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Itinerary Verona/Lake Garda->Italian Riviera

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Sep 17th, 2016, 11:20 AM
  #1
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Itinerary Verona/Lake Garda->Italian Riviera

We are booked for 10 days in June 2017-flying into Venice and out of Florence from E Coast of US. We do not plan to rent a car, and 3 out of the 4 of our party have already visited Venice and Florence.

Trying to structure our itinerary and I'm trying to decide on where to stay. My thoughts are:

Day 1~Arrive VCE in afternoon (stay one night Venice, or train to Vicenza? Verona?)
Day 2~VERONA
Day 3~VERONA
Day 4~VERONA
Day 5~VERONA then train to PESCHIARA DEL GARDA, DESENZANO?
Day 6~PESCHIARA DEL GARDA
Day 7~PESCHIARA DEL GARDA train to CINQUE TERRE (5hrs! or train only to Genoa and stay one O/N?)
Day 8~CINQUE TERRE
Day 9~CINQUE TERRE
Day 10~train CT to Florence
Day 11~Depart FLR

My questions are should we stay in Verona for a couple nights then move to Peschiera Del Garda area? Or stay longer in Peschiera del Garda? We would want to consider day trips Vicenza, Mantua, Sirmione?
or2nh4me2 is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2016, 01:11 PM
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I really dislike one-night stays, so I would probably travel onward to Verona after landing. The one person who hasn't been to Venice is not going get a sense of the place in a few afternoon hours and an evening and should plan on visiting Venice another time. I also wouldn't stay in Genova for one night on the way to the Cinque Terre. Not that Genova isn't a great place to visit, but it's back to my dislike of one-night stays...

You should organize your sightseeing day-by-day to know how to allocate your hotel nights. Vicenza and Mantova are closer to Verona, and you could easily spend a day or more exploring Verona.

I'm not that enamored of the southern end of Lake Garda. If you want to explore the lake by ferry, here's this year's summer timetable for reference purposes.

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/g_dow...i%20Rapidi.pdf
Jean is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2016, 01:13 PM
  #3
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Thanks Jean!
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Sep 17th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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First - what about the poor person in your group who HASN'T been to Venice? I think Venice is worth at least one or two nights even if you have been there before, and then that other person gets to see it.

photos of Venice - www.pbase.com/annforcier/italy__venezia

Then I'd do three nights in Verona if you plan to do a couple of day trips to Vicenza and Mantua.

For Lake Garda the towns on the lower part of the lake are not the best. It really is much more scenic on the top half. It would be pretty easy to take the train from Verona to Desenzano and then the ferry up to Malcesine or Limone. I did that with luggage (one 21" rolling bag and a tote bag) and it was no problem to walk to the ferry from the train and then take the ferry. The only place on the lower end of the lake that I thought was really worthwhile was Sirmione and that would be harder to do from a base in the north. I did Sirmione as a day trip from Verona on one trip, and then did another trip a couple years later and stayed in Malcesine for three days. (here's my trip report that incudes the three days on Lake Garda - http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nd-castles.cfm) And while I did like Sirmione, it was very touristy and crowded. And you do get to see it from the water on the ferry ride up to the northern half. And of course you can do a day trip from a base in one of the northern towns, but with only three days there is plenty to do up there.

Photos of Lake Garda - http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/italian_lakes


So if you have 10 nights I guess I'd suggest 2 Venice, 3 Verona, 3 Lake Garda, 3 CT.

There are galleries of photos for all the places you are asking about on the site I linked to above. And if you click my name there are also trip reports to all those places.

Those are my among my favorite places in Italy. Have fun.
isabel is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2016, 03:15 PM
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I'd do this in reverse order, but I see your flights are booked.

I am a bit confused as to why you are shifting from Verona to Peschiera del Garda when it's only 15 minutes by train from Verona to P del G. I'm assuming you have a hotel that you are longing to try in P del G?

I'd consider putting two nights in Florence at the end of the trip. In strike-prone Italy, I have found it useful to have a buffer of a day or so, to allow for contingencies like the ever popular one-day sciopero . And Florence is your air departure gateway. But you may be less nervous than I am about such things.

I like the first night in Venice because it's nice to relax after coming in on a flight. I'm assuming that you will take a relatively late afternoon train to Verona on the second day, to allow a tad more time in Venice for the person who hasn't seen it (?)

Enjoy your trip.
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Sep 18th, 2016, 09:42 AM
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Thank you all for the ideas. Based on your input, we will spend our time in the Lake Garda area in Malcesine or Limione. BUT, WHERE TO STAY DAY 7??? I don't think a marathon day of ferry + train travel makes sense, so I think we need to stay somewhere along the train lines for one night. Genoa would be a possibility, and it looks like Parma might work as well. SUGGESTIONS?

Itinerary would look more like this:

Day 1 Arrive Venice afternoon->train to Verona
Day 2 Verona
Day 3 Verona
Day 4 Train + Ferry to Malcesine
Day 5 Malcesine
Day 6 Malcesine
Day 7 ???
Day 8 CT
Day 9 CT
Day10 Train CT to Florence
Day11 Depart Florence
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Sep 18th, 2016, 10:15 AM
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I really dislike one-night stays, but Parma would be a logical stop. But if it was me, I'd rent a car when leaving Verona and drop it at La Spezia, then train the last bit to the CT destination. You could stop in Modena or Parma for lunch and a stroll around. Yes, you wouldn't use it much while at Malcesine, but it would make your two transfers (from Verona and to the CT) much easier.
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Sep 18th, 2016, 10:23 AM
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Hmmmm....That's something we could consider Jean. I really try my best to avoid car rentals when traveling (except for Ireland) but you are right-in this case it might make the most sense....thank you
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Sep 18th, 2016, 04:39 PM
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When you pick back-to-back destinations that are far apart both geographically and logistically, sometimes a car makes the most sense. You can check, but the overall costs of the two options could be comparable, although the parking in Malcesine could be the difference.
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Sep 18th, 2016, 05:03 PM
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Look at Il Castello in Malcesine, parking available. Lakefront. I also feel badly for the friend who isn't getting to see Venice.
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