Need Help with Italy Itinerary

Feb 20th, 2006, 12:52 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 204
Need Help with Italy Itinerary

After going back and forth, and with the suggestions of other Fodorites and reading a lot of posts, I have come up with the following itinerary for our May trip:

Fly into Rome;
Rome 4 nights
Pienza 4 nights
Santa Margherita Ligure 3 nights
Varenna 3 nights
Fly out of Milan

My questions are:
1. Is going to Santa Margherita Ligure and staying for only 3 nights too far for our itinerary? What is the best route to go there from Pienza?
2. If the answer to my first question is yes, is there any place you recommend instead?
3. Should we drop car in Santa Margherita Ligure and train to Varenna for the last 3 nights? Or should we keep the car and drive there?

Please share your opinions. Thanks!
maxi is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 04:14 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi M,

Driving times and directions are at www.viamichelin.com and www.mappy.com.

ira is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 05:58 AM
  #3  
 
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Q1. It is not the shortest way, but SML is a nice plaxe to stay and fits well in your schedule. From Pienza, you would go to Florence, then Pisa, La Spezia, up till Rapallo, a rather quiet highway.
Q2. I have been in the region, but never stayed in a hotel in SML. Just make a search on SML here on Fodors and you'll find trip reports.
Q3. Personally, I would take the car till Varenna. SML-Varenna by public transport isn't the best of connections, I would presume.
baldrick is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 06:58 AM
  #4  
 
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I like it !
Keep the car !
Drive via Lucca and A-12
See viamichelin.com
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 02:28 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for the reply. I will look into the websites for distances.

I have one trouble booking hotels though. Albergo Milano and Albergo Du Lac are fully booked. I have just emailed Villa Cipressi but I do not have much hope. What about Hotel Eremo Gaudio? Anyone stayed there?
maxi is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 10:20 PM
  #6  
 
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maxi,
if you don't find anything in sml, broaden you search and look also in rapallo which is a nice little town for an evening stroll also. or portofino if you can afford.
baldrick is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 02:10 PM
  #7  
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Even Villa Cipressi is fully booked. Am I left with no choice in Varenna except Hotel Eremo Gaudio up the town? Should I switch to another town on the lake?
maxi is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 05:24 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for your earlier suggestions.

As of now, we are thinking of driving from Pienza to SML and then from SML to Varenna. After 3 nights in Varenna, we will depart from Malpensa.

Should we drop the car in Varenna or Malpensa or where?
maxi is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 06:04 AM
  #9  
 
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I loved staying at Eremo Gaudio. Do you mind walking at bit? It's actually just up the hill from the Villa Cipressi, so you are really only walking about 4 or 5 minutes than you would have had you been able to book there. Of course, then you have to take an elevator up to the top, but I thought that was fun.

And it certainly has the best views in Varenna! When I read people constantly saying you have to stay in Bellagio, I think they just don't realize how good a view can be in Varenna.

Get a room with a balcony. Also, buy some wine in town and bring it up to the terrace to watch the sunset.

By the way, I like your plan. And yes, keep the car.

nessundorma is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 06:05 AM
  #10  
 
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Have you checked out pictures of the hotel?

http://www.eremogaudio.it/
nessundorma is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 06:21 AM
  #11  
 
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By the way, if you are still having trouble finding accommodations in Santa Margherita Ligure, try looking in Lerici or Portonvenere (not Portofino), since you have a car.
nessundorma is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 06:21 AM
  #12  
 
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Make the spelling of that Portovenere.

nessundorma is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 02:01 PM
  #13  
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Thanks!

So, we keep the car and return it at Malpensa?
maxi is offline  
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