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Suggestions for one more stop on our Northern Italian itinerary

Suggestions for one more stop on our Northern Italian itinerary

May 4th, 2019, 05:22 PM
  #1  
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Suggestions for one more stop on our Northern Italian itinerary

My family and I are beginning to plan our Italian vacation for July 2020. For a little background...last summer we took our first trip there, visiting Florence, Rome, and Amalfi Coast. We were a group of 10, ages 11-76, and we all had an amazing time. So much so that we are planning another trip for next summer! Well have about 14-15 days (not including flight days). Places we know are on the itinerary are 3 days in Ancona on the east coast to visit family, then on to Venice for 3, then to Lake Como for 3 days. Wed like to fit in one more destination. Some in the group are thinking Cinque Terre, many would like to end with some more time in Florence as we all felt our time there last year was too short. Does anyone have any other ideas for a final location I should look into that would fit in nicely to our itinerary?

Last edited by allieinnj; May 4th, 2019 at 05:23 PM. Reason: Spelling
allieinnj is offline  
May 4th, 2019, 08:29 PM
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What airport will you fly into and out of? You'll want/need to spend the last night fairly near your departing airport, so that would likely determine in what direction you'd want to go.

I'm not sure you have as much time for another stop as you might think. Are you flying into Ancona? Have you looked to see how long the drives/train rides between points are? When you say "3 days," do you mean you'll spend 4 nights? Because you'll easily lose a half day or more traveling between points.

Have you seen pictures of the tourist crowds in the Cinque Terre in high season summer? I'm not sure this video is even in summer....

Jean is offline  
May 4th, 2019, 08:39 PM
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Sienna ,Pisa,Bologna?

But I agree with the point of checking what would be easiest in terms of travel. Also what are you interested in?
Traveler_Nick is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 12:17 AM
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West of Ancona: Perugia
Between Ancona and Venice: Ravenna, Ferarra, Mantova (incl Mincio cruises)
North of Venice: Dolomites
Between Venice and Milan: Verona and Lake Garda
North of Milan/Lake Como: Swiss Alps
neckervd is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 03:01 AM
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Is it the same group (10 people)? The way I count it, with 14 days, 9 of them accounted for, when you factor in travel time and getting settled in a new location (which must be quite a headache and time-consuming with 10 people), you realistically have about 2 extra days to play with. Neckervd has given you a good list, but I'd want more time in any of those places. Then there is the consideration that you'll want to be very close to, or at the airport the night before your departure.

I really wouldn't mess with the Cinque Terre in July.
StCirq is online now  
May 5th, 2019, 06:17 AM
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Ugh. That video. Reinforces why I travel in March.
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 06:45 AM
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Thanks so much for the great ideas! A little more info...we are early enough in our planning that we can play around with the order of our destinations and we don’t have airfare yet so we can also be flexible there. Last year we flew in and out of Rome but we could do an open jaw ticket this time if it makes sense. Our group of 10 consists of my MIL and FIL (in their 70s), my husband and myself, SIL and BIL, my 2 kids (12 and 15) and my 2 nephews (14 and 17). It sounds like traveling with this group might be crazy but our trip last year was awesome and we really did have the most amazing time! We also can add another couple days to the trip if it makes it more comfortable to add in a 4th stop. MIL really wanted to go up into Switzerland, SIL and FIL thought it’d be too far to travel there, and feel we can get the same feel of mountain/lake experience in one of the Italian Lakes. I’d love to see Switzerland but also Lake Como so I’ll be neutral on the one and go with what the group decides. Any thoughts on if a spot in Switzerland should over ride Lake Como? I’m going to check into the other suggestions you’ve all made. We’ll all be getting together in the next couple weeks to talk about our ideas, make our cases for what we want on the itinerary and then go from there.
allieinnj is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 07:50 AM
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The possible destinations are too numerous to list, and you can go to any of them if you have enough time. A few destinations/areas are better seen by car, which with 10 people + luggage means 3 cars or a large van, and driving can be slow on small country or mountain roads. If you don't want to drive, then you're limited to destinations with train service. If you want to add Switzerland, then either fly into the country or fly out of it and research the travel times between points in Switzerland and Italy. If you're going to include Switzerland, IMO you'd want to add more than just a couple of days to make it "worth" the travel time it would add.

FWIW, the "experience" of Lake Como doesn't compare to the mental postcard most people have of Switzerland which is soaring mountain peaks with cable cars to the tops, waterfalls, green hanging valleys, glaciers, chalets, cows, etc. The youngest in your group might enjoy time in Switzerland over Lake Como.

You've had some experience with this group and know how well and how quickly you can travel, but I have to say if I was traveling in a large group I would want a minimum of 4 days (5 nights) in Venice just because large groups take more time to get around, eat a meal, take bathroom breaks, visit a museum, etc., and Venice will be very crowded.
Jean is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 09:55 AM
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<<which with 10 people + luggage means 3 cars or a large van>>

Nope, large van won't cut it. AFAIK, the largest van you can rent without a special commercial license anywhere in Europe seats 9 people, and even that leaves precious little room for luggage.

And of course multiple cars adds to the logistics issues.
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May 5th, 2019, 12:27 PM
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The Swiss border is less than 2 miles West of Lake Como. The best viewpoint over Lake Como and the Alps (Monte Generoso) can be reached from the Swiss side by cog wheel train.
neckervd is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 01:10 PM
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I would add at least 3 days for Lake Maggiore (not too far from Lake Como - we had driven in the opposite direction last year). And I would do it instead of insanely crowded Cinque Terre. On Lake Maggiore, can take a ferry to the most gorgeous Isola Bella and Isola Madre - both are absolutely magical. You can also take a ferry to the Swiss part of Lake Maggiore, if you want.
vinonobile987 is offline  
May 5th, 2019, 01:34 PM
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I would also plug for Lago Maggiore. I like it SO much more than Como and Garda.
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May 5th, 2019, 01:36 PM
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Same here. Lago Maggiore is my favorite Italian lake.
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May 6th, 2019, 01:35 AM
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....and if you want to go from Stresa/Lake Maggiore to the longest glacier of the Alps (Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland) it takes just 1 3/4 hrs OW by train and gondola.
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