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Thread: Advice for a France/Italy trip

  1. #1

    Default Advice for a France/Italy trip

    Hi guys, would like to ask for your opinion on my itinerary. I am going in June 2012.

    010612-170612 17d16n
    Paris 3n -> Nice (Monaco Day Trip) 3n -> Cinque Terre 3n-> Rome 3n -> Florence 2n -> Venice 1n-> Paris

    Is it more advisable/affordable to take the Eurail France/Italy rail pass(youth) or buy tickets for individual trip? Also any opinions on my itinerary? I am there alone(backpack) to relax/sightseeing/photography. I'm working around a 4k budget excluding the flight which i already booked with AirAsiaX.

    Should i bring more cash or can i draw money out from atm (which bank has lowest fees?) I'll be staying in hostels to save money and try to meet other like minded travellers, any good ones to recommend at the above destinations?

    I tried calculating using and and this is what i got (using december prices). Did i get it right? Any tips? The prices i did not take into account the youth option. (i'm 21)

    Paris -> Nice EST 22-100 Euro
    Nice -> Monaco -> Nice EST 3-10 Euro
    Nice -> Cinque Terre (via Genoa to Levanto) EST 31-50 Euro
    Cinque Terre 3 day pass 3day pass 19.50-22 Euro (Accommodation @ Manarola)
    La Spezia -> Rome EST 36 Euro
    Rome -> Florence EST 43 Euro
    Florence -> Venice EST 43 Euro
    Venice -> Paris EST 68-200 Euro

    Thank you for the advice!

  2. #2
    Member Dannee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Advice for a France/Italy trip

    Start and ends at same location makes the train and flight cost higher? beware of pick pockets especially when you carry bags on your back. Enjoy your trip

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Eastern Singapura

    Default Re: Advice for a France/Italy trip

    Yes, beware of pickpockets, especially in Italy. There are some in France too, but not as rampant.

    Getting a railpass would be more of a convenience for you.
    Just hop on at any time so long as the train does not require seat reservation.
    In some places, the railpass also lets you use the local train/metro.

    Be very careful with your bags in hostels, especially when you bring big cameras. Many don't have lockers, so you just leave your bags beside you when you sleep. Most share the room with a lot of people.

    Just go to the youth hostels in each city. There is usually at least 1 in each major European city. You may need a youth or student card to qualify for the youth rates though.

    Have fun!!
    D3S, 50mm F1.4, 16-35mm

  4. #4


    If u get a rail pass, there will be a place for u to sign the ticket when u use it. Something like that anyway...I can't really remember. Just make sure u sign it otherwise they can fine u $50 on the spot. It's written on the back of the ticket.

  5. #5


    You might want to check out trenitalia now. They are having offers that starts from 9eur from city-city. Check out their mini fares, diff departure has diff promotional fares.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advice for a France/Italy trip

    I found it easy to travel by the metro in Paris. But yes, do beware of pickpockets. Generally they won't harm you physically, but they sure can steal your stuff very well! Didn't experience it, but heard so much about it.

    As for Notre Dame in Paris, I found it over-rated. Additionally, tripods are not allowed to be set up inside the cathedral. The louvre museum on the other hand was really worth the while.

  7. #7
    Member or1onz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Pasir Ris~~


    Yo, it is quite good to travel via Paris metro.
    But do be aware that people will stick close to you. Usually 1 ticket can take around 3-4 people. I paid for my first day, but on my second day onwards, I pay for my gf and me, went to the exit, and open the door for my 5 other friends. Even stranger say thank you

    Pickpockets are more around Italy. I friend lost his laptop in a carrying bag when an old lady with 2 kids bump into him. Another friend lost his hand phone in a crowded bus.

    Anyway, have fun, be wary and all the best

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice for a France/Italy trip


    I have just shared with my friends some tips on the trip to Italy.
    Will shared in this thread as well. (I am gonna cut and paste)

    One of the first few things that we were most concern when planning for our trip was our expenses, followed by our belongings.
    We have heard a lot of stories about pickpockets and scams targeted at Tourist in Italy.

    Therefore first thing that we really prepared ourselves was by buying the best coverage travel insurances.
    I believe there are a few policies out now but we actually bought our policy from AXA – Smart Traveller Plan with comprehensive coverage. It did give us a better piece of mind as we were afraid of our flight delayed especially during winter, our belongings being mugged and us falling sick. Copy the policy number and hotlines in your mobile phone in case of emergency.

    During the entire trip in italy, there were a lot of dark skinned immigrants touting around famous tourist attraction. I think the wisest thing to do is to ignore them. Some of them might be selling souvenirs which I believe will normally be cheaper than those with a physical shop. Do look around first before buying any souvenir, the one nearer to the entrance of tourist attraction usually sell at a higher price. I believe most of them are open to bargain, you should be able to practice your bargaining skills that you’ve learnt from Bangkok’s Chatuchak market.

    Pickpockets are pretty common, and we did learnt alot from this video
    Gypsies in Italy stealing from tourists openly - Tourists to Italy be warned - YouTube

    During the trip, We managed to see quite a few girls holding cardboards in Rome.
    We also saw the infamous bird seed and friendship bracelets scams in Milan. Especially at the Duomo area, strangers will approach you and offer you bird seeds to feed the birds, after that they will be asking you for money. Another group of them will be offering you colorful friendship bracelets, they will offer to tie them on your hands. After taking their bracelets, they will ask you for money. In even more extreme cases, we have seen them just shoved the bracelets to tourist and asked them for money, we have also heard from our friend that they just grab your hand and pass you the birdseeds, by the time you open your hand all the pigeons will flock to you. Just be more mindful about all this when you walk around.

    In terms of food, generally you will see a lot of Pizzas and Spaghettis. We did bring along some instant noodles and porridges. It helped us during our lazy days or when we got tired of eating flour. Do go for small little italian restaurants, the food are generally cheaper and better. Do keep a look out for chinese and japanese cuisine as well. We were craving for soupy dishes most of the time there, the japanese ramen serve our craving pretty well.

    We spend an average 3 days per city. I guess 3 days is enough for Rome to visit most of the major tourist attraction. We do however find that we spent too much time in Milan, after all Milan is another big city, great for shopping though. We were there in Venice while they were holding their carnivals, so our 3 days were fully filled with photos taking, souvenirs shopping and touring of their great museums. We concluded that we probably should spend more time in Florence, as we spent about 1 day in Pisa and 1 more day in Sienna leaving with only 1 days in Florence itself, do plan about your itineraries. We try to take things slowly cause ultimately, it is a honeymoon after all. You might want to find out more about the branded factory outlet in Florence, we did not managed to go there.

    There will be tons of museums for you to visit during your entire trip in Italy, do more research on the things that interest both of you, and if you are going on free and easy, Do buy yourself a guidebook to know more about the art pieces you are looking at. It makes everything more interesting. Before flying there, I also downloaded podcast from Steve Rick’s audio guides on tourist attraction. Do search for Rick Steve in iTunes if you are bring an Ipod along.

    One of the few good souvenirs to buy from Italy is unbranded leather goods and shoes in Florence, mask from Venice and of course magnets and key chains from various tourist attractions.
    Last edited by asidie; 9th March 2012 at 11:03 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice for a France/Italy trip

    I did a similar trip 4 years ago. Paris->Loire Valley->Cinque Terre->Nice/Monaco->Avignon->Paris spending about 5k inclusive airfare.

    Train ticket: I bought my tickets through SNCF website(at least one leg is in France), if you buy 2-3 months early, you can get pretty affordable tickets. FYI, there was an overnight sleeper train from Paris to Florence then, I think it cost me about 60 euro. There is a bus option from Nice to Monaco too.

    Accommodation: Nice Garden Hotel is highly recommended! For Cinque Terre, I booked a room with a nice sea view in Riomaggiore(Cinque Terre) for 40 Euro on arrival but that was in March. In June, you probably want to book ahead.

    Enjoy your trip!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice for a France/Italy trip

    Has anyone visited cinque terre in July before? Peak of summer time, heard so many stories about crowd, but would like a sg feel. Is it like orchard on a weekend?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Advice for a France/Italy trip

    Anyone knows is there a shop in Singapore that sells Rick Steve's travel bag series?


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