Paris and Italy: A 28 Day Itinerary

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.”

-Hans Christian Anderson-

Travel is all about opportunity.  It’s the opportunity to learn not only about a destination but about ourselves.  It’s about taking chances, and how we choose to spend our time can deeply affect our journey.  Be receptive to the fact that we all travel differently.  Some prefer well laid out plans while others are completely uninhibited and free.  Sometimes plans fail and other times the unplanned events turn out to be the greatest part of the experience.  However you travel, whatever journey you choose, simply breathe it all in and be thankful for the opportunity and the choice to be in that moment.

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France and Italy: A 28 Day Itinerary

We had anticipated this trip for so long, and I had put so much heart, thought and effort into each and every stop.  We had faced the  same questions most travel families agonize over: “We have 28 days, so where do we spend our time?”  The most amazing travel aspect of Europe is that you have multiple countries at your fingertips, so many foods and cultures to indulge in, historical points to witness and cities to get lost in.

For us, we wanted to focus our time in Italy. We fell in love with the country on our first trip to Rome, and we wanted to do this amazing country justice rather than catching a cursory glance.  Since the girls were dreaming of The Eiffel Tower (Miss Teenage B), and of Disneyland (Little B), we decided to honor their wander-lists and begin our trip in Paris, fulfilling what was important to them, before moving onto the remainder of our journey.

Here is what our itinerary looked like, with my available blogs detailing each, to help inspire and guide you.  It easily gives you days to play with and switch up.  For us we took extra days here and there in order to allow the kids to play at the beach, lay by the pool and to catch our own breath.  With travel, you will never have enough time to see it all, and all you can do is focus on the quality of the now.

Day 1/2:  TRAVEL to PARIS

Coming from Western Canada, this was a long (delayed) flight and we traveled overnight via Amsterdam.  We arrived at CDG airport and took a private transfer directly out to our hotel near Disneyland Paris, where we spent the evening recovering and relaxing.

Day 3/4:  DISNEYLAND PARIS

  • Day 1: 1 Day/1Park – Focus on the main Theme Park, Disneyland
  • Day 2: 1 Day/2Park – Spend time between both parks
  • Enjoy the daily parades and the incredible nightly firework show.
  • For details on our Disney experience, transfers and where we stayed:  Disneyland Paris – Magic en Francais

Day 5/6:  PARIS

  • Catch the early train into the city, check into your hotel
  • Climb the Eiffel Tower, stroll past the Louvre and lunch in Luxembourg
  • Visit the stunning architecture of Notre Dame and take in the views from atop the Arc de Triomphe.  Marvel at the feat that is the traffic circle below.
  • Stroll along the Champs-Élysées, ponder thoughts on a bridge over the Seine and buy a lock. Climb up Montmarte to Sacre Coeur for breathtaking views over the city.
  • I cover our itinerary in 2 parts:  Our 34 Hour Love Affair With Paris…..Part 1 and The City of Paris…Part Deux

OVERNIGHT TRAIN TO ITALY

This was an adventure in itself, a bit like camping on wheels. It was unique in that we could pack breads, cheeses, meats and wine and stretch out in our own private berth as we watched the sun set.  There is talk that THELLO will discontinue this service, which is a shame.  Flights are inexpensive, but by going at night we had such a unique experience, plus we woke up in Italy and didn’t feel as though we gave up much travel time.

Sunset

DAY 7-8: VENICE, ITALY

  • Get lost in the narrow alleys of Venice
  • Take a trip out to Murano (glass), Burano (lace and color) and Torcello (the oldest region of Venice)
  • Get touristy and take a gondola ride or private water taxi.
  • Eat gelato, do a cartwheel in St Marks Square and cross the Rialto Bridge.
  • For details on Venice, visit:  On the Canals of Venice…

DAY 9: TRAVEL TO FRAMURA

We took the high speed train to the Italian Riviera destination of Framura.  Along the way, we had a stop in Milan, where we had 4 hours to go and see the famous Duomo.  ***These few hours quickly turned into madly rushed single hour by the time we fought the crowds at the luggage storage and the ticket lineups. (We had previously booked our tickets, but you need to go to the counter and actually receive your physical tickets)

DAY 9-14:  FRAMURA, PORTOFINO and CINQUE TERRE

  • Fall in love with old world Italy.  Read why you MUST consider a stay here:  Falling for Framura
  • Spend a day renting bikes, and traveling the coast thru the old train tunnels between Bonassola and Levanto.  Bike must have a basket. Baskets are pretty.
  • Hike in the picturesque valleys between villages.
  • Visit the Cinque Terre and hike the trail between Monterosso and Vernazza.  Stop to breathe and take 800 photos.  Smile at older gentlemen doing it in a speedo.  You can read about our adventure onConnection Along the Cinque Terre
  • Spend a day in Portofino, laze around Paraggi Beach and ride the ferry along the coast.  Read about all there is to doUnexpected Bliss: A day in Portofino, Italy
  • Spend a day of downtime, relaxing on the beach in Framura

DAY 15:  TRAVEL TO FLORENCE

  • Catch the high speed train via PISA, allowing enough transfer time

DAY 15-21: FLORENCE, PISA and TUSCANY

  • Spend a day touring the highlights of Florence such as the stunning Santa Maria del Fiore, seeing Michelangelo’s ‘David’, visiting the Uffizi or shopping along Ponte Vecchio
  • Rent a Fiat, and have courage, you CAN drive in Italy.  Travel the winding roads of the Chianti region and take in the postcard worthy views of Tuscany.
  • Visit the stunning hilltop towns of San Gimignano and Siena.
  • Make a day trip to Pisa to see the iconic Leaning Tower, and stop in Lucca to ride bikes atop the old city walls.
  • Visit Piazza Michelangelo for unrivaled, panoramic city views and to test drive a Ferrari!
  • Find hosts that have an ancient cellar and coax them into a wine and food night.
  • For more on our time here, see my detailed post:  From Tuscany With Love

DAY 22:  TRAVEL TO POSITANO

  • We took the high speed train from Florence to Salerno, then caught the summer ferry to Positano. HIGHLY recommend this, the scenery along the Amalfi Coast is breathtaking.

DAY 22-24:  POSITANO

  • Check in to a B&B.  Drool over sea views and vow to never leave.
  • Spend a day on the beach. Fornillo was our favorite, and loved by locals.
  • Eat, eat and eat some more.  Every place seems to have a view.
  • Tour Positano or take a ferry to the other towns along the Amalfi coast or out to Capri
  • Hike the ‘Path of the Gods’ or take a trip up the winding coastal roads.
  • Read about our adventures in my blog:  From Sea Glass to Sea Views, This is Positano

DAY 25:  TRAVEL TO ROME

  • Ferry back to Salerno.  Catch high speed train to Rome.

DAY 25-27:  ROME and THE VATICAN:

  • Time to shop, eat, drink and immerse yourself in history.
  • Spend your days exploring the historical highlights of this amazing city.  You can read about our time and find tips about the Colosseum herePillars, Power and Performance: Visiting Rome’s Colosseum & Forum
  • After touring the halls of the Vatican Museum, stand in silence under the magnificent work of art that is the Sistine Chapel.
  • Walk thru the architectural masterpiece that is St Peters Basilica, making sure not to miss spending time admiring Michelangelo’s La Pieta.  Take the winding, narrow stairways to the top for breathtaking views.
  • Enjoy Rome during magic hour.  The city truly comes to life as people stroll and chat, eat and share bottles of wine.  See why it’s my favorite time of day in my blogWhen in Rome, Stay and Stroll

DAY 28: BEGIN THE JOURNEY HOME

“It’s a funny thing coming home.  Nothing changes.  Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same.  You realize what’s changed, is YOU.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald-

May you be inspired to make whatever journey is calling to you, and may our experience help guide you or spark an interest.  Whatever you do, wherever you go, go with your heart.  Just make room for wine, new friends and opportunity.

Cheers,

Amy

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69 comments

  1. Paris looks amazing, I’d love to travel there by train to be honest, but our European lowcost carriers have such bargains it’s difficult to ignore the deals.
    And what can I say about Italy…it’s over 15 years I live here, and I chose it for a reason, it’s beauty is one of a kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You seem to have covered a lot of place in your trip and do all the major sights in Italy. Next time you should go to Sicily too, it’s one of a kind island. I am happy to see that you included Cinque Terre on your itinerary, that is one of my favorite places in Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome itinerary! I wish I had seen this on my last trip to France. There’s so much to do that I didn’t realise was even an option – I just stuck to the usual tourist landmarks in Paris and didn’t get as much of a chance to explore anywhere in depth. Great post!

    Like

  4. What a blessing to have the opportunity to spend 28 days in 2 of the most beautiful countries in the world! Great itinerary too, I love how you made the most of your time. Believe it or not, Disneyland Paris stands out to me – I’ve been to California & Orlando but never to one abroad so I’m dying to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great itinerary and I love the idea of going to Italy by train instead of plane. I’ve been to Rome for a weekend but have wanted to spend at least a month there so this is a great itinerary for me to use as a guide. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You must’ve had such an awesome experience! I envy you girl.. Positano is one of my top places to visit in Italy.. must have been a superb feeling to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Now this is more like it! Too often I see travel blogs promoting a 2 day or 3 day itinerary and while those certainly have their place, I often feel that such visits are much too fleeting. And certainly, given how many attractions you listed, anything less than 28 days would have been too little. Although really, if your photos are anything to go by, I think I could happily spend the entire month is Positano!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Every one has different travel goals, and for me, it will always be quite to experience a place and do it as much justice as I can. We do have those whirlwind moments, but Italy deserves all the time in the world. Cheers!

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  8. That’s really a beautiful trip you made! But there’s one thing that made me laugh: the first stop in Paris mainly to satisfy the girls’ desires!😀
    No offense in it, I’m just imagining the situation as you say “Ok little girls, now these 3/4 days are for you and Mickey Mouse, but then you’ll see what are you going to live!”
    I really miss coastal cities in Italy, especially now that I moved to Milan… ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This was such a detailed post and I loved it! Italy is actually the country I want to visit most in the entire world. I was actually supposed to be in Europe right now and in Italy next week (unfortunate situation didn’t allow it). Its awesome that you guys went for a whole month. So many people I know would spend a total of a week doing what you did and that just doesnt agree with me. I personally love long travel (6 month trip through Asia coming soon!! :D)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome trip🙂. Perhaps, if I may, I would add 3-5 days to go further south. My personal favorite region in Italy is Sicily. It is different than the rest of the country in all aspects: food, culture, traditions. In my mind, it worth a separate visit there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sicily is a place I am dying to see! But it would have meant losing time.somewhere else on this trip that we just couldn’t give. It just means we need to make another trip or cover even more! The best thing of Italy is that you can go for a lifetime and always explore.

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  11. Very well balanced itinerary. You definitely managed to cover a lot in the 28 days! The photos are gorgeous – especially the sunset view from your train window. Brings back a lot of lovely memories from our family trip to the place…though we did Venice, Tuscany (incl. Florence/Pisa), the Amalfi Coast and Lake Como. It was beautiful, but hectic. I would love to go back and do a more relaxed trip some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for such a detailed itinerary. I lke that you have covered many smaller and lesser known destnatons too. At least had no clue about Framura till read this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great journey! You had 28 days, so you didn’t have to hurry – that’s how I prefer to travel too. I’m an art historian, so Italy is one of my favourite countries in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I can’t help but envy your kiddos! What experiences you are providing them! I only wish my parents had done the same! I would have a few less places to tick off my adult bucket list!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brilliant itenerary. I’ve been to Paris a few times over the last couple of decades and it remains one of my favourite cities. I’m glad you added a day at Disneyland. Italy still remains a country I have to properly explore. I’ve been to a few places but your itenerary will come in handy. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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