done twice.
Actually, the worst crowds I’ve ever seen were in Florence during Easter.
Having said all that, I agree that it is a long train ride and that Italy might best be saved for another trip…though perhaps you could do EuropeByAir or some sort of inexpensive inter-Europe airline.

heavydrinker
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If your husband is only interested in seeing Amsterdam then this is definately doable.  You can spend 3 days in amsterdam then take an easyjet flight to an Italian city of your choice.  When I took my wohman to A’dam in the summer we spent 3 days and she said that was way too much, she was ready to leave after 1.5 days.

I’d keep it to 2 cities, 10 days isn’t a lot of time. And if you really want to take a train, there’s plenty of day trips from Rome you could use rail for, but it would be an utter waste of precious time taking a train from NL-Italy

And ignore hivposman, Italy’s great no matter what season it is. Travelling to avoid tourists is like driving to avoid traffic.

positiveman
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I’ve been to Italy 3 or 4 times now, and I’ll never forget having to put in ear-plugs while viewing the Sistine Chapel in June to try to get some semblance of peace for contemplating it all… I’ve been in less packed mosh pits…. – and with more pleasant people…

Then you go to the Coliseum and see the guys dressed up as gladiators selling plastic gladiator dolls..

Then there’s the ten-dollar “tourist gelato” ice-cream cones and tourist pizzas advertised all over the city center of Florence… (don’t forget to arrive at the Uffizi two hours before it opens and get a good place in line..)

Venice in summer?? Yeah right…

Anyway, the best visit I ever had to Italy was to Venice in early January.. The weather absolutely sucked, but it was cool cuz you could actually walk the canals in peace and quiet and get a feel for it.. Plus it didn’t stink to h.ell like so many people say it does in summer…

I was a second time in Venice between X-mas and New Years once, and it was utterly miserable.. Prices were just dumb, the tourist hordes insufferable… I fled and stayed a night in Verona, which was much cooler… X-mas-time is apparently a busy tourist time in Venice, so that’s what you get….

Based on my experience I would never go to Italy – outside of Südtyrol – from June through August.. Before and after OK, but never in between…. If it HAS to be in that time, then okay, just be prepared… Part of that BTW means being loaded given the current exchange rate if you’re coming with dollars…

So yeah, if it has to be in summer, go for it.. But ten days by itself is barely enough just for Rome and Florence and maybe something smaller in between…..

There is SSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much to see in Italy, but I’m just one who finds the Disneyfication of it all incredibly disappointing… – not to mention extortionately expensive..

You can minimize both of these factors by going in the off-season…

Cil
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Our Greece/Italy trip in ’01 was more Greece than Italy, but it involved Venice in late June, Rome in early July, and it was fine—including San Marco, which was not at all crowded. Maybe we chose better times of day. And we often rent a car to see off the beaten path stuff, but we did not do that for the Italy leg of that trip.
Don’t buy gelato (or any other food) at touristy areas. Walk a bit.
Those bogus Roman gladiator guys at the Coliseum are indeed pretty bad, but IMHO, rather than anxiously seeking authenticity, it is sometimes better to embrace the kitsch.
Nobody who does their homework needs to wait in line for Uffizi museum exhibits.
Check out the website, figure out what you want to see.
then book tickets in advance. It’s 3 euro.
Or, like Heavydrinker says, accept the crowds because traveling is indeed seeing other people just like yourself (who are probably bitching about you.)[8D]

positiveman
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I think Italy in summer is probably one of the reasons I’m such a big fan of Spain…

I was travelling west from Turkey to Spain, so was in Italy first..

Getting to Spain, where you could walk into the Prado for like 4 bucks, and drink a coffee next to a normal old Spanish woman having her morning beer on the Plaza del Sol as if it were as normal as the sun coming up, etc etc etc…. was like heaven compared to all the overpriced kitzsch and crowds and rip-off “tourist” prices of Italy..

I don’t go to Prague as often as I used to for the same reasons.. It’s like Disneyland.

As I said, Italy has enough to see to fill… well, years…. But there’s a price to pay – and not only financial…

I’m just one who’d prefer a 3rd rate empty museum in some provincial town to the two hour wait at the Uffizi..(and even if you book ahead it’s still gonna be very extremely FULL..)

And in any event(I’m not backing down… [Wink]), I think it’s good advice to at least tell people to be prepared for the crowds and prices in Italy in the summer…, and if at all possible try to go in the offseason….

Tiffeecanoe
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Awesome.  Thanks for all the honest responses.  I’m gonna take some time and really go through all of them. []
 
We’re thinking of this either being a more “spur of the moment” trip, meaning going in April or going in September.  September being the most likely time, but based on husbands job and other changes in our life, it could very well end up more last minute.
 
While I really want to see Italy, I’m hoping to maybe get husband to focus on Holland, Germany, Belgium, etc…he’s already been to Italy and Spain, and while they’re places I desperately want to see some day, I’m okay for waiting another year or so… but if I dont’ win this one, I’m thinking airfare might be the way to go and train through Italy to other spots to explore.  Again, thanks!

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Quote:
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I think Italy in summer is probably one of the reasons I’m such a big fan of Spain…

I was travelling west from Turkey to Spain, so was in Italy first..

Getting to Spain, where you could walk into the Prado for like 4 bucks,

heh
The Prado is 6 euro these days.
But I love the Prado, even though they took Picasso’s Guernica away from it.
I would like to go back to Spain, and I’ve never been to Portugal.
Quote:

I’m just one who’d prefer a 3rd rate empty museum in some provincial town to the two hour wait at the Uffizi..(and even if you book ahead it’s still gonna be very extremely FULL..)

Actually I agree with you; I like little museums like the ones in Cortona, and it’s good to be prepared for crowds.  But while I enjoy off season travel, I would never do it exclusively.

Tiffeecanoe
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I will say too that my husband and I are very free-spirited travellers and we
‘re the do whatever moves ya sort of type.[8D]..even if that means missing out on the bigger “touristy” spots…we’re definitley wanderers and find that we had the most fun in other parts of the world just by being spontaneous and checking out random spots…so I definitley welcome the smaller museum suggestions and such…[]

positiveman
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OK 4 bucks was ten (11…[:@]) years ago..

But still, 6 Euros nowadays is ridiculously cheap for the Prado.. I was in the National Gallery in Berlin last Sunday, and it cost €8.. And jeeze it’s not even close to being in the same league as the Prado..(unless you like really dark depressing portraits of uptight looking 19th century Prussian aristocrats and even darker barren winter landscapes….)

And Italy is more expensive even than Germany.. And you have to wait an hour to get in… You’ll spend €6 on an ice-cream (per scoop??) while you wait in line to see David…..

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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Tiffeecanoe

Awesome.  Thanks for all the honest responses.  I’m gonna take some time and really go through all of them. []

We’re thinking of this either being a more “spur of the moment” trip, meaning going in April or going in September.  September being the most likely time, but based on husbands job and other changes in our life, it could very well end up more last minute.

While I really want to see Italy, I’m hoping to maybe get husband to focus on Holland, Germany, Belgium, etc…he’s already been to Italy and Spain, and while they’re places I desperately want to see some day, I’m okay for waiting another year or so… but if I dont’ win this one, I’m thinking airfare might be the way to go and train through Italy to other spots to explore.  Again, thanks!

April in Holland might be beautiful, with all the spring flowers.
If you went at the very end of April, and happen to enjoy raucous street parties, you would maybe like Queens Day.
But September is also a very nice time to travel; the crowds are gone (unless you want to check out Oktoberfest.)

positiveman
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I inadvertantly planned my first Amsterdam trip over Queen’s Day..

Craziness. Pure craziness….

My friend and I actually had to flee Amsterdam after three days cuz we were so partied out… Then went to Haarlem, rented bikes, and rode out to the big tulip gardens place..

Bike-riding in Holland is a blast.. Crazy place.. But very cool…

renagel
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you can’t possibly see both countries in 10 days

i agree with 3 days in AMS then fly to italy where you could split up your remaining days between 2 places……..maybe Rome and Venice
who cares when you go
life is short
just go
if you have time later, go again
happy travels

I am leaving from Palo Alto with $123 for 22 days
London, Paris, Tours, Caen, La Rochelle, Annecy, Genoa, Venice, Florence, Rome