Northern Italy Trip -- Suggestions?

Aug 28th, 2007, 11:13 AM
  #1  
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Northern Italy Trip -- Suggestions?

Hello! I am looking for suggestions and comments about a trip I am planning for next June. My wife and I spent 17 wonderful days in Italy several years ago, where we landed in Rome, spent several days there, went to the Amalfi coast and Positano, then back up through Assisi, Tuscany, Florence and ended with several days in Venice.

This time, we are thinking of the northern areas of Italy. Areas that look interesting are: Dolomites, L. Garda, L. Como, Borolo, Piedmont, and CT.

We like beautiful scenery, food, culture and history. We are not that interested in shopping or the urban scene.

Thanks for any help you can give!
CltLwyr is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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I'd construct this itinerary as a loop (clockwise or counter-clockwise) starting and ending at Malpensa.

To name a few points for you to research, on the Northern Italy (and a bit of Switzerland) part, going clockwise...

Orta San Giulio, Lugano, Bellagio, Varenna, Soglio (SW), Passo del Bernina, Bolzano, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Malcesine, Sirmione, Verona and Mantua.

Then on to Piedmont and the Cinque Terre and back to Malpensa. Try to avoid the heavy traffic in the area around the outskirts of Milan.
TuckH is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Good for you. That is a favorite area of mine and you will love it.
I agree with Tuck about a loop. Assuming 17 nites and 5 destinations, I would start south and end at Como. My stops would include:
Piedmont--look at Villa Sampaguita near Asti
Ligurian coast---Levanto or Portovenere
Val Gardena--Dolomites
Lago Como---take your pick
Last nite near MXP, or last 2 nites at Lago Orta

We will be at 2 of these in 2 weeks but we have been to each of the others more than once. Have fun !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Hi, CltLwyr,

I took a 3 month trip last fall which covered much of the territory you are considering, and that Tuck mentioned. You don't say how many days you're going for, so these comments would be modified by your schedule.

For the lakes, I'd recommend Orta San Giulio (maybe 2 nights); Varenna (or Bellagio if you prefer more 'touristy' spots) on Lake Como (three nights?); if time permits, perhaps a stay on Lake Garda focusing on the northern villages, where I chose Torri del Benaco as a base, on the eastern shore of the lake.

An absolute 'not to miss' (assuming you have a car) is the drive through the Val Gardena onto the famous 'Dolomite Road' (can't recall the # of the road, but it's easily researchable)--the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring drive I've ever taken.

I followed that up with a visit to Asolo--a charming town northwest of Venice, but that may be beyond your range distance-wise.

I also visited the Piemonte area, tho the weather wasn't great. If you can possibly get a booking there, strongly consider the Baur B&B outside Acqua Terme. (You'll find a gallery about their place at the link below, too--last gallery on the Italy page.) You won't regret it, believe me. When I return, I 'd like to stay there for at least 4-5 nights--the Piemonte is one of the most unspoiled and authentic parts of Italy and deserves meandering time.

You can see my galleries of the above suggestions here:

http://www.pbase.com/karenmickleson/italy_italia_photos

Have fun researching--it's a truly beautiful area.

Karen
http://www.pbase.com/karenmickleson
KarenKM is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 01:47 PM
  #5  
jgg
 
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Just want to reiterate Karen's suggestion of Baur B&B in Acqui Terme in Piemonte. We spent 5 glorious nights there last June. Definitely our favorite place in Italy (actually Europe!!) www.baurbb.com
jgg is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 02:40 PM
  #6  
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Thank you for the advice so far!

This time, it looks like we only have 9 full days there. We will leave on a Friday and return on a Monday, so we have Sat-Sun.
CltLwyr is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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> it looks like we only have 9 full days there. <

If that's the case, my itinerary is much too ambitious.
TuckH is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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With only 9 days pick 3 and keep it close.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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I heartily second Bob's recommendation of Villa Sampaguita in Asti. I spent 3 days there in mid-May with my husband and enjoyed it so much, I returned for an entire week by myself this month.

Tim and Rina are wonderful hosts and Rina's cooking is fabulous. Villa Sampaguita is only a few kilometers outside of Asti and the A21 Autostrada, so it's very centrally located for visiting Torino, Barolo and the rest of the Langhe, as well as the Monferrato area.

villasampaguita.com

Another option on the Ligurian coast is Camogli. It's maybe 20 miles south of Genoa. It's a beautiful town and the hotels are not that expensive. We were there during their big "festa" in May so the town was a little crowded by not horribly so. Also, it is a way to experience the Ligurian coast and Cinqueterre without having to drive so far south.

You can take the train from Camogli and reach all the Cinqueterre villages in about an hour. We did that while we were there and it was a lot of fun. You can get on and off the train in all the CT villages on the same ticket.
Losna is offline  

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