Italy: Lake District or Riviera?

Old Dec 14th, 2007, 09:02 PM
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Italy: Lake District or Riviera?

I am busy dreaming about my honeymoon (that is still a long way away)...we're pretty set on Italy, and we're thinking probably 3 places in a approx. 2 weeks...probably Venice, somewhere in Tuscany, and then I don't know where the third should be. I've been to Venice and Tuscany before, so I'd like teh third to be someplace I haven't been (I've been to Amalfi Coast). I'm currently debating between Italian riviera (Portofino or SML?) or the Lake District, don't know which one. I know this is sort of vague but I'm just curious to get peoples' thoughts...Thanks!
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 09:07 PM
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I meant to add that I've also been to Rome - and we're really looking for more of a relaxing/less sightseeing type of honeymoon. Sorry for the scattered-ness, I'm trying to study for law school exams but thinking of this trip is distracting me!
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Old Dec 14th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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Hi sharbear, 3 places in 2 weeks is a good idea in my opinion.

Personally I would opt for the Lake District but others might have a different thought. And also it depends on your interest. If you want to take hikes along the TerreCinque that might be the most ideal for you. Think about, if you haven't, of flying into one airport and departing from another so you do not have to backtrack. As you probably know that is known as a MultiCity or Open Jaw flight.
Flying into Venice would be good and Venice would be a beautiful start to your honeymoon. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and best wishes with your lawa school exams.
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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What time of year?
Will you consider driving for portions?
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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I would second the suggestion to visit the lakes. Lago di Garda, Lago di Como, Lago Maggiore are unique. They offer dramatic landscape, picturesque towns and lots of architecture, art and history.

To be frank, the Italian Riviera is nice, but not spectacular. Amalfi Coast is more beautiful than the Riviera, and I also prefer the French Cote d'Azur over the Italian section of the Riviera.
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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It will be in May (2009!) We are going to rent a car for the Tuscany portion of the trip I assume..and I was kind of hoping we wouldn't have to have a car during the other parts of the trip. Does one need a car to visit the lakes?
And maybe I should put amalfi coast back on the table, after all I was just in Positano for two nights a few years ago..
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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my friend and I were on the Riviera at the end of May 04 - things were still quiet then, the season really hadn't kicked in (not sure if that's an aspect you want). I was glad my friend rented a car - while the train does run along the coast, it was slow going when I took it. The problem with Portofino is there is only one way in and out car wise. My friend and I stayed in Camolgi - which we really liked. In SML I would have liked to stay at the Hotel Miramare - but it was a bit out of my price range back then, now though...:

http://www.grandhotelmiramare.it/

I'm going to the Lakes this May.

The Riviera south of Genoa is gorgeous - the villas, the lush gardens, the seafood and pesto. Genoa is a great up and coming city.

Sestri Levante is wonderful.
http://www.hotelvisavis.com/
http://www.hoteldeicastelli.com
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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> we're really looking for more of a relaxing/less sightseeing type of honeymoon. <

The Isle of Capri is the perfect match. No car needed. Boat rides to and from the mainland towns.

Yes, put the Amalfi Coast back on the table...
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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You do not need a car for the lakes district. Plenty to see from the lake boats.
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for all the help. I'm reluctant to go to Capri only because I really wanted to see a new area...I am leaning towards the lakes but am still open to other opinions.
Which of the lakes do you all recommend? (And the weather will be nice there in May right? I don't mind if it's not going in the pool weather).
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Oh - so you've been to Capri?

Of The Lakes, Lugano is the most scenic IMO (fjordlike). It's about midway between Como and Maggiore so it's convenient to each. A car is certainly desirable, if not a must, to explore the heights above The Lakes. There's also boat traffic on each lake to the lakefront towns...
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Hi Sharbear,

My thoughts- I like Lake Como, staying in Bellagio. Very relaxing and beautiful- perfect for a honeymoon and one of my favorite places in Italy.

You will not need a car. You can drive up from Tuscany and drop the car off in Lecco. Then it's a quick train (no reservations needed) to Varenna, a 10 minute walk down the hill to the lake and a 10 minute ferry to Bellagio. Most of the hotels in Bellagio are a 5 minute walk from where the ferry drops you off. You can also take the train from Tuscany.

The public boats can take you from place to place on the lake. I also recommend a local bus ride from Bellagio toward Nesso, stopping where you please along the way.

I have also been to the SML area. It is also very beautiful. But for me, not as relaxing.

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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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Stay north and do plan 3 destinations. Your air connections may dictate, but I would fly into Venice if possible and fly home from Milan and make Lago Como your last destination---later in May the better. I would think something like 4-5-4 would be ideal with Tuscany having a bit more time. Good luck !
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Old Dec 15th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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TuckH - I stayed in Positano but visited Capri on a day trip, so I don't know if I can really say I've spent much time there, but was tempted to go somewhere else entirely, although it's still a possibility.

Thanks for all the help so far!
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Any other towns anyone would recommend staying in on the lakes? Or is Bellagio everyone's favorite for a honeymoon?
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Old Dec 16th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Bellagio is a fine choice but you might research Varenna. It really depends on the hotel that you choose and whether you want a resort town feel or a small fishing town type feel. In the evenings, Varenna will have no more than a few dozen people wandering about. Bellagio is a resort town.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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We have been to SML, Bellagio and Positano and my vote for you would be Bellagio. The lake area is really beautiful and the weather is wonderful, cool in the evenings. You won't need a car for this area. Where do you begin your trip?
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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I would opt for the Lake District. There is a small town on the eastern shore of Lake Como called Varenna with a charming small hotel-Hotel du Lac that sits right on the lake and has fabulous views. Two interesting gardens and villas are nearby and everything in the town is walkable. You can take the ferry to Bellagio and, I think, Menaggio. However, you'll need a car to tour beyond that area. You can be in the southern part of the Swiss Alps in less than two hours and visit the other lakes easily.
Four days is probably enough time there. The Cinque Terre is interesting by ferry from Santa Marguerita or by hiking trails from above. Beyond that, the Italian Riviera, including Portofino, are somewhat less than a WOW.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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I'm glad that there at least seems to be somewhat of a consensus here! Rare to get on this board

rlbplf - we will probably start in Venice, and then either go to the lakes and then Tuscany, or Tuscany and then the lakes...will depend on flights and stuff.
Unless we decide to add another place or I change my mind about the Amalfi Coast. This trip is still in its infancy stages of planning...
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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Bob the Nave will never steer you wrong! The Lakes are totally gorgeous, and not too crowded yet at that time of year.

Now pass your exams, in bocca al lupo, and..

Buon Viaggio,
BC
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