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Zurich to Milan - 3rd/4th week of September

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Hi Everyone,

I am planning a trip with my sister mid-late September. I think we will fly into Zurich and out of Milan for a total of 6 nights. I would love to spend longer, but it cannot be helped.

I love Italy, but have never been north of Florence and have heard great things about the scenic train rides through Switzerland. I don't want to overplan, but don't want to underplan either. I am a pretty laid back traveler and completely open to suggestions on anyone has for such a short trip. My sister has never been to Europe and while my favorite trips are 2 weeks (hard to take longer from work), I've been known to take short trips on a whim (il.e. London & Dublin over 3 days).

It feels like after a full day of travel, it would be nice to stay in Zurich the first day/night although it appears we could just get on a train and go somewhere. Everyone seems to have must sees for Switzerland, but it all looks great so I'm having trouble deciding. We love the mountains, photography, light hikes, quaint villages, nice people :) As far as Northern Italy, I know I could spend a year there, but only have a few days. It would seem to be a shame to miss Venice AGAIN, but also have heard great things about Cinque Terra...and frankly a lot of other places.

I'm not wanting to spend a fortune, but budget is not my main concern. It is my sister's birthday and I want her to really enjoy herself.

Tentative:
Arrive Zurich morning 9/20 - stay overnight or move on? Hear it is a good walking city and beautiful.
9/21 - 9/22 ? Where in Switzerland?
9/23 - 24 ? Venice? Cinque Terra?
9/25 - travel to Milan - interesting train stop along the way? Overnight in Milan
9/26 - fly out of Milan mid-day

Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm guessing with all of the other posts about trains, if I can get the stops decided it will be easier to figure out, but any thoughts there would be appreciated as well ;-)

Thanks in advance,
Shelle

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