HELP! Germany/Austria/Italy

May 15th, 2008, 10:18 AM
  #1  
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HELP! Germany/Austria/Italy

we are planing a pre cruise trip to germany next June. We plan on flying into frankfurt and renting a car -dropping off in Venice to board a cruise ship. Our flight gets into frankfurt around 3 pm. My plan was to drive to rothenburg for the night then on to meersburg for a night (taking our time along the way of course) and then on to schwangau for 2 or 3 nights. Then the next day drive to venice. Does anyone have anybetter ideas for an itenarary?? Also, we may shorten schwangau by a day and stay somewhere inbetween there and venice. Does anyone know where would be a good place in austra or northern italy to stay? We like quaint villages the best but bigger cities are ok too.

Thanks
TravelinSteph is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Trento and Bolzano are nice.
capxxx is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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What is in trento or bolzano??
TravelinSteph is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Hi,
I'd suggest staying in any of the 3 villages/towns of Val Gardena, Italy. Val Gardena is about an hour and a half drive south of Innsbruck via the Brenner Pass. The 3 towns of Val Gardena... Ortisei, St. Christina and Selva, are just 5 minutes drive from one another.
There's an excellent cable car right from Ortisei to the Seiser Alm, which has gorgeous views of the Dolomites.

That would be in between Schwangau and Venice.

You could then head to Venice either through Cortina d'Ampezzo, the drive is stunning through the Dolomites including a couple of passes, or by highway through Bolzano.

www.val-gardena.com

www.alpedisiusi-seiseralm.com/index.html

We stayed at and can recommend the Garni Ariston in St. Christina.

www.garniariston.com

A little further east (about 45 minutes) of Val Gardena is Alta Badia, another great place to stop for at least an overnight.

Again, we stayed at and loved the Ciasa Montanara in La Villa, Alta Badia.

www.altabadia.com

www.montanara.it

Hope this helps.

Paul
pja1 is online now  
May 16th, 2008, 04:33 AM
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Bolzano has a nice park, a Duomo, an open market, a pleasant arcaded shopping district, and an archeology museum. In the museum you will find Utzi, the Bronze-age Ice Man who was discovered in the Alps. You can see the guy right there in a windowed freezer, with all his stuff. Really fascinating. There is also an excursion bus from the town center to Castlerotto, a castle that is covered with frescos of the Tristan and Isolde story. There are nice hikes in the Dolomites from there.

Trento (smaller) has a piazza in front of the Duomo, some fantastic restaurants, and park-like areas to walk through. Hikes in in the Dolomites. A univsersity.
capxxx is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 04:37 AM
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Hi Steph - I'd second Paul's suggestion of a stop-off in the Dolomites.

The drive through the mountains to Venice from Val Gardena is one of the most spectacular in Europe - not to be missed!

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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WOW! That is a great idea I never thought of. I was expecting the drive to be a boring one to get from point a to b. I love the idea of staying in one of the val gardena villages and seeing the dolomites. We live at the base of Lake tahoe and see mountains all the time but I have a feeling that these are spectacular! Thanks Paul for the great advice! Any other ideas would be great...
TravelinSteph is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 01:35 PM
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Hi steph,

I've never done this drive, mores the pity.

but to work out driving distances and times, have a look at www.via-michelin.com - you put in your start and finish points, and it will work out a variety of routes and give you stopping off points, hotels, restaurants etc. along teh way.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 03:24 PM
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Hi again TravelinSteph,

The drive from Schwangau to Innsbruck itself is not boring at all and the drive through the Dolomites is nothing short of spectacular! Even though you see "mountains all the time", these are different. The Swiss Alps, Austrian Alps, etc. are beautiful, but seeing the Dolomites is just something special, at least in my opinion.

This website may be of interest/help also. It lists the passes with descriptions and photos.

www.alpineroads.com/dolomites.php

I'd suggest staying in Val Gardena and from there driving the Gardena Pass (Groednerjoch), continue through Alta Badia (Colfosco, Corvara, La VillaSan Cassiano, etc. to the Falzarego Pass, where there is another great cable car ride (besides the one in Ortisei), the Lagazuoi and head to Cortina d'Ampezzo and then south/east towards Venice.

You'll notice in this area the names of towns, passes, just about everything, are in German and Italian. Sometimes they are also listed in Ladin.

This is a pretty good map of this area of the Dolomites:

www.biciveneto.it/dolomitepassmap.html

Hope this helps.

Paul


Paul


pja1 is online now  
May 17th, 2008, 01:38 AM
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Steph - I second Paul's suggested route via Alta Badia and Cortina too - unbeatable.

In addition to MONT SEUC (- from Ortisei) and LAGAZUOI which Paul has mentioned, another unmissable cable car ride for breathtaking views is CIAMPINOI from Selva (- Val Gardena).

You'll wish you were staying in this area for more than one night

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 04:41 AM
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Hi TravelinSteph,

Just thought if you're interested, we have some pic's at:


www.worldisround.com/articles/324504/index.html

Oh, if you're in Rothenburg for a night, don't miss the Nightwatchman's Tour. Informative, witty and just plain fun.

www.nightwatchman.de

Paul
pja1 is online now  
May 20th, 2008, 07:54 AM
  #12  
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thanks for all the suggestions! They are very helpful. I do have another question. the idea was mentioned between some of us going that maybe flying into munich for a few days and driving to switzerland for a few nights-doing the bernina express to lugano for the night and then train to venice. this seems doable but kinda out of the way. does anyone think this sounds better or do you think what we had planned before was better??
TravelinSteph is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 06:05 PM
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Hi again,
While Switzerland is beautiful, to me it seems out of the way. Also, I wouldn't see the need to drive to Switzerland from Munich, as Switzerland is best done by train (my opinion) and taking a train there from Munich would make more sense. I think the plan you had was very good...Frankfurt, Rothenberg, Meersburg, Schwangau, Dolomites to Venice. Then again, I am partial to the Dolomites. The area is like nothing else in the Alps.

Paul
pja1 is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 07:32 AM
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I would agree with other posters - we have done the drive from Venice into the Val Gardena area before and loved it. We lived in Seattle for almost 15 years and have skied all over the west coast (loved Tahoe!) but still thought that the scenery was spectacular. Then again, my husband is a mountain junkie. We are now living in England and headed for a different section of the alps this year as we miss the mountains!
Irish_girl is offline  

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