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

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

Oct 12th, 2012, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,509
There is a large lot on the water in Monterosso, and Levanto is really a beach resort town and is flat---tons of parking.

I agree, 6 nites on Garda ia a bit much.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 13th, 2012, 01:33 AM
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Hi Jean - What is a "ZTL" ?

On Lake Garda : thought of garda land to visit, Verona, Cable car up the mountain, possibly a trip to area of Bolzano ( haven't researched that section enough just yet) Daughter will want to play somewhere with other children.
Thought we would need 7 nights.
Picked Garda over other lakes due to closeness from Perugia and more things for a child to do.

Hi HappyTrvlr- would love to see smaller towns in Piemonte, but, as pointed out by pporter, not a lot of things for a kid to do.
It is a long trip from Australia and child will get homesick, so will need distractions along the way.

Hi bobthenavigator- still looking at Monterosso and Levanto : problem is they all have good points to me.
Looked at Villa Margherita, sounds lovely.

3togo is offline  
Oct 13th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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ZTL = Zona Traffico Limitato = area of a city/town in which car traffic is limited to permit holders only. These zones were first established in larger cities like Florence but are increasingly encountered in smaller towns.

Jean is offline  
Oct 13th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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If you're nearby, your child might like the castle in Barolo, near Alba. The museum inside has lots of interactive exhibits, child friendly. It has a wine theme but shows how the grape vines grow, creatively done.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 06:51 AM
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Thank you Jean for the explanation.

Hi HappyTrvlr- haven't let go of Piedmont. Thank you for the info. about the castle.

Now, leaning towards Malcesine instead of Bardolino on Lake Garda.

Seem to be stuck on CT.

I want to visit CT, but don't really want to hike with a 10 year old. Levanto sounds easy to get to CT by train.

We will probably have a car which we could just hopefully leave at or close to accommodation.

Lerici sounds good too. Could drive to other places close by.
The beach sounds lovely,but, not sure if you could swim in May. Daughter will probably want to try.

I would like to daytrip to Pisa, but, I could also do this by train couldn't I, and maybe Lucca.

Can't seem to decide between them.
3togo is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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There is no train station in Lerici, so you'd likely drive to Pisa and Lucca. About an hour each way. Read the link again about Pisa's ZTL.
Jean is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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Recently stayed in Malcesine on Lake Garda at Hotel Castello, right on the water with access to beach(pebbles), private parking lot, family owned. Very nice staff.
Castle , lake and mountain views from our room.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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Easy to visit CT from Lerici. We did it by boat, I think you can also do it by train, but boat is prettier.
jgg is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 06:25 AM
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Why would 7 nights be too much on Lake Garda?
3togo is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 01:49 AM
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Here I go:

Perugia : close by anyway - 2 nights

Levanto or Lerici: 3 nights - stop at Pisa on the way

Bardolino or malcesine: 5 nights - stop somewhere for lunch on way

Turin: 3 nights- go thru Asti/ Aqui terme if we leave early enough

drop off rental car when we arrive if possible

Train to Paris

Still not happy with it- seems like a lot of driving. Hubby didn't mind last time- but daughter probably will. Are there too many stops?

Would really like to see Pisa - Lucca (missed it last time)- Turin - supposed to meet family in CT not a definite - Lake Garda would be lovely since we are up that way.

Any suggestions?
3togo is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 04:57 AM
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I do think that your kids will enjoy their time on Lake Garda - there is the amusement theme park of Gardaland, with also a small movie park and waterpark in the vicinity. How about spending three night at the theme park's hotel - I also read lately that another one had opened up. We had stayed at the Gardaland Hotel in 2005 when it had just opened, it was just a couple of kms away from the park and offered a free shuttle. It has a huge outdoor pool and in the mornings staff even dress up in fairytale costumes. It truly is a nice hotel.

We had done a day trip to Malcesine and went up Mount Baldo with cable car. We had stayed for 4 nights at the Gardaland Hotel using it as our base, since we were driving by hired car. But if you are interested in visiting Bolzano, maybe you might be interested in spending 3 nights at the Gardaland hotel and another 3 nights to the very north of the Lake, where, besides taking the cable car rid, you might do a day trip to Bolzano or Trento, or drive around the Dolomite mountains.

You can easily do a day trip to Pisa and Volterra from Cinque Terre, try and start off a bit early in the morning.

If you stay on Lake Maggiore, you can easily do ferry trips around the lake and do the famous train ride through the hundred valleys (centovalli). It might prove to be very interesting for your daughter. Or you might take the cable car up Monte Mottarone from Stresa - I was doing a lot of reaearch in this region as I am certainly interested in visiting it this coming Summer - I visited Lake Maggiore over 20 years ago, and it is time for another visit.

If you do a day trip to the Alps, maybe close to Aosta or even Chamonix in France, or in Switzerland I am sure your daughter might be able to see snow, we had managed to see it in August, as in some mountaineous regions the snow does not melt even in the Summertime.
Anna_Galea is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 06:58 AM
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I am again checking your preferences for destinations and reading above suggestions. I am not sure whether I would go venture southwards as far as Perugia, since you are also doing a lot of driving in the north of Italy and are so intent on visiting the lakes.

How about staying a few nights in an agriturismo close to Florence or San Gimignano. In 2010 we had stayed at a lovely agriturismo called Agriturismo Nicolai, Palagetto di Sotto,e, as it is so lovely, accessible with good roads to reach it, and less than 1km away from the town of San Gimignano itself, even very easily walkable. The owners are lovely, the agriturismo is extensie, they provide good breakfasts, and even dinners, and they have their own wine cellars and produce their own olive oil. They even gave us a tour around their cellars, I am sure your child would love that. It has spectacular views of the countryside. From there you might do a day visit to Florence, and maybe to the Pinocchio Park, which is close to Florence.

Another region which might be an option, considering your little daughter, would be Emilia Romagna, where Bologna and Rimini are situated. This coast has very long sandy beaches. There is the Mirabilandia Fun Park in Rimini (so in this case you might skip Gardaland Fun Park) and also the Italy in Miniature park, plus a large sea-life aquarium in nearby Cattolica, and the world famous mosaics of Ravenna. Again, this is another option maybe instead of Perugia or Florence/San Gimignano. We had stayed at Hotel Termini Palace in Rimini, which is right on the beachfront - plenty of restaurants and bars in the area. Just in case you are interested, there is an airport in Bologna.

About Asti/Turin - why don't you find an agriturismo close to Turin, instead of basing yourself in Asti, (you can maybe stop in Asti on your way from the CT to Turin or go for a visit from Turin area, that way you would be closer for a day visit to the alps and to do a day trip to Aosta area, and also to Turin city itself. Aosta is on the Italian side and Chamonix on the French side of Mount Blanche and they accessible to each other by the very long tunnel. But I guess by driving to Aosta you would be enjoying the spectacular scenery of the alps, and most probably encounter some snow for your child to play with.

Since you would also like to visit Verona, you might consider landing at that airport (other option would have to be Venice) and after landing visit this city. Then proceed to Peschiera del Garda, where you would stay a few nights, visiting the theme parks, Malcesine for the cable car ride, and maybe a visit to Trento (just over an hour's drive or Bolzano (one and a half hour's drive). They are just nice cities, IMO it is the surrounding scenary that is most spectacular, but I have visited Trento last December, and it is a nice place to visit, with nice shops and lovely medieval centre - again, I must say that is is quite a busy urban city.

These are all options I might suggest so that you might choose from, considering you are going to have a child who you will want to enjoy it as well - I can perfectly understand you as I always travelled on holidays with my kids, and I do know that they find sightseeing continuously towns and cities and driving around all the time, a bit boring.

I guess all the Italian lakes have plenty to offer - just take your pick - forgot to mention Lake Lugano, and the town of Lugano itself, nearby you might visits Swiss Miniature park - also plenty of delicious chocolate in Switzerland.
Anna_Galea is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 10:43 PM
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Hi Anna_Galea- Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I can see that you are well travelled with kids.

So many things to think about.

Just to clarify- We have booked our tickets already to Rome, where we will spend about 6 nights in Rome, seeing relatives, and overcoming jetlag- then we plan at this stage to pick up a hire car and head to Termoli, in Molise on the east coast for 4 nights.

Considering the Long drive - at least 6-7hours- from Termoli to the Lakes or CT- plan to stop somewhere rounghly half way, that's why Perugia sounded good.

I suppose we could drive our rental car back to Rome and fly to Verona or Pisa- never thought about that. Don't know if worth the time. We will need a car to get to Termoli.

What do you think?
3togo is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 02:01 AM
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You are welcome 3togo. Yes, I do like to do a lot of research about places that might especially be enjoyable for the kids, as they often found it boring being driven around all the time (even if it in the most spectacular scenary) and visiting endless medieval towns and cities.They also want fun things to do or see. Now they are older and are still the same, lol.

So you are going to have a lovely long holiday in Italy since, besides these two weeks, you also have 6 nights in Rome and 4 nights in Termoli - enjoy every minute of it!!

I certainly do not think it is worthwhile to do a three and a half hours' drive from Termoli to Rome to deposit car and catch plane (it takes about 2 hours for the latter), so that it's 5 and a half hours wasted - you also have to add the time of the flight say to Pisa and that would in whole take you about 6 hours. If anything, I would take flight from Bari, which is a two-hour drive from Termoli. Ryanair does low cost internal flights from Bari to many cities in Italy. Something that might interest your kid, in Fasano, a town very close to bari there is a safari wild animal park. In this park there is also an amusement park and a normal zoo. Maybe you might even be interested in doing a day trip there whilst in Termoli, if your child has a keen interest for animals.

But if it were my family I would drive northwards. Yes, Perugia area does make sense for a stop on the way to break journey, maybe finding accommodation near Lake Trasimeno,which is a short drive to Perugia. One hotel that had caught my eye is Capricci di Merlon in Tuoro del Trasimeno (I do a lot of research on Umbria since it is one of my favourite regions). On your way to accommodation (we had done that in 2007) you might be interested in stopping at the Marmore Falls in the provence of Terni. Your daughter would probably enjoy that for sure.

On the other hand, if you decide not to visit Garda area, Rimini might be another good option, because of the funpark, Italy in Miniature etc. and the fun atmosphere of a beach resort. But if you are still interested in the provence of Verona/Garda, then I would skip Rimini.

So, considering the heading of this post you made - wanting to see them all - I would divide my 14 nights as follows:

2 nights somewhere near Perugia to break your journey

3 nights in the CT (if you leave very early you might even make along your way stops at Pisa and Lucca and get them over and done with) - if you are unable to do them both, then you might do them on a day trip from CT. Personally, we do like to make stops along our routes to places we are interested in visiting. It saves us time in that we would not have to drive again to that area, and breaks the journey.

5 nights somewhere in Piedmont close to Turin, from where you can do day trips in the piedmont region, visit city of Turin, do a day visit to the Italian/French/Swiss alps which most probably would give your daughter the opportunity to play with snow, and also a day trip to Lake Maggiore or Lake Como.

4 nights in Garda area, where you might do day trips to the amusement park, Trento or Bolzano and the surrounding breath-taking mountain scenary of the Dolomites, or a cable car ride to Mount Baldo in Malcesine, etc.

1 night Venice to catch plane back home, stopping on the way in Verona for a visit to the amphitheatre and centre. If you manage to find a flight from Verona, all the better. Alternatively, if you do not manage to find flights, you might do Garda first (visiting Verona from there) and leave Piedmont for last, flying out of Turin or Malpensa airport.

Of course, this would be MY ideal type of holiday, as my family is the type that likes to wander around and visit lots of places - if you are the typ that likes to base in one place that is another matter. But since you have all this time at your disposal, and you would be hiring and driving a car, (hich saves you a lot of time and is extremely convenient, I would certainly satisfy my curiosity and visit the places that I wish to go to.
Anna_Galea is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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oops sorry - I am adding up my nights and see there is 15 - if interested in this plan, you might lessen a day in Piedmont or Garda area, or try and take a flight out from Verona if it leaves in afternoon, so that it gives you plenty of time to get there. Otherwise you might need to stay 1 night in Venice, especially if plane departs early in the morning (many Americans say they need to catch an early flight from Venice) If you do 1 night in Venice, I would deposit car when I arrive in Venice, find hotel close to Termini station, and in that same evening take the ferry to central Venice for a stroll around the streets and main square. The refflection of the lights on the canals in Venice are breath-taking. Then early morning book a short taxi ride to airport.
Anna_Galea is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 07:22 PM
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Hi Anna_Galea:

We are flying from Australia.

I like all your suggestions.

With regard to flying out of Venice or Verona, we are continuing to Paris, so thought train from Turin, as daughter doesn't enjoy flying that much. Due to possible early morning direct train- would like to be close by train at least night before.

Would it be a good idea to base in Lucca insead of CT, or will I regret not staying on CT itself?

More concerned about parking car in CT than anything else.

I still think it is a good idea to stay at least one night around Perugia area.

Venice again for a day would be wonderful,but, considering there is so much else to do/see, easily leave that for hopefully another trip without a car.

I suppose considering it is a long trip for us, trying to anticipate how daughter will feel- eg. homesick, missing pets & friends/family for a total of 8-9 weeks.

Had trial run for 2-3 weeks last year to another state in Australia.

She didn't handle things well. She said afterwards that she wished we had seen more things even though she wanted to just stay and play with her cousins all the time. She was homesick. She remembers the places we did manage to drag her to, and enjoyed them, so that gives me hope. She still talks about them.

Husband says waste of time to go for short trips to Europe considering cost to get there in the first place from here!

(We head to Montreal to see family after Paris- so lots of flying)

Even though I would like to see many places- maybe a couple of bases is better, instead of 4-5. That is mainly my concern. I want her to look forward to another trip.

I sound all over the place, and I am!!

Thanks so much
3togo is offline  

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