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25th Anniversary Trip - Milan to Lake Como or Cinque Terre?

25th Anniversary Trip - Milan to Lake Como or Cinque Terre?

May 30th, 2010, 01:01 PM
  #1  
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25th Anniversary Trip - Milan to Lake Como or Cinque Terre?

Hello - we have an opportunity to attend the italian formula 1 race september 9-12th at Monza this year. we're considering a week either before or after the race and have narrowed the options down to Lake Como or Cinque Terre. Previous trips have already taken us to the major cities, tuscany and the dolomites. We did spend one day in Belaggio the last trip and were enchanted. It is our 25th anniversary and we'd hoped for a big blow out month long adventure but the economy is leading us down another path. Our goal is great scenery, food, wine, some adventures, and relaxation. Pro's/cons, lodging, base village, touring advice will be most welcome. Thanks!
cmeyer54 is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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I've not been to Lake Como, but I'm one of the big fans of the Cinque Terre - I absolutely loved it. I'm guessing that while you can hike at Lake Como, it's more of a conventional vacation area (since it's a highlight in most of the Italy guidebooks) whereas the Cinque Terre is more geared toward hikers and the more active types (but lots of English-speaking tourists nowadays). The villages themselves (other than Monterosso al Mare perhaps, the largest of the five) are kind of quaint still, but the several hour hike from Riomaggiore up to Monterosso is probably the highlight. You don't have to hike the whole way to enjoy it, but if you're looking for less of an active vacation stop, you might lean more toward Lake Como.

If you do consider the CT, note that you might be better looking for an apartment rather than a conventional hotel, as there aren't tons of hotels in the area (to the north in Levanto you'll find a much more conventional beach town with hotels, etc. - which is where I wound up staying but next time, probably Vernazza or Riomaggiore).
Andrew is online now  
May 30th, 2010, 01:25 PM
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P.S. You don't HAVE to hike from town to town in the CT - there's a modest local train that takes you easily from town to town quickly. The train is probably the best way to get to the CT - driving there especially in September may not be easy. I think you'd have more parking options in Levanto.

P.P.S. "flag" this post and ask the editor to tag your thread as "Italy" to get a better response.
Andrew is online now  
May 30th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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And I'm a Lake Como fan.

IMO, you can't go wrong with either destination. Most people on Fodors don't seek out the physical activities available on Lake Como, but I think the area offers more variety than the CT. Besides hiking, there are all the typical lake-oriented activities, like boating, wind-surfing, water-skiing. IMO, there is also a greater variety of sights on Lake Como if you have interest in gardens, villas, a funicular ride, even a day trip to Lugano or up into the mountains. I think most would agree that the food is better in the CT, but there is a greater choice of upper-end hotels on Lake Como. For scenery, I think it's a draw. It's just whatever you prefer, mountains or coastline.

FWIW, we spent our 25th anniversary at Lake Como.
Jean is online now  
May 30th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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We were in Verenna on Lake Como a few years ago in September and there were lots of people in the area who were attending the race. We found this out when we boarded a train to Milan - tons of fans wearing their colors and already celebrating!
We've been to both areas you mention, and I would most definitely go for Lake Como for an anniversary - it was our 40th and it was perfect, down to the full moon over the lake! It is most certainly a dream vacation.
Hagan is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 06:19 AM
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I live near le Cinque Terre, and I think Lago di Como is a more beautiful sight. In the first half of September, you have to be pretty motivated to want to do much hiking in the sun-scorched Ligurian hills of le Cinque Terre.

However, if you have a whole week and you are driving fans, I would suggest something of an Italian lakes tour, rather than Lago di Como for an entire week.

I would fly into Milan, visit Lago Maggiore and Lago d'Orta, and then wind it up in Stresa. You might also consider spending some time in the town of Bergamo. (Even if you don't have a car, you could do this with public transportation.)

If food and wine is really important to you, I'll also suggest that you consider splitting your time between Lago di Como and Piemonte, with a driving tour of the wine country. You can find beautiful wineries to stay in, with restaurants onsite, and tour the area by car. They are not all expensive, by any means:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g1...nt-Hotels.html

If you decide to come to le CInque Terre for a week, consider staying someplace outside of le Cinque Terre for better food and more variety. Personally, I would go for an agriturismo near Chiavari or Sarzana, but if you want to stay right on the coast, consider Lerici or even pretty Tellaro, with a car, for easy day trips to both Tuscany and other parts of Liguria. Without a car, most any town on the train line will do you. Best food towns are Chiavari and Sestri Levante. Luxury accommodations are not easy to find on the Ligurian coast, but there are some atmospheric lodgings in Moneglia and Zoagli, and in le Cinque Terre itself if you don't mind climbing and simple decor. Camogi is very pretty, with lots of variety of things to do as day trips, but it is a bit over an hour to le Cinque Terre.
zeppole is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 06:23 AM
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cmeyer,

Sorry for my goof! I meant to type:

"I would fly into Milan, visit Lago Maggiore and Lago d'Orta, and then wind it up in Lago di Como."
zeppole is offline  

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