Should we base in Milan or Lake Garda

Old Apr 27th, 2011, 09:09 PM
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Should we base in Milan or Lake Garda

Hi there.

My wife and I are travelling Europe for 8 weeks over April/May/June 2012. The final 3.5 weeks of our journey will be travelling through Italy.

We plan to enter Italy from Zermatt (via Brig) on May 19, 2012. I had originally planned to spend a few days in Milan and then wanted to "somehow" get to see Verona and Lake Garda and eventually head to Venice.

We are hoping to keep accommodation prices between 100-125 Euro per night.

While researching Lake Garda it seemed a better option to base ourselves in one of the southern towns of Lake Garda and from there take day trips to:
1. Some scenic areas of Lake Garda (eg: Malcesine)
2. Milan
3. Verona
4. Modena

Then head off to Venice. Regarding this plan I have a number of questions:

1. Is it better logistically and financially to stay around Lake Garda, rather than Milan?
2. Where on Lake Garda should we base ourselves? Is there a particular town that would better serve us as far as our preferred Day Trips are concerned?
3. Are there a number of Scenic Day trips around Lake Garda which would include Malcesine?
4. Other than Malcesine, what other scenic areas should we NOT miss around L. Garda?
5. Can anyone recommend a Day Tripper coach company working out of (somewhere) in Lake Garda?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Regards, Steve.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Depends if you prefer staying in a city or on a lake, really....
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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 12:00 AM
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I guess its pretty much up to your requirements
Milan is a big city and has a good 2 days views.
Verona is a small city but is close to Padua, Soave, Vincenza and Lake Garda.
Lake Garda has a lake.

I'd stay in Verona
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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 12:40 AM
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Hotels in Milan are expensive for what they offer and this is essentially due to the substantial "easy" business they pick up from all the trade fairs, fashion shows etc.

Consider staying in Como or Cernobbio which allows easy day trips to Milan with the Ferrovie Milano Nord going from the lakeside to Milano Cadorna which is very close to the Last Supper of Leonardo.

Then consider staying at Verona which has a lovely centre and is very conveniently placed for travel in all directions. You mention Modena. I suggest you consider Mantova perhaps one of the most charming small cities in Northern Italy with all you need to see within a comfortable walking distance.
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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Milan is too expensive. I would spend time on Lago Garda and ply the lake by ferry to Riva, Limone and Malcesine.
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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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Town of Como a possibility also and easy access to the places mentioned above. DH and I actually made a day trip from Verona (agree that it's a good base) to Milan and saw Duomo, Last Supper, and a museum whose name I've lost.
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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Milan is around two hours from Lake Garda if the traffic flows OK along the autostrada and who knows how long if there's an accident or road works. It is a bit of a stretch for a day trip, so the time to see Milan is on the way from Zermatt.

If you don't want to hire a car, then you can catch the train from Milan to Brescia or Verona and then the local train to Peschiera del Garda. To then get to Venice you go back via Verona.

Travelling around the Lake is easy on the boats that ply across and up and down the water. Sirmione is my favourite village on the lake and then boats call in to the place directly. Don't miss any of the lakeside villages if time allows. Apart from the cable car up to Monte Baldo, Malcesine doesn't have that much to recommend it.
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Old Apr 28th, 2011, 07:34 PM
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Thank you all very much for the helpful info - and multo rapido as well!

From your suggestions I am now thinking of two bases:

Como - for the lake itself and day trips to Milan.
Verona - for the city itself and day trips to local areas, including Lake Garda.

How long do you recommend we stay in each?

From Verona we will be travelling to:

Venice
Cinque Terre
Tuscany
Sorrento (for Naples, Capri, Amalfi and Pompeii)
Roma - from where we will fly out back to Australia

Any suggestions for number of days and base cities? Bear in mind that we will have around 25 days maximum in Italy, beginning now in Como and ending in Rome.

Thanks again for all your helpful input.

Regards, Steve
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Old Apr 30th, 2011, 01:43 AM
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You need to get your geograhy of Italy clear in your head, so have a good look at a map. You're entering Italy from the North West into Milan, then intend to go clear over to to the North East (Venice) before coming back over to the North West coast again at Cinque Terre? Not really a good plan.

If you must see the Cinque Terre--much overrated IMHO, then go there from Milan. Then to Como, Venice, Tuscany, Sorrento and finally Rome.

There are proponents on here for Como, but I still much prefer Garda.
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Old Apr 30th, 2011, 02:58 AM
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Garda far prettier more scenic than Milano for what you want.

sirmione.com Hotel Eden my fav there

Desanzano di Garda Hotel Vittorio my #2

both sea views from 110 Euro/nt

easy train couple of hours to Venice 5 euro or so

regional trains.

Have fun,
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Old Apr 30th, 2011, 03:07 AM
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Generally would stay flexible

train around as I like to neat areas.

www.metropole.it my fav hotel in Portofino/CT area

paid 120 euro for a sea view room in the Red Lodge

when there last it was awesome.

In Venice on Otel.com got a canal view suite

59 euro/nt www.hotelpausania.it awesome value.

request #211 it is the pick of the litter there.

Pitti Palace hotel was nice for the price in Florence.

Also went to Orvieto Hotel Grand Italie for 110 euro/nt

It is an awesome hill town with lots of Etruscan history

north of Rome.

Usually try to stay on regional trains save a tonne of money.

Happy Journey,

Just got back from Amalfi paid 60 euro/nt for an awesome

view over Capri Ischia at www.hoteldelfino.com

booked on Otel.com

Truly best value of my most recent journey.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 03:24 AM
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Lifeman:
"You need to get your geograhy of Italy clear in your head, so have a good look at a map. You're entering Italy from the North West into Milan, then intend to go clear over to to the North East (Venice) before coming back over to the North West coast again at Cinque Terre? Not really a good plan."

I'm pretty sure if you looked at a map of Italy you would find that Milan -> Venice -> CT -> Tuscany is not nearly as far as Milan -> CT -> Venice -> Tuscany!
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Old May 1st, 2011, 05:20 AM
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I would choose either Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast for this trip. Unless you plan to hike, choose the Amalfi Coast. If you then find your itinerary with 2 or 3 extra days, include Florence, our favorite place in Italy. We have made 8 trips to Italy, seeing and doing pretty much everything except Sardinia and have included time in Florence on each trip.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 02:16 AM
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My apologies..using Michelin Guides, I find that both routes come out at around 548 miles, so nothing in it really.
Lifeman is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Thank you all very much for your helpful information and thoughts. We have taken all your ideas into account and also - due to flight home restrictions - have had to add two more days to our Italian section of our trip. With that in mind (I hope this is ok) I have decided to end this thread and will begin a new "Help With Our 27 Day Italian Sector" thread.

Thanks very much once again to all who contributed.

Steve
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