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Calling Northern Italy experts. Comments on itinerary please

Calling Northern Italy experts. Comments on itinerary please

May 31st, 2007, 11:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 971
Calling Northern Italy experts. Comments on itinerary please

Hi all,

We had a lovely trip in January which I researched well (and got great ideas and advise from here). Now out of the blue I am going back to Italy. The situation is this: my mother (age 68) is travelling to Europe to see the Biennale in Venice and the Documenta in Germany in the first 2 weeks in September, then she is meeting my father in Nice on 1st October after which they will travel around watching the Rugby World cup. Mum had 2 weeks on her own to fill so I am flying over to meet her. She has booked a tour with Martin Randall tours in Emilia-Romagna which centres on Parma and Bolgna. We will be visiting cheese, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar establishments as well as restaurants and sightseeing. The tour includes one day in Bologna to visit the food markets and walk around the city. The final stop is Bologna and the rest of the tour flies back to London but Mum and I will stay in Italy and spend another week together. This is what I have planned:

2 nights Bologna where we will visit Ravenna one day
3 nights Varenna
2 nights Milan
I fly home from Milan, Mum catches train to Nice (or maybe plane that is her problem).

Questions - will his be too much time in Bologna? If so should we visit somewhere else and where? Is there enough to do for middle aged woman and her still middle aged mother in Lake Como area? Any other ideas? I don't want to move around too much.

Thanks in advance
aussiefive is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 01:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Hi Aussie - Only 3 nights in Varenna sounds a bit rushed to me. You could fill several days in and around Lake Como IMO ...

Besides the lake towns (- Bellagio, Menaggio, Como etc.) - you could take a lovely trip over to Lake Lugano in Switzerland (- a scenic 1hr bus ride from Menaggio).

Also not to be missed, I think, is the spectacular Bernina express train ride from Tirano over to San Moritz.

Personally I wouldn't choose to spend 2 nights in Milan either - but then it's not in my top 50 places in Italy to visit

Steve_James is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 02:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 569
If you spend 2 nights in Bologna with a daytrip to Ravenna, you really won't have time to visit Bologna. You'll only have 2 half days (after you arrive and before you leave). I've never been to Bologna, but my bookguide says the historic center is quite small and can be visited in a day.
Castellanese is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 397
As Steve says, there is a lot to do in the Lake Como area - this http://www.beginningwithi.com/italy/.../lake_como.htm should give you some ideas!
DeirdreStraughan is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 766
We loved Bologna- there's a lot to see and do and,not for nothing, is it called the gourmet centre of N. Italy. We took a side trip to Parma- another delightful place. Ferrara is easily accessible by train too and the mosaics in Ravenna just have to be seen.
I am v. envious of the Martin Randall tour- we followed the route of one tour but lost out on the guides and nice hotels.
bellini is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 05:13 PM
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Thank you all for your responses. Diedre I found your website and very useful. Sweitzerland day trip sounds pretty fun - I hadn't considered that. I will see if we can get another night in Varenna. I know Milan gets bad press. I have been there for business. I had one spare day and didn't really see everything (including missing the Last SAupper and La Scala).
aussiefive is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 29
We found 2 days in Bologna just enough time. We walked the 666 to the Sanctuary Madonna de Luca - the poticos are just beautiful. Milan has the Duomo - that's it. 2 nights there may be one to many. Walk the roofs of the Duomo. Beautiful
ezflier is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 11:43 PM
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Posts: 971
Okay - I am seriously considering dropping Milan to one night for an extra night in Lake Como. Anyone want to convince me otherwise?
aussiefive is offline  
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