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Looking for quaint Italian villages close to the major cities

Looking for quaint Italian villages close to the major cities

Sep 1st, 2003, 09:47 AM
  #1  
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Looking for quaint Italian villages close to the major cities

We're planning our first trip to Italy and Switzerland. Our experience in Europe has taught us that our family enjoys staying in the quaint villages that are accessible via a short train ride to the city. We want to do a one week rental in Switzerland (no clue where yet, but want something central for day trips), one week in Northern Italy and one week in Southern Italy (again, in a location where day trips to the metro areas are possible).

I haven't been to the site in a long time, but Fodorites always steer me in the right direction.

Thanks.
Jayne11159 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2003, 09:51 AM
  #2  
cmt
 
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Which cities are you trying to be near?
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Sep 1st, 2003, 09:56 AM
  #3  
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Italy - Probably Milan or Genoa and Rome or Naples. Switzerlan - we're open as long as we can easily get to the Alps.
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Sep 1st, 2003, 10:09 AM
  #4  
cmt
 
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I'm trying to avoid staying in Milan myself. I don't know about "villages," but some smaller cities where you might stay very near Milan are Bergamo or Pavia, and a smaller town very near might be Vigevano. I have never been to Pavia, but one of these days I'll go there after arriving in Milan or before departing. I've been to Bergamo, but haven't stayed overnight. I think it would be a lovely place to stay. On my next trip I plan to spend my last night in Vigevano, a town that my Milanese friends recommend highly.
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Sep 1st, 2003, 10:59 AM
  #5  
 
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We enjoyd Orvieto and Assisi near Rome.
Apfenzell in Switzerland (the whole region...but not sure which big cities you want to be near. It is in the Alps
ekellyga is offline  
Sep 1st, 2003, 11:14 AM
  #6  
cmt
 
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P.S. I was assuming you meant VERY near the major cities. There are many many places a reasonable day trip away, but not necessarily very near.
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Sep 1st, 2003, 01:27 PM
  #7  
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We don't mind a one hour train trip into the cities. The laid-back pace and friendly locals are worth the trade in convenience!
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Sep 2nd, 2003, 05:08 AM
  #8  
 
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Hi Jayne11159,

For the Swiss portion of your trip, I can suggest either Rapperswil on the southern end of Lake Zurich (www.rapperswil.ch/11_English/intro_englisch.html) or one of the villages of Lake Luzern, like Weggis (www.weggis.ch) or Vitznau (www.vitznau.ch).

I spent a few hours in Rapperswil this June, and I fell in love with its lakeside and the charming town. I?ll definitely return there, and I think it would be lovely for several days. In addition, I spent three days in Weggis in November 2002 and I thought it was charming though it was actually too small for my taste.

I?m having some trouble reconciling your desire for a smaller town with your desire for a convenient base for day-trips. Staying in Weggis will add 20-30 minutes each way to your train excursions, which already can range to three hours each way to the Berner Oberland or Vaud or the Ticino. Weggis should be ok for excursions to Bern, and of course for the nearby peaks of Rigi, Titlis, and Pilatus.

Similarly, the trip from Rapperswil to Grindelwald will take four hours each way and to Montreux will be almost as long. However, Rapperswil is nicely situated for excursions to Appenzell, Luzern, and Scuol. Getting to Lugano would just about stretch the limit at three hours.

You can test these journeys and research others at www.rail.ch.

I think, actually, that Rapperswil would be a good spot for your plans!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 06:06 AM
  #9  
 
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Jayne, Looks like you need more help.
Here are some options:

Luzern--stay in Weggis--boat access
Venice--stay in Bassano del Grappa

Florence--stay in Lucca and day trip to Pisa and Cinque Terre as well

Rome--stay in Orvieto an hour by train, or Tivoli--bus connections in :45

Milan an Genoa--forget them for this trip. They remind me of Chicago and Baltimore.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 06:14 AM
  #10  
DRJ
 
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I've stayed a few days in Bergamo aat Hotel Gourmet, a nice, relatively isolated inn. Bergamo Alta is a charming town with a terrific central square. Its an easy train hop to Milan.
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