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Old 04-10-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
 
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Post 1st backpacking trip: Italy/Spain/France...Need suggestions and help

so I'm traveling to Europe for the first time, and I'm going solo (for half of it). I fly in to Rome on June 24th, and leave from Paris on July 21nd. Here is my basic itinerary of just the cities I would like to spend some time in, but I would like some help deciding how much time to spend in each one, as well as how long it will take to travel between some of them.

One thing is that I need to be in Malaga, Spain, by the 8th(ish) of July to meet up with my boyfriend and his family who are staying in a hotel there till the 11th. After that, they are spending the 11th till the 18th in a luxurious rental house in Opie, France..which I believe is near Nice. I will be joining them there, and then from the 18th till the 21st, we are traveling to Paris where we will eventually travel home to California. I basically have the 24th of June till July 8th (14ish days) to venture around Italy/France/Spain, so here's what I think I want to hit up:

Rome
Florence
Cinque Terra
Barcelona

I might exchange going to Barcelona with going to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls, but I can't tell if thats worth giving up Barcelona for. What would you guys do?

How much time should I spend in each place? I was thinking 3 days in rome,3 in florence, 2 in cinque terra, and 3 days in Barcelona. The other days will be spent traveling the long distance from Cinque Terra to Barcelona, and then Barcelona to Malaga.

How should I get from Cinque Terra to Barcelona? Train or plane? How should I get to Malaga? Does my itinerary seem feasible or what? Please, any help would be appreciated -- I've never done ANYTHING like this before!
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:05 AM   #2
 
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3-4 days is a good number for Rome, you could even take a day trip down to Pompeii if you wanted. I haven't been to to your other destinations but the Running of the Bulls is a fantastic time, basically the whole city is just one big party and it is a great experience. Plus San Sebastian is only 3 hours away by bus I think and it is only about 15 euros for a ticket if I remember correctly.

Whatever you decide you will have a fantastic trip!
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:38 AM   #3
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I think you've done a good job allotting yourself enough days in each stop to unpack and get to know the area. Normally, I recommend intra-Europe travel by train -- it is the most comfortable way to go. However, a check of the Deutsche Bahn site:
Deutsche Bahn - German Rail Homepage
...showed the shortest journey time as 17 hours. Yikes. Maybe look into el cheapo airfares from Milan or Florence to Barcelona? If it saves you an entire day (plus recovery) of travel, it might be worth spend a few extra Euros.

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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I'd recommend flying Pisa-Barcelona on Ryanair or something...I know I flew the reverse on that route for 20something Euros so hopefully you'll be able to snag a good deal! Pisa's close to Cinque Terre (I did CT in a daytrip from Florence, by train).

I'm biased - I could spend a lifetime in Italy and never get bored, but it seems like you've got a good allotment of time. have an awesome trip!

Oh, Pompeii might be kind of a long daytrip from Rome being past Naples and all, but check out Tivoli (Villa d'este and some other cool stuff) and Hadrian's Villa if you're into fountains, gardens and ruins a bit closer to Rome.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
 
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thanks for the suggestions everyone.

I'm still tweaking my itinerary in my head every day, and I can't decide if I should spend all my time in italy or head over to spain since I'm going to have to head back to Opio (Nice) eventually which is a lot of back tracking...

Would spending 17 days in italy be a waste of a european trip (might be my last one, who knoooows?) or should I really try and see more?
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