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Soliciting thoughts on Verona (Venice? Bologna?) trip

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Hi all,

I was hoping to get some ideas on possible itineraries and help me focus my mind. We have jumped on a good fare BOS-CDG yesterday (reduced FF miles tickets on direct flights with minimal taxes for Oct 18-26), but I was thinking of using CDG primarily as a getaway to somewhere else this time. We have been in Paris several times (8 or 9, I think, although many of past trips very brief in nature). So I found a cheap and most importantly very well timed fare out of CDG to Verona (the idea was to leave CDG around noon, either via direct cheap flight or on TGV out of CDG). Now I am toying with a few possible itineraries and hope someone can share their experience and tell me what I am not thinking of.

1. Fly CDG to Verona, base in Verona for 6 days/5 nights, take day trips to Padua, Lago di Garda, wineries, Vicenza, Venice - not all of the above but some of the above, then take a direct night train from Verona to Gare de Lyon, arriving on the 25th and then flying back home on the 26th.

2. Fly CDG to Verona, stay a couple of nights, move to Venice for 3 nights, take night train to Gare de Lyon. We have been in Venice once, loved it, always happy to go back, main concern is losing time on checkout/checkin between cities on already a brief trip. Another open question is weather - how cool/wet is Venice at the end of October?

3. Fly CDG to Verona, stay a couple of nights, move to Bologna, stay 3 nights + day trip to Ravenna, take night train to Paris. Same concern wrt losing time moving hotels.The schedule for Thello direct night trains from Bologna does not extend to fall, so I am not sure if it means there won't be direct trains or Trenitalia hasn't published it yet. The schedule from Verona or Venice extend to mid September, so I feel more confident in being able to return via train from one of those cities.

4. Stay put in Paris for the duration, possibly taking small day trips out. I love Paris and can always spend more time there.

I toyed with the idea of heading to South of France out of CDG, but we were in Provence/Cote d"Azur in 2011 and in Italy last several more years ago. We have also been to Loire valley and Normandy on separate trips, and while these can be repeated, I hear the siren song of Italy stronger this time :) We loved the lakes (Como, Maggiore, Lugano) and haven't yet seen Garda. Interests include history, scenery, architecture, wine, food, art, roughly in that order.

Would you wise folks of Fodors have any thoughts to consider in this trip planning? I am presently leaning towards #1, not because I want to dedicate 6 days to Verona but to save time on moving and use it as a base to see many wonderful things around, but I am definitely open to ideas and suggestions.

Thank you!

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