My husband and I are taking our first trip outside the US to Paris and Rome in January (Cold I know) and we are SO excited! We have 5 full days in each city which I know isn't even enough time to truly appreciate them, but I want to take one day trip from each place anyway! The problem is that I can't decide which to take! From Paris I am interested in Provins, Strasbourg, Mont-Saint-Michel & Etrat. From Rome I am interested in Florence, Venice, The Amalfi Coast, Naples, Capri, and many more. I know these are all of varying themes and distances, but I don't care...we love history, scenery, food, everything and we are fine with spending a long day on buses and trains if the destination is really worth it. I would just love to hear some opinions on which of these places you would choose if you could only choose one or if you have an alternative suggestion I'm open to anything! Thank you!
With 5 days for each city you will not be able to see all the places you listed. Especially if you don't have your own car.
For example in Italy, you listed some places which are on opposite sides of the country, in some cases it will take half a day just to reach your destination.. Same applies for France. From Paris to the Mont Saint Michel it's a very long way with public transports. You should take a train to Rennes, then from Rennes a bus to the Mont. The visit itself could take more than half a day.
So, in summary: with such a short stay I would concentrate on things to visit in Rome and Paris, and leave the rest of the country for a future travel. Otherwise you will not enjoy your stay, you will just run around and don't even see what the 2 cities have to offer.