Help with Piedmont & Lakes itinerary

Old Jun 6th, 2017, 10:39 AM
  #1  
mdn
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Help with Piedmont & Lakes itinerary

Hi,
My gf and I will be in Italy from Saturday 8/26 to Monday 9/4. Flying in & out of Milan Malpensa from NYC.
We appreciate some history but aren't big on seeing every church in town. Prefer nature, food and hikes. The itinerary I've plotted so far:

Saturday, Sunday & Monday: Saturday morning train from Milan to Varenna. Ferries to Bellagio and Tremmezo + villas & other hikes.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday until afternoon: UNDECIDED, NEED HELP on this part. Unsure whether we should do another lake, Cinque Terre (gf has already been there), or perhaps some other area near Piedmont. Genoa/Liguria? Idea would be to take train back to Milan, rent car and then drive to destination, unless you recommend otherwise.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: Attend friend's wedding and related events. See Piedmont area (Alba, Asti, etc.). Staying just outside Nizza Monferrato.

Finish with a dinner in Milan on Sunday night, return rental car and fly out from Malpensa mid-day on Monday. Appreciate any ideas!
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Old Jun 6th, 2017, 10:45 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Look st Santa Maria Ligure in Liguria for a change from lakes and vineyards.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Jun 6th, 2017, 12:12 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 624
The name of the town is Santa Margherita Ligure, and it is on the Italian Riviera, in the region of Liguria. If your girlfriend wasn't particulary wowed by le Cinque Terre and has no interest in returning, then not clear whether Santa Margherita Ligure would be interesting enough.

Throughout most of Piemonte, with the exception of Torino, there is very little in the way of churches of historic or artistic importance. There are some castles, but many of them are not open to the public. In terms of cultural attractions, you really need to scrounge around Piemonte to come up with a sightseeing agenda if you aren't planning a trip into Torino. Most of the actvity centers around wine and biking, and in late August you might find pickings very slim.

To tell you the truth, were it me, I might take those unclaimed days and go to Switzerland, hoping to catch some cool weather and beautiful scenery. From Lago di Como you can easily get to Lugano and proceed from there. Unfortunately I don't know Switzerland well enough to give you precise routing, but I would be looking to go up to Lugano and do a loop by public transport that had me coming back to Italy via Lago Maggiore. From there you can pick up a car at Malpensa airport and drive to Nizza Monferrato.

Or, after Varenna, consider taking a train via Milan up to Aosta in the Aosta valley. I would certainly spend a least one night in Aosta and maybe 2, but then I would rent a car in Aosta and see more of the beauitful mountain scenery, and enjoy the rural valleys, the areas near towns like Lillaz or Planeval or Notre-Dame des Rheims Notre Dame or up in the hills north or Aosta or an agriturismo like Le Vrille in Verrayes for wine & walks and wonderful food.

But if you want to do another Italian lake, then do a combo or Lago Maggiore & Lago di Orta. I think staying in Baveno is nice than staying in Stresa.

Be aware that all the beautiful holiday destinations, whether they are iakes, the seaside or the high mountains, will be jammed up with vacationers. You are going at the peak of the summer vacation season, so you will need to line up your hotel & your rental car in advance.
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Old Jun 9th, 2017, 12:58 PM
  #4  
mdn
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Thank you HappyTrvlr and Frencharmoire! Looks like we'll head to Liguria, but to Genoa and west of Genoa rather than Portofino and so on. Really appreciate your insights!
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