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Please help me plan my nine day journey through the Swiss and Italian Alps!

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Thanks to great forum members like Ingo, Steve James and pja1; I inquired about this trip a year ago and got some great advice to plan the overall of this trip. I already bought our plane tix, so we are going for sure :)

Now I would truly appreciate tips for places to stay and some guidance about the crucial choice I feel the need to make in the last part of the trip.

W/r/t places to stay, my wife and I prefer cozy, traditional places; no need for fancy hotels.
We are travelling between 3 - 11 August. Will arrive in and depart from Zurich.

Day 1: Land in Zurich, train to Bern
Day 2: Bern
Day 3: rent car, leave to Lauterbrünnen
Day 4: Lauterbrünnen
Day 5: Leave to Sils in Engadin
Day 6: Engadin
Day 7: Leave to EITHER Castelrotto in ValGardena or Maienfeld.
Day 8: Another day in either castelrotto or Maienfeld
Day 9: Drive back to Zurich, fly back

There have been a lot of people raving about the Dolomiti, but it's going to take a 3.5 hour drive from Sils and another early 4.5 hour drive back to Zurich Airport. If I were to take Val Gardena out of the picture and stick with touring Switzerland, it would also relieve me of "too much driving". The burden of switching hotels every other day + driving all the time is going to be tiresome I think. I even pondered renting a motorhome, but read some threads in Fodor's advising against it in Switzerland.

So, it would be great if you could:

- advise if this is a good itinerary
- if I should choose the Dolomiti OR Maienfeld + Stein am Rhein
- if this set up is going to be too tiring for me as the sole driver
- if you could also give some advice about cozy, traditional and humble places to stay in Bern, Lauterbrünnen, Sils, Castelrotto, Maienfeld and Stein am Rhein, that would be great.

I would like to thank you for your tips in advance.

All the best,


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