Northern Italy in 2 Weeks?

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Oct 15th, 2017, 11:08 AM
  #1
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Northern Italy in 2 Weeks?

We will be celebrating a major anniversary Sept. 2018 and we have done incredibly adventurous trips in the past that have been farther afield (Myanmar, Rwanda, Manchu Picchu, Australia/New Zealand/Tasmania, Tahiti, Figi, Indonesia). Last anniversary trip was Croatia. I was thinking romantic on this trip since I want to see Venice and have only skied in northern Italy. Thoughts are flying into Milan and continuing to Lake Como, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra, and definitely wine country such as Barbaresco (husband's fav). We are very active travelers so want to hike, possibly bike (even a city bike tour), but also like culture, art and food. Any ideas of a good itinerary or is there a city in the area that we should visit versus the well known destinations. We love going off the grid and finding the unique -- my husband is planning to drive most of the trip unless train travel makes sense. Thanks for any input or recommendations you can provide. If there is a destination beyond Italy that you feel is very romantic but active, don't hesitate to chime in.
kacollier is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2017, 01:09 PM
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If you stick to the listed destinations (too many for 14 days IMO), you won't be going "off the grid" and having a car would be more of a burden than a help in getting around. Only Piemonte really requires a car to reach and explore. It's also the destination most likely to provide exposure to less-crowded sights and to activities like hiking and biking. FWIW, I don't find city bike tours very satisfying, and most of your destinations aren't conducive to them.

Whether alternative towns in the same general area as the main cities would satisfy you depends on how much time you'd still want to spend in the main cities which would therefore necessitate lots of commuting back and forth.

FYI, September is still very much high season in the places mentioned, and it's all wine country of one appellation or another.
Jean is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2017, 10:08 PM
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We love Northern Italy. I think you would be well served to hit the Cinque Terra next time if you only have 2 weeks.

We were in Turin last year and loved it. This is a real food town! It would be an easy drive from the Barbaresco region. Had one of our favorite meals ever at Ristorante Gallante there... formal but not fancy.

If you like to hike, Parco Paradiso is about 3 hours away and it was a beautiful place. Not terribly far from there, we also enjoyed Pres St. Didier and their hot springs. The QC hotel there was wonderful with spectacular views of the mountains.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 05:55 AM
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We found the Piemonte uncrowned and beautiful. There are so many wine villages to explore. We love Northern Italy and the Piemonte is a favorite region of ours.
I agree that you have too many destinations for two weeks.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 11:14 AM
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We visited northern Italy last summer (Milan, Cinque Terre, Volterra, Florence, Verona, Trento, ....) and based in Ortisei for our week of hiking in the Dolomites. We did have about a month, but I have a report if you are interested, click on my screen name for it. We travelled by public transport. There were quite a few options fror wine daytrips from Verona, but can't comment on those. None of that would be classed as 'off grid' though, I guess.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 11:30 AM
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Thoughts are flying into Milan and continuing to Lake Como, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra>

I thought Lake Garda as nice as Lake Como in its own way and is right on train/car route to Venice - driving is easy but trains are best for cities like Venice and Florence where cars are largely banned and Cinque Terre too - no need for car in Lake Como either as boats go everywhere.

Maybe rent a car (or bike!) for wine country and do the rest by train - lots of info on Italian trains - www.trenitalia.com; www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. Booking long-distance trains like Venice-Florence in advance can save lots of money.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 06:40 PM
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We've just come back from Turin, Bologna and Cortona, with day trips to Ravenna, Orvieto and Perugia (trip report to come sometime soon).

I thought Turin was beautiful and we enjoyed it very much but I actually thought Bologna was the more interesting city. It just seemed more lively to me.

It's not in northern Italy and we were only there for a day but both of us loved Perugia too.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 07:58 PM
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goddesstogo... YES! I recommended Turin because it's in the wine region mentioned... but Bologna is one of our favorites!! Such a great spot to use as a base, too.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 10:27 AM
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I thought Turin was beautiful and we enjoyed it very much but I actually thought Bologna was the more interesting city. It just seemed more lively to me.>

ditto here!
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