Four days in northern italy

Sep 3rd, 2005, 10:58 AM
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Four days in northern italy

My husband and I will have a 4 day "layover" in Milan October 20 - 24.
1. Where would you go? (out of town)
2. Rent a car or take public transportation?
elsa58 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Hi E,

I would take the train to Venice for the whole 4 days.

ira is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2005, 10:22 PM
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Do you have a suggestion for a hotel as well? We would like to stay in one place the whole time and make day trips.
elsa58 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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I think you might be surprised (if you have not been to Venice before) at one of two things...

a) your wish to take "day trips" may be fulfilled within (the islands of) Venice itself...


b) Venice is not such a "day trip friendly" place to originate from (it takes time and money, both in and out, just to get to the mainland to "begin" your day tripping) - - if you really want to see the countless other terrific nearby destinations (Verona, Padua, the Palladian villas, the lake Garda area, Trento, Bassabo del Grappa, so many more) - - then you might really want to consider two nights "out" and two nights "in".

I would NOT recommend staying "out" the whole time, and "day tripping" to see Venice. "La Serenissima" deserves better than that!

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Sep 4th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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We are big fans of Lake Como. It is conevnient to Milan, but is 'Sub Alpine' so late October weather might be disappointing.

If you have not been to Venice, then I would definitely try Venice for some part of those days.
Sep 4th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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I am writing this from Bellagio internet point. We love this area, and it's certainly convenient to Milan (and good luck with the out-of-the-way Malpensa airport & connections unless you have a car).

However, having just come from a week in Venice, I too would recommend going there! It's, what, about 3 hours from Milan by train. I would stay there most of the time I had.

But, do you want rest and beautiful scenery? Or culture and liveliness (and beautiful scenery)? The former calls for Bellagio or Lake Como; the latter for Venice.

If you go to Venice, try to get into the Locanda Orseolo, where we were fortunate to stay.

In Bellagio, we are staying at the residence (apartments) at Villa Serbelloni; I would not stay at the Villa itself unless you like staff with an attitude and shabby gentile surroundings.
annw is offline  
Sep 4th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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Ann, where are some of the places you are visiting around Bellagio?

How about Lake Maggiore?

elsa58 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 08:51 PM
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There are several small towns on Lake Como that are easily reached by ferry from Bellagio, Varenna or Menaggio. Lots of day trips to villas, gardens, shopping, hiking -- and all with gorgeous views.

Unfortunately, with your timeframe (Oct. 20-24), you are seriously tempting the weather gods. But the worst of it is that most mid-lake hotels in Bellagio and Varenna will have begun closing for the season prior to your arrival. There will be hotels open through October, but your choices will be limited. Much less of a problem in Menaggio and town of Como.

One place in Bellagio that stays open year-round is Residence La Limonera ( which are apartment accommodations at very reasonabl rates.
Jean is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Sorry, elsa, just getting back to this thread! We didn't get to Lake M. We did go to the towns across the lake (like Mennagio) and the one on the next ferry boat stop up on the same side as Bellagio--also, we took trains/boats so didn't drive around the area at all.
annw is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 08:13 PM
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Elsa, my husband and I spent 3 nights/4 days summer of 2004 in Stresa, Lake Maggiore, a lovely lakeside town with amazing views. We loved it because it was beautiful, and not crowded or too touristy (its heyday was 100-200 years ago when it was a popular vacation spot for wealthy Milanese and Europeans. You look out over the three islands in the lake, which are breathtaking amidst the high mountains. It also has a great ferry service (like Como) to other quaint towns around the lake. If you look it up on web, you'll see the beautiful setting. It is only about 30-40 minute train ride from Milano Centrale. We love Bellagio also...just more touristy and expensive. Good luck and enjoy!
guanciale is offline  

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