France and Italy are two of the most visited countries in the world and with so many beautiful cities, such amazing history and architecture, and so many world-class sights, it's no wonder. This is an itinerary I designed for friends (two couples) who wanted to visit some of Europe's famous cities on their holiday.
One of the traveller's was celebrating his 50th birthday by attending the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Monza so the itinerary was based around this. The travellers had no desire to drive in Europe so they each pre-purchased a Eurail Pass, with seat reservations. The excellent train services in France and Italy allowed them to travel between destinations quickly and in comfort.
PARIS - VENICE - ROME - TUSCANY - LAKE COMO - MONZA/MILAN - NICE - AVIGNON - PARIS
23 DAY ITINERARY BY TRAIN
Arrive into Paris and transfer to hotel.
Days 2 & 3
Sightseeing in Paris.
Train from Paris to Venice via Milan. (It is also possible to take an overnight train - sleeper compartments are available.) Transfer to hotel.
Sightseeing in Venice.
Venice to Rome by train. Sightseeing for remainder of day.
Days 7 & 8
Sightseeing in Rome.
Train from Rome to Siena, Tuscany via Florence. Sightseeing for remainder of day.
Days 10 & 11
Sightseeing around Tuscany.
Train from Siena to Como via Florence and Milan. Sightseeing for remainder of day.
Sightseeing around Como.
Train from Como to Milan, then local train from Milan to Monza (if required).
Sightseeing in Milan (in this case, the men attended the Grand Prix whilst the ladies shopped).
Train from Milan to Nice, via Ventimiglia.
Days 17 & 18
Sightseeing around Nice.
Train from Nice to Avignon. Sightseeing in Avignon for remainder of day.
Sightseeing in and around Avignon.
Train from Avignon to Paris. Sightseeing in Paris for remainder of day.
Sightseeing in Paris.
Eurail Pass - A 1st class, 8 day/3 country pass was required for this itinerary. (As the train from Paris to Milan travels via Switzerland, Switzerland had to be included on the Eurail Pass.)
Reserved seats were booked on all sectors except Florence/Siena/Florence. Trains on this line, and some other regional trains, operate 2nd class services only and seats cannot be reserved in advance. In these cases, simply showing a valid Eurail Pass to the conductor allows carriage at no additional cost. The train from Milan to Monza was a local (metro) train. Tickets were purchased at the station.
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