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Is Verona a good base for a week in northern Italy

Is Verona a good base for a week in northern Italy

Old Jan 26th, 2014, 02:01 AM
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The Italian rail service has a lot to recommend it. Driving in Italy is not quite the nightmare that some might imagine but with some advance booking, trains can be a reasonably economic and stress-free way of getting about.
I would suggest a combination of car/train/ferries to get a reasonable slice of the area you propose to visit.
As a base, perhaps self catering in Desenzano or Peschiera on Lake Garda. Both places have ferry connections to all parts of the lake itself and direct train links to Milan, Verona, Padova and Venice.
A car rental for a couple of days would facilitate touring around - Cremona, Mantova, Modena (if you have boys, the Ferrari factory will surely be of interest) and Bologna.
For anywhere accessible by a single train ride however, stick with Trenitalia.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 02:30 AM
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Bologna makes a good base as so many train lines go through it (its a hub), Padua is not such a hub but even so due to the Euganian hills it is pretty central to the railway system North of the Po. Verona is not as critical to the train system, hence it is less useful as a base.

The whole train system in this area is so good it is hard to think why you would use a car.

Soave wine tasting... if you do try this in the city try to avoid the traditional (and appalation grapes) and focus on the "experimental" blends which make Soave drinkable
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 02:37 AM
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We spent 5 nights in bologna last July using it as a base and used the wonderful train links to do day trips. Had a great time.

Trip report is here http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rche-lucca.cfm

Pics for the area http://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gir...7637221873063/

But it depends what part of Northern Italy you want to visit...
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 04:47 AM
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jamikins, I lurve your photos!

As part of a big trip this year, my family is going to Verona for just three nights.

We will have a car, and we've decided to try an agriturismo in the hills above Verona so we can see the city without having to drive in. An arrangement like that might suit you, OP, if you want to drive, too, and the place we've chosen has apartments as well as rooms, which you might like with your teenagers.

I can't actually recommend it (yet), but it is called Agriturismo San Mattia.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 05:27 AM
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Thanks pavot

Your trip plan sounds lovely!
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 05:58 AM
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tom - I just find Padua to be one of the most charming small cities in that part of the country. The whole centro area, the piazzas; and the basilica of San Antonio is one of my favorites anywhere. Bologna is also lovely with its miles of porticos and medieval architecture, street markets, etc. I've only been to Verona twice; once as a daytrip, once overnight after reading Basingstoke's TR on his visit there, and both times, it was just a "dud" for me. I know I'm in the minority about Verona, but I fail to see the attraction there (other than the open air opera in the summer, but I travel in the spring).
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 06:10 AM
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Oh, and how could I forget? The FOOD in Bologna is outstanding.
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Old Apr 14th, 2016, 11:19 AM
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I love Verona and think it's quite possibly one of my favorite cities in Northern Italy. Has more going on than Padua and more food options and transportation options plus still small city charm. but I also love Padua and Parma and Vicenza. Bologna is a city-with more of a feel of a larger city. Great food but it's not somewhere I'd spend time if I hadn't seen everything else in Italy.

Verona has charming architecture, pink stone everywhere. Gorgeous cathedral. Very different from the cities you find in Tuscany for instance. Across the river there are some cool ruins with views over the whole city. Walking around Verona and not just going to see the center and the arena, is essential to fully soaking up it's charm. Eating and drinking here makes it a quick favoirte as long as one stays away from the overly touristy places on the major piazzas and ducks down some smaller streets to find trattorias and osterias with a traditional menu and good wine selections.

Some great gems of restaurants (Osteria Alcarroarmato was super reasonably priced-had great Veronese specialities like horsemeat sauce on polenta, polenta gorgonzola, and other such things plus plenty of lovely pasta options and good salads and great wine list-a lunch with 2 glasses of wine and two courses cost me $25 after all charges) and tiny aperitivo bars (Archivio is excellent for craft cocktails), etc.

Easy train connections. Bologna is a 10-20 euro hour long train ride away and the flights out of Bologna airport are good prices

There's a 6 Euro shuttle to Bologna airport, just out in front of Bologna train station
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