Best place to view alps from Italy

Old Feb 24th, 2017, 12:24 PM
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Best place to view alps from Italy

HI! In July I am taking my elderly parents to visit Italy (Rome, Florence, Pisa). They really want to see the Alps. What would be the best place to take them to? Could we do it from Italy or should I plan to go to Switzerland too?

We are planning to take trains during our trip, so any destination reachable by train would be appreciated.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 12:39 PM
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So I think maybe you should go to Switzerland because you can use the trains to see the Alps in Switzerland but in Italy it is best to use a car.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 12:48 PM
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On a clear day the Alps are already visible from Turin (Torino). Turin is a beautiful city. You could try your luck and have an easy train trip to Susa, 1,5 hrs away. Or else rent a car for the day and go up the Aosta valley.
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Old Feb 24th, 2017, 12:53 PM
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http://www.eurail.com/europe-by-trai...ernina-express
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 09:28 AM
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It partly depends on what you mean by 'see the Alps'. You can 'see' them as noted but that is not the same as being 'in' them at all.

It also depends on how you envision them. For example, you can be sitting on the Italian side of somewhere like Lago Maggiore and looking across at the Swiss Alps. But what you see will not be the same as if you were sitting in a village in the Bernese Oberland area of Switzerland looking at the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.

This (note snow capped peaks, they aren't clouds!):
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...goMaggiore.jpg

Vs. something like lunch here:
https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/me...ernordwand.jpg

You can get to either of them by train, bus, car, etc.

https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Florence-...en-Switzerland
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 11:51 AM
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The highest alpine peaks are in Italy (Aosta Valley):
Mont Blanc, Punta Dufour, Matterhorn, Gran Paradiso.....

Go by train from Florence to either Pont St. Martin (4 hrs), Chatillon (4 1/2 hrs) or Aosta (4 3/4 hrs) and go on by bus to either Gressoney (Monte Rosa), resp. to Breuil-Cervinia (Matterhorn) or Courmayeur (Mont Blanc). Cableways from all these places to altitudes of at least 3300 metres with stunning glacier panoramas.

Come back for more details if you are interested in.
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 03:33 PM
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Having been to both Italy (Rome, Florence, Lake Como) and Switzerland I agree with dogeared.....to "experience" the alps the Bernese Oberland...gets my vote every time. (Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, & Kleine Scheidegg). I can sit for hours right on that terrace of the Eigernordwand Restaurant/Hotel (see dogeared's photo) sipping my refreshment and soaking up the view of a lifetime! If you can manage the added travel there you won't be disappointed!
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 05:48 PM
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Ivygals, as you seem to know the area, I have a suggestion for your next trip there.

Try hiking up from Grindelwald to Faulhorn. If you need to cheat, take the cable car to First.

https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Grind...46.6748089!3e2

Stay at the Berghotel Faulhorn.
http://www.berghotel-faulhorn.ch/index_eng.html

Then hike down the other side to the Grand Hotel Giessbach.
http://www.giessbach.ch/en/home.html

From a room with a horsehair (I swear I think it's the same one's they carried up by donkey when the hotel first opened in 1832, to a gingerbread upscale hotel high above the lake.
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 06:07 PM
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Forgot to add, the hike down from Faulhorn to Giessbach via Plangau is pretty long and not for everyone. The first section from the Berghotel heading west can be dicey as it traverses the north facing slope which gets less sun and can be snowy and icey still in summer. It's fine once you get past that first section though.

See route on hiking map here:
https://map.wanderland.ch/?lang=en&r...42535&Y=169319
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Old Feb 25th, 2017, 07:36 PM
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Show this to your parents and ask them if that's what they have in mind. Just turn down the volume, the sound track is a bit loud at first.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmsvNJP4oNg
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 03:00 AM
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You may want to check out the Bernina Express:

http://www.myswissalps.com/berninaexpress

You could leave from Tirano in Italy.
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 03:33 AM
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You really need a clear day to appreciate the Alps, so you should plan on staying there for several days at least. It would be a shame to make a long trip only to find the peaks socked in by clouds.

Also do some research to plan a visit within the capabilities of your elderly parents.
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 07:21 AM
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It kind of annoys me when people refer to 'elderly parents' etc. On another thread, someone wrote about their parents being 68 and 70 as if that meant something.

I just turned 71 last week. I can still do hikes like the one I outlined above. Age has little to do with fitness!

So please refer to your 'unfit parents' if they are indeed unfit and don't assume that anyone else's parents are unfit just because your own are or you yourself are.

I pass fat, unfit 30 year olds in the mountains all the time.

Referring to parents age as if it meant something is insulting to all those older than yourself who are fitter than you are regardless of their age.
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 07:30 AM
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I hear you and the highest alpine peaks are not all in Italy, too, but at least people are trying their best to help.
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 09:00 PM
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Thank you so much for all the wonderful suggestions. This is sure very helpful to plan our trip.

@dogeared - point noted
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Old Feb 26th, 2017, 10:53 PM
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I'm weighing in a bit late here -- sorry!

I don't think you said you much time you have for this trip. That would make a huge difference to my recommendations! Do you have time to see Rome, Florence, and Pisa and just a day or two to catch a glimpse of the Alps, or can you devote a week or 10 days for the Alps, or ...???

From their perspective, is seeing the Alps something that "would be nice" or something that is a serious priority for the trip?

And (as other noted) I don't think you said what they mean by "see the Alps." Do they want a short train ride, a day or two of hiking, a chance to wake up with a view of snow caps from their room, ...?

As others have noted, if the goal is just a day or so, and it is a "firm" goal for the trip, then you need to plan for more than that, as the weather might not cooperate.

With a bit more information, I think we could be much more helpful....
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 04:33 AM
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Dogeared,

Do I have your permission to henceforth describe someone who is 70+ as "cranky"?

FIrst of all, as a traveler, you might want to take note that there are cultural differences the world over as to the meaning of the word "elderly." In some English-speaking cultures, "elderly" merely refers to the position one has in the family hierarchy. In others, it can refer to having surpassed a certain fixed age (kind of like being a "senior" once you've gone past 65).

One never knows just by looking at a screen name on a travel board which country a poster is from. They might not even have English as their first language.

Giving an indication of the age category of the travelers is not irrelevant if asking for advice about a trip to the ALPS. Absent that information, people would waste their time typing up responses about great vistas only reachable by hiking, the single most popular tourist activity in the ALPS. For all you know, the poster's parents could be 104.

Whatever your problem with the word "elderly", and however much time you spend on the board getting annoyed by threads where you find it, the question was put to the forum politely and didn't deserve a scolding lecture in response.

People should not be discouraged from offering up descriptions of the members in their group. If the information is vague or insufficient, try asking for more. Don't start being the word police because you are aging and don't like to be reminded or stereotyped. Fight that fight someplace where it's more appropriate.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 05:28 AM
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Age has not much to do with fitness or mountain sickness.
In the Alps, you find tons of more than 70 years old arduous hikers (and young people getting tired after a 2 hrs hike on a steep path).
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 06:11 AM
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" didn't deserve a scolding lecture in response."

LOL, and just what do you think your comments to me are frencharmoire? A love letter?

Look to your own behaviour and leave mine to me.
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