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From Basel Switzerland --Where to go for a taste of Italy for 4,5,6 days?

From Basel Switzerland --Where to go for a taste of Italy for 4,5,6 days?

Nov 16th, 2005, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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From Basel Switzerland --Where to go for a taste of Italy for 4,5,6 days?

We'll be in Basel for 7 weeks this summer , but would love to spend a few days in Italy. We won't have a car. Any ideas for a place that would offer some beautiful churches, see some good architecture, a good art museum or two and of course get some great Italian food? My last trip to Italy was many years ago(lovely memories, but few ideas) and my husband has never been, so we really could use some good suggestions.
annetti is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Which Italian towns is Basel nearest to?
viaggio_sempre is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 07:06 PM
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I would think it couldn't be too difficult to get a train to northern Italy. Perhaps Milan or Florence or a small hilltop town in Tuscany. Orvieto is a lovely hilltop town with easy access by train, about two hours north of Rome. It has a very impressive duomo and some very good restaurants.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:36 PM
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Northern Italy is very doable by train from Basel. Lake Como and Milan is just under 5 hours and is a lovely ride. Florence is about 8 hours, but is a very pretty ride as well and from there you get into the glorious countryside. On the way, you pass through Bologna which is fantastic city for architecture, a good stopover on the way to Florence for a night or two.

Venice is also about 8 hours. There is a night train, but really I would not recommend it, I did this last summer for the first time in 20 years and this is only for young people!! A day train would let you see a lot more.

I know you were looking into a Eurail pass, for these longer journeys like Venice a Eurail pass is worthwhile. I believe you have to pay a supplement for the night train.

Get a guidebook, a map a Italy and go on the rail.ch website. Depending on how long you can sit for, you can pretty much get anyway. Rome is 10 hours.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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Easyjet flies from Basel to Rome (Ciampino). Go to Lombardy and/or the surrounding lakes when you feel like renting a car.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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As suggested above, if you're interested in central or southern Italy, you're probably best to fly into Rome with Easyjet. The more northern Italian towns such as Milan and Venice can be reached easily by train. Check out the Swiss Rail website:

They often have special overnight or weekend deals to Venice or Milan. The other advantage of the train option would be the spectacular scenery you pass through en route. Also, you could then stop off at some of the Swiss-Italian towns such as Locarno and Ascona, which are also very pretty.

Venice is always a special place although it will be crowded in summer and there are reports that the canals can get smelly in the warmer months. (I was there in July however and smelt no evidence of this!)

Happy planning!
Frostyev is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 05:34 AM
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Sounds like a great trip! With 7 weeks, you have plenty of time to explore. I spent several weeks in Basel a few years ago and really enjoyed it and have been back to Basel a few times since. (By the way, are you staying at the Apartmenthaus zum Trillen? That's where I stayed; it's very conveniently located. www.apartmenthaus.com)

If you want to see Italy below Milan, then I second the suggestion from Rex to fly. But you should consider taking the train to the Ticino (you don't have to go to Italy to get that Italian taste!). Lugano is lovely at that time of year (bring your bathing suits, there is a nice public beach not far from the city park). You can also take a direct train from Basel to Milan--the rides to Lugano and Milan are on the same route via Luzern. Note: the train doesn't go through Luzern station (it would end up in the lake), so if you are facing forward from Basel to Luzern, you'll be facing backward from Luzern to Italy. It's a scenic ride; you don't need a car to explore Lake Como or Lake Lugano.

The Swiss railways web site runs some great specials to Ticino...as little as 14 SFr to Lugano from Basel or Zurich. When you are in Basel, check the www.sbb.ch site for ticket specials that you print out yourself.

FYI, there are a few nice Italian restaurants in Basel. My favorite is Pomodoro on 71 Steinenvorstadt (the pedestrian street the goes into Barfusserplatz). Excellent salads and a nice mushroom risotto.
BTilke is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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I second Ascona, Switzerland. Great for swimming, walking and a good base to hike into the valleys.

Take the train to Lugano and then the bus to Ascona.

Markets: On Sunday morning, there's a market in Cannobio, just south of Ascona but it's Italy!

There's a Wednesday market in Luino, on the other side of Lago Maggiore.
kleeblatt is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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A lot of great ideas. Thanks, everyone for the suggestions. BTike, thanks for the It. rest. recommendations, too in Basel. We have a home exchange there, so it will be our base for a little over 7 wks.
annetti is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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May I join the recommendation of either lago Lugano or lago Maggiore? One slight adjustment if you decide on Ascona -- I think you change trains for Locarno before reaching Lugano and then bus from the Locarno station to Ascona -- a very short ride, no problem. J.
jmw44 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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A typical train schedule from Basel to Ascona looks like this:

Basel dep 08:07
Zürich HB arr 08:58
Zürich HB dep 09:09
Bellinzona arr 11:36
Bellinzona dep 11:40
Locarno arr 12:06
Locarno walk 3 min.,
Locarno, Stazione dep 12:10 Bus 217
Ascona arr 12.20
kleeblatt is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Thanks very much for all your help. The time table that Schuler provided was very helpful. I like the idea of visiting Ascona, especially the more I read about the area. Cicerone, thanks again for explaining the ins and outs of Eurail vs the half fare card. I'm beginning to think that Eurail for this trip is NOT the way to go.
annetti is offline  

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