Northern Italy - 6 to Travel June/July

Feb 6th, 2007, 11:07 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Northern Italy - 6 to Travel June/July

Dear Fellow Travelers,

We are an extended family of 6 taking our first trip together (yikes!), and have just planned what we think will be an enjoyable 2+ weeks in northern Italy. We are 4 adults in our 50's amd 2 young adults (18 and 21). Planning at this late date was a bit daunting, but now we should have time enough to plan our excursions. We intend to relax, absorb and explore as the mood strikes us, but would not want to miss special must do's fellow travelers have discovered around Lake Maggiore and the Ligurian coast.

Our Itinerary:

>Fly Chicago to Milan (rent 2 cars)
>Drive to Portofino area where we rented an apartment for 1 week
>Drive to Lake Maggiore where we rented a lakeside villa (west side of lake) for 1 week
>Return cars to Milan airport, and 2 of us take train from Milan to Venice (hotel TBD)
>Venice 4 days, then fly home

My husband and I are well seasoned off-peak travelers. We were last in Italy 30+ years ago but are somewhat hesitant about high season travel. This is the first trip abroad in many years for the others.

We are planning to rent 2 cars to help negotiate the roads better, and be able to split up if we are interested in pursuing different day trips or some want to be idle when the others do not.

Thanks in advance. Am off to find some Berlitz tapes at the library. Ciao!


DeiveB is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,404
Hi Dieve,

It sounds like a very wonderful and relaxing trip. I think with the 1 week stays for both these locations, 2 cars are a very good plan!

One thing I wanted to do, as we trained to the CT, was visit the Carrara (SP?) marble quaries. It looked just amazing from a distance!

At Lago Maggiore we really enjoyed visiting the Borromean Islands and the Villa Taranto gardens. Would have loved to take a hydrofoil day trip up to the Swiss end of the lake.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 199
Your Portofino trip will position you to take advantage of many things.

Genoa - If you are all in for a city fix, a walk in the Europe's largest historical city center might be of interest.

Camogli - you are a stone's throw from this beautiful fishing village, just west of Portofino. You can take the boat from Portofino to San Fruttuoso, and the 11th century Benedictine abbey. there... and go from there to Camogli without ever having to get in to the car.

Like another poster said, Carrara is really very interesting place. Also Luni with its archeological grounds, Sarzana, Tellaro, Lerici and Portovenere (these are all to the south/eastern side of the CT, which I think might be just too full and too hot during your vacation to truly enjoy).

Also, there is the possibility to drive over to Piemonte (directly over the hills, about an hour 20 minutes from where you will be staying) and visiting something entirely different - the wine country. It might be somthing you can do on your transition day to Maggiore. Instead of just sticking to the A26, get off at Ovada, criss cross through the SS456 and head up through Acqui Terme, through Nizza Monferrato and visit a winery and have lunch. Get back on the A21 by Asti and shoot back over to the A26 and up, arriving at Maggiore and hour and a half later.

If you would want to do that and need winery/restaurant recs, come on back and post questions...

bellacqui is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:42 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Thank you both for sharing your thoughts, I now have a great place to start planning our adventure.

My husband and I lived in southern Italy (Gaeta) for 2+ yrs 35 years ago, and are very excited to return to this beautiful country after so many years. We will save a nostalgic return south some time in the future when just the 2 of us travel. I still have a Michelin guide from that time which we used to help determine the anchor points for this up coming trip.

Obviously we need a more up to date guidebook. Frankly our stash of guidebooks keeps growing but are rarely used a second time.

Do either of you have a recommendation for a good guide book that shows all the 'nooks and crannies' of the area? And of course wineries! It is just too easy to zip through an area without experiencing the true ambience. Or perhaps I should just keep mining this site for people's personal favorites and skip the guide book!

Thanks again.

Ciao...
DeiveB is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 04:18 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,511
I liked Bergamo especially the upper town. The arc from Como/Verona to Venice encompass walled cities, famous vinyards and ancient roman sites.

I know one of the reasons for going is eat and drink but try eating what the workers do at lunch, follow any worker at 12 into a cafe and take the cheap set meal (incl wine) another whole experience.

Enjoy Milan and don't forget to visit the main railway station
bilboburgler is offline  

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