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Northern Italy: 10 nights, 4 people, 3 towns, 1 question... which towns?

Northern Italy: 10 nights, 4 people, 3 towns, 1 question... which towns?

Old Nov 13th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Northern Italy: 10 nights, 4 people, 3 towns, 1 question... which towns?

I am having a hard time deciding on the 3 base towns to use for a northern Italy trip. We have been to Venice and don't plan to spend much (if any) time there on this trip. However, the Veneto is still a consideration, as are the Dolomites and Lakes area. Piemonte is also in the running. We will have a car.

Given a max of 3 towns in this time frame -- and ending up reasonably close to Milan or Venice for the return flight -- where would you choose? Thanks.
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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For two out of three I would choose Bologna and the Lake Como area. You might be interested in my trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34607146
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 01:49 AM
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Hi Nomad -

Lakes area? I'd pick from the central lake towns on Lake Como - Menaggio, Varenna or Bellagio.

Dolomites? I'd choose from Ortisei, Castelrotto or Alta Val Badia.

How do you want to spend your time?It's difficult to make suggestions without knowing your interests ...

Steve
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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For the Lakes area, I'd select Varenna. We stayed there a couple years ago in late June and found it laid-back and beautiful (the promenade along the lake was so beautiful our hearts ached!). I wasn't so impressed with Bellagio...probably because of the too-expensive shops and lots of tourists. In Varenna, we stayed at the Hotel Villa Cipressi. www.hotelvillacipressi.it

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 05:28 AM
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IMO, 3 different bases is a lot of moving around. Nonetheless, you could do a Langhe town such as Asti or Alba along with Aosta and Torino or you could do something like Bologna, Verona and Como.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 05:34 AM
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Bergamo, Mantua and Ravenna would be my suggestions.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 05:37 AM
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Pick 3 of 4 !
Ortisei
Bassano de Grappa
Menaggio or Orta San Guilio
Asti[centro Piedmont]

I have good hotel options in all of these if you want them.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Thanks to all for the recommendations. This helps considerably.

Steve, we are more interested in scenery, getting off the beaten path, walking city streets to get a feel for local lifestyle, etc. And, of course, outstanding food and wine. Museums, palaces, churches, etc., are okay in moderation but are not the focus of this trip.

Bob, I remember reading a recent post from you lamenting tourist mobs having discovered Orta San Giulio. Has this tempered your recommendation somewhat?
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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three towns that I'd want to visit on a Northern Italy tour:

- Bergamo
- Trento (far north)
- Bologna (not quite north)

and a maybe: Genova

Trieste would also be nice, though, and its near enough to Venice. If I could go anywhere I wanted to go, I'd pick Torino, Belluno, and Padova too. (but that's just wishful thinking)
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Bergamo and Torino are great suggestions. Keep in mind Torino is a large city. I'd recommend towns outside Torino as well, such as Ivrea, Alba, etc.
Best,
Ellen Craig
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Alba or Asti for Piemonte is a great choice.

Depending on the time of year you are going the Dolomites are amazing.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Not really--it still is special. I just was lamenting that it finally had become a tour bus destination.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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What time of year is this trip?
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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Hi,
Since you're main interest is scenery, either Alta Badia (we stayed in La Villa) and Val Gardena are excellent choices. While there is more selection of hotels and restaurants in Val Gardena, we preffered the Dolomite scenery in Alta Badia. Either way, you really can't go wrong. With a car, a drive over one of the passes (Gardena, Sella, etc.) will give you spectacular, close up Dolomite scenery.

Depending on the time of year you are travelling, there is a cable car in Ortisei (Mont Seuc) and another close to Alta Badia (Lagazuoi).
www.alpedisiusi-seiseralm.com/eng/index.html

http://www.dolomiti.org/dengl/Cortin.../impianti.html

A very good website for mountain passes is...
www.alpineroads.com

www.val-gardena.com

www.altabadia.org

Paul
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Great suggestions, everyone. Thanks!

Jean, I plan to travel in mid-late May or early June.
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