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Northern Italy Itinerary Finalized - Sightseeing and Food Help?

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Hi Travelers,

We have finalized our 16 day trip to Northern Italy thanks to the help of fellow Fodor members. Now comes the fun part. I’ve poured over trip reports and have plenty of guide books. If you have any suggestions for day trips, sightseeing and of course restaurants, it would be greatly appreciated.

Here is our itinerary:

Bologna - 4 nights (4 full days to sightsee - no car)
Hotel Porta San Mamolo
Suggestions for Day Trips (no car) and Restaurants?
Plan to do Italian Days Food Experience one day
(side note - so sad about the recent earthquake)

Rent Car Day 5 - drive to Ortisei ( would we have time to stop in Verona?)

Ortisei/Dolomites - 3 nights (1 day travel - 2 full days to sightsee)
Hotel Grones
Suggestions for Day Trips? We will be having Dinner at the Hotel, but suggestions for local lunch places are appreciated.

Day 8 - Drive to Alba/Piemonte Region

Alba/Pidmonte Region - 4 nights (1 day travel - 3 full days to sightsee)
Villa la Favorita
Suggestions for Day Trips and Restaurants?
We’ve never been to Portofino but have done the Cinque Terra.
Is Turin worth visiting?
Is Valle D’Aosta region too far?

Day 12 - Drive to Bellagio

Bellagio/The Lakes Region - 4 nights (1 day travel - 3 full days to sightsee)
Hotel Metropole
Suggestions for Day Trips and Restaurants?
Looks like a day trip via ferry to Varenna looks fun.

Day 16 - Drive to Malpensa
First Hotel - 1 night
Suggestions for a Restaurant?

Fly home, hopefully after a wonderful Northern Italian Experience. Thanks to all for suggestions.

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