11 Days Switzerland and Italy Itinerary
I had always romanticized my first European tour to be a winter affair. A long tour in the wintertime with the Christmas and New Year fiesta in the air, requires a cautious planning. I wanted to create just an outline of the plan with a blend of randomness. I was hell-bent on not opting for vacation packages as they are restricted in so many ways and thus had to spend a good amount of time on online research. This vacation symbolized our first wedding anniversary celebration and hence giving it special attention was indispensable
We had to plan our eleven nights eleven day itinerary for our first Euro trip such that we make the most of it. In order to avoid a rush-hush trip we intended to visit not more than three cities. We zeroed in those three places which are geographically congruous but extremely diverse otherwise. A combination of a scenic bliss, a floating city and a historical paradise befitted our idea. This is how our initial plan looked like:
Five days five nights in Switzerland with Lucerne as the base
Three days three nights in Venice
Three days three nights in Rome
The VISA Episode
Since the arrival and departure was from Zurich airport and the Swiss consulate was closer to our city (and also they are supposedly one of the easiest to deal with). Nevertheless, the nearest Italian consulate from San Jose is only in Los Angeles which is a good five hours drive from here. Thus, Swiss consulate was our preferred choice for visa appointment.
For those who do not know, Schengen visa gives you entry permissions to a group of European countries (almost all of them being the favored tourist destinations). Most of us know about this and so did I but what I did not know was that in deciding which consulate to take visa appointment from, we should not take into consideration the port of entry but country where the duration of stay is the longest. So we were denied the Schengen Visa on the grounds of longer stay in Italy. Just to mention, the consulate lady did check all the bookings (flights, hotels, trains) meticulously!