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      02-27-2014, 12:49 AM   #1
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Italy, Germany & France itinerary

Hi everybody,

I'm planning a Euro Delivery trip toward end of May. The preliminary itinerary is below. Please take a look and give feedback/advice on it. Also, please recommend any restaurants, hotels, and/or places to see/not to be missed. Thank you very much in advance!

Updated Itinerary

Day 1-3: Land in Rome, spend the next few days there (Roman Forums, Pantheon, Coloseum, etc.)
Day 4-5: Florence and surrounding area
Day 6-7: Venice and then take the night train to Munich
Day 8-11: Munich (pick up car, do factory tour, Marienplatz, Rothenburg, Black Forest & Neuschwanstein- in no particular order)
Day 12-14: Alsace/Strassbourg and then fly home after


Original Itinerary
2-week itinerary

Day 1-3: Land in Rome, spend the next few days there (Roman Forums, Pantheon, Coloseum, etc.)
Day 4-5: Florence and then take a night train to Munich
Day 6-8: Munich (pick up car, do factory tour, Marienplatz, Rothenburg, Black Forest & Neuschwanstein- in no particular order)
Day 9: Drive to Paris and drop off car
Day 10-13: Paris
Day 14: Fly back home

Note: I am looking to enjoy Europe and take in the culture so I don't need to stay at 5* hotels or eat at high-end restaurants.

Last edited by BMW F22; 03-11-2014 at 12:34 AM.
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      02-27-2014, 07:51 AM   #2
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In Rome, two of my favotire restaurants were Hostaria la Botticella and Vecchia Roma. The latter serves the best version of Bucatini Amatriciana which is a signature Roman pasta dish. Both are fantastic and inexpensive. I only had one meal that was "meh" in Rome and I was there for a full week so generally speaking, it's tough to go wrong - the two mentioned above were just the standouts.
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      02-27-2014, 09:09 AM   #3
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To be honest, there are so many things in all of those places it would be difficult to give advice without knowing your real interests. I use a few things to determine what I am going to see, where to eat and to stay. I use the lonely planet guides a bit for off the beaten trail, Frommers some for the standard tourist sites and trip advisor for current restaurants and hotels. If you have specific tastes shoot me a pm and maybe I can help more. Have fun!
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      02-27-2014, 09:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
In Rome, two of my favotire restaurants were Hostaria la Botticella and Vecchia Roma. The latter serves the best version of Bucatini Amatriciana which is a signature Roman pasta dish. Both are fantastic and inexpensive. I only had one meal that was "meh" in Rome and I was there for a full week so generally speaking, it's tough to go wrong - the two mentioned above were just the standouts.
Great! Thank you for the recommendations! Since you were there for a week, do you have any feedback on my itinerary. Should I be spending more than a few days in each of the cities mentioned above?

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Originally Posted by Bavarian Beast View Post
To be honest, there are so many things in all of those places it would be difficult to give advice without knowing your real interests. I use a few things to determine what I am going to see, where to eat and to stay. I use the lonely planet guides a bit for off the beaten trail, Frommers some for the standard tourist sites and trip advisor for current restaurants and hotels. If you have specific tastes shoot me a pm and maybe I can help more. Have fun!
Well, when travelling I like to sample the local food and sightsee. We have a few museums in the plans as well as the main popular places such as the Coloseum and Vatican City. I don't have any specific interest per se. All in all I was looking to get some tips and advice from those that have been there or live there because as you mentioned, there are a lot of things to see and do. I just don't want to miss those highlights.
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      02-27-2014, 09:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BMW E90 View Post
Great! Thank you for the recommendations! Since you were there for a week, do you have any feedback on my itinerary. Should I be spending more than a few days in each of the cities mentioned above?
In Rome, the real standout to me was the Vatican. You can spend a half day or even a full day there alone. Most of the sights in Rome are very close together. My wife was six months pregnant while we were there and we never took public transportation, we walked everywhere without issue.

The Vittorio Emanuele II monument, the Roman Forum, and Colosseum are right next to each other and you can use the same ticket to access the latter two - you can bang that out in a morning. Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi fountain, and the Spanish steps can also all be seen in an afternoon in one nice stroll and all are no-cost. It's common for people to say "you couldn't see all of Rome in a lifetime" but that's overly romanticised. You can see all of the major sites in three days pretty easily.

Trastevere is a neat neighborhood with tons of bars and restaurants and is lively during the day and well into the night. We rented an apartment there and were very happy we did. It's away from all of the tourist traps and felt like our own little hometown within the city.

I didn't spend nearly as much time in Florence so I can't speak much on that but definitely hit their leather market. That's a place where people I know have been followed by shady characters and one was stabbed (drinking related, he may have had it coming lol) so definitely be mindful. I say this while spending much of my life in/around NYC where the same thing can easily happen so don't think of it as a slam on that city specifically, but, as with any major tourist destination, there is no shortage of people praying on the unsuspecting. A big goofy $4,000 camera is a dead giveaway so I usually opt for my point and shoot when I'm just walking around exploring.
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      02-27-2014, 10:28 AM   #6
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I only see large European cities on your itinerary. Why? I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: the real beauty of Europe (I'm from Belgium but moved to America a few years ago) is found in the small villages. This goes for Rome, and also Florence.

Take Florence for example. Couldn't pay me to go back there. Unless you enjoy graffiti, non-Italians, loads of tourists, bad food and being mugged. Some of Italy's treasures are in the radius outside of Firenze...

But then again, it looks like you won't have a car until you get to Munchen so that might not be an option for you.

I cannot say anything bad about Paris. Just stay inside of the Peripherique.
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      02-27-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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Without a car, small villages are nearly impossible to get to, unfortunately.
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      02-27-2014, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P1et View Post
I only see large European cities on your itinerary. Why? I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: the real beauty of Europe (I'm from Belgium but moved to America a few years ago) is found in the small villages. This goes for Rome, and also Florence.

Take Florence for example. Couldn't pay me to go back there. Unless you enjoy graffiti, non-Italians, loads of tourists, bad food and being mugged. Some of Italy's treasures are in the radius outside of Firenze...

But then again, it looks like you won't have a car until you get to Munchen so that might not be an option for you.

I cannot say anything bad about Paris. Just stay inside of the Peripherique.
I am definitely up for seeing the smaller villages. In fact, that's what I told my travel companions I would like to do. I was just listing what we have come up with so far since we don't know any smaller cities to list. Any advice is welcomed. But like you guys said, not having a car might make it impossible to get to.
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      02-27-2014, 01:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW E90 View Post
Hi everybody,

I'm planning a Euro Delivery trip toward end of May. The preliminary itinerary is below. Please take a look and give feedback/advice on it. Also, please recommend any restaurants, hotels, and/or places to see/not to be missed. Thank you very much in advance!

2-week itinerary

Day 1-3: Land in Rome, spend the next few days there (Roman Forums, Pantheon, Coloseum, etc.)
Day 4-5: Florence and then take a night train to Munich
Day 6-8: Munich (pick up car, do factory tour, Marienplatz, Rothenburg, Black Forest & Neuschwanstein- in no particular order)
Day 9: Drive to Paris and drop off car
Day 10-13: Paris
Day 14: Fly back home

Note: I am looking to enjoy Europe and take in the culture so I don't need to stay at 5* hotels or eat at high-end restaurants.
Looks good. Post pics!!
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      02-28-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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So we have the Black Forest, Strasbourg, and Alsace also on the itinerary. Those places would be on the way from Germany to France. I feel like there is a lot of moving around. I'm afraid that there wouldn't be enough time to really settle and take in the beauty of Europe.

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Looks good. Post pics!!
No recommendations or advice?
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      02-28-2014, 11:09 AM   #11
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Since you're travelling through the Black Forest, if you have a few hours on your way to Paris, you should check out the Hasenhorn alpine coaster in Todtnau. You take a ski lift up a mountain and take a 1-2 person cart down the track where you get to control the brake. Serious fun, and it takes about 4-5 minutes to go down the whole thing. Here are a couple pics I took when I was there.
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      02-28-2014, 11:37 AM   #12
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^ that looks pretty awesome!! Thank you for the tips! Any other places to check out near the Black Forest area?
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      02-28-2014, 01:32 PM   #13
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I travel to Italy and France several times a year for work and pleasure. Although I prefer Parisian lifestyle, Italian food (northern) is just better. The Euro goes a lot further in Italy as it does in France so keep that in mind. You can get an amazing meal in Rome and Florence for far less than Paris so take advantage of the good eating.

The most important part about eating in Rome and Florence, as with any other tourist city, is do not eat within a 10 minute walk of any tourist site - you will get garbage food at high end prices.

Traditional Roman dishes like Porchetta (Roman roast pig) and pasta dishes like Bucatini Amatriciana and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe are a must try. Anthony Bourdain went to Roma Sparita but didn't give out the name in fear of ruining the place with tourists.

In Florence, obviously get Bistecca Fiorentina - probably the only place in the world that I prefer steak over America and Pappardelle Cinghiale (wild boar ragu) are must haves. Couple that with the countless Tuscan wines and you're in for a treat.

I can't help you out with Germany since I've spent very little time there but it looks like others have.
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      02-28-2014, 03:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RR-NYC View Post
I travel to Italy and France several times a year for work and pleasure. Although I prefer Parisian lifestyle, Italian food (northern) is just better. The Euro goes a lot further in Italy as it does in France so keep that in mind. You can get an amazing meal in Rome and Florence for far less than Paris so take advantage of the good eating.

The most important part about eating in Rome and Florence, as with any other tourist city, is do not eat within a 10 minute walk of any tourist site - you will get garbage food at high end prices.

Traditional Roman dishes like Porchetta (Roman roast pig) and pasta dishes like Bucatini Amatriciana and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe are a must try. Anthony Bourdain went to Roma Sparita but didn't give out the name in fear of ruining the place with tourists.

In Florence, obviously get Bistecca Fiorentina - probably the only place in the world that I prefer steak over America and Pappardelle Cinghiale (wild boar ragu) are must haves. Couple that with the countless Tuscan wines and you're in for a treat.

I can't help you out with Germany since I've spent very little time there but it looks like others have.
Excellent advise. I have never eaten a bad meal in Italy (outside of tourist destinations). Germany on the other hand. Well, don't go to Germany for the food. The English and the Germans are the laughing stock in Europe when it comes to good food
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      02-28-2014, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RR-NYC View Post
I travel to Italy and France several times a year for work and pleasure. Although I prefer Parisian lifestyle, Italian food (northern) is just better. The Euro goes a lot further in Italy as it does in France so keep that in mind. You can get an amazing meal in Rome and Florence for far less than Paris so take advantage of the good eating.

The most important part about eating in Rome and Florence, as with any other tourist city, is do not eat within a 10 minute walk of any tourist site - you will get garbage food at high end prices.

Traditional Roman dishes like Porchetta (Roman roast pig) and pasta dishes like Bucatini Amatriciana and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe are a must try. Anthony Bourdain went to Roma Sparita but didn't give out the name in fear of ruining the place with tourists.

In Florence, obviously get Bistecca Fiorentina - probably the only place in the world that I prefer steak over America and Pappardelle Cinghiale (wild boar ragu) are must haves. Couple that with the countless Tuscan wines and you're in for a treat.

I can't help you out with Germany since I've spent very little time there but it looks like others have.
Wow thank you for the awesome advice!! Any thoughts on the time spent in each city/country?

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Excellent advise. I have never eaten a bad meal in Italy (outside of tourist destinations). Germany on the other hand. Well, don't go to Germany for the food. The English and the Germans are the laughing stock in Europe when it comes to good food
I thought the food in Germany wasn't so bad. Their bread/sandwiches were great.
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      02-28-2014, 05:12 PM   #16
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Wow thank you for the awesome advice!! Any thoughts on the time spent in each city/country?



I thought the food in Germany wasn't so bad. Their bread/sandwiches were great.
I think you just supported my point.

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      02-28-2014, 05:45 PM   #17
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Wow thank you for the awesome advice!! Any thoughts on the time spent in each city/country?



I thought the food in Germany wasn't so bad. Their bread/sandwiches were great.
There is so much history and culture/arts, you can't go wrong with anything you choose to do. It's been a while since I've done the tourist things but from what I recall, I would do the following on my first visit.

Florence: Florence has several walking tours, which is the best way to see the city.
The Galleria dell’Accademia - See David and the largest collection of Michelangelo's work under one roof.
Duomo
Ponte Vecchio
The Medici home
If you love wine and feel like treating yourself to a very good meal but not too pricey, I suggest Cantinetta Antinori. Antinori is one of the premier wine families and you can literally order any wine, an vintage by the glass. They will open a bottle just for you.

Rome: Its too big to tour entirely on foot but you can pick and choose what you want to see.
The obvious would be the Vatican (book ahead or sit in the line that wraps the wall 2x's on any given day)
The Pantheon
The Colosseum
You can see the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain on your own. I prefer at night. Grab an espresso and pastry at Caffe Grecco near the Spanish steps. It's the oldest coffee house in Rome and a cool place to chill.


Research online because many of Italy's sites are booked months in advance (Last Supper in Milan for example). The only way around it is taking a tour that includes tickets to these sites. They're typically not bad but no for everyone. I usually do these on my first visit to a city but I pick either a half day or a full day with lunch on my own (I'm a foodie so I don't do tourist lunches)
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      02-28-2014, 05:58 PM   #18
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I think you just supported my point.

Touche'
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      02-28-2014, 06:00 PM   #19
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RR-NYC- thank you very much for the advice. I will look into booking for the Vatican. I'm thinking of booking it the day after we arrive. That way it gives us sometime to get acclimated as well as cushion in case of a flight delay.
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      02-28-2014, 06:00 PM   #20
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Rome: Its too big to tour entirely on foot but you can pick and choose what you want to see.
We saw just about every major site in Rome completely on foot while my wife was six months pregnant. No issue at all, especially if you group things geographically by day.
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      02-28-2014, 07:03 PM   #21
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In Rome...I think 2 full days is enough to see everything. They have bus lines (you'll see them, they are yellow, red, and green). You can get a 2 day pass on any of these for what I recall being around 8 to 10 dollars...and they only stop at the major sites. Passes are cheap, and it keeps you from walking all around and the buses come by often. For the tourist attractions, they have passes you can pre-order online (they also bypass all the long lines), but be careful of your arrival day, you cannot pick them up on a Sunday.

Florence, is not that big of a deal. Especially if you're not into museums (the Uffitzi isn't all what it's cracked up to be). Some nice churches for photos (the Duomo is one of my favorites all time) and the street side shopping if cool. But outside of that, not much to see. If you like to buy things (leather is big there) be prepared to drop some coin.

Paris is cool...careful of your belongings, my wife had her iphone stolen from there. Plenty of beggars...and people trying to sell you anything and everything. You'll see the same exact painting of the tower, that the person states they painted themselves...by 15 different peddlers. Favorite places, for some reason, seem to be the cafe's with the outdoor tables. Just seem really cool to sit back, relax, and do the cliche things.

Can't tell you much about Munich... I'll wait to hear from you on how that was.

I'll second the small towns (as listed above). My father-in-law lives in Abruzzo (on the Adriatic) and we have cousins that live up and down the east coast of Italy...my best times are always in small towns, especially when they have some sort of festival going on. My trip to Peru last week was much the same...falling on Puno's "Fiesta de la Candelaria" was an awesome time...if you look it up, there's always something going on somewhere. There was a Tartufare festival (Italian for truffles) in one small town in Italy that we went to...best time ever. Folks in these small town always embrace those around them...and make you feel very welcome.

I really hope you have a great time. Traveling is the best.
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      02-28-2014, 07:20 PM   #22
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We saw just about every major site in Rome completely on foot while my wife was six months pregnant. No issue at all, especially if you group things geographically by day.
In two days?

I live in NYC where we walk 4-6 miles a day so walking in not an issue for us. It's balancing sightseeing with taking in the city. Not that its impossible but you would really have to walk pretty quickly to cover that much area and miss a lot in-between because you have to keep looking at a map
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