Italy!

Jan 22nd, 2018, 12:08 AM
  #1  
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Italy!

Hey all, i am going to Italy in March for 2 weeks with my partner, we have most of our trip planned out. One thing we are looking for is some advice on whether to spend 1-2 nights in either La Spezia or Bologna before moving onto Venice for the end of our trip. Any advice, tips or ideas would be appreciated!

Thanks,
jLiddy is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 07:14 AM
  #2  
 
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Bologna has infinitely more to see and do than La Spezia. Have you done any research about either city?

Your other sentence about tips and ideas is too vague to respond.
Jean is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 11:28 AM
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The two cities are not at all alike. I don't know what qualities you're looking for in a city.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 04:07 PM
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Bologna, without a doubt!
margo_oz is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 04:21 PM
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Another Bologna, by a wide margin!
Huggy is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2018, 05:40 PM
  #6  
 
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La Spezia is a bit far from Venice...
But for many reasons, I would choose Bologna. It is one of our favorite cities in Italy. Train transport from there is easy and frequent.
kawh is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:17 AM
  #7  
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Okay so my girlfriend has told me she wants to go to the Cinque Terre. Would that be better for the two nights or Bologna?

again we are going in mid March.
jLiddy is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:37 AM
  #8  
 
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There is no such thing as "better," especially as you are comparing apples and oranges. But I wouldn't go to the Cinque Terre in March.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 03:24 AM
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If the weather is good, the Cinque Terre could be lovely in March, and wouldn't be inundated with tourists. However, nice weather isn't terribly frequent in March. Often you'd encounter rain, high winds, and cold. You might want to stay in Lucca (or Pisa) for two nights, and take a day trip to the Cinque Terre, weather permitting.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2018, 12:54 PM
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Yes La Spezia is a nice seaside city but the iconic Cinque Terre villages are just a few minutes away.

Bologna is one of the most underrated cities in Italy by most foreign tourists.

Tough call - Bologna is much more on main rail road routes to Venice from Florence - where are you coming from before La Spezia?

Trains are great - check Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia for booking own discounted tickets; www.seat61.com for help with that - general info BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

I was in 5 Terre one January and weather was quite nice but not always but March should be great for fewer crowds and fairly nice weather. May be too muddy for hiking though - takes trains between all 5 ancient seaside CT towns.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 24th, 2018, 09:56 AM
  #11  
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Thanks for the help guys, going to go with Bologna on this one i think!
jLiddy is offline  
Jan 24th, 2018, 01:48 PM
  #12  
 
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Take trains to Bologna as cars are not allowed inside city center and the center is very walkable though a fair hike from train station.

A maudlin site in Bologna train station is a memorial to victims of terrorists' bombs in the station in 1980s with names of victims that included some young American backpackers. The huge crack in wall of 2nd class waiting room where bombs went off is preserved.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 25th, 2018, 03:06 AM
  #13  
 
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We go to Bologna often, but only drive if we need to return very late, or if we're delivering something heavy. I wouldn't dream of driving in the center, and parking is very scarse even outside the walls. There's a parking garage at the station, but I don't know whether it fills up often. We take the train.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 25th, 2018, 04:05 AM
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I don't think the memorial in the Central Station in Bologna is at all maudlin. It's sober and dignified, in my opinion. One could easily miss it, because it blends into the waiting room. There is the plaque with the name of the victims on the fractured wall, and a station clock whose hands stopped at the time the bomb exploded. A group of far-right militants set it off; it's one of four massacres attributed to these neofascist groups. At the time, a trial was taking place in Bologna for an earlier explosion on a train. Those responsible have never been convicted, although there were at least a dozen arrests. Many Italians believe that far-right elements in the armed forces were sympathetic, if not complicit, in these terroristic acts.

Incidentally, the waiting room is for all passengers these days; it's the only one there is. There may also by be a Club Freccia room, but you have to be a Gold or Platinum Freccia member to use it, and you have to have one of the two most expensive tickets for a Frecciarossa train leaving within four hours. Only very frequent train travellers can get these premium cards. Otherwise, if you have any ticket other than a regional ticket, you can pay 20 for a single entrance to a Club Freccia room. Not worth it! As far as I can tell, their only advantage is comfortable seats.

Termini Station in Rome used to have a very nice waiting room, but it's been turned into a Club Freccia room, plus a disabled passenger waiting room.
bvlenci is offline  
Jan 25th, 2018, 08:33 AM
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Yeh maudlin was the wrong word. Sobering - thinking of those young backpackers being victims on their trip of a young lifetime.
PalenQ is offline  

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