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Northeastern Italy Itinerary Comments Please

Northeastern Italy Itinerary Comments Please

Old Mar 9th, 2012, 09:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Northeastern Italy Itinerary Comments Please

We are planning an itinerary for a visit to northeastern Italy in late Sept. - early Oct. Our preference is to stay for several nights at each location, rather than changing hotels too often, while at the same time taking day trips around to see a lot of the area's highlights. We also like to stay in city centers where we can stroll around and try different restaurants at night, but have easy highway access for day trips by car. Right now I am thinking that we will stay 4 nights in Venice, then get a rental car and head to Verona for 3 nights, then move on to Riva del Garda or somewhere else on northern Lake Garda for 3 nights. We would fly home from the Venice airport. We definitely want to see Padua , Vicenza, Verona and nearby historic villas; take a boat ride on Lake Garda; and take a day trip from Lake Garda to Balzano to see the Ice Man exhibit at the archaeology museum.
Any comments/suggestions about this itinerary?
Is Balzano a feasible day trip from Riva del Garda? What is driving time?
I have read good and bad about Riva del Garda -- is there any better option on Lake Garda that still allows a day trip to Balzano?
Any hotel suggestions in these locations?
Thanks in advance for any help!
G1andC2 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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My husband and I did a similar trip a few years ago. We flew into Venice and spent 4 nights, doing a day trip to Padua. We then took the train to Verona for 3 nights. We loved Verona, enjoying the beautiful sights as well as excellent dining. On one of our days we took the bus to Riva del Garda and then took the boat along the lake to Desenzano del Garda where we then trained back to Verona. It was a great introduction to the area so when we left Verona we headed back to Desenzano for 2 nights so we could spend another day exploring the towns along the lake. When we left Desenzano we headed to Bolzano by train, rented a car and after exploring the city headed to Castlerotto in the Dolomites for a few days before returning the car in Bolzano and moving on by train to Bressanone in Northern Italy, then on through the Brenner Pass by train to Munich for our flight home. It was a great trip and everywhere we went we could have easily spent more time--and hope to do so on future trips. I'm sure others here will help you with more details for a driving trip but it sounds like a great start to a lovely itinerary. While in Bolzano, since you will have a car, consider a short drive to a lovely castle just outside of town. It has some great murals and a movie worthy layout--if you are up to climbing a short but steep hill to see it. Nothing too intimidating but it's always good to be prepared for what you'll find when you head somewhere.
I'd have loved to fit in Vicenza as well, but we ran out of days, and it is always good to leave a reason to return. We stayed in the Hotel Giulietta in Verona and liked the location just off Piaza Bra, and near the arean. Happy planning!
ldh is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Traffic in this area is heavy, signs are terrible and parking difficult. I strongly recommend you follow ldh's plan and use train and bus except where you cannot or are comparatively out in the country. I wish I had and I will on my next trip.

Venice-Padua-Vicenza-Verona are all on the same train line, and service is fast, frequent and cheap. You can spend a night in each or make a base. Verona ia wonderful; the others are equally great, though Padua is a real city and Vicenza a smaller town.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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>>>Traffic in this area is heavy, signs are terrible and parking difficult.
phillyboy is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 04:23 PM
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Posts: 4
Thank you so much for your replies, and I welcome any other comments. We will be a party of 4, and possibly 6, adults, so we thought that doing day trips by car would be the most convenient. We have driven before in Tuscany, so we know somewhat to expect. Also, even though we will have a car, we might do some day trips by train (e.g. Verona to Vicenza), but we like the freedom that a car gives to stop and explore small towns along the way.
I am still hoping to hear comments about the feasibility of a day trip driving from Riva del Garda to Balzano and back again.
G1andC2 is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2012, 01:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 506
I am a big believer in cars, and at that time of year, you shouldn´t have any difficulty.

I love Verona, Venice, Padova, and the smaller towns in the Dolomiti, like Merano, Selva, Cortina etc. Also Bassana Del grappa and the historical villas in that area. There is a wonderful hotel, just north of Verona "Serego Aligheiri de la Foresteria". http://www.seregoalighieri.it/2011/ Sirmione is popular, but I find too touristy...and Disneyfied.
SloJan2 is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2012, 03:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi G1 & C2 - Bolzano is an easy enough day-trip from Riva. Drive time by the fastest route is about 1hr 30' - give or take.

With an early start you could take a more leisurely route on the return - e.g

- via the 'Wine Route' OR
- via the Mendola Pass OR
- via Trento (- another attractive stop)

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2012, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Congrats on your trip. Have done similar in the past.
For me Tigercarrentals.com good prices. High spots for me
www.sirmione.com Garda Hotel Eden there www.dolomiti.it Cortina
prettier than the others. Venice-tourism.com our fav bauervenezia.com we usually wait to rent a car till we leave Venice. Sometimes we have saved with Renault Eurodrive leases for rentals over 2 weeks.

Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
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