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Seeking suggestions for 10 Day Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland Itinerary

Seeking suggestions for 10 Day Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland Itinerary

Old Dec 4th, 2023, 02:34 PM
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Seeking suggestions for 10 Day Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland Itinerary

Following a group trip that ends in Venice, my husband and I are picking up a rental car in Venice Mestre, leaving it when we depart from Milan, and have planned the following itinerary. We’ve visited Italy, Austria, and Switzerland before and are picking up places that would be new to us, plus a bit of Germany. We're in our mid-70’s and are looking forward to exploring the towns, lakes, and mountains, but not hiking (bad knees). From those who are familiar with these areas, can you suggest specific sights and experiences in or near these stops, or even changes to the itinerary? Recommendations for accommodations and restaurants are welcome, too. Thanks in advance for your input.

Bolzano, Italy (2 nights) - stop in Verona on the way

Innsbruck, Austria (2 nights)

Fussen/Garmisch Partenkirche, Germany area (2 nights)

Konstanz or Lindau (1 night)

Lugano, Switzerland (2 nights)

Milan, Italy (1 night) - Depart from Milan
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Old Dec 4th, 2023, 03:43 PM
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Also in our mid 70's but, luckily, we're still hiking. We've been to these places, with the exception of Konstanz / Lindau. Since a lot of our activity is walking (mountain or urban) my comments may be limited. But here they are:

Bolzano -- the Otzi (iceman) museum, shopping, cable car ride into the mountains

Innsbruck -- the old town, an evening Tyrolean show at Tiroler Abende mit der Familie Gundolf, the Hofburg palace is only just OK

Fussen -- Neuschwanstein and / or Schwangau castles, some walking involved

Lugano -- boat ride, the town is very hilly

It's a long way from Fussen to Milan because of the mountains. You might consider eliminating Fussen and Innsbruck, and spending more time in the Dolomites around Bolzano, then driving through the Engadine in Switzerland and down to Lugano or Como. Less car time this way. Have fun.
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Old Dec 4th, 2023, 06:00 PM
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What time of year?

I appreciate your choices, but this would not be an itinerary I'd enjoy. The pace of back-to-back-to-back one- and two-night stays just doesn't appeal (I'm 72). For me, a short stop in Verona on the way from Mestre to Bolzano would be too quick, esp. as you have to park outside the ZTL. And I wouldn't want to speed past Lake Garda without actually seeing it. (Maybe you've been there before?) FWIW, I think the scenery around Lake Garda is more dramatic than Lake Lugano. Bolzano is a moderately interesting town but IMO skippable if you're not going to visit the Iceman Museum. Without Otzi, I think Verona is more interesting than Bolzano. And I'd rather stay multiple nights (4-5) IN the Dolomites than Bolzano.. Perhaps Ortisei. (You could visit Bolzano from Ortisei... less than an hour's drive, or take the bus.) Then drive to Milan through the huge protected area of national and regional parks... Stelvio, Adamello Brenta, Swiss National. If the departing flight isn't too early, you could spend the last night somewhere on Lake Como.

It's been a lifetime since we went to Innsbruck... 1976 Olympics! We had a great time, but it was obviously not the typical tourist visit.
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Old Dec 4th, 2023, 10:57 PM
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Way too much moving around for such a short visit. One and two night stays make me cringe as you just have no time to see and do things you've come to see and do. I suggest adding another 10 days or cutting back to two locations.
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Old Dec 5th, 2023, 12:45 AM
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less is more. I'd spend more time on research over a smaller area, there are some real wonders within the area you have selected, but your choices are just big ticket items
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Old Dec 5th, 2023, 12:49 AM
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It would be nicer to reach Bolzano/Bozen through the Dolomites.
As you prefer to travel via Verona I suggest to drive up to Peschiera and then along Lake Garda to Riva - Rovereto....... (much more scenic itinerary)
Konstanz is not along the Fuessen - Lugano itinerary. Stay at Lindau (or Bregenz!) in order to enjoy Lake Constance.

BTW: there is good public transport along the whole itinerary:
Venice - Verona (train change) - Bolzano/Bozen - Innsbruck (train change) - Garmisch (train change) - Ulrichsbrücke-Fuessen. Fuessen - Buchloe (train change) - Lindau - Bregenz - Zurich (train change) - Lugano (train change) - Milano Malpensa airport Terminal 1.

Last edited by neckervd; Dec 5th, 2023 at 12:55 AM.
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Old Jan 9th, 2024, 01:53 PM
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"It's a long way from Fussen to Milan because of the mountains. You might consider eliminating Fussen and Innsbruck, and spending more time in the Dolomites around Bolzano, then driving through the Engadine in Switzerland and down to Lugano or Como. Less car time this way. Have fun."

Thanks for your thoughtful reply but I'm confused by this part of your comments. We would not be traveling from Fussen to Milan but would be stopping at Konstanz or Lindau and at Lugano on the way to Milan. From the Fussen area to Milan Linate (our departing airport) is only 275 miles miles, which isn't a long distance in our book. And as we don't plan to hike, driving in pretty surroundings is something we enjoy. We've already seen much of Switzerland on another trip but haven't been to Lindau or Konstanz, or to Lugano, places that good friends have highly recommended. The idea of mixing mountains and lakes is more apealing than spending all of our time in the mountains.
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Old Jan 9th, 2024, 01:58 PM
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We prefer to drive this trip!

Originally Posted by neckervd
It would be nicer to reach Bolzano/Bozen through the Dolomites.
As you prefer to travel via Verona I suggest to drive up to Peschiera and then along Lake Garda to Riva - Rovereto....... (much more scenic itinerary)
Konstanz is not along the Fuessen - Lugano itinerary. Stay at Lindau (or Bregenz!) in order to enjoy Lake Constance.

BTW: there is good public transport along the whole itinerary:
Venice - Verona (train change) - Bolzano/Bozen - Innsbruck (train change) - Garmisch (train change) - Ulrichsbrücke-Fuessen. Fuessen - Buchloe (train change) - Lindau - Bregenz - Zurich (train change) - Lugano (train change) - Milano Malpensa airport Terminal 1.
Thanks for your response. Since making this post, I've assembled a number of alternate rotues from Venice to Bolzano and will let my husband decide which he prefers since he's the driver. We did a previous trip by train and have done Italy by both train and car, and although we love trains in Europe, we want to do this trip by car to allow more flexibility and to do short trips out from the various stops.
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Old Jan 9th, 2024, 02:10 PM
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Different strokes for different folks

Originally Posted by Melnq8
Way too much moving around for such a short visit. One and two night stays make me cringe as you just have no time to see and do things you've come to see and do. I suggest adding another 10 days or cutting back to two locations.
I appreciated your posts when we planned our first trip to Switzerland. We've done a number of trips through various parts of Europe and have leaned to judge how much time we need in each place based on what we plan to do. We're also able to accomplish a lot in a short stay as we're up early and out late, and don't dawdle as some travelers do. We're unable to hike because of age and mobility issues, and we've seen so many castles, estates, and even churches (my big draw) that we are now able to be selective ant not feel compelled to visit those that seem repetitive. Our primary interest on this trip is driving through pretty scenery and wandering through some old town areas, so longer stays don't seem to be required. If we had more travel years left, we could focus on smaller areas knwoing that we could return but our years have become more limited, so we're trying to fill in places that we've missed on previous trips and add some new areas. This itinerary will accomplish that goal.
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Old Jan 9th, 2024, 02:22 PM
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And sometimes more is more

Originally Posted by bilboburgler
less is more. I'd spend more time on research over a smaller area, there are some real wonders within the area you have selected, but your choices are just big ticket items
I recall your posts when we were planning a trip to Switzerland many years ago and appreciated them. We've done a lot more travel since then and have learned that approaches to travel need to be varied depending on the goal of the trip, circumstances, age, mobility, and other issues. This trip fills in some places we missed in Italy and in Switzerland on previous travels and that friends have highly recommended, gives me a taste of Germany in case we aren't able to return, and allows us to pick up and drop off a rental car in the same country to avoid the expense of dropping it off in another country. We've driven 2500 miles in France and made longer trips through parts of the US, so this feels like a very compact trip to us (only 650 miles from start to finish).
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Old Jan 9th, 2024, 02:37 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions

Originally Posted by Jean
What time of year?

I appreciate your choices, but this would not be an itinerary I'd enjoy. The pace of back-to-back-to-back one- and two-night stays just doesn't appeal (I'm 72). For me, a short stop in Verona on the way from Mestre to Bolzano would be too quick, esp. as you have to park outside the ZTL. And I wouldn't want to speed past Lake Garda without actually seeing it. (Maybe you've been there before?) FWIW, I think the scenery around Lake Garda is more dramatic than Lake Lugano. Bolzano is a moderately interesting town but IMO skippable if you're not going to visit the Iceman Museum. Without Otzi, I think Verona is more interesting than Bolzano. And I'd rather stay multiple nights (4-5) IN the Dolomites than Bolzano.. Perhaps Ortisei. (You could visit Bolzano from Ortisei... less than an hour's drive, or take the bus.) Then drive to Milan through the huge protected area of national and regional parks... Stelvio, Adamello Brenta, Swiss National. If the departing flight isn't too early, you could spend the last night somewhere on Lake Como.

It's been a lifetime since we went to Innsbruck... 1976 Olympics! We had a great time, but it was obviously not the typical tourist visit.
The stops on this itinerary were determined by fillng in places we missed on previous trips and the recommendations of trusted and well-traveled friends. From beginning to end it only covers 650 miles, which to us seems like a small area to cover in 10 days. As it turns out, we may take a different route from Venice to Bolzano and I have noted a route that travels along the western side of Lake Garda as one possibility. We'll be looking at Lake Garda but have a solid recommendation from a best friend to see Lugano and Morcote, and a friend who has stayed in Lindau twice loved it and has posted beautiful photos from there. We spent several days visitng towns on Lake Como on a previous trip and enjoyed that thoroughly. We do plan to visit Otzi in Bolzano, which sounds and looks delightful based on the research I've done, and is an easy base from which to make other drives. We're primarily planning scenic drives and walks through old towns so some variety will be welcomed.
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