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HELp with Milan /N Italy itinerary


May 30th, 2015, 08:12 AM
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HELp with Milan /N Italy itinerary

Ciao tutti...am looking for a good base, a CITY or large town , for a two week trip to N. Italy.

I land in Milan--been there before and seen the big three, Duomo, Last Supper, La Scala--I plan to stay there a few days to recover from the the flight. Any other off the beaten path suggestions? I like to wander neighborhoods, love markets, etc. What about a day trip to Bergamo. I am NOT interested in the Lake Districk--prefer urban areas .

After that I was thinking of staying in either Vicenza and/or Padua and visiting those two cities as well as Verona.

Any preferences? I don't like to pack and unpack too often and would love two places, Milan and someplace else as a base. I will be using the trains, too.

Grazie in advance.
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May 30th, 2015, 08:38 AM
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Verona would be a sweet base - easy day trips to Bologna, a terribly underrated city IMO - has Italy's largest collection of medieval buildings in its historical center. Parma is yet another neat town - Verona is better situated than Padua or Vincenza for day trips like these and Verona is a nice old large town that you (and me) like so much.

Mantua also underrated and a great day trip.

Plus of course Padua and Vincenza.

For lots of info on Italian trains check these IMO superb sites: www.seat61.con; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Just going short distances each day on trains means you can take dirt-cheap regional trains that need no advance booking - nearly all other faster trains cost much more and demand seat reservations before boarding (comes with the ticket) and discounted tickets are available if you book way way in advance but then they are I believe non-changeable non-refundable - but in your case I would just take regional trains and buy tickets just before boarding.

Don't forget to cancel your own tickets before boarding regional trains - stick them in a cancelling machine at the entrance to the platform or else you will be riding without a valid ticket and could be fined - and as first class on regional trains is also very cheap if the regional train has first class IME it is well worth the extra fee - 2nd class on regional trains can always be mobbed but first class is usually half full or less IME - but not all regional trains have first class.
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May 30th, 2015, 08:55 AM
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If you have already been to Milan and are interested in Bergamo why not spend the first few days there instead. I did it as a day trip from Milan a few years ago and liked it so much I am going back for an overnight this summer.

I have also based for several days each in both Padua and Verona (different trips) and would do so again. I prefer both of them to Vicenza but that's just me, lots of people love Vicenza. They are both wonderful cities and there are lots of day trip options. Consider Ferrera, Mantua, Bologna, as well as Vicenza and of course whichever one of Padula or Verona that you don't base in.
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May 30th, 2015, 09:24 AM
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Vicenza is a favorite of mine, for several reasons. If you're looking for a good place to stay there for several days, I can recommend B'Charme. It's a B&B, but the accommodations are apartment-type with kitchens. Good location; close to everything; nice proprietors.
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May 30th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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You might also consider Turin instead of Milan. I have picked it for my upcoming trip, and everything I have read has me wondering whether I shouldn't have planned to stay longer. Further east I like Ferrara.
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May 30th, 2015, 10:26 AM
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Another option for a day trip is Bologna, just an hour from Milan, if you are interested. Also consider Pavia or Vigevano.
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May 30th, 2015, 02:35 PM
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The Certosa di Pavia is a splendid old monastery just outside Pavia - train station near it and buses stop out front. the monks brew up a potent alcoholic potion too. Pavia yes is a neat old town known I believe for its towers, one of which I think fell down within the past several years.
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May 30th, 2015, 04:35 PM
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many many grazies... these are great

keep the suggestions coming
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May 31st, 2015, 02:56 AM
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As you don't like smaller places, lakes, mountains and landscape, you could just stay all the time at a hotel 5 min on foot from Milan Centrale station (Michelangelo, Aosta, Bristol or so) and do day trips to all other cities you like.
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May 31st, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Intereted in old violins - Cremona was home to Stradivarius I believe or at least has a long history of violin making and is also a pleasant enough city - northern Italian cities IME are not quite as romantic as those in the south where modernization has crept at a slower pace - northern Italy having had one of the top standards of living and production in the world the past century or so.
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Jun 1st, 2015, 06:07 AM
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Verona is a great base town. Venice is only 1:10 mins away and can get to Padua easily. North of Verona (20 mins) are some great wineries for Amarone. Sirmione is a great place on Lake Garda for shopping, markets and eating, only 30 mins to the west.

Turin is a neat place. Has the best, 2nd to Cario, Egyptian museum. Aosta is a neat town an hour away towards the alps. Can go through the Mont Blanc to Charmonix, France.

Florence is only 4 hours south by car. A great urban place with food, shops and easy day trips. As you probably know, the statue of David is here and great museums. Can day trip to Pisa, Lucca, Sienna, Tuscany, hill towns, etc.
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