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Italy - Need help choosing cities for trip (besides Venice, Florence, Rome)

Italy - Need help choosing cities for trip (besides Venice, Florence, Rome)

Nov 10th, 2009, 09:35 AM
  #1  
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Italy - Need help choosing cities for trip (besides Venice, Florence, Rome)

Hello! My fiance and I are thinking of doing a Switzerland-Italy trip for our honeymoon in late May/early June and I need some help on the Italy cities. I have already been to Venice, Florence and Rome before so was hoping to try some new places. Although Venice is one we would consider doing again. Our trip will most likely be just shy of two weeks and we were thinking of starting in Switzerland (only visiting 1 or 2 cities here...most likely Lucerne and St. Moritz) and then heading to Italy...so a north to south itinerary might be best. Right now, we are planning on spending the bulk of our trip in Italy with just a few days upfront in Swtizerland. Thus, would fly into Switzerland (Zurich) and then out of one of the main cities in Italy on the leg back.

Right now I was thinking of having at least one of the Italy stops in the Campania region (Amalfi or surrounding areas) but am open to various ideas. Any insight or opinions woudl be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!!
LonghornTraveler is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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With less than 2 weeks I would not do more than 4 destinations and definately not include anything south. Here is a plan for 12 nites in Europe:
Land Zurich--train to Luzern---3 nites
Train to Lugano--bus to Menaggio on Lake Como--4 nites
Train to Verona---2 nites
Train to Venice---last 3 nites

Compact and easy logistics. If you want Campania, then spend a week there and enjoy it.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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I think you could have a beautiful trip that time of year flying into Zurich and out of Milan, enjoying for example the Italian Lakes and/or the Italian Rivieria at a leisurely pace.
laurie_ann is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Bob always has good ideas.But I would skip the 2 nights Verona and add to venice and fly back from there. It is in my view impossible to find a place as romantic as Venice.It would give you 4 full days in Venice.
RobertR is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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I like Bob's ideas -- there is much to see in NItaly. Verona is a charming, fun city to kick around in. I also like Vincenzo and Padua which are on the train line from Verona to Venice. We were in Bellagio in early May last year and it was gorgeous.

The South deserves a trip to itself.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Perhaps someone can comment on St. Moritz in late May. I think that might not be the best time for a visit. (Could you reverse the trip and fly out of Zurich?) Also, in a relatively short trip, St Moritz is a bit removed, geographically speaking. Getting there and moving on to the next stop will eat up precious time.

I agree with bobthenavigator about seeing some of northern Italy or some of southern Italy but not both in the time available. He and I always agree on Lake Como (especially as part of a honeymoon), and I'd suggest staying in either Varenna or Bellagio.

I'll split the difference between bobthenavigator and RobertR and suggest one night in Verona. Leave Lake Como in the morning, drop your luggage at your Verona hotel and spend the afternoon and evening exploring the city. Depending on how much you're enjoying Verona, spend some of the next day there and travel on to Venice whenever.

Check your fly options out of Venice. You may have to depart for home very early which is certainly doable but not always everyone's idea of a pleasant ending to a lovely trip.

Happy planning!
Jean is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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Thank you so much everyone! I really appreciate your candid feedback, it is extremely helpful. I agree, it sounds like visiting Swtiz, and both northern and southern Italy is definitely too much for one trip.

To answer Jean's question, we are flexible on reversing the trip and flying out of Zurich or alternatively, we could be open to the idea of droping Swtizerland and just visiting Italy if that could make for a more complete trip this go around. If we went the latter route, do yall have any different thoughts on suggested itineraries?

Thanks again!
LonghornTraveler is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 01:31 PM
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You're willing to drop Switzerland? Does that mean Zurich is not a requirement? Then, perhaps you need to start over and tell us your priorities.
Jean is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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I would drop Verona, too, and substitute Bologna. Much more interesting town, and fantastic food.
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Well, if you are dropping Switzerland (and with less than two weeks, I would), then a week on the AC would be really great. Even in Italy, though, I wouldn't try to do both North & South, so the Lakes would also be beautiful if you want to visit Venice. I also would take Bologna over Verona, just personal though. I love the food in Bologna. Have you been to Tuscany?
Sassafrass is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Another vote for Bologna! If you click on my name you can see my (in process) trip report on Bologna and surrounding area.
Sally30 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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I would not do a trip with 3 places as far apart as the lakes venice and Bologna unless you had maybe another week. So I'd stick with two close together places.

If you like the mountains you could do the Dolomites, verona and Venice all in the Veneto.
RobertR is offline  
Nov 10th, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Bologna is great and the food is fabulous. I think Verona more charming, but loved Bologna. From Bologna u could do a day trip to Ravenna and view the incredible mosaics.
yestravel is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 06:54 AM
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I don't think the lakes, Bologna and Venice are not that far apart. And would make a nice leisurely 2 weeks.

If you don't want to backtrack, you could fly into Venice and out of Milan, which is close to Lake Como. Or vice versa, of course. But if you have a long, intercontinental flight following all the stress and fuss of a wedding, Venice is the perfect place to get over jetlag. And perfectly romantic.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 07:56 AM
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I think the Lakes, Verona, Bologna and Venice are all doable in a couple of weeks.

We loved Bologna and Verona--I would very much like to go back to both. Side to Ravenna from Bologna is a great idea. We also went to Ferrara from Bologna--it's worth seeing.

Also, stop in Padua on the way to Venice--it's quite close. The Scrovegni Chapel--Giotto frescos--is worth seeing.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Nov 11th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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Why is it that practically no one mentions Naples as a place to visit? In my humble opinion, Napoli has more to see than does Rome, and the food is incomparable. GO TO NAPLES!!!
Waldo is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Everyone...thank you!! Really appreciate the opinions and insight.

We have decided to keep one stop in Switzerland (sounds like Lucern is the best spot geographically) as we think it would be a nice time to see it while we are already that far north in Italy.

I have been doing some more research online and from what I've read, it seems that we should consider reversing our trip (starting in Italy, ending in Switzerland) due to the weather consistency. For our trip, this would mean being in Italy starting in late May (May 24 to be exact) and ending in Switzerland (June 6).

Thus, from this recent viewpoint, I thought it might be best to fly into Venice and out of Zurich; however we need to fly American as we are using miles and American does not fly into Venice...only Milan, Rome and Zurich in these countries. Gotta love AA.

So, I have re-visited our options, and my question is would it be inefficient to fly into Milan and out of Zurich if we wanted to visit Bologna, Venice and Lake Como area on our way to Switzerland? We are not renting a car so all travel between cities would be via train with the exception of Lake Como where we may need a bus ride as well.

I understand Bologna is somewhat more south than these other cities so I wasn't sure if visiting would cause us to be "backtracking" geographically and thus eating up precious time. If that is the case, then we would consider swapping it with Verona. To Sassafrass' question, we have never been to Tuscany (except Florence for me) but it does not seem do-able in this trip after looking at the distance.

Any thoughts on the best "path" logistically given our flight options would be much appreciated! Thanks again everyone.
LonghornTraveler is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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This is still covering a lot of places/miles in less than two weeks. For a honeymoon, I'd want a slower pace.

Depending on the times of your flights, you may want/need to spent the first night in Milan and/or the last night in Zurich. (It will take at least an hour to get to Milan's train station from the airport and over an hour from Lucerne to the Zurich airport.) Figure you'll lose at least half a day every time you move. I don't think there's much of a logistical difference between Verona and Bologna.

You might want to research the train schedules:

http://www.ferroviedellostato.it/homepage_en.html
http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm
Jean is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Thanks, Jean.
LonghornTraveler is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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I'd trust the Swiss trains to get you from Lucerne to Zurich airport exactly on time, as long as your flight's not too early. So you don't need a night in Zurich.

Upon arrival, you may be suffering from jetlag, not to speak of post-wedding exhaustion. So allow a little extra time at your first stop. I think Lake Como would be a perfect honeymoon relaxation spot. If you're staying midlake, you can take the train to Varenna. Or train to Como and take the hydrofoil uplake.
Mimar is offline  
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