favorite lake villages

Old Jun 29th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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sha
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favorite lake villages

Hello everyone. We're looking for your thoughts on your favorite lake locations. I've been to Lake Como and really loved it. For our trip next June, we'll begin in Venice and spend several days in the lakes district before heading for a favorite spot in Chianti, Pitigliano and Rome. We would appreciate hearing about your favorite villages and lakes for people who will be driving. Hotel ideas will also be most welcome. We much prefer to keep the hotels under $300. Many thanks again Fodorites.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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I love the lakes and have stayed at 7 different locations on all 5 of the major lakes. I find Lago Orta to be unique. Look at www.orta.net. And, Lago Maggiore is close enough for easy day trips--or vice versa.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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sha
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I appreciate the kind reply Bob. Can you give us an idea about travel times from Lake Garda to the Lake Orta or Maggiore area? I've read mixed reviews of Lake Garda. Is this the one to skip? I think that 2 hotel locations in this area would work well for us. We don't want to become "laked out".
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Sha, Garda is much further east near Verona and does not fit with the other lakes. The drive from Orta to Stresa, on Maggiore, is about :45 if you do not stop in Gignese to see the cute parasol museum. Read more about Stresa at www.stresa.net
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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sha - I'm a huge fan of Lake Garda - but I have never been to any other. The reason I chose it in 2002 was proximity, we flew into Milan and our stop after the lake district was Venice.

We stayed in the town of Garda and had a fantastic time (Hotel Excelsior La Terazza or something close to that!). Spent 4 nights... One on the hydrofoil seeing towns, one driving around the lake, one in Verona, and I guess we left the 4th day. Garda was a great base, small enough town to walk around at night and have a nice dinner, and easy enough to get to other great towns (Malcinse?, Sirmione, Riva del Garda...)

Let me know if you have specific questions - I'm actually researching Lake Como for my next trip - I had the impression it was too 'ritzy' during my 2002 planning - but I'm going to give it a try this time.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 10:06 PM
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Hi Travelphile. Thanks for the info. We visited Lake Como several years ago and truly enjoyed it. We stayed in Bellagio and used the ferry system to travel around to other areas. Bellagio had some very interesting areas to explore and nice shops to browse. The restaurants were excellent. One of the nicest experiences was opening the shutters and looking across at the lake surrounded by mountains. Also, I don't know if it was a special celebration or just the usual Sat. night fare, but, the whole town came down to the center, along the lake and a band played for hours. Everyone was dancing-all ages. It was my first experience doing the Macarena. Great fun.

Varena was lovely- much smaller and less touristy. An artist was painting along the waterfront and I bought a painting from him that still touches my heart whenever I walk by it. Great memories.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 01:51 AM
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Sha - Like Travelphile I love Lake Garda - especially the north end. The northwest is as scenic as anywhere on Lake Como IMO, with mountains rising sheer out of the lake.

Riva makes a great base. Nearby Limone is a delight, and several other towns - Malcesine, Torre del Benaco, Sirmione ... are well worth visiting.

Another beautiful lake in the nearby Brenta Dolomites is Molveno ...

Hope this helps ...

Steve
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 06:00 AM
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I thank all of you for your great responses. I look forward to getting more wonderful ideas from fodorites who have travelled in this area.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 06:44 AM
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I'll second bob's suggestion of Lake Orta and the lovely village of Orta San Giulio. Here is a view of the main piazza, taken from in front of the Hotel Orta:

http://image09.webshots.com/9/3/63/7...2BOdRay_fs.jpg

If you go, you absolutely have to climb the hill above the town and see the temples of the Sacromonte. Truly fabulous.
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