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8 days Northern Italy/ Switzerland

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Hi everyone! Looking for some advice, please!

My boyfriend and I are going to northern Italy/Switzerland for 8 days in May. We are flying into and out of Milan, but don't plan to spend much time there. We are planning to go to Bologna, Lake Como area (I'm thinking of staying in Bellagio or Varenna) and Switzerland (not sure where yet). We'd like to rent a car for some part of the trip or travel by train if we don't have the car. (I like the idea of the car so we can stop and explore along the way). We are in the early stages of planning and just have the flight. I'd love advice/insights/suggestions on a few things.
-itinerary. I was thinking head right to Bologna for a night or 2, then to lake Como area for a few nights then Switzerland for a few nights and back to Milan. Does this make sense, thoughts on this and which legs of the trip would be good to have a car?
-hotel and things to do recommendations. We do want to stay in nice places but are aiming for under $300 a night. We are interested in foodie activities, must see museums, gardens, hikes etc
-we picked these areas to visit after some research but they aren't set in stone if anyone has any other suggestions for must see day trips (or places to spend a night) in this general area

I know these are general questions, but u really appreciate your advice! Thank you all!

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