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Tips for France and Italy?

My fiance and I are planning a 3 week honeymoon in Europe next October. We know we want to stay in Amsterdam for a few days, and then travel around France and Italy. Any tips for spots in France and Italy (other than the big cities)?

Re: Tips for France and Italy?

  • I visited France years ago and would recommend visiting Pere Lachaise cemetery. I know it's your honeymoon, but the place is beautiful and a lot of famous people are buried there.
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  • 3 weeks is not much time to do Amsterdam, Italy and France. I would probably just pick 3 other cities to visit for that time frame at the most. otherwise you might feel really rushed and tired. Rome is one of my favourite cities in Europe and no matter how many times i have been I always find something new to love about it.
  • I traveled from Brussels to Bruges in Belgium, down to Paris, then Arles, then Nice in France.  Brussels and Bruges are fabulous, but I know you didn't say Belgium :-)

    Arles is full of roman ruins - very interesting.

    Nice is just gorgeous.  The water is crystal clear and the people are incredibly friendly.  You really can't go wrong with the French Riveria.
  • any reason why amsterdam is included? i think you'd use your time much more effectively if you did the south of france and then italy-stopping in places along the way OR just france or italy.


  • Rome is a lovely city.  Whether you're a ruins kind of person, or an art person, or a wine & food person, or a photo nerd, Rome has something for everyone.

    I am also a huge, huge fan of Cinque Terre, and specifically Vernazza.  Do yourself a favor and spend 2-3 nights in this coastal paradise.  Vernazza was recently devastated by major mudslides in aflash flood, but I expect them to be much recovered by October and could really benefit from tourist traffic to help the local economy recover.  My favorite photo we took in Vernazza:

    If you like churches & art, Florence is a lovely place to stop.  I hated Florence, but I don't like churches and art.  :-)  I also hated Venice, because it felt like a giant tourist trap where everything was expensive and the food was mediocre -- kind of like an Italian Disneyland.  Maybe take my advice with a grain of salt though, since most normal people don't hate Florence and Venice :D

    I haven't been anywhere in France outside of Paris, but I hear Nice is just stunning as well and it might be worth a stop into wine country.  I had some friends that did a wine & food escape where you stay at a cottage, go with the chef to the morning farmer's market, and prepare gourmet food with him.  Kind of like wine tasting and cooking class all wrapped into one.  That sounds pretty amazing.
  • We just got back from our European honeymoon and we LOVED Avignon, France. It's a beautiful, old, small town in southern France. Home to the Pope's palace, definitely worth a visit AND about 30 minutes outside of Avignon is the village of Chateauneuf fe pape known for its wines. 

    We also really liked the Almafi Coast and the Isle of Capri. You can stay in Sorrento or Almalfi and take a boat over to the Isle for the day. The gardens and views are spectacular.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_tips-france-italy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:11Discussion:fd994d9b-0cac-4549-98c2-0268350be57cPost:08d5f471-451a-46e8-a43a-2d61dc359f03">Re: Tips for France and Italy?</a>:
    [QUOTE]We just got back from our European honeymoon and we LOVED Avignon, France. It's a beautiful, old, small town in southern France. Home to the Pope's palace, definitely worth a visit AND about 30 minutes outside of Avignon is the village of Chateauneuf fe pape known for its wines.  <a href="http://france-for-visitors.com/provence/avignon/index.html" rel="nofollow">http://france-for-visitors.com/provence/avignon/index.html</a> <a href="http://www.chateauneuf.com/english/" rel="nofollow">http://www.chateauneuf.com/english/</a> We also really liked the Almafi Coast and the Isle of Capri. You can stay in Sorrento or Almalfi and take a boat over to the Isle for the day. The gardens and views are spectacular.  
    Posted by Court579atusc[/QUOTE]

    Mmmmm... Chateuneuf de Pape is yummy wine.

    I was also going to suggest the Loire Valley for France.  Lots and lots of castles!
  • I agree that if you're travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, you should make a stopover in Belgium. I'm biased, I live there. But Antwerp, Bruges and Gent are beautiful cities. I'd skip Bruxelles.

    Every part of France is beautiful, really. The more South you go, the better the weather gets. If you're sure you want to do Amsterdam and France, I might skip Italy on a three week trip, to have a more relaxed holiday. If you don't, one word: Rome.
  • Amsterdam and France might be enough to fill up a 3 week trip or you'll feel rushed.  You'll spend a lot of time on the road getting places if you add Italy.  We LOVED Chamonix, France in the Alps.  October might not be the best time to go there though as it will be too late to do much hiking but a little early for skiing.  I also loved Paris and Avignon when I went years ago.  I liked the Cinque Terre region of Italy.  It was cute.  I didn't LOVE Venice, but I thought the 2 1/2 days we spent there was enough time, and worth it even if just to say we'd been there.  we spent part of a day wandering around Murano and looking at the glass works there.  

  • I spent some time in Italy when I was in highschool.. I would go back in a heartbeat.
    go to pompeii and sorrento - pompeii was so interesting and sorrento was BEAUTIFUL, one of my biggest regrets was not getting to spend more time there.
    Vatican city was fantastic-even if your not catholic - it was my favorite part of Rome. I was unenthused about the colliseum - very touristy and crowded, even first thing in the morning, I cant imagine how much more busy it would have been later in the day and you cant go to many parts of it so pretty much you walk in and theres a small amt of areas you can walk - worth seeing for sure, its an italian must see, but I think we were there for longer waiting to go in than we spent inside. :s so dont anticipate spending a ton of time there.
    The san marco's square market in florence was great, so much to see - getting to chat with locals was really interesting. Florence was amazing IMO, definitly dont skip over it
    ride a gondola in Venice - amazing experience. :)

  • kipnuskipnus member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited January 2012
    I absolutely ADORE Paris, and could spend months just there (I actually did spend a whole month studying French there) without getting bored. But I am an art nerd, and love art museums.

    This past summer, I did Paris, Spain, and Italy with my mom (and Malta/Gozo without her, for the scuba diving) in three weeks, and we both LOVED Spain! I'd never been there before, and she hadn't been since she was my age. Honestly, Italy was a bit of a letdown after Spain. Much more touristy, more problems with trains (like when they went on strike and we had to take a bus back from Pisa to Florence!) I actually had a really good time in Venice. The only touristy thing we spent money on was a gondola ride, and we managed to get a bargain on that. Other than that, we walked around, and found cheap restaurants for pasta and wine. (We stayed in a hotel outside of Venice, though. Much cheaper).

    I think on my next trip to Italy, I would like to find a B&B somewhere in Tuscany and go for walks and drink wine and eat great food all day. :)
  • Assisi Italy was fabulous! It is gorgeous and very private and small there is a lovely hotel there right near the church also. 

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  • edited January 2012
    I spent the summer in Italy, particularly in Florence with a 4 day long trip to Venice. Venice is still beautiful but much more touristy than Florence (and MUCH pricier!), despite Florence being one of the biggest study abroad cities. If you want any tips on where to get the best gelato in Florence or which places have the longest lines so you should buy tickets ahead of time- feel free to personal message me. 

    EDIT: I should give you a disclaimer that I am an art student- I can tell you about really interesting museums and food and such but I didn't go to many extravagant restaraunts nor to any clubs.
  • I wouldn't try to cram too many cities into a 3 week honeymoon. After all, you want to enjoy each other as well as the sites! That being said: Paris is a must for the first time to France. See the sites, but eat off the beaten track if you want a real French experience. I did a hiking trip in the south of France, near Condom. Beautiful scenery, small town atmosphere. Most of the small towns out there are most accessible y car rather than train, so your comfort level in travel comes into play there. Italy: I lived in Florence for a year doing study abroad. I'm totally biased. I will tell you all the best food, gelato and which museums are worth your time. If you want in depth details on Florence, PM me. Aside from Florence, Cinque Terre would be my top pick for a honeymoon. Gorgeous beach towns linked by great hiking. Delicious seafood. Easy to get to by train. Small Tuscan towns are amazing. They all have good historic sites as well as art. But in a small town you'll get a much more personal experience than you would in Rome. If Rome is what you want though, I recommend touring the ruins as early as possible, before they get crowded. I think they're definitely worth seeing, but honestly I don't consider Rome very romantic. Whatever you choose, enjoy!
  • I actually live here in Italy and Rome is a must I would spend about 3 days you can get most stuff done during that time if you are wanting to go to the vatican museum I would suggest getting tickets online early, the line is about a mile long just to buy tickets.  Tuscany is also amazing...the hills and WINE :) Amsterdam can be done in a couple days...and France the same, I actually expected more from Fance.  After seeing how it is in the movies.  It was kind of a let down when I went around during the day, at night of course its beautiful.
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