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Starting N. Italy planning! (And Dubrovnik too)

Starting N. Italy planning! (And Dubrovnik too)

Old May 4th, 2017, 06:13 PM
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Thanks, suki.

But do you really think a week is too much if we're also doing 3 or 4 day trips?
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Old May 4th, 2017, 07:38 PM
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I don't know what day trips from Turin you were thinking of, but I don't think that's the best way to see the region. FYI, Piedmont is larger than Tuscany, and Turin has a ZTL. As with Tuscany, the secondary roads are much more interesting than the autostrade but the trade-off is a slower pace.

I would recommend a couple of days in Turin and then 5-7 days in a small town like Alba or Bra. There are several food and wine festivals in September and October. The Palio di Asti is the 3rd weekend of September, and Alba hosts a regional wine festival. Alba's annual white truffle fair is in October. Or there's just going after the Three Big B wines of Italy: Brunello, Barolo, Barbaresco.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 09:53 PM
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We loved Turin; it reminded me of San Francisco in some strange way. Maybe not the most beautiful city in Italy-- but a great city with lovely walking and great transportation.

Many trips to Italy, and we had one of our favorite meals of all in Turin, at Ristorante Galante. It's not in a fancy area-- quite by the train station. But they just keep bringing food, with smiles on their faces.

That city is just filled with great restaurants!

We spent time above Turin at Parco Grand Paradiso... a gorgeous spot high up in the mountains. However, it may be really snowy when you go. (it snowed in June after 3 days of big sunshine!)

We also went to Pres St Didier for the thermal water. It was gorgeous and special. I think it's about a 2 hour drive from Turin.

We love Bologna and it's definitely good for a week, as it's such a great base. Another food mecca... once you decide definitely where you're going, we can all join in on hotels and food!
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Old May 4th, 2017, 11:21 PM
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I'd use Bologna as a base for train visits around, include Ferrara and Ravenna

Plan Dubrovnik visit when the fat ships are out.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 01:28 PM
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Bologna is a great base for day trips as it has excellent train connections. We esp loved Ravenna which is an easy train ride from Bologna. I love the food in Italy and Bologna ranks right near the top.

Not sure if you eliminated Milan or not, but Ithink its a great city with much to see. We had visited for a day or 2 arriving or departing from the Milan airport. We finally spent a bit longer and really enjoyed the city.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 09:09 PM
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A week of day-tripping in Bologna is not a lot. We did exactly that 3 years ago in the first week of November during our kids' fall break. We took trains everywhere; Bologna is well connected within Emilia Romagna as well as to other regions of Italy by train - Florence is only 35 minutes away, Venice is an hour and 25 minutes. We visited Parma, Modena, Ravenna, Ferrara, and even Venice. We had gorgeous weather the entire week except for a day in Venice when it rained (we still had fun, we had visited Venice before). Ferrara (not the home of the Ferrari factory, that is in Modena) has a nice castle in the center of town which is a UNESCO world heritage site. You could possibly visit Parma and Ferrara on the same day. Food throughout the region was just amaaazing - fresh, flavorful. You will have access to a wider range of places since you will be driving, we mostly stuck to the centers of the towns we visited. If you are into food you could look up some of the famous chefs who trained in that area - Michael White comes to mind, as does Mario Batali.

Bologna is different from the rest of Italy - even a little dark perhaps. It does not have any world heritage sites; the porticoes of Bologna, along with the distinctive 4 km wall of porticoes with 666 arches leading up to the church of the Madonna of San Lucas are on the UNESCO's tentative list. The porticoes also offer protection from the rain - so no need to be confined indoors if you can't go on a day trip. We had long dinners on most evenings in Bologna, sometimes stopping for dessert at a different place after our day trips. We flew back from Milan - it was OK IMO. We have visited Italy many times, but this is the trip we talk about the most.
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Old May 6th, 2017, 05:38 AM
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Wonderful information!

We are slow travelers. I think three weeks is a nice long time to be in one part of Italy but prefer not to break it up into five or six mini-stops. Almost always, if I've been told that two or three days was long enough in a place, I've wished I had a day or two more. I don't mind day trips and would be fine with a day here or there in a small town but moving there, luggage and all, seems to take up too much time for me (to say nothing of psychic energy!).

I've heard so much about the food and Jamikins even sent me absolutely mouth-watering pics! I think I should stop eating right now to prepare for the upcoming food fest! We love good food and my SO enjoys good wine and I will ask for restaurant recs later. Neither of us is a foodie in the way people are knowledgeable about chefs and restaurants and vineyards but interesting little lunches and long lovely dinners sound perfect!

Thanks all, again!
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Old May 7th, 2017, 03:44 AM
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I'm like that too, goddesstogo. 3 nights someplace is the bare minimum and even this is too short, I really need to sink into a place. I was in Turin for a music festival back in September 2015 and this dictated that I stay put on days which I could have gone out of the city for a half of full day trip.

There were quite a few options for day trips, even ones I hadn't known of before but got acquainted with once there. The tourist office could be helpful in that respect:

I liked roaming around town, between one majestic piazza to another (some were in residential areas), in and out of fabulous baroque churches. Parts of it reminded me of Paris. One stroll I'd intended to do but ended up not doing, was visiting a district which has a few Art-Nouveau-fronted buildings.

These ideas might be helpful:
I wish I'd known about the first walk before my trip. But there's always a next time...

Also, I just loved the food at Tre Galli, dined there twice:
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Old May 7th, 2017, 05:49 AM
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Thanks so much, Karen! 'Roaming' is exactly what we like to do and then take in a few local events, especially market days. And many thanks for the great links, too!
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