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Need Help on Itinerary....Driving from Venice...then to Florence...then th Cinque Terrre

Need Help on Itinerary....Driving from Venice...then to Florence...then th Cinque Terrre

Old Mar 11th, 2000, 09:01 AM
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Need Help on Itinerary....Driving from Venice...then to Florence...then th Cinque Terrre

We wil be flying in to Milan ..mid May and picking up a car.

It is getting late( we have our plane tickets) and I need to Finalize our itinerary so that I can make hotel reservations

We are thinking

Venice 3 nights
Florence 4 nights
Cinque Terre 3 nights
"OPEN" 3 nights
Milan 1 night

Does this make sense?

Since we will be flying in and out of Milan we want to spend the last night in Milan.
But we will still have 3 additional days( more or less if we change our basic itinerary.

Thanks, all, for your input.
Old Mar 11th, 2000, 04:55 PM
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I'm not an expert, but I have a similar itinerary planned for July, except in reverse order. I wish I had an extra three days! From what I've read, the Lake Como area is wonderful. That's how I would spend my extra time.

Have fun!

If you need suggestions on hotels, e-mail me.

Old Mar 12th, 2000, 05:27 AM
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I had a similar trip in '98. I would spend the time in Venice and Florance, probbly tour around Tuscany. I would use the Cinque Terre to unwind, very quiet and beautiful..probably 3 days might be too much. If you feel up to it, a trip up to Aosta in the Itallian Alps would be fun! There is a beautful national park near Aosta(Can not remember the name right now!) or yu can head up into the town of Courmyeur (sp?) We left Courmyeur at 6 am and still made our flight which was leaving at 10 am in Milan
Old Mar 12th, 2000, 07:04 AM
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Dick, That is a good itinerary you have
and your last stop is an obvious choice.
Malpensa airport is 30 Miles NW of Milan
and you are as close to it if you stay
at Lago Maggigore---Stresa is less than
an hour drive. Go to www.stresa.net for
your hotel choices. You will love the
area, and try to hit Lago Orta as a day
trip. The Lakes are my top destination
in Italy--and that says alot.
Old Mar 12th, 2000, 12:17 PM
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Your basic itinerary looks all right. I wouldn't change it. I would reserve one of this nights for Siena (I'm strongly biased . I would reserve a 2nd one in Lucca. This would enable you to visit San Gimignano and or Volterra on your way from Siena if you wish. From Lucca to the Cinque Terre you may visit Pisa. This would leave you with a single night to spare.

In my opinion, though, the first question you should make yourself, Dick, is why you want a car to travel between Malpensa and Venice and then on to Florence ... If you can't find any good answer, having a car will be a waste of resources. It won't serve you in Venice ... neither in Florence, meaning that your car will be in a garage a minimum of 7 days (expect to spend around Lit 250,000 for parking during these days)... Add about Lit 100,000 gas, Lit 50,000 toll and a week car rental and compare it with Milan Centrale bus transfer + train costs (which I would estimate at Lit 90,000/person 2nd class and Lit 140,000/person 1st class; InterCity train from Milan to Venice and EuroStar train from Venice to Florence - less if you take an InterCity from Venice to Florence). Chances are that getting the car in Florence instead would make sense.

Well, let's say you have some fly & drive deal and that chopping off a week rental wouldn't make that much of a difference. Let's also assume that there are at least 3 of you. Even in this situation it wouldn't make much sense using a car if you don't plan to visit some sites on your way. Verona (from Milan to Venice) and Ravenna or Ferrara (from Venice to Florence) could be thought as candidates. Not to cramp things too much, you should plan to spend a night in at least one of this cities ...

What if you indeed decide renting the car only in Florence and doing the Milan-Venice-Florence piece by train? I would add another night in Siena and make a daytour to Southern Tuscany (Montepulciano, Pienza, and the like) or spend a day touring the Chianti district.


Old Mar 12th, 2000, 01:38 PM
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We completed a similar trip in October. We used a car the entire time. Regardless of what Paulo says, the car is easier to use than public transportation. The extra cost is worth the flexibility. Plus, your hotel in Venice will probably have a coupon to help with parking in Venice. Ask for it.

I would spend some of your extra time in the lakes area, not Milan. Nav Bob is correct. We spent our last three nights in Bellagio on Lake Como and had an easy drive into Milan Malpensa for trip home. Area is very beautiful and we probably enjoyed it more than the Cinque Terre area. I would do Bellagio for the final 3 days.

Old Mar 19th, 2000, 02:51 PM
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I'm doing a similar trip in May. How long does it take to get from Milan Malpensa airport to Bellagio? What is the best mode of transportation. (Per Paulo's suggestion and from what I've heard, I don't think I'll be renting a car until I get to Florence). If Milan Malpensa is 30 miles NW of Milan, it doesn't make sense to go down to Milan to train up to Bellagio (or como). Is there an alternate route?
Old Mar 20th, 2000, 04:22 AM
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The driving time from Malpensa to Bellagio should read a shade over one hour. I have no idea if there's a bus service from the airport to the lake. If there isn't, your only other option without going into Milan would be a taxi. Someone here in the forum arranged with the hotel in the lake to be picked up by a taxi and paid Lit 300,000 + tip.

I agree with Bob that in general a car is easier than public transportation and that the extra cost more often than not is worth the flexibility. I ALWAYS use a car myself, independently of the extra cost, and have payed garages in Venice and Florence many many times. Were I to fly into Milan, from there to Venice, from there to Florence and then home though, I certainly would use public transportation.

In your case, Scott, I would also try to avoid going into Milan (till you get to your hotel you'd probably spend 3+ hours and a lot of luggage handling - bus shuttle - train to Como and taxi/bus/boat to the hotel). I would therefore think of eitherrenting right away (what the heck or using a taxi. Then I would start telling myself that having a car in Bellagio wouldn't hurt either (I would certainly find out something to do with it). Then I would start to consider stopping somewhere on my way from Bellagio to Venice and from Venice to Florence ... Knowing myself, I would end up renting a car all the way

In short, I still think Dick shouldn't rent a car unless he really doesn't mind the high cost for "little" flexibility. You certainly would have reasons to rent than he does, Scott


Old Mar 21st, 2000, 10:52 AM
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Paulo, thanks for your advice. I think we will rent a car now. However, based on the info. you gave someone in the forum regarding the difficulty of parking in Florence, do you think we should stay outside of Florence? Our original plan was:
4 nights in Bellagio
3 nights in Florence
2 nights in Cinque Terre (possibly portonevere) and 1 night in Milan (so that we are close to the airport). Does that sound like too much? My brother just got back from Switzerland and has warned us against doing too much traveling. Should we spend all 3 nights that we were going to spend in Florence in Siena instead? What area outside of Florence do you enjoy most?

Old Mar 21st, 2000, 02:11 PM
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Scott, I visited Florence twice on daytrips. Both times I simply parked the car at a curbside 1 mile or so from the old town centre. Cheap, no hassle, no time lost looking for parking ... So, in general I don't recommend daytrip visitors to Florence (specially those visiting 2 or 3 times in subsequent days) to drive into the old city and start looking for parking.

Now, when staying in town, things are quite different. There's luggage to be handled and I wouldn't be confortable leaving my car somewhere where I can't keep an eye on it from time to time during 2/3 days. Also, one has to go through the hassle of driving into town only once

The first time up, I drove to the hotel and then went about looking for somewhere to dump it ... it took me more than an hour to return to the hotel and I promised myself that I would do it differently the next time up Since, I've learned that the best way is to discuss the subject with the hotel, on booking ...

If you don't mind spending about Lit 120,000 to take care of your car during the 3 days you'll be there, just tell the hotel that you want THEM to provide for a garage, that you want the car to be picked up/delivered at the hotel, and ask how much this is going to cost. Last time up, the hotel quoted me Lit 35,000/day. When we arrived, they called the garage and they came on a scooter in no more than 15 minutes. The garage clerk asked me if I would use the car while in Florence ... I figured that if he was asking me, a negative answer would be to his advantage. I therefore told him that I wouldn't only if he gave me a nice discout We ended up settling for Lit 80,000 for the 3 days (they actually took our car out of town, instead of using up precious garage space in town). The only caution I had to take was to ask for the car 1 1/2 hours before departure, to have it delivered in time.


Old Mar 21st, 2000, 03:49 PM
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Just one more vote for a night in Verona and then to Bellagio or wherever you want to go in the lakes. You can stop on the train in Verona and walk or get a taxi to the center of town. It's a wonderful city and worth a stop.

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