Travel Itineraries

France - Italy 2011

First post: Manila to Paris

Day 1 - Paris
Église Saint-Sulpice || Café de la Mairie || Jardin du Luxembourg || Paris Rive Gauche / Left Bank || Place du Trocadéro || Schwartz's Deli

Day 2 - Giverny & Paris
Claude Monet's Giverny || Champs de Mars Picnic

Day 3 - Paris
Musée d'Orsay || Walking, Rue Cler || Café du Marché || Musée Rodin || Les Invalides

Day 4 - Paris
Le Relais brunch || Notre Dame de Paris || Shakespeare & Company || Creperie St. Michel

Day 5 - Paris
Musee du Louvre || Sainte-Chapelle || Arc de Triomphe

Day 6 - Versailles
Chateau de Versailles || Angelina at Versailles || Pantheon

Day 7 - Paris
L'entrecote des halles || Galeries Lafayette || Printemps || Pique-nique

Day 8 - Paris
Basilique du Sacre Coeur || Place du Tertre & environs || Le Relais Gascon || Hotel de Ville || Centre Georges Pompidou

Day 9 - Paris
en route to Italy

Day 10 - Florence

Day 11 - Florence

Day 12 - Tuscan Region (Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Florence)

Day 13 - Florence, Rome

Day 14 - Rome

Day 15 - Rome

Day 16 - Rome


Anonymous said...

Hello! Did you do this IT on your own or did you join a tour group or secure a tour package from a travel agency? I get that tour groups are very convenient but I'm afraid I might find them wanting. Your IT however sounds perfect for my eccentric tastes. If you did it with a travel agent, can you recommend one? I'm also from the Philippines btw. :)

francesbean said...

Hello Anonymous! Everything is DIY except for Day 12, we joined a day tour. Feel free to ask if you have other questions. :)

Karina said...

Hey thanks for the quick reply! Wow that is some very detailed planning and research. :D How did you manage? Would you recommend to DIY for people who have to start from scratch? As in no prior visas, etc.?

francesbean said...

Haha yes it did involve a lot of research, especially because I was working on a specific budget (no hotels, no cab rides, cheaper 'early-bird' tickets etc). I'd say I would recommend DIY if you aren't with someone older, say your parents, relatively fit, and if you have the luxury of time to prepare. I would also definitely go DIY again and again so I have control over the places to visit. My impression on the common European tour package involve driving to the tourist spot, staying for a couple of minutes to take pictures, then leave.. and it isn't exactly my idea of travel.

Where do you plan to go exactly? I would recommend getting a "main" guidebook too. I like the Rick Steves books, it's no-nonsense and practical.

On having no prior visas-- I don't have much experience here but know about 2 people with rejected visas. I'd say the best course of action is to prove your rootedness to the Philippines (e.g. you're not going there to find work); and present a reasonable amount of "show money".

Haha sorry ang haba, too enthusiastic.

Karina said...

Thanks for the comprehensive reply. In fact I'm hoping you'd do a post on your accommodations, how you tried to save on money, diskarte, etc. :)

Um question on the no hotels thing: did you couchsurf, camp, or did you crash in friends' house? I'm really wary of couchsurfing and camping might be too daunting. Most of all I don't have friends in Europe. Haha.

Also, did you learn French or Italian prior to your trip and do you think there's a need? :)

francesbean said...

I am planning on posting about our accommodations, money matters as well, I just haven't gotten around to it :(

Hotels: Didn't have friends in Europe too, I tried to search for couches but I received no replies! We settled for accommodations, much cheaper than hotels. If you're not too picky, hostels are also an option, but personally we didn't want to share a room with other people.

I didn't learn French / Italian :) I know some words but nothing conversational or anything. It helps if you know the greetings. Bonjour/Merci/Excusez-moi, Buon giorno/Scuzi/Grazie. I also read some books about France, the French would treat you better if only you greeted them (bonjour). And true enough people were so nice to us in Paris.

Karina said...

Last question (hopefully): when did you go on this trip? Do you think this is the most ideal time of the year? :) I've read that there's a tourist season when the lines are so very long at museums. :)

francesbean said...

Went late spring (late May early June) :) The weather was quite erratic (I guess as with anywhere in the world), hot and then cold the next day. Even with the weather there were still plenty of tourists. I suppose August is not a good time, it's when it is the hottest, and most Europeans take their vacations on that month. Fall I heard is fine for travelling too, although the days are shorter. In the summer it gets dark at 9pm onwards na. You can ask anytime :) Happy travels!