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Help with Italy itinerary for late August / early September

Help with Italy itinerary for late August / early September

Old May 12th, 2016, 01:15 PM
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Help with Italy itinerary for late August / early September

Hello! I'm working on finalizing our plans for our 7 night trip to Northern Italy this summer. We will be flying into Pisa and definitely doing 3 nights in the Cinque Terre (Manarola) and 3 nights on Lake Como (Bellagio) before flying out of Milan. I can't decide where to spend our extra day/night. We are in our 30s, it's our third trip to Italy and we have seen all of the major sights and cities and are just looking to relax, eat, drink, hike, swim, shop. My question is whether it would be worth it to spend an extra night in Manarola and explore nearby cites along the coast and if so which ones? My husband thinks 4 nights is too many. We have been to Lake Como before and we love it but I don't know if we need the extra night there since we have already been twice before. Appreciate any opinions or recommendations! Thanks
lauren316 is offline  
Old May 12th, 2016, 01:56 PM
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going by car or train - if car bop over to Lake Maggiore for a day - Stresa is a gem and there are the three Borromean Islands just offshore - each with a different surprise on it:


And there are direct buses from Stresa to Malpensa Airport - no need to Schlepp back thru Milan.

Extra night in the Cinque Terre - in August it is a complete zoo -not that relaxing like the lakes are even with crowds - just so little room in those tiny villages of the Cinque Terre - but day trips along the Italian Riviera could be neat.

Genoa is also a very very neat old city with a warren of tiny alleys in its old town/port area - all gussied up in recent years - could be day trip from Cinque Teree but I supposed you've been there?

You need no car in the car-less Cinque Terre - trains and boats trundle between them all and beyond - for lots on Italian trains check www.trenitalia.com (no need to advance book as most of your trains will be regional trains with no reservations even possible and a flat-fare that is dirt cheap -just buy as you go along and for general info on where to go in that area by train check www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check their free online European Planning & Rail Guide Italy chapter for lots of places to consider in northern Italy.

Como itself I found very inviting - a day there could be sweet if not have done that. Bergamo is also a really sweet old town that is close to Como. You do not need a car either to bop around Lake Como as boats go everywhere as you know.

A mind-boggling day trip by train or car from Bellagio area goes up to Tirano where you hop on the famous Bernina Pass Railway that to me and many is amongst the most awesomely scenic railways in Europe - just go up to the summit stations at Alp Grum and Bernina Ospiz and do a walk to the glacier around an Alpine lake or sit on the sun terrace at the hotel/restaurant and soak up these views:

PalenQ is offline  
Old May 13th, 2016, 01:25 AM
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"we have seen all of the major sights and cities "

this is our third visit.

Kidding right?
bilboburgler is offline  
Old May 13th, 2016, 03:31 AM
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While the Cinque Terre is visually stunning I actually prefer spending time in the other towns in the region - Rapallo, Santa Margherita, Camogli, and Portovenere. Boat ride down to Portovenere is a great day trip. Trains link all the other places. Portofino is also visually stunning but not some place I'd like to hang around in. But the walk up to the castle and the view from it are fabulous. My most recent trip to the region I based in Rapallo and did day trips to the other places, including the CT towns. I had plenty to do to keep me busy for 5 days.

Here's my trip report from that trip with links to photos (you need to scroll half way down to get to the Italy part)
isabel is offline  
Old May 14th, 2016, 09:59 AM
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PalenQ - we will be taking the trains everywhere! I know CT will be crowded so the thought was to use it as a base to also see other towns along the coast as you suggested. We have never been to this area and have a lovely hotel booked. Tirano looks beautiful too.

bilboburgler - we have seen all of the major sights and cities that we are interested in seeing and that is not the goal of this trip. It will be more of a relaxing trip for us.

isabel - Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos! This is very helpful. If we do 3 full days I intend to spend the first day hiking, the second day doing a boat trip and relaxing in the afternoon and perhaps the third seeing some other towns along the coast. I'm not sure we can hit them all in one day? Any favorites?
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