Lake Como or the Dolomites

Oct 21st, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Lake Como or the Dolomites

The last few days of our European holiday will be spent heading north to get to Frankfurt. The last night will be in Frankfurt. After we leave Florence we have three days open. Since my wife and I will be "citied out" and love scenery and hiking, I have narrowed the choices down to the Dolomites or Lake Como. I am looking for your advice.
Thanks, Jeff
zurichhasbean is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 06:07 PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with either of these choices. I have not been to the Dolomites for ages but spent 3 days at Lake Como a couple of years ago and thought it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. We stayed in Varenna at the Hotel du Lac (there are lots of Hotel du Lacs around the lake naturally)and were very pleased. If you are citied out then this is the place for you. We came from 10 days in Paris and really enjoyed the change of pace. Great restaurants, walks, ferry rides and the scenery, well what can I say, absolutely magical.
Good luck with your choice, Schnauzer
schnauzer is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 06:28 PM
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Keith and I are staying in Varenna this July. We want to stay 5 nights and 3 nights in Milan. We were also thinking about taking the train to St. Moritz. Do you recommend that? Or should we stay closer to Lake Como for an extra 3 nights. I will take recommendations, sweetie darling.

The Great and Powerful Thingorjus
marginal_margiela is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 06:49 PM
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What month?
Jean is online now  
Oct 21st, 2007, 07:24 PM
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I stayed at hotel du Lac in varenna for 3 nights in September and loved it. We unfortunately didn't have the best weather so I would have appreciated a couple more days to see the sun. There is plenty to keep you occupied for a week.

I also skiied in the Dolomites but have not been there in summer. It is beautiful scenery and I believe the hiking would be great.

Which ever you choose you won't go wrong.

Thin - I can't wait to see people advise you that 3 nights in Milan is 2 nights too many. Personally I love Milan and could easily spend more time there, especially if you like fashion, design, art and opera.

(oh and the night life is quite good too).
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 07:41 PM
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I should have included that we will be there at the end of July.
zurichhasbean is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:54 AM
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Hi Jeff - For glorious scenery and hiking you really can't beat the Dolomites.

Head for the Val Gardena/ Alpe di Siusi area. Or Val Badia. Or Castelrotto ...

Really you're spoilt for choice ...

If you're into serious hiking, check out the Vie Ferrate routes -

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:57 AM
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I agree with Steve. The Dolomites probably will be somewhat less crowded than the Lake Como area in July. Many of the hiking trails are in the winter ski areas and it is easy to take a cable car to the top and walk down. There are may places to eat and an abundance of markets where you can purchase supplies for a day of hiking and picnics.

The only downside to driving in the area is the large number of motorcycle touring groups who will be going by. (Also, give way to buses at hairpin turns.) We found that waving the motorcycles by and offering to take group pictures was a great way to make friends, some of whom are still email correspondents.

The only place where you are likely to find crowding is Cortina D'Ampezzo. We now try to avoid it, perhaps unreasonably comparing it to the rest of the area.
Jeff801 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:48 AM
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If you were to drive straight through, Florence-Frankfurt, it'd take a long full day - about 10 hours. If it were me, I'd try to break it up into two half days or so. That'd be The Lakes.

The Dolomites idea takes you away from a direct route, thereby increasing your drive time and you might be soon "highwayed out". (You'd have an all-day drive Cortina-Frankfurt.)

BTW, we were in the Val Gardena on a Sunday one time and know ALL about those motorcycle groups - yech!
TuckH is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Can someone please tell me what is so great about Varenna? Thanks ps I read about it and went there and was so disappointed.
kraines is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:31 AM
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I haven't been to Como, but I consider the Dolomites one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the area offers wonderful hiking opportunities.

One area of the Dolomites is not at all out of the way or off the direct route from Florence to Frankfurt. The E/35 and E45 will take them right to Bolzano. Some of the nicest areas of the Dolomites (Val Gardena) are very close by. If you want to avoid the motorcycles, you could go up to Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm. The meadow area is off-limits to private vehicles in the summer, except for a quick trip to get to your hotel. There are several very nice hikes in the area, including a challenging circumambulation of Sassolungo and Sassopiatto. Or a ridgetop hike with an overnight at the Bolzanohütte---a very beautiful spot.

From Bolzano it's a quick drive Europabrucke to Innsbruck and on into Germany.

If they go to Como, the most direct route from there goes via Switzerland---which probably means lots of tunnels.
enzian is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Scenery and relaxing = Lake Como (although there are some very nice hiking opportunities)

Scenery and hiking = Dolomites (although you can also relax and just soak in the view)

Tough call.
Jean is online now  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 02:19 PM
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Well, sweetie darling, I have been to Milano a few times when I worked in the fashion biz. I really want to return to look up an old friend (No, not Hannibal Lechter).

Cousin Muffy has a ski chalet in Cortina, but I have never been there in the summer. The area is very beautiful. Keith and I would go there, but Muffy would want to come and cause all sorts of problems for us.

marginal_margiela is offline  
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