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Switzerland and Piedmont, Italy itinerary suggestions

Switzerland and Piedmont, Italy itinerary suggestions

Apr 10th, 2014, 07:17 AM
  #21  
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If we were to validate our swiss pass between Zurich and Lucerne, we would need to buy a 15 day pass to cover our entire time in Switzerland!
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Apr 10th, 2014, 08:42 AM
  #22  
 
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regarding the Italian portion of your trip:

One possibility would be to rent the car in Aosta and then go to the Alba/Asti area first, then drop it off in Torino. You can head to Milan from there by train for your flight out.

Another option would be to take the train from the Berner Oberland directly into Italy and pick up a car after crossing the border to drive a scenic route through northern Lombardy to Asti or Torino -- but I am also pretty sure you can get from Interlaken to Torino by train in about 5 or 6 hours, with a switch in Milan, so you could skip renting the car if you wanted to see Torino first without one. Then rent the car in Torino to head off to Asti/Alba, etc.

It is not the worst thing in the world to have a car in a Torino. It's not ideal if you won't be using it to take day trips, because then you have to pay for parking. But it is fairly straightforward driving in and out of the city. The town is the former home of Fiat and was rebuilt for the automobile age.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 09:02 AM
  #23  
 
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PS: There are flights to Torino from various airports in Switzerland, either a non-stop out of Zurich that takes less than an hour or a one-stop connection through Munich that takes about 3 hours. I have no idea the typical cost. The airport in Torino is about an hour outside Torino.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 09:23 AM
  #24  
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Thank you, Sandra. I'd rather train than fly. Renting car in Torino excellent idea.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 09:30 AM
  #25  
 
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I can recommend two hotels from our visit to Piedmont a couple of years ago. In Piobesi d'Alba, we stayed at the hotel Tenuta Caretta, it Is attached to a winery with wonderful Barbaresco wines. We then traveled to Courmayeur and stayed at the Hotel Villa Novecente. You can visit Chamonix via the Mt. Blanc tunnel. Wonderful food at both hotels.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 10:35 AM
  #26  
 
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I'd rather train than fly>

One nice but longer route to Switzerland rather than via MIlan would be to take a train to Aosta then a bus thru the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Chamonix, France - a primo Alpine resort in its own right - from there you can hop one of Switzerland's specialty scenic trains to Martigny, Switzerland, on the Rhone Valley - and this is an absolutely thrilling ride as scenic as about any in Switzerland - more scenic IMO than the ballyhooed Glacier Express by far.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 04:35 PM
  #27  
 
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ronda,

If you want to rent a car in Torino and would rather take trains than fly, you could take the train from Aosta to Torino. It is quite simple.

Also, I will point out that one of the most famous transits in all of Europe is the 5-stage cable car ride that goes from Chamonix and over Mont Blanc into Italy, and once in Italy you can continue onward to other destinations in Italy by bus and train. However, I have not done it and I know nothing about whether the cable car allows you to take luggage (if you even wanted to do this at all).
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Apr 11th, 2014, 02:39 AM
  #28  
 
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Have a great time in Turin. I went there with no great expectations other than what I'd seen on TV from the Winter Olympics and was very pleasantly surprised. We stayed at the Hotel Victoria which was very charming and comfortable, but the showers were on the drizzle side. Weak water pressure.

The best gelato I've had in my life so far came from Cremeria Alice: http://www.cremeria-alice.it/

Don't miss having late afternoon drinks with free nibbles at the gorgeous cafes. Two we liked:
http://www.caffemulassano.com/locale.html
http://www.caffe-torino.it/Caffe_Torino/Album.html#5
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Apr 11th, 2014, 04:20 AM
  #29  
 
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I have not done it and I know nothing about whether the cable car allows you to take luggage >

I have taken that awesomely thrilling cable car ride - the best ever! The gondolas going over the sea of ice in between Pte Aiguille in France and Pte Heilbrenner in Italy (sp?) are small few-person cabins - but you could wedge in a smallish bag but to do it with what many tourists lug around I think not practical.

But that would be a great way to go between Chamonix and Aosta areas.
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Apr 11th, 2014, 06:46 AM
  #30  
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Oh, I thought it was a train. Scratch that idea!

Thanks WT! Good to know.
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Apr 11th, 2014, 06:52 AM
  #31  
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I meant I thought it was a road. After looking at the map I think there is. From Chamonix isn't there a road through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Aosta? Thought I read there is a bus service over this pass.
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Apr 11th, 2014, 11:22 AM
  #32  
 
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http://www.chamonix.net/english/trav...t-blanc-tunnel

tis a road indeed! And yes there is bus service from Chamonix thru the tunnel.
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Apr 11th, 2014, 11:33 AM
  #33  
 
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Yes, there is a road with bus service from Chamonix to Aosta, where you can continue on by bus, train or rental car.

Didn't mean to confuse you with the cable car option (which may not be a realistic option for your trip)
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Apr 16th, 2014, 07:27 PM
  #34  
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Bookmarking.
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May 3rd, 2014, 07:30 AM
  #35  
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Ok, so I now have in my possession several guide books for this area.

Cadogan for Italian Rivière and Piedmont. 5th edition, 2008, purchased used on Amazon. Seems very comprehensive, lots of nice maps, no photos.

Touring in Wine Country, northwest Italy by Maureen Ashley. First published in 1997, purchased on Amazon, used. Lots of photos, color maps. Geared, of course, mostly to wine.

Italy's Best Trips by Lonley Planet. 2013. Lots of maps and photos. Only a small portion is dedicated to the Piemonte area. Several driving tours with different themes are given. Purchased at Barnes and Noble.

Next to order, Michelin map of the area.
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May 3rd, 2014, 09:24 AM
  #36  
 
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Italy's Best Trips by Lonley Planet. 2013. Lots of maps and photos. Only a small portion is dedicated to the Piemonte area>

I often go to our local library and check out books like that and then photocopy the relevant pages so I do not have to lug around a hefty book - technically illegal probably but...

this way I can get different views from several sources and not be weighed down by the full books.
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May 3rd, 2014, 08:55 PM
  #37  
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Excellent idea. I used to do that in my big city library but unfortunately the small town we have moved to does not have that many travel books especially on such a small area as Piemonte. My husband picked out the Lonely Planet book. We also looked at the Michelin Guide for that area but decided against it. I am wondering though if the Michelin red restaurant guide to Italy, piemonte included, would be worth it.
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May 3rd, 2014, 08:56 PM
  #38  
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PS. When I buy guide books I am notorious for tearing out only the relevant pages I need and clipping them together.
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May 4th, 2014, 07:29 AM
  #39  
 
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We're lucky that our library has a used book sale and Let's Go Europes and Michelin guides from other folks trips are always on sale there - as well as many other guides - I buy them for 50 cents a piece and yes rip out the relevant pages.

I think many large libraries have used book sales from donated books to help pay costs.
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May 4th, 2014, 07:57 AM
  #40  
 
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How would this area be in October?
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