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15 days in Italy, Verona (Lake Garda) or Varenna (Lake Como)?

15 days in Italy, Verona (Lake Garda) or Varenna (Lake Como)?

Old Jul 31st, 2013, 06:31 AM
  #1  
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15 days in Italy, Verona (Lake Garda) or Varenna (Lake Como)?

Greetings seasoned travellers, have worked out my itinerary for 15 days in Italy.
However, in between Cinque Terre & Venice, I was hoping to go see Lake Garda or Lake Como. But I'm not sure where should I be staying/base.

Or should I go to Venice first from Cinque Terre then travel to Verona via Milan, and lastly fly to Paris from Milan?

Lastly, should I be travelling to all these places by train only?
I guess Siena & Lucca would be bus trips from Florence.

- Arrive in Rome evening, sleep in Rome
- Rome, sleep in Rome
- Rome, sleep in Rome
- Rome, sleep in Rome
- Florence, sleep in Florence
- Florence, sleep in Florence
- Florence, Day trip to Siena, sleep in Florence
- Florence, Day trip to Lucca & Pisa, sleep in Florence
- Cinque Terre, sleep in Vernazza
- Cinque Terre, sleep in Vernazza
- Verona or Varenna ???
- Verona or Varenna ???
- Verona or Varenna ???
- To Venice, sleep in Venice
- Venice, sleep in Venice
- Fly to Paris

Thank for reading!
calebo is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2013, 07:14 AM
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Varenna is a cute small town right on Lake Como. It has access to the little ferries for visiting the various towns mid-lake, like Bellagio and Menaggio.

Verona is a city, near but not on Lake Garda. As a city, it has more to see and do. But the Lake is at some distance. Peschiera del Garda, the closest lake town to Verona is 30 kilometers. Here's a link to transportation for the lake: www.gardaitaly.com/garda-travel.php.

So where you stay depends on the kind of experience you want.

Back in Florence, the bus is best for Siena, but the train better for Lucca and Pisa. I would wish for you to have more time in Venice.

BTW, what time of year is this trip?
Mimar is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2013, 07:46 AM
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Posts: 2,756
It's a lot easier to get to Venice from Lake Garda than from Como and train is certainly an option. Trains run from Peschiera del Garda via Verona into Venice.
Rubicund is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2013, 01:37 PM
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@Mimar: September. I've been enchanted by the view of both lakes, what's the difference between the two?
calebo is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2013, 04:58 PM
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IMO, the ferry system is more tourist-friendly on Lake Como with more frequent service to more towns, esp. in the popular mid-lake area. Lake Garda, again MO, is best explored by car. You can check ferry routes and timetables here:

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/c_illago.html

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/g_illago.html

If this were my trip, I'd skip the Cinque Terre and add the time to Florence, Venice and/or the lake destination. In your current itinerary, you have only one day in both Florence and Venice not impacted by travel. You lose at least a half-day getting to Vernazza and more than a half-day continuing to the next destination.

You can search train timetables here (use Italian spellings, i.e., Roma, Firenze, Venezia):

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD
Jean is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Thanks all for your feedback, I've decided to go to Lake Como instead of Garda this time round. So my latest itinerary is as such...

- Arrive in Rome evening, sleep in Rome
- Rome, sleep in Rome
- Rome, sleep in Rome
- Rome, sleep in Rome
- Florence, sleep in Florence
- Florence, sleep in Florence
- Florence, Day trip to Siena, sleep in Florence
- Florence, Day trip to Lucca & Pisa, sleep in Florence
- Cinque Terre, sleep in Vernazza
- Cinque Terre, sleep in Vernazza
- To Venice, sleep in Venice
- Venice, sleep in Venice
- Travel Varenna, stop-over Milan, sleep in Varenna
- Varenna, sleep in Varenna
- Fly to Paris from Milan Linate Airport

As you can see, I cut short my Varenna stay as I wanted to spend more time in Paris, if Venice to Varenna seem to hectic, I might just stay in Milan and do a day trip to Varenna, honestly nothing I want to do in Milan except maybe see the Duomo and last supper. But that is low priority compare to Lake Como.
calebo is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2013, 09:45 AM
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I think you are right about staying in Milan and doing a day trip. That way, after Venice you take a fairly easy train ride to Milan. I can suggest a wonderful hotel right near the train station (Hotel Berna: www.hotelberna.com/welcome.cfm?lang=EN) - super convenient to the train for arrival/departure and for your day trip to Lake Como, and the metro - two stops and you are at the Duomo. You'd have the whole afternoon evening in Milan (and not worry about what to do with your luggage - the left luggage line at Milano Centrale was long a few weeks ago). Then you'd have an entire day to do Lake Como - also without having to schlep luggage. You'd have time to take the train to Como ( the city) and then the ferry up to Bellagio/Varenna. Hotel Berna had the best breakfast buffet of any hotel I have ever stayed at.
isabel is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2013, 05:16 PM
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Thanks for the tip Isabel
calebo is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2013, 05:52 AM
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Uh, I disagree with isabel. After you arrive in Milan Centrale, just switch to a train for Varenna-Esino. That way you go to Varenna directly, no futzing around in Como town or having to catch the ferry uplake to Bellagio. And you get a little more time on the lake itself.

However, I'd spend the night before your flight to Paris in Milan -- to be sure of catching the flight.

Or maybe you just want to stay in Milan, skip Lake Como. You're cramming a lot into your time. You may just want to take it easy for a day or so before going on to Paris.
Mimar is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2013, 07:07 AM
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I agree with Mimar on all points. You can't really do "an entire day" at Lake Como if you're staying in Milan. You lose 1+ hour each way getting to the lake, and at the end of the day you need to be positioned in the correct place (Varenna or Como) for a train back. Since the ferries don't run 24/7, you would have to plan around the last ferry to either destination. FYI, if the weather is nice and your single day on Lake Como falls on a weekend, it will be very crowded.

I still think this itinerary would be better with fewer destinations. You're staying in 5 hotels in 14 nights and spending something like 16-17 hours on trains (not counting time to get to/from train stations and checking in/out of hotels).
Jean is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2013, 05:24 PM
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Well the fact that she's got a lot of hotels is the main reason I suggested she stay in Milan for both nights and do a day trip to the lake. The suggestion to stay one night in Varenna and one in Milano adds an extra hotel (extra check-in, more schleping of luggage). And a day trip to Lake Como from Milano is very doable. Half the fun of going is to take a ferry ride, so you take the train to Como, enjoy the boat ride up to Bellagio/Varena, have lunch, do a villa and take the train back. Also, reserving two nights in Milano rather than one each Milano and Varenna, means that she can decide at the last minute if she wants the day at the Lake or if she's just too tired, or would rather have more time in Milan itself. More flexibility than booking one night in each place.
isabel is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2013, 10:05 AM
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I wouldn't make the choice Milan/Varenna. I'd skip the Cinque Terre.
Jean is offline  
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