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Finally booked my flights for Oct! Switz/Italy Itinerary - thoughts?

Finally booked my flights for Oct! Switz/Italy Itinerary - thoughts?

Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:27 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 576
Finally booked my flights for Oct! Switz/Italy Itinerary - thoughts?

I've been driving myself (and many of you on the board) crazy watching flighs since 330 days out - now less than 3 months away, I finally booked... For the curious - I paid $785 on Continental - I booked over the phone as I was unhappy with seat assignments online, and they DID have more to offer through an agent. $5 fee on each of four tickets for phone booking.

Itinerary is 16 nights from Roc-Zurich, home from Milan in late October.

Nights 2-3 Lucern
Nights 4-5 Bellagio
Nights 6-7 Florence
Nights 8-11 Chianti (day trips to Lucca, San G./Volterra, Siena, and Chianti wine country)
Nights 12-15 Venice (stop in Bologna on the drive to Venice)
Night 16 - Milan, Stresa, or Bergamo - you vote!

Would you change the order of any of this? Have any great recommendations for any town?

In Florence we are going with Ira's B&B Peterson (Ira, I mentioned you were an online 'friend' when I inquired, they said you were a great friend to them!). In Venice we are between La Calcina and the Giorgione. I have ideas for the other cities, but am still looking for excellent recommendations! Particularly for Lucern - I haven't found anything under $175 that wowed me yet.

Please and thanks for all thoughts/criticisms - Trav

travelphile is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 06:57 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Nice trip !
For Venice, La Calcina or Hotel Ala

For Luzern, Des Alpes

Stay in Milan the last nite
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 08:24 AM
  #3  
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Thanks BTN! I did check out the Des Alpes, it just didn't WOW me - though the location is great. I'll give it another look.

I'll be checking availability on La Calcina tonight!

Anyone have a favorite in Milan? My grandma would love the shopping, but I am leaning towards Stresa.

travelphile is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 08:52 AM
  #4  
 
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I just got back from Luzern and stayed at the Hotel Goldener Stern. It didn't "wow" me but the price was reasonable and it was a nice clean hotel with good breakfast and only a five minute walk from Chapel Bridge, yet on a quite street. We ate dinner at the Hotel des Alps and that certainly didn't wow me at all. But the location right by the bridge made for nice viewing during dinner. Don't know what the rooms are like.

I notice you don't have night "1" listed. Is that cause you consider the night on the plane night one? If not, and if you were planning on staying in Zurich the first night, just know that it's very easy to get from the airport directly to Luzern. It's a direct train and only takes a little over an hour.

The only other question I have is why you are going to Switzerland for only two nights out of 16. Have you considered shaving a day or so from a couple of the Italian locations and spending more time in Switzerland? Just wondering.
isabel is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:25 AM
  #5  
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Great questions Isabel - night one is on the plane, and we will head directly to Lucern. The two days in Switzerland were an add on bonus - mainly for the train ride through the Alps. Our trip was orignally planned to be Italy and I added on Lucern on a whim - hopefully more of Switzerland will be planned in the next few years. I've struggled with not seeing more or allotting more time, but I just can't give up anything else!

DH and I went to Italy 3 yrs ago on our honeymoon. Loved Lake Garda, so now checking Como out. Loved Venice and can't miss it. Step-grandpa says Florence is his must see, and wanted to touch on Tuscany - I wish we had a month!

Thanks for the hotel idea, I'm trying to go budget in a few spots (52 Eu in Florence!) and splurge in a few others. You didn't feel like you missed out in Lucern by not having a lake view? I'm guessing there could be a 'wow' factor to view the lake/alps from our room - but I could give it up to.
travelphile is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 03:41 PM
  #6  
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New question I might have to post separate...

I have one last day to play with - should I:
1. Spend it in Venice - my favorite, but I have been there before (currently have 3 days there).

2. Stay in Florence an extra night (bonus is that it is CHEAP!) to day trip to Lucca (otherwise will go from Chianti).

3. Use the extra night in Milan - currently only staying one night to fly out the next day.
travelphile is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 03:46 PM
  #7  
 
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Just chiming in to say that I adore Pensione La Calcina. It really is one of my favorite hotels anywhere I've been.
suze is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 06:33 PM
  #8  
Doble_Vergasser
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The itinerary sound good. For the train from CH, we took the Bernina Pass train. The scenery is fantastic if you can work it in (the route is Chur to Pontresina to Tirano, italy. I think Pontrseina to Tirano it the most important leg).

We prefer Lake Como slightly over Lake Garda.

Your Tuscany section looks interesting (We have not visited in Tuscany much).

Have agood trip.
 
Aug 4th, 2005, 07:00 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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What are your dates in Bellagio? Hotels begin closing in Bellagio and Varenna after the 3rd weekend, which this year could mean starting Oct. 16th. Nail down your Lake Como hotel NOW.
Jean is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 03:45 AM
  #10  
 
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For your extra night I'll restate my original suggestion and say add it to Switzerland. Unless you already have some of the hotels booked and the extra night has to be at the end. In that case I'd go for Florence. I spent six days there last summer and could have done more. There is so much to see in Florence. But if you have the flexibility I'd vote for one more night in Switzerland, just so you get more of a feel for having been there, which only two nights might not provide. But Luzurn is beautiful. Interlaken is on the way to Italy from Luzurn and even only one day could let you get up into the mountains for a little taste.

You mentioned Stresa as a possibility for that last night. I was there for one night on the trip I just came back from. I was underwhelmed - especially compared with Lake Como (which I did last year). Since you are already doing Lake Como I wouldn't bother with Stresa. And for Lake Como, if you don't already have reservations for Bellagio, I'd suggest staying across the lake in Varenna at Hotel du Lac which is a beautiful place.
isabel is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 10:17 AM
  #11  
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Thanks Jean - we will be there the 17th/18th... I've got another post going about the Florence VS Metropole - at this point they both think they have availability - but I read from someone else how notified them the week before that they would close.

Isabel - I think you've convinced me not to do Stresa - not finding it as 'wowing' could be disappointing, and we can save it for another few years - flights to Milan always seem to be cheaper!And I hear you on the extra day in Switz - I just can't commit! I think its because I want a small taste, then we can make Switz its own trip later.
travelphile is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 03:39 PM
  #12  
 
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I'm one of the people who have had Bellagio hotels notify me of their closing shortly before our arrival. Both the Florence and the Metropole have done this. (We often travel in late October.) I'm not faulting them -- it's a business decision based on existing reservations, weather, other hotel closings, etc. Be prepared with a back-up idea/hotel or, for this late in the season, book yourself into a hotel (or apartment) that remains open year-round.
Jean is offline  
Aug 5th, 2005, 04:29 PM
  #13  
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Thanks Jean - I thought it was you I had read that from - but didn't want to misquote anyone!

Do you know of any year round hotels? I will have a look back through guidebooks as well.
travelphile is offline  
Aug 6th, 2005, 02:14 PM
  #14  
 
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You'll have more choices for year-round hotels in Menaggio, although others may chime in with an idea for Varenna. In Bellagio, I only know of apartments which are available year-round. Go to www.residencelalimonera.com.
Jean is offline  
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