Help with Lake garda.dolomites itinerary

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Feb 1st, 2017, 02:51 AM
  #1
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Help with Lake garda.dolomites itinerary

Would really appreciate some advise to finalise our itinerary.

We are flying from the UK to Milan, end of May for a very Short holiday. This being our first trip to Italy, we really want to go to Venice (also, it will be my birthday - so celebrating in venice would be some thing to remember!!).

Flight in at 10pm - so first night in Milan (close to central train station?)

Sunday, 28th May - Morning train to Venice. - half day exploring and spend 3 nights.
29th/30th - Venice
31st - morning , half day more in Venice and then pick up a car in the afternoon to head to Dolomites.

This is where all the question marks are.. would love to drive through the passes, spend a couple of days in the Dolomites/lake Garda area before dropping the car off in Verona/ or Milan.
So where could we spend our 3 days?

I see that most people favour Ortisei , Val Gardena area,Bolzano in the Dolomites (02 nights here?) and Sirmione on Lake Garda?
Where should we spend the 2 nights? (or 1 each in dolomites/lake garda) and then 1 night in Verona?

would love to have some input as I am not very clear on the driving times/routes.

3rd June - late train from Verona to Milan for the the night as the flight out is early next morning.

Hope we are not trying to pack in too much.. Saving Rome/Florence and the south for another trip
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Feb 1st, 2017, 03:12 AM
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If you land at Milan Malpensa at 10pm, you will check in your Milan railway station area hotel before midnight. If you land at Linate, you get there earlier.
Best hotel close to Milano Centrale station: Michelangelo (quiet, very good breakfast). Cheaper hotels in the same area: Duca d'Aosta, Berna.....
Trains to Venice (2 1/2 hrs journey): Milano Centrale dp 8.05, 8.45, 9.05, 9.45, 11.45.

Coming from Venice, the obvious destination in the Dolomites would be Cortina d'Ampezzo.
There are different itineraries from there to Lake Garda, most of them over 1 or 2 alpine Passes.
Last connections from Verona to Malpensa airport (2 1/2 hrs journey): Verona dp 19.02, 20.02, 21.02
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Feb 1st, 2017, 03:20 AM
  #3
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Thhnx neckervd for your reply..

Just thinking that it may make sense to pay 140 pound (for all) penalty to change the flight from London directly to venice (still landing at 11pm in that night) but will save the half a day trip from Milan..and then make it 4 nights there to have 3 whole days in Venice.. which gives us the option on leaving a bit earlier (if we feel like we had enough of venice by then) to the dolomites..

Will probably spend the last night in Milan - don't fancy taking a 2 1/2 hour train before the flight incase there are delays etc.. plus with 2 kids tagging along..

recommendations for dolomite/lake garda bases/route will be appreciated!!
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Feb 1st, 2017, 03:28 AM
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If you leave Milan at 8.45, you will arrive at Venice at 11.10. The cheapest way to save time would be to choose a hotel close to Venice railway station. So you wouldn't waste time by local transport and could really begin to visit before noon, may be only 2 hrs later than if you sleep at Venice.
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Feb 1st, 2017, 04:16 AM
  #5
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yep makes more sense!! - first train out of milan - plus the cost of hotels in venice is so much more..thnx.
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Feb 1st, 2017, 09:36 AM
  #6
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any one?? any input on the picking up the car and exploring dolomites/lake grade. where should we base ourselves? and the best route!!

Ortisei , Val Gardena area,Bolzano in the Dolomites and Sirmione on Lake Garda??
02 nights in dolomites or one each? and then 1 night in Verona? or should we actually skip verona and he'd to milan - prefer smaller cities/viagges to larger cities though.
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Feb 1st, 2017, 11:19 AM
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Sirmione is great, although very heavily touristed so crowded. But it's on the southern part of the lake which is not the 'best' part, and further from the Dolomites.

Malcesine is further up the lake and a great town with a small castle. Plus it has a gondola up to the top of Mt Baldo. It would make a great base to do both Lake Garda and the Dolomites.

Another option is Bolzano - a small city so more to do in the evenings yet close enough to the areas in the Dolomites most people want to see and hike in. We based there for five nights and did day trips and loved it.

I agree with the suggestion to get hotels close to the train stations in both Milan and Venice to maximize sightseeing time and minimize schlepping luggage time. In Milan the Hotel Berna is five minutes from Centrale train station. Has the most amazing breakfast I have ever seen. Seriously, I go to Milan just to stay at this hotel. In Venice I love Palazzo Odoni, about 10 minute walk from train station or Piazzale Roma. I am going to Italy in March and staying at both those hotels again (third time for the Berna).
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Feb 1st, 2017, 11:38 AM
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You can hotel search train stations on booking.com. Trento is one of our favorite towns.
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Feb 1st, 2017, 01:31 PM
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Sirmione is a total tourist trap and overrun with tourists all day long -IMO stay somewhere else on the lake -anywhere else!
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Feb 2nd, 2017, 06:59 AM
  #10
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Thanks all -

How about driving from venice -2 Ns at Ortisei and then drive via Lake Garda to Verona for one night?
Not really hoping to do any long hikes - but a small one would be nice with the kids - plus the cable cars up the mountains.

Any suggestions on scenic driving routes/ village stops one the ?

Another hard decision to make is - we have two options of accommodation for the same price -
lovely apt near St Marco square (5 mins walk) overlooking the ‘Rio dei Barcaroli’ canal or for the same price the hotel with breakfast , Hotel Palazzo Vitturi on Campo Santa Mario Famosa (overlooking the square)..no canal view..

any feedback with the hotel/ or location would great - would canal view be a bonus??
would east of st marco square make more sense than northwest of the square..
as travelling with 2 kids - so may be dinner in takeaways will be plus in the apt..

decision....decisions...
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