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Piedmont, the Lakes & Cinqueterra- Want to see them all!!

Piedmont, the Lakes & Cinqueterra- Want to see them all!!

Sep 27th, 2012, 05:15 AM
  #1  
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Piedmont, the Lakes & Cinqueterra- Want to see them all!!

I have searched this excellent site for ideas and found many wonderful tips, but, I would still like to ask for advice specifically for my trip.

We (being DH, 10 year old daughter & I) will be travelling by hire car from Termoli in Molise in Mid-May.

So far my proposed Itinerary is:

8 nights Piedmont & the Lakes( eg. 4-5 nights around Asti, then possibly 3-4 nights Lezzeno, Lake Como ( noticed a lovely B&B "Nest on the Lake")

4 nights Cinqueterra( possibly stay in Portovenere or Lerici)

2 nights Turin (plan to take a train from Turin to Paris ) ( prefer to be in Turin at least 1 night before we take train)

We have a total of 14 nights

(driving time to Asti, Piedmont is about 6-7 hours from Termoli, to lake Como around the same time, to Lucca about 5-6 hours)

Would really love to see Pisa and Lucca or just Pisa somehow

Would love to stay in Agriturismo in Piedmont, but, would still like to daytrip to Bra, etc

Would like to see the Egyptian museum in Turin & eat chocolate. Is it better to stay 2 nights or take a day trip from Asti?

We are not big wine buffs, but really enjoyed wine tastings & lunches when we stayed at Agriturismo near Pienza 6 years ago)

Would love to include some kid-friendly ideas /places to visit or stay at.

We like to relax and take day trips, find playgrounds & other children for daughter to play with. We love good food of course, love markets and shopping ( well, I do)

Also where to drop hire car off in the midst of all this.( Since we need the car in Abruzzi/Molise we can easily keep it longer).

This is as far as I have got. Would really welcome advice. Asti in Piedmont is not concrete (so other suggestions in Piedmont would be appreciated) or Lezzeno , Portovenere or Lerici for that matter . I had to start somewhere.

Our daughter said she would love to play in snow, but, I think that's not doable, or is it?!!

Thank you for reading this through.
3togo
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Sep 27th, 2012, 09:50 PM
  #2  
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With my itinerary, is it a sensible idea to go to Pisa as a daytrip from the cinqueterra?

Could I make a daytrip from Asti to Turin by train easily?
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Sep 28th, 2012, 04:10 AM
  #3  
 
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I answered your other thread as well (the one about seeing Lago di Como from Piemonte) so if you click on your own screen name you can see that answer as well.

Lots of questions here, so I'll try to take them one at a time, but first I want to say that I think you need to stop for the night somewhere between Termoli and Northern Italy. And yes, seeing Pisa and Lucca is possible if you stay on the Riviera Coast -- and Lerici would be ideal with your daughter.

Yes, you can daytrip to Torino from Asti by train very easily, but I suggest you give a little bit more time to Torino, or go more than once, since you have your daughter with you. She might enjoy the movie museum (it is a very spectacular one, with a great glass elevator ride) and also some of the Palaces. If you'd like to actually stay in Torino, take a look at Residence Saachi as a place to stay.

In mid-May, the lakes should be beautiful, with many flowers and pretty hikes, so you might enjoy that a bit more than the wine country of Piemonte, which is pretty but very hilly, and without a lot of things for a 10 year old to do.

In Mid-May, it *might* be possible for your daughter to play in the snow if you take a trip to Aosta from Torino/Asti -- that's about a 2 hour drive -- and take the cable car there to Pila. (You can even do this by train.) You can also see the fabulous Roman gate in Aosta town and other interesting sights there, so it makes a very good (if long) day trip. Further up the road, you can see MonteBianco if it is clear (it often has clouds). But before you promise your daughter she can play in snow, double check it is still reachable in May.

It is hard to know where you should drop off your car until you decide what order you will be visiting these places (and where is your departure airport?) But there are cities and towns all over where you can drop off a car.

Personally, were it me with a 10 year old, starting in Termoli, I would make my first day's stop in Perugia (more chocolate! Fun escalators!), then drive to Lerici. From there I would go to Asit/Torino. Then I would finish up the trip on the Lakes.

But you could do it in some other order (and substitute Siena for Perugia).
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:38 AM
  #4  
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Hi PPorter, thank you so much for just replying!! I am delighted with such beautiful detail and graciousness in your suggestions.

Perugia as a stop sounds perfect, I shall investigate that.

Would I need a car in Lerici?

We plan to take a train to Paris from Turin, so thought we would stay at the end of trip there.

You have sold me on the lakes. Sound beautiful.

I am reconsidering Lezzeno as a base for the Lakes. Have you any suggestions?

Would visiting Lake Maggiore and Lake Como be too much? Maybe removing Asti altogether ( even though the trip to Aosta sounds good too)

So Possibly

1 night Perugia on the way

7 nights Lake Como & Lake Maggiore (need 2 bases?)

4 nights Lerici (with daytrip to Pisa)

2 nights Turin

How does that sound?

Which parts would work better with a car?

All your suggestions sound great.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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With your daughter, you might consider Lago di Garda instead of Lago Maggiore. And that would give you a much more doable day of driving from Perugia. Read up on all the lake, which has a very popular amusement park called Gardaland, as well as other attractions. You can take boats around the lake but also your car for scenic drives along the lake shore. The scenery at the north end of the lake is spectacular.

If you keep the car in Lerici, it becomes much easier to do a day trip to Pisa and/or Lucca. But you can give it up after that and take a train to Turin. I might cut your nights in Lerici to 3 nights, even with the Pisa day trip. Add that night to Turin.

You will see mountain scenery going by train to Paris, and to plan any other kind of high mountain trip is actually a bit risky at that time of year, because you could just get stuck with rain and be unable to enjoy the scenery. I've never been to Lezzeno, so can't comment on it.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 02:05 PM
  #6  
jgg
 
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It would be very doable to stay in Asti and do a daytrip to Turin, we were staying in Acqui Terme and had a great daytrip to Turin. But I wouldn't shy away from staying overnight in Turin either. We really enjoyed it and found it to be one of the most underrated cities in Italy.

We stayed in Lerici when our kids were 11 and 14. We really loved it there. We stayed at the Hotel Florida right across from the beach and an easy, short walk into town. From there we did a boat trip to Cinque Terre and Portovenere, loved going up to the caves of Carrara marble (reading The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone is a must), spent a day lounging at a private beach, and did a great private cooking class which our kids really enjoyed.

Here is a link to my trip report with a lot of pictures, you may find it helpful:
http://www.fromhometoroam.com/2012/0...-coast-lerici/
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Sep 29th, 2012, 06:13 AM
  #7  
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pporter, Thank you for even more information. Never even considered Lago di Garda, but, the distance seems ok like you said.

Is 3 nights really enough for the cinqueterra?

Will parking the car be a nightmare in Lerici?


I shall research Lago di Garda


Hi jgg, I enjoyed your trip report in my searching already, but, I had to have another look. Your photos are beautiful.
I shall investigate Hotel Florida.

Thank you both. If it wasn't for your help, I would seriously consider just staying home.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 06:35 AM
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Here are shots from Lerici including a view from Hotel Florida.
http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=4553
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Sep 29th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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jgg
 
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We did not find it difficult to park in Lerici. The hotel gave us a free parking pass for a parking lot very close to the hotel. We did find it very convenient to have the car as it made it easy to do simple daytrips.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 05:40 AM
  #10  
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Hi Bobthenavigator, I like your photos of Lerici too.

Is there any way to find out the ferry schedules for May?

Thanks jgg, for that. I will put that hotel on top of the list.

Thank you
3togo
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Oct 1st, 2012, 06:55 AM
  #11  
 
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Ask the hotel.
We caught the 0930 ferry from Lerici in mid-May---see pics.
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Oct 1st, 2012, 11:32 PM
  #12  
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Never thought of that, thanks bobthenavigator
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Oct 11th, 2012, 04:46 AM
  #13  
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I have researched some more and would like to run my itinerary past some wiser minds than mine.

10/5/13 -fri- drive from Termoli to Perugia for 2 nights

12/5/13 - Sun- drive to Lerici for 3 nights

15/5/13 - Wed - drive to Bardolino, Lake Garda for 7 nights

22/5/13 - Wed - drive to Turin - drop off car stay for 3 nights

25/5/13 - Sat - Train from Turin to Paris

What do you all think?

We could go to Bardolino 1st instead of Lerici.

Is this too much moving around?

The CT seems quite a distance from Lerici. We will probably keep the car when we are there, is it a good idea to drive to the towns of CT at this time? Will parking prove to be a problem?


Thank you
3togo
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:28 AM
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Why Bardolino?
There are better locations on Lago Garda.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:38 AM
  #15  
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Hi Bobthenavigator - RE: Bardolino.

We will have a car and thinking that our child will be interested in Gardaland. That's the main reason.

Also weather in may may be better south of Lake.

Also noticed a few threads suggesting Bardolino and Garda and Lazise as good bases.

Also Car drive from Lerici is long enough without driving to a further spot on lake Garda.

Your thoughts please?

3togo
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:52 AM
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You can get to Gardaland easy enough from many loactions on the lake. I would look at Malcesine, Riva, or Limone---especially for a week stay. The lower east side of the lake is not my favorite.

Actually, I think I would go to Garda first and the CT later. But, coming from Garda, I would stay further north---Monterosso or Levanto. Look at Villa Margherita in the latter.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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I would stay somewhere nearby but not in Perugia. It's a tricky place to drive into and out of. Look at Spello and/or Bevagna or even Assisi. If Perugia is a priority, you could train from Spello or Assisi. It would take about 30 mins. each way (25 from Assisi) and cost 3 euros (2,40 from Assisi) per person which would probably be less than 2 nights' parking charges in Perugia.

I also suggest that you look at Malcesine on Lake Garda. One attraction at Malcesine is the cable car up the mountain: http://www.funiviedelbaldo.it/index.php?lang=en

But I would also think about what you're going to do on Garda for 6 days. IMO, the ferry service on Garda is not as convenient for exploring, so I think you'll be driving most days.

Overall, this would be a lot of driving for me, with perhaps too much time on Garda and too little time in both Umbria and the CT. But that's my personal preferences surfacing.
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Oct 12th, 2012, 05:25 AM
  #18  
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Thanks Bobthenavigator: I will look into malcesine. Re: the CT, would parking a car in Monterosso or Levanto in May be a problem?

Hi Jean: I was looking at an Agriturismo outside of Perugia to stay rather than in town. The chocolate tour sounds good for a child. I mainly want a stop over because of the long drive from Termoli up to the lakes or CT.

Is 6 days too long on Garda?

Thank you
3togo
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Oct 12th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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"Are 6 days too long on Garda?" For me it would be, but this is not my trip. You need to figure out what you're going to do/see there, how much driving you want to do, etc. BTW, I'd have a rainy day plan, not that rain is a probability but because it's always a possibility. You could head to Verona, but you should know before you go where you'll park and how you'll avoid a ZTL (if Verona has one, I don't know).
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Oct 12th, 2012, 07:47 AM
  #20  
 
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No time in the smaller towns, vineyards of the Piemonte?
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