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Looking for true relaxation ... Lake Como or Amalfi Coast? Or France?

Looking for true relaxation ... Lake Como or Amalfi Coast? Or France?

May 8th, 2012, 04:35 PM
  #1  
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Looking for true relaxation ... Lake Como or Amalfi Coast? Or France?

Hello, My husband and I work very long hours so we are really looking to relax and have time together as a family, and enjoy nature, scenery, good food, sun, pool, and we want the ambiance of a wonderfully secluded place - but then we also want to be near shops, restaurants, and activities so we can have activities to do when we feel like getting out and about on our upcoming vacation. Does anyone have a strong opinion of whether Lake Como or Amalfi Coast is better for this kind of ambiance? OR - let me throw in a third destination -- a week spent part time in Aix-En-Provence & other part in Cassis? Thank you!
hpluss1 is offline  
May 8th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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When is your trip? How long will you be gone? Have you been to any of these places before?

I guess I would suggest Lake Como which offers all of the things you have mentioned you want to do.
mamcalice is offline  
May 8th, 2012, 04:47 PM
  #3  
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Our trip will be in early July. We haven't been to any of those places before! Would love to go to all 3, haha . We only have a week to travel though.
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May 8th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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When you say family, does that mean you have kids? Do you need activities for many ages or just the two of you?
Dayle is offline  
May 8th, 2012, 06:12 PM
  #5  
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Yes, I have one baby. He is 8 months old and we're bringing him with us. I feel crazy saying this, but we really love Italy, want to go back, and so we're looking for a way to travel there with baby. I'm trying to pretend I have family in Italy/France so have to visit them... even though I don't! I do have a lot of friends there but may not see them unless we stop over in Milan for a few nights. We're looking to relax, without renting a car, and have our baby enjoy a pool and some fresh air walks in the baby carrier. The more I read about Lake Como the more I think we would need a car . . . Doesn't sound like we'd need one in southern Italy though or in France. I just read about Liguria and that also sounds nice and like we could swim, relax, shop, and eat well without a car.
hpluss1 is offline  
May 8th, 2012, 08:13 PM
  #6  
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I guess I should also revise title to: as much relaxation as is possible with a baby. And that hours of activity on our vacation days will be 7am to 9pm, ha. Thanks .
hpluss1 is offline  
May 8th, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Since you're looking at July I recommend Lake Como. We didn't rent a car while we stayed in Varenna. There are boats that will take you to the different places on the lake. You will need to look for a hotel with a pool.

I don't know the weather in July for Capri, but I think it would be hot there since it's southern Italy.

Both locations are beautiful and relaxing.
luvtotravel is offline  
May 8th, 2012, 11:55 PM
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You are going in July - one of the hottest months in Italy and travelling with a baby. So in this case (I can't believe I am actually writing this) you should stay in one place since you only have one week. The places you mentioned are all far from each other, so you would have long distances to travel if you do choose more than one place.

It is not easy at all to find a "wonderfully secluded place" in the heart of the Amalfi coast. It would be so crowdy and hot in July. The only exception might be that you find a nice high class hotel like in Ravello - maybe Hotel Villa Fraulo - that has all the amenities like pool etc, and then tour around the coast when you wish to. But I do not know whether I would do that holiday in July with a baby.

A long long time ago when my first child was a baby we had gone to a resort hotel in Sicily and stayed there for a week. It was perfect as we could relax, have fun in activities like keep fit classes etc, huge pools animation etc, and a short bus ride to town. So very relaxing.

You might find new resorts like this in northern Italy and also in the south. Two resorts I had checked some time ago, and would be interested in visiting is Borgo Ignazia in Puglia as I have never been to this region in Italy, and Verdura Golf and Spa resort in Sicily. A good option might be the Casta Diva Hotel in Como, it does seem lovely - lakefront and has a pool. They are all high-end, but they seem lovely if you can afford it.

Again, I do suggest you find a nice resort with beautiful ambience close to a nice town and stay in one place.

When you decide on a region (sorry but I have not yet been to south of France) I would gladly research on a good hotel/resort for you.

Enjoy your trip!!!
Anna_Galea is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 03:33 AM
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You might want to consider the Ligurian Coast, perhaps with a base in Santa Margherita Ligure.
(I agree with Anna about the Amalfi Coast not being the best idea, due to the difficulty of getting from place to place, and the steps).

If you take a hotel in SML, you have a large seacoast town to explore, you can take short bus and train rides to other places of interest, and most important, you can walk on flat surfaces along the beautiful costal pathway all the way south to Paraggi and to Portofino.

Beaches are beautiful (Paraggi is divine!), food is good, transport is easy, and there is an ample supply of hotels with swimming pools in various price ranges, including, if your want to splurge, the GH Miramare with a heated pool.


Paraggi:

http://www.bagnifiore.it/paraggi1.htm

http://www.grandhotelmiramare.it/

Less pricey, with pool:

http://www.metropole.it/en?id=



Anna's suggestion of Borgo Egnazia in Puglia is also a good one, but you will need a car to get around.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 04:20 AM
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Thanks everyone! Ekscrunchy, that sounds nice. Are there any parks in Santa Margherita di Ligure? I'd love to be able to have a little picnic and let our baby play around under the shade of some trees. @Anna, those resorts sound wonderful but maybe for next year, I think we need to save more money for those!! In general, I'd love to do Como but all the hotels with nice pools sound too expensive. I like Belvedere but it's expensive and they only have a few days available. I guess we could do half at Belvedere and half at another hotel on the lake, maybe in Tremezzo or Varenna? Do you have any suggestions for that?
hpluss1 is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 04:25 AM
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@Ekscrunchy - I read your Liguria trip report. What if we did 4 days at Metropole and 4 days at Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi? Is Cenobio ok for babies ? Are there any parks? It sounds nice to have a pedestrian-only town square.
hpluss1 is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 04:26 AM
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The Ligurian coast is beautiful, though in my experience it's not as "relaxing" as the Lakes. It's busier. I wrote a whole book about mostly Liguria, and it's definitely my personal favorite (http://travelswithgeorge.com). I would say there is open space, there's a whole series of hikes above Portofino, but small open space, not wide open parks. If that helps. Wherever you decide, it will be great!!
TravelsWithGeorge is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 04:27 AM
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As a note, I talk about the Bagni Fiore in my book, though I don't name them.
TravelsWithGeorge is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 04:42 AM
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You could consider checking slightly north, into Switzerland's Ticino - perhaps Ascona. Or even Lugano - if budget allows, the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola fits your brief (and remember, you can swim in the lake as well as the hotel pool). We like Lugano (going there in May and June) because it isn't completely tourist-focused, has plenty of amenities, but the quieter areas away from the main part of the Lugano city lakefront are serene with fabulous views. Public transport in Switzerland is highly rated for good reason -- there is an excellent bus network serving the Lugano area plus trains to many other destinations.

The places you have on your list are all lovely but will be quite busy in July.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...wiss_Alps.html
FoFoBT is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 06:54 AM
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This place has rooms in Varenna. http://www.hotelvillacipressi.it/eng...ard_rooms.html So maybe we can do a few days here and some days at Hotel Belvedere in Bellagio? It's so hard to say "we wont' move at all". I think if we're not going to move rooms at all then we'll have to save Lake Como for another time, because it's too expensive to stay 6 days at any of the hotels with pools.
hpluss1 is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 07:00 AM
  #16  
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@FoFOBT Villa Castagnola looks AMAZING! It's a little out of our budget for this summer, but I'm adding it to the list of hotels to save up for on a future visit. I think it'll be wonderful when our baby's a little older and can enjoy running around those beautiful fields and swimming in the lake. I've always wanted to visit Lugano: majestic mountains, pristine lake, and everyone speaks Italian. Sounds like the perfect place
hpluss1 is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 07:10 AM
  #17  
 
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"My husband and I work very long hours so we are really looking to relax and have time together as a family, and enjoy nature, scenery, good food, sun, pool, and we want the ambiance of a wonderfully secluded place - but then we also want to be near shops, restaurants, and activities so we can have activities to do when we feel like getting out and about on our upcoming vacation."

I would recommend Lake Como, any of its towns over Amalfi Coast. Lake Como has all listed above and it's also much cooler than Amalfi, you can do day trips from there if you want to hike, shop, etc or stay in and relax and enjoy the scenery.
pookymimi is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 07:24 AM
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hpluss:

The grounds of the Metropole in SML are almost parklike.

Lake Como is wonderful! Take the train from Milan to Varenna/Esino and use the ferries for transport around the lake.
Weekender is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 07:31 AM
  #19  
 
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Just my two cents:

I would also pick Como over Amalfi, particularly in the summer when Amalfi is SO crowded. We had a car, but getting from town to town was hair-raising at best, and that was in the off-season.
Last fall we stayed in Fiumelatte, just outside of Varenna, and it was perfect. Incredible views, lakefront promenades (for walking with baby), benches to sit in, and generally must less crowded and touristy than Bellagio. Easy boat rides though, to Bellagio & Lenno, a very nice way I would think to spend a hot afternoon. Enjoy!
Maria_G is offline  
May 9th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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We are having our first visit to Lake Como in September, and are staying in Cadanabbia. Hpluss1, I am thinking it might be an option for you.
To you Como experts out there, I found cheaper options around that area of Cadanabbia, is it generally so?
Although I know there is a ferry very close by that goes to Varenna and to Bellagio, how easy is it to get to the west side of the lake upon arrival? Any suggestions?
We are arriving there from Lugano, and there seems to be a bus from Lugano to Menaggio but I can't seem to confirm that.

Although Cadenabbia seems small with not a lot of shops or things to do, Menaggio and Tremezzo are close by. How are the transportation links to these places?
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