Northern Italy Itinerary

Aug 31st, 2005, 02:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
Northern Italy Itinerary

I am very new to Fodors and decided to try to solicit some help from fellow members. Here are the details of my upcoming trip:

I will be traveling in one year to Northern Italy(August/September) and need help this far in advance because I am using skymiles to get to Europe from the states.

My wife will be with me (she has never been to Europe) and we are more interested in the sites and culture rather than history or art.

We will have 8-9 days in Northern Italy. I have done some research and tried to read through previous posts about travel to Northern Italy.

We will most likely fly into Milan because our first stop will be CT. I have no idea if I should stay one day in Milan after my flight before I take the train to CT to relatives.

So I have 8 days to think of a golden circle around northern Italy before I fly back out of Milan. Here are the areas that interest us:

CT (2 days)

Lake Area (most forums say not to miss Bellagio)

Dolomites (most forums say not to miss Val Gardena area)


I just do not know which way to go after CT- toward Venice or back toward the Lake area. Any areas that are not to miss in this circle? We will most likely rent a car to get to lake area and Dolomites. Also help is needed in if the itinerary is too ambitious. Yes, I know that one could spend 8 days just in Venice or 8 days in CT.

Thank You.
TravelingDan is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,155
The natural circle seems to be

Milan arrival
Milan departure

This gives you barely 2 days in each area, less when you include the travel time between each.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hi TD,

I agree with ellen, too much for only 8-9 days.

Keep in mind, you lose at least 1/2 day each time you move.

It's 3 hr by train from Milan to La Spezia, for the CT, and 6 hr from La Spezia to Venice.

For only a week, for a first visit to Europe,I would take my wife to Paris.

However, how about splittig a week between Venice and Florence?

You will want to be back in Milan the night before your return flight.

Hope this helps.

ira is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 09:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
Thank you for the reply. Actually, after Italy- we are flying to Paris before we go back to the states. Do you think I should go immediately to CT after I land (the train ride is to Genova 1 1/2 hours to meet relatives)?
TravelingDan is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 09:32 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 512
Staying north is a good idea but you are still trying to do too much in a short time. I would start in CT then go to Siena for 3-4 days and day trip to Florence and then choose between Venice or Stresa/Lake Como. Depending on the time of your return flight you might beable to go straight from Stresa or Lake Como to the airport in Milan.
panucci is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 10:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
What about if I had 10 days instead of 8, would that help? I have not thought about Siena, I was trying to stay north and hit tuscany during another trip later in life.
TravelingDan is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 02:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
TTT, A fodorite told me to reply to get more response. Maybe I need to break up the trip and ask questions about most fascinating places to see. Should I focus on Tuscany or the lakes area?
TravelingDan is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,491
the lakes are marvelous, and if you want a relaxing atmosphere, i do think some time must be spent wandering and going over to an island or two.

you will not regret taking it a little slower on this trip to savour what is around you. to do thisi would not try to drive very long distances, as already suggested.

most rental cars will not charge ( or very little) for one way rentals in same country,so maybe you can do an openjaw into milan and out of venice?
lincasanova is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,113
I would also suggest an open jaws flight, rather than a circle.

Most of our trips to Italy have been into Milan, and we've always had the energy to go directly to our first destination. You don't have a lot of time, so I'd try to go directly to the CT.

In making your schedule, if you could group your car-rental time together, that would be the best. For example, pick up a car from Milan, and then end up in Venice, where you drop the car off as you enter the city.

I agree that you don't have much time to see everything you have on your list - and you're perceptive to know that the right trip for you is one that (this trip at least) doesn't include Florence, but instead other wonderful places in Italy.

Read up, and get guide books (I like the Eyewitness series because the pictures are so good) to look at your possible destinations - out of the Cinque Terre, the Lakes and the Dolomites, you should probably cut out one. If you enjoy the mountains, then definitely include the Dolomites (they are gorgeous, and it's nice to visit a place in Italy that's less filled with (American) tourists). Personally, the Lakes didn't do much for me, but I know lots of people love them.

Enjoy your planning!
Lexma90 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2005, 09:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
Thank you for the suggestions. What if I instead went straight to the lakes after we landed in Milan (can change plans with relatives). Then rented a car and traveled to the Dolmites and then to Venice.

That trip could take 8 days. If I had two days left, what should I see on the way back to Milan?

As a side note, I decided to do a circle because of stopover in Paris on the way home.
TravelingDan is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
ttt, any other suggestions- please help.
TravelingDan is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 497
It is easy to get to both Lake Maggiore and Lake Como after landiang n Milan. They are relaxing places to visit while adjusting to jet lag. You may never want to leave.
SuQue is offline  
Sep 5th, 2005, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,113
Yes, your plan is a good one, too, though instead of adding another place with those "extra" two days, you might add a day to the Dolomites or Venice. Generally speaking, every time you move locations, you use up about half a day, so your 2 days (for example) in the Dolomites is actually more like one full day plus.

The lakes are an easy trip from Milan - on one of our trips, we stayed in Sirmione, on Lago di Garda, the night before our Milan flight back home; on another trip, we spent the night before our return in Como.
Lexma90 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
Thanks for your help. If traveling back to Milan, is Verona a good, easy day trip?
TravelingDan is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:30 PM.