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Northern Italy/Tuscany ideas

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Hi all,

As some of you know thanks to my many questions in recent months, I am travelling to Europe for the first time in July.

We are starting in Barcelona, before heading to San Sebastian, then to the Cote d'Azur and then across to the Cinque Terre (yes, a lot of beaches for this part of the trip!). We then will go across to Padua, with a day trip to Venice.

After that we have almost a week (six nights) where we haven't booked anything. I realise it is super high season but with five of my six week trip all planned down to the day, I wanted some freedom for surprises - especially as it's difficult to know from the other side of the world exactly what I may fall in love with, or wish I had done differently.

However, I thought it might be worth asking for views on what to do between Padua and Rome for the six nights. One idea I have is to grab a car and head up to the Dolomites for three nights and then go down to Verona/Lake Garda, before hopping on the the train to Rome.

Another idea would be to go from Padua to Milan and across to Lake Como (say Varrena) all via train, and then get the train to Rome.

Or we could go to Tuscany for the six nights and skip all those northern options. We have a lot of water views already, but the lakes look so stunning. On the other hand, I love the mountains and if I wasn't traveling with friends who don't love them as much as me I would spend half my trip in the alps (I think a Mont Blanc hike will be my next trip - or a cycling adventure!)

I realise this is all very subjective and all options will be beautiful, but I love the thoughts and ideas that come from this site so I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Thanks,
RT

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