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Trip Report Italy and Switzerland--September/October 2013

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First, we want to thank the folks on Fodor's and other sites like RS and TA for their great help in planning our trip. Also two new travel books--DK's Back Roads Northern and Central Italy and The Rough Guide to the Italian Lakes. Never done a trip report, much less a "live" report. Hope you enjoy it. As we go thru Switzerland and Italy over the next four weeks, any suggestions for places to see or where to eat on each leg of the trip are ALWAYS appreciated.

Background--we are retired couple in early 60s who fell in love with Italy on our first trip 15 years ago. Been back almost every fall since then. We now live most of the year on a small remote island in the Bahamas, so we tend to go to small towns and villages when visiting. We think the best way to do this is by car. Due to Delta FF miles, best route for this trip to Italy was RT nonstop from Atlanta to Zurich to minimize miles for business class. So we added a week to the trip and we are now visiting 4 lakes in Northern Italy we have never been to on the way to and from Zurich. Going to lots of new places and only staying in 3 hotels we have been to before, so hopefully this will be a mostly new experience for us, even after 12 previous trips.

Itinerary--

2 nights--Klosters, Switzerland, day trip to Davos
2 nights--Lake Como/Varenna, ferry trip to Bellagio
3 nights--Lake Iseo, day trips to Bergamo and Franciacorta
3 nights--Lake Garda/Bardolino, day trips to Verona and Sirmione
4 nights--Greve/Chianti, day trip to Siena
4 nights--Montalcino, day trips to Pienza and Montepulciano
3 nights--Cortona, day trips to Assisi and Umbrian countryside
2 nights--Rapallo, day trip to Portofino
3 nights--Lake Maggiore/Cannobio, day trip to Borromeo islands
1 night---Zurich airport, visit/lunch in Lucerne in route


Leg 1--Atlanta-Zurich-Klosters/Davos
We are at the International Terminal in Atlanta ready to board the plane to Zurich where we pick up our car for four weeks. We got a great price on a rental from AutoEurope with Europcar. We have used them many times and they have always done a good job. including a relatively small charge for a "dangling" side mirror on our last trip! From Zurich it's about 90 miles to Klosters where we spent one night in 1998. Going back to the Hotel Chesa Grischuna, a picture perfect Swiss chalet hotel in the heart of Klosters. Plan to recover from jet lag by taking the aerial tram up to about 7500 ft and have a leisurely lunch while we enjoy the scenery. Day 2 is a trip on the train to Davos for the day. Never been there. Any suggestions for meals or things to see in either place would be great.

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