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Transatlantic to Rome, 9 April nites to plan b4 Lon. flight

so. California
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Transatlantic to Rome, 9 April nites to plan b4 Lon. flight

Surprising 40 yo husband with a transatlantic cruise from FL to Canary Islands, Barcelona, Nice, Florence/Pisa and ending in Rome. Have 9 nights to spend between Rome, ???, and London before flying back to CA. Time of year is end of April, beg. of May...

We've never been to England, Italy, Germany, Amsterdam, Scotland etc.

I know we should spend a few nights in both Rome and London on each end. The question is: Is there a place to visit in between or during (ie day trips) Rome or London? How many nights would you factor in each place? How would you get from point a (Rome) to point b (London)... plane, train, etc.

We're not much into all days spent at museums, do like ruins (loved Ephesus), and like 'highlights'. Young(ish) and agile but will have min. 2 large suitcases to schlep.

Any and all thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Am feeling overwhelmed by this momentual decision! And yes, $$$ is somewhat of a factor. Need to be middle class type accomodations/travel experience!

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Le Marche, Italy
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1. Re: Transatlantic to Rome, 9 April nites to plan b4 Lon. flight

Florence can be seen as an easy day trip from Rome, but if you have only a few nights in Rome, you'd be better not to try to take any day trips.

I once (about 15 years ago) took a train trip across Europe, from Rome to London, in about a week. I had a reason to be in Rome, and I needed to get to Hereford before returning to the US (where I lived at that time). I made several stops along the way to visit friends, but here is more or less my itinerary (leaving out the personal stuff).

I traveled very light, but after a cruise I have a feeling you'll have an enormous amount of luggage. Is there any way you could ship some of it home? Does the cruise provide such a service?

From Rome I went to Venice. (Here you could make a stopover in Florence for a few hours on the way. You could spend two nights in Venice.

I then took a very scenic train ride to Salzburg, passing through the Alps by day. There we spent three nights, taking a day trip to the lovely little town of Hallstatt, in the Salzkammergut. If you skip the day trip, two nights would be enough. You might also be able to visit Munich, either as a day trip from Salzburg (adding a day), or as a stopover on your way north.

I then took the train to Germany, where I stopped to visit friends. Afterwards, we passed along the Rhine. You could actually get off the train in Mainz and take a Rhine cruise as far as Koblenz (less than a day).

From Mainz to Amsterdam is a fairly easy train ride. Two nights would give you a nice look at the city, three would allow you to make a few day trips. (Amsterdam is not very typical of the Netherlands, just as New York is not very typical of the US.)

An alternative to Amsterdam would be Bruges, in Belgium, a very charming and well preserved medieval town.

Amsterdam to London can be done by train in about five hours, changing to the Eurostar in Brussels. The time from Bruges would be even less. I myself took an overnight ferry from the Netherlands to England, but these have now been substituted by fast daytime ferries.

If you spend two nights in Rome and two nights in London, you would have five nights in between. On my trip, I spent three nights in Austria, one in Germany and two in Amsterdam. You could cut a night from Salzburg, and maybe substitute Bruges for Amsterdam. This would mean skipping Venice though. I might be tempted to skip the Amsterdam (or Bruges) stop and to fly to London from Germany.

Two nights is very little for either Rome or London, but it would give you a glimpse. Another possibility would be to split the time between Italy and London, and forget about seeing anything else.

If you do something like this, it's essential to travel light. On the trains, you generally need to handle your own luggage, and on the inter-European flights, there are often strict limits on luggage.

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Le Marche, Italy
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2. Re: Transatlantic to Rome, 9 April nites to plan b4 Lon. flight

I said in the previous post "from Mainz to Amsterdam". Since you are heading north, you would take the train from Koblenz to Amsterdam if you do the Rhine cruise.

Another route that comes to my mind would be two nights in Venice, two nights in Munich, and one night in Cologne, with day-time stopovers in Florence and the daytime Rhine cruise. You could either fly to London, or take the train to Brussels, followed by the Eurostar. According to the DB (German railroad), London is less than five hours from Cologne by train:

bahn.de/db_uk/view/products/eurostar.shtml

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so. California
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3. Re: Transatlantic to Rome, 9 April nites to plan b4 Lon. flight

Thank you so much for your thoughtful, informative response! Sounds like a lovely trip but perhaps more adventurous than I'd be comfortable with surprising my husband with. We will certainly have luggage to contend with and shipping home will be very pricey.

I think I'd like to see pretty much everything we'd like to see in both Rome and London versus a brief glimpse and then if there's 1-2 days in the middle, spend some time somewhere else.

Once again, I sincerely thank you for taking the time and effort to answer me!

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Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Transatlantic to Rome, 9 April nites to plan b4 Lon. flight

If Rome is a destination choice, then I would spend 4 days there, one day travel and the remaining 4 days in London. During one of the days in Rome you can go down the Amalfi Coast to Sorrento or Naples or Pompeii. During one of the days in London you can go to Oxford, or Bath or Stonehenge or Stratford upon Avon.

Not too much travel/packing/unpacking/living out of the suitcase. Both Rome and London can easily take up your time. The mistake is trying to see everything on one trip and in the end, you are tired and get places jumbled up in your memories.

Sit back and stay awhile. A wine in hand at a sidewalk cafe watching people go by is a memory waiting to be made. As is an evening in a pub with a belly full of their best fare and a pint or ten of bitters LOL.

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5. Re: Transatlantic to Rome, 9 April nites to plan b4 Lon. flight

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