I am planning a 9 day trip with my family in mid-September 2012. We are flying into Milan, will spend 1 day there (we've been before) and then are planning to take the train to Lake Como. It's myself, my husband, my sister (all in our 30's) and my parents (in their 60s). We would like to rent an apartment with an equipped kitchen, in a cute town, to just relax and enjoy the scenery, hiking, little towns, etc. We'd like to be able to cook in the apartment as well as enjoy local restaurants / shops / etc and maybe enjoy a day trip to Lugano.
There are a few cute rentals in Domaso, Menaggio, and Cadenabbia that we've found and would love your opinions of the towns. We'd be there from Sept 20 - Sept 24, so would Domaso be too quiet for us? A friend who knows the Como area well suggested to maybe stay in a more populated area, since that time of the year may be too quiet in the smaller towns up north.
Also, we'd like to spend 4 days somewhere else in the region before my husband and I fly back to the US and my family goes south towards Naples. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! We'd like to go to 1 other city, preferably with great scenery, some hiking and great food. My family is all vegetarian (though my husband is not).
I was thinking about the Cinque Terre, but my friend said some of the hiking trails may still be out due to the rain / flood. Other thoughts were Turin or Genoa. We'd like to be able to get there easily by train from Lake Como and go from the other town back to Milan / onto Naples. Would San Remo be too much of a pain to get to?
Thanks so much for your help...truly appreciate it!
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Recommendations for Lake Como and 4 days elsewhere in N. Italy