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Dolomites – Ortisei, Lake Garda, Bologna, Ravenna... – Sep/2023

Dolomites – Ortisei, Lake Garda, Bologna, Ravenna... – Sep/2023

Old Feb 29th, 2024, 03:50 PM
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Great TR and beautiful pictures! Thanks!
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Old Feb 29th, 2024, 03:56 PM
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KarenWoo and Lrice:

Thanks for your comments!

Yes, those TR’s I mention have really helped me with my plans and it is like travelling along. I really enjoy. And all very well written and entertaining.

KarenWoo - in Venice I stayed at Albergo Marin. It is close to Piazzale Roma where the bus coming from the airport stops (about 7 to 9 min walk), and to the train station Venezia Santa Lucia – 6 min. It is in a quiet street, clean, good breakfast and reasonable price comparing to the high prices of Venice. About 25 min walk to St Mark square, but you are there to explore those alleys, right 😊.

Regarding the crowds, the time of the day does matter, also the location, like near the museums and attractions. Early mornings and late afternoons naturally are less crowded. I also took a look in this link to see the arrivals and departures of cruise ships.
Take a look at the crowds in these pictures below. I didn't think Venice was overcrowed and you always have ways to avoid and many other areas to explore. Verona and Florence were more crowded.

https://www.cruisetimetables.com/ven...08sep2024.html

The temperature was in the low 80’s, and walking in those narrow and shady alleys you don’t feel too much heat.

lrice – Verona historic center was really crowded; it was a Sunday afternoon where everybody looked to be there. We didn’t enjoy much for this reason and hadn’t planned much for that afternoon we stayed there other than just have a meal and walk in the old town.


St. Mark's square at 10:30am

St. Mark's Basilica at noon

Near Doge's Palace at noon

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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 05:59 AM
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Hi lrice and all, I don’t have a great system (and it’s been interesting to read about the strategies used by others here). What I do—not always consistently—is either make a pdf of particularly useful TRs or cut and paste little tidbits of info that seem useful to me, such as a hotel or restaurant suggestions or logistical info—in re places I am fairly certain I’ll visit in the next 2-3 years or places that I know I’m likely to revisit bec they are personal favorites. I email this info to myself. In my email I have a travel folder and within that folder it’s organized by city and sometimes by region.

But when I get into serious planning mode for a trip that’s definitely happening w/in a few months I end up with a folder on my computer desktop with lots of sub-folders, restaurants and food markets, things to see, transfer logistics, hotel recs. It’s great to be hearing from others about how they manage the flow of info.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 08:21 AM
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Thanks for the TR and pics. Will be in the Dolomites in Sept. so excited!!
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 02:13 PM
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Thanks for the comments, bon_voyage, studenttobe, joannyc.
Yes, jill_h, very exciting!
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 03:01 PM
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When we stayed in Verona (loved it) we did a daytrip to Venice.
Sometimes I just do a daytrip taster for future planning.
Anyway, I never got back. So I’m very glad I had that one gorgeous day.

Your itinerary is such a nice mix, I’ve so enjoyed following along.

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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 03:12 PM
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The 2 buses we took from Malcesine to Verona - #484 & 162 – were €9.84 and €8.34 for both of us.

We travel only with a carry-on and a backpack each.



Sep 18 – Verona to Bologna

We took the 8:52am train to Bologna and arrived at 9:44am for which I had bought the tickets in advance with reserved seats.

Bologna Central is a huge train station, so we found our way out and walked to our hotel which was some 16 or 17 minutes away. We liked Hotel Metropolitan a lot, for its convenient location, very good breakfast and being very comfortable (booked 9 months in advance). We dropped our luggage at the reception as it was too early for check-in and went out to explore the town.

We visited Bologna’s Cathedral, then walked to Piazza Nettuno (unfortunately the Fountain of Neptuno was fenced), Piazza Maggiore, and Basilica di San Petronio (to see the largest meridian line in the world designed in 1656).


Bologna's Cathedral

Piazza Nettuno

Basilica di San Petronio at Piazza Maggiore

Meridian line at Basilica di San Petronio

Basilica di San Petronio

Basilica di San Petronio

Then we went to Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio (€3 each). The palace is home to a library and the historic Anatomical Theater. From 1563 to 1805 it was the building of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in Europe. It is a very beautiful building, full of interesting history.


Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio

Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio

Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio

Anatomical Theater

Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio

Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio

I liked Bologna right at first sight! Just walking and admiring the incredible architecture, beautifully-designed buildings, full of details in brickwork was so nice. You can see the distinction from other popular cities. It looks more authentic Italian, not with many tourists. The covered porticos are gorgeous to walk through, and there are many nice stores and markets. I would say: the people here know what is good, what has quality, they have charm and good taste.


Porticos in Bologna

Bologna

Bologna

Bologna

Bologna

Bologna

Porticos in Bologna

Bologna

Porticos in Bologna

Then we went to find a place to have some lunch, also looking at the various markets. We found Salumeria Simoni to be a very good place. I wanted to taste the Bologna mortadella. Everything was very good.


Bologna

Salumeria Simoni

Salumeria Simoni


It was more than 2:30 pm and time to go back to the hotel to do the check-in. We got all settled and rested for a while. Later in the evening, we went out to have dinner atDa Cesari restaurant, which I had reserved way in advance as recommend by many Fodorites. We really enjoyed the food and service. And the dessert was delicious. Then we walked back to the hotel enjoying to see the city at night.

Tomorrow day trip to Ravenna.



Bologna

Bologna

In front of Da Cesari restaurant

Da Cesari restaurant

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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Adelaidean
When we stayed in Verona (loved it) we did a daytrip to Venice.
Sometimes I just do a daytrip taster for future planning.
Anyway, I never got back. So I’m very glad I had that one gorgeous day.

Your itinerary is such a nice mix, I’ve so enjoyed following along.
Adelaidean - Yes, there are always so many places to choose from, but not much time.
Thanks for your kind comments! And I am looking forward to your 2024 TR!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 05:55 PM
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Sep 19 – Bologna – day trip to Ravenna

Early in the morning, we had breakfast and walked to the train station to buy the tickets for the regional train to Ravenna. We took the train that departed at 9:05am to get there at 10:22am - €8 each.

It was a beautiful sunny day and we walked straight to the Basilica di San Vitale to buy our tickets. In a shop just down the street from the basilica is where you purchase a combo ticket that gets you into the basilica, the adjacent Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Neonian Baptistery and Archiepiscopal Museum - €25 for both of us.

I will post a few pictures which will not be an easy task to select from over 100 pictures I took while there. But the Mosaics are incredibly beautiful!


Basilica di San Vitale

Basilica di San Vitale

Basilica di San Vitale

Basilica di San Vitale

Basilica di San Vitale

Basilica di San Vitale

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia


Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia



Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo


Neonian Baptistery

Neonian Baptistery

Neonian Baptistery


Around 1:30pm we took the train back to Bologna (€8 each) and had lunch on the way back to the hotel.

Then in the evening, we went out to take a walk again in the area of Piazza Maggiore before going to Ristorante da Nello where we had a reservation.

Comparing it to the dinner at ristorante Da Cesari the night before, we say that we preferred Da Cesari much more in all aspects.



Bologna

Piazza Maggiore

Ristorante da Nello

Ristorante da Nello



Sep 20 – Bologna to Florence

I had booked the train to Florence for 1:02 pm so we could still have all morning in Bologna to do something. We missed a visit to theBasilica di Santo Stefano, or Sette Chiese, which was closed when we tried to visit in the early afternoon on Monday.

In the morning, we had breakfast and check-out of the hotel. We had our luggage stored at the hotel and went to Basilica di Santo Stefano, a complex of churches with the earliest church built in 430.

I wished we had had more time in Bologna because there were still places to visit and foods to taste…


Basilica di Santo Stefano












Bologna - walking back to the hotel


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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 06:28 PM
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Great TR. We are thinking of going to the Dolomites in September. Hearing how you did it without a car it helpful.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 11:56 PM
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Thank you for the advice on travel planning. I need to commit to one system; that would help!

Leifields, I love your trip report. We want to did a small town to settle in for a month in this northern part of Italy and your notes are very helpful. Did Bologna feel big? Full of hustle and bustle? I actually am of thinking of Modena, close to Bologna so we could do day trips to Parma, Bologna, Ravenna, Padua, but have a smaller city to “live” in.


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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by yestravel
Great TR. We are thinking of going to the Dolomites in September. Hearing how you did it without a car it helpful.
We're doing the same yestravel. Despite most people suggesting car rental, it can be done! We spent 10 nights in Val Gardena and San Candido in December without a car. Having said that, we're having a bit of trouble sorting out the various bus sites at the moment.

Sorry for the highjack leifields.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 08:24 AM
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Still loving and enjoying your TR. Ravenna looks interesting and the mosaics are stunning! I hope we will have time to add Bologna to our itinerary. The arcades are gorgeous. Sounds like 3 nights would be better for Bologna?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 10:33 AM
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Great report and photos, allowing me to revisit through your eyes some of my favorite places. I had lunch at Da Cesari on my first visit to Bologna many moons ago. That was where I discovered that I like mortadella.

I am a little surprised to see that one photo from Seceda with so many people on the trail. I didn't experience anything like those sorts of crowds and I wonder if this is the new normal for the Dolomites or a difference in when we visited (I was there early July in pre-pandemic times).

@KarenWoo, the mosaics in Ravenna are spectacular. I remember thinking ahead of time, "Oh, well I've been to Capella Palatina in Palermo and the cathedral at Monreale, so I doubt I'll be all that impressed." But nope--Ravenna took my breath away!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Leely2
I am a little surprised to see that one photo from Seceda with so many people on the trail. I didn't experience anything like those sorts of crowds and I wonder if this is the new normal for the Dolomites or a difference in when we visited (I was there early July in pre-pandemic times).
Leely2, I had the same thought about Seceda. I went back to look at photos from our visit, which was third week of July in 2009 - not nearly so many people.

leifields, I enjoyed the photos from Bologna and Ravenna. We'll be in both in September (along with the Dolomites again).
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by yestravel
Great TR. We are thinking of going to the Dolomites in September. Hearing how you did it without a car it helpful.
Thanks for the comments, yestravel, lrice and KarenWoo!

yestravel - I agree with Melnq8, it can be done. Although sometimes we can get delays due to the schedule of the buses or other, I think it is ok and will do it again. Also, I think that where it is possible, it is a way to be environmentally responsible.

lrice - from what I saw of Bologna, it didn't feel big. It looks like a middle size city. But very interesting and full of life.

KarenWoo - I think 3 nights - 2 days - is ok if you are not doing day trips.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo
Still loving and enjoying your TR. Ravenna looks interesting and the mosaics are stunning! I hope we will have time to add Bologna to our itinerary. The arcades are gorgeous. Sounds like 3 nights would be better for Bologna?
Bologna is wonderful. We’ve done 2 trips there and will be back in September for 4 nights. Dont miss Ravenna, its incredible.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Leely2
Great report and photos, allowing me to revisit through your eyes some of my favorite places. I had lunch at Da Cesari on my first visit to Bologna many moons ago. That was where I discovered that I like mortadella.

I am a little surprised to see that one photo from Seceda with so many people on the trail. I didn't experience anything like those sorts of crowds and I wonder if this is the new normal for the Dolomites or a difference in when we visited (I was there early July in pre-pandemic times).

@KarenWoo, the mosaics in Ravenna are spectacular. I remember thinking ahead of time, "Oh, well I've been to Capella Palatina in Palermo and the cathedral at Monreale, so I doubt I'll be all that impressed." But nope--Ravenna took my breath away!
Leely2 and ms_go - thanks for your comments!

Yes, that photo from Seceda shows many people on the trail, but it looked like it was for that specific trail. I didn’t go up that trail because I had chosen to walk in the direction of Rifugio Troier. There were people walking but not as that one. On the day I hiked in the Alpe di Siusi there were less people.

Last edited by leifields; Mar 3rd, 2024 at 04:06 PM.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 11:11 PM
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Loved, loved, loved the mosaics in Ravenna! And, the food in Bologna! Well, actually the food everywhere on my last trip! 🤣
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Old Mar 3rd, 2024, 11:51 PM
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Leifields, did you see many outdoor "farmers" markets in these Italian towns? I'm thinking about the ones that France is so famous for with cheeses, olives, produce, honey, prepared foods, some handmade crafts ...

Or are markets really a French thing? Part of their joie de vivre...
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