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Italy/Switzerland - need help with itinerary

Italy/Switzerland - need help with itinerary

Old Apr 25th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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Italy/Switzerland - need help with itinerary

My husband and I, both in our twenties, are planning a two week trip to Italy/Switzerland in September. We know that we arrive in rome on 8th September and depart from Zurich. We need to decide on the specific itinerary for this period, which cities to visit, where to stay, how to get there. So far, we were thinking arrive in Rome (4 nights), Florence (2 nights), Venice (4 nights) Lauterbrunnen (3 nights) Lucerne (2 nights) and fly out of Zurich.

Is this doable or am I doing too much in too little time? Should I skip Florence and add a day each to Rome and Venice? I also need help with the following:

1)What is the best way/route to get from Venice to the BO by train?

2)Does anyone have any recommendations for hotels in each of these cities? Our budget is low, around 100 EUR per night. Nothing fancy, location should be reasonable, ensuite bathroom and breakfast. Is this possible?

Nothing is set in stone yet, so your valuable suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, Sharon
sharon1306 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Sounds yummy and very doable. I've never gone from Venice to Switzerland, so I will let others advise on connections.

However, let me make one suggestion. There is a lot more to Italy that the Big Three of Rome, Florence, and Venice. It's true you can't do everything, but I think it would be a shame not to experience a few days in Italy's hilltowns. I recommend cutting either Florence or Venice, renting a car, and spending 2-3 days in the hilltowns of Tuscany and Umbria. Not only will it give you a more robust taste of Italy, it will give you a break from the crush and chaos of Italy's big cities.

But your itinerary as-is is certainly no slouch, so it's just something to think about.
Edward2005 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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I think the Italy part of your itinerary is great. I would definitely visit Rome, Florence and Venice and think you have about the right amount of time for each. While the villages of Italy are wonderful, I suggest saving that for next time - it is hard to fit everything into 10 days.
mamc is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 06:48 AM
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Hi sharon1306,

Sorry, can't comment on the Italy portion.

For your train journey from Venice to Lauterbrunnen, the trip will be long -- like 7h30 or 10h, depending on the time you leave. I think the "best" route would be the quickest.

I investigated budget airlines for the route at whichbudget.com. Although the whichbudget site lists the route from Venice to Zurich on Helvetic, the Helvetic site doesn't have that route, so it must have been cancelled recently. There is a route from Venice to Geneva on Flyaboo, but then you still have the 3h30 trip from Geneva to Lauterbrunnen.

Or you may want to break up your journey to add in a day or two at the Italian Lakes.

Or you may want to skip Switzerland this trip and return when you can really enjoy it --

Rail schedules at www.rail.ch.

swandav2000 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Hi there, Sharon --

I would recommend skipping Rome this time simply because it's much further south of your other destinations. Because of that, you will spend a fair amount of time travelling down there... and many others will agree, Venice is not to be missed.

We concentrated on the north last summer and will be doing the south this year. So, you might consider saving Rome for a future trip and spread those 4 days between the cities you have planned already. Adding time to Florence so you can see a bit of Tuscany would be a great use of that time...

Good luck! -- Heather.
hlocke1 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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You might reduce the Rome visit by one day. Two nights in Florence is plenty unless you are an art fanatic. Four nights in Venice is fine as it's pretty pricey. Since you are young, you might want to stop in Milan for some nightlife to break up the long train ride after Venice, or as swandav suggested, stop in the Lakes somewhere.

I like to plan my trips around the train schedule so I would suggest doing that first to make sure you want to do that long trek from Venice to Lauterbrunnen. We are flying into and out of Zurich ourselves in September and will be traveling by train from Portofino to Lucerne, which is a long ride, but we are stopping in Lugano for a long lunch to break it up.
Desert_Sue is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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As was mentioned, Venice to Lauterbrunnen is a long haul. So,...

....I would cut a night from Rome, a night from Venice (or two nights from Rome), and stop for two days between Venice and Lauterbrunnen -- in Lugano. Right on the main Italy/Swiss train route.
metlc is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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4 nights in Venice is too much.
2 days you've seen it. You may want to spend some time on the beaches of the Adriatic.
weareback is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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I would spend 3 nights in Rome and only 2 in Venice. I would definitely visit Siena.

You can fly on Volareweb.com for $50 one way including all fees and taxes.

Have fun. We spent 13 days in Italy last year and are going back next April but also trying to fit in Austria.
mnatella is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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Regarding Venice, most of the advice above is good advice. You can probably get a good feel for Venice with two full days.

Stopping at Lake Lugano ( or maybe Maggiore) would be a nice break in an otherwise long train trip.
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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I think your plans sound fine with the exception of breaking up the Venice to Lauterbrunnen trip by spending a night in the Lakes region.

I also agree that seeing some of the small towns in Italy would be wonderful but you can't do it all. I'd suggest Rome 3 nights, Florence 3 nights (with a day trip to Siena), Venice 3 nights, the lakes region 1 night, Lauterbrunnen 3 nights and Lucerne 2 nights.

I haven't been to Switzerland, I'm going in July and just today I booked my Lucerne hotel, based on recommendations on this board. It's the Goldener-Stern and it's in your price range. Can't help you with Lauterbrunnen as we are staying in Interlaken.

For Venice, September is high season so 100€ will be a little harder but still possible. I can highly recommend the Hotel Violino D'Oro but I was there in July and their prices were much higher in September. I've also stayed at the Hotel Canal and Walter, but that might also be higher in September. For Florence I stayed at the Hotel Desire which I think might be just under your price range in September. I really liked all of those hotels. In Rome we stayed at the Hotel Picaso but it was only so-so (and it was 150 for a quad in July).

Sounds like a great trip.
isabel is online now  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 11:16 PM
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Thank you for all your valuable suggestions... My head is reeling with all the possibilities now.

Edward2005, as it is our first trip to Italy, I thought we'd concentrate on the Big Three because we really only have 10 days in Italy. As tempting as it may be to throw in a couple of hill-towns, I think its probably better to save them for a future trip like mamc has suggested.

Swandav and desert sue, I think the best thing would be to drop a day in venice, and add it to the lake regions, thus breaking up the journey from Venice to Lauterbrunnen. We aren't big art fans, so 2 nights in Florence should serve okay, and we can't cut a night in Rome because our flight arrives in Rome at around 3 P.M. which leaves us with just two and a half actual days. Cutting a night in Venice would be better as some of you suggested, I suppose.

Finally, Isabel, thank you for your hotel suggestions. I will definitely look into them. I haven't actually started scouring for hotels within our budget just yet, I thought I'd get my itinerary straight first.

I so appreciate all the suggestions. My husband has left all the planning to me... I'm the more resourceful and patient one between the two of us. I guess I should also mention that this is sort of a delayed honeymoon.

sharon1306 is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2005, 02:04 AM
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Like the others, I think your itinerary is very good.

One thing no one else has seemed to mention so I thought I would throw it out is that if you still wanted to go directly from Venice to Lauterbrunnen, there is the possibility of a night train. There is an overnight train leaving Venice Mestre station at 23:05 and arriving at Brig,Switzerland at 6:15. Brig is on one of a couple of different possible routes from Venice to Lauterbrunnen with the train.

The advantages to this that I see for you is that most likely the cost of 2 beds on the train will be less than a hotel in either location as you mentioned you are on a budget and since you have only 2 weeks, you would not lose a day to travelling the rails.

Finally, while sleeping on trains is not for everyone and is not the most comfortable experience in the world, it certainly does work and being that you are both in your twenties, you should be able to adapt just fine!

By the way I also agree with one of the previous posters, 4 nights in Venice may be a bit much if you only have 2 weeks. The island of Venice is itself not a very large place.
adwinn is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2005, 07:50 AM
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Adwinn's suggestion -- sleeping on the train -- is doable. (We did that from Venice to Vienna.) In any case, get a couple bottles of Prosecco in Venice for the train.

However, in your case: Unless you are in a screaming hurry to get to Lauterbrunnen, I think you would be more comfortable staying overnight at the Hotel Montarina in Lugano. It's walking distance (1/4 mile) from the train station and city trolley. The rooms are decent and about the same cost as the overnight supplement on the train. You can eat at one of Lugano's lakeside plaza cafes. And, believe it or not, you'll be in Switzerland too.

metlc is offline  
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