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Switzerland/ Italy Itineary advice needed

Switzerland/ Italy Itineary advice needed

Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 06:34 AM
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Switzerland/ Italy Itineary advice needed

I am planning a trip for late September for about 18 days. We are thinking of flying into Zurich and taking the train to somewhere in the Berner Oberland region. Is late September too late to go? Any info on temps and rain would be appreciated. We would like to stay about 5 nights without a car and then train to Cinque Terre for 3 nights. Then train to Venice for 4 nights and fly back home from there. We do have two additional nights between Cinque Terre and Venice. Can anyone recommend a stop between the two?
We would like to do the train everywhere. Is this resonable without alot of inconvienence? Is there a pass we can buy for all the trains?
Everyones input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much! This board is amazing!
Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 06:55 AM
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Debb--For rail passes, check www.raileurope.com. You can certainly use trains for the itinerary you described. As for the time of year, it is getting toward the point where the weather can become a bit cool in the mountain areas. It's hard to project exactly; I've been in those areas in mid-September when it was nice and balmy, and in other years when it was cold and blustery. Chances are that you will run into some showers, but the AVERAGE temperature in the BO should be a high close to 60F, and a low around 40F if you aren't high in the mountains. If you are somewhere like Murren or Wengen, you can expect it to be a little cooler. Actually, as you go into the later fall months, the average rainfall decreases, so you might get lucky there. Of course, averages don't have a lot of meaning if you are standing in a rain shower, waiting to get on the Murren cable-car. For a central location in the BO, I'd suggest you stick with Interlaken. It' convenient to everything else, and it has good train connections. Other than in the BO region, the weather should still be nice--not too cool, and not too rainy. Certainly the CT and Venice should be very pleasant. As for a stop along the way between CT and Venice, there are lots of good spots; but I'd recommend taking a route that goes through Ferrara. Any route you take will have some stops, and Ferrara is just a wonderful city that most tourists haven't discovered. If you want to stick with the better-known large cities, stop over in Bologna, also a great place for exploring and eating out. There are several train routes, so go to the web site and work on what route you prefer.
Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 09:02 AM
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Just about as amazing as this board (maybe more so) - - is www.twenj.net - - especially for the Bernese Oberland. The site is/was a labor of love by dearly departed "regular" here - - Edward Gehrlein.

Missed, and not forgotten.

Best wishes,

Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 09:49 AM
chris in texas
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Agree with Rex on the above site. We were extremely satisfied with Murren when we were there last July. Don't know how it is in September though. It fulfilled all my expectations of Switzerland.

For Rail schedules in Switzerland use www.rail.ch

Old Apr 3rd, 2002, 10:33 AM
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I feel a little inadequate to be posting--just have one European trip under my belt. But here goes--if there is anyway to get to Salzburg, I would highly recommend it!!! Even if you have to cut your days in Venice. We drove from Switzerland to Neuschweinstein Castle to Salzburg and then to Venice (approx. six hours from Salzburg) in September. The weather was great--light jacket recommended. The day in Venice was over 90 degrees! I was not that impressed with Venice, but Salzburg was absolutely wonderful!!!
Old Apr 5th, 2002, 05:02 AM
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Hi debb, Have you considered staying at the foot of the mountains on lake Brienz or lake Thun? Those who've been there in September may be able to tell you if temps will be warmer along the lake rather than up in the mountains. Daytrips in all directions are easy if your spot is along the rail line,which goes along the southern side of Thunersee and then the northern side of Brienzersee. The lake villages are charmers. Brienz is pretty, if someone will advise you about how crowded it might be in September. Your trip sounds wonderful! J.
Old Apr 5th, 2002, 12:31 PM
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Old Apr 6th, 2002, 07:01 AM
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The train pass question is always a complicated one for Switzerland as there are so many options. When we took a 10-day trip Zurich-Lugano-Florence-CT-BO-Geneva, we got a Eurail pass of some sort that covered the two countries and was economical for the long distances and then bought local tickets in the Berner Oberland for the trains and cable cars not included.
Old Apr 6th, 2002, 07:21 AM
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I have been to the Bernese Oberland several times, twice in late September. One year was sunny and beautiful, the other year was raining on the lower areas and snowing heavily up on the upper parts of the Jungfraujoch train trip. Both times were fun in different ways; the second time there was not much of a view but the scenery was gorgeous like a Christmas card. The weather is always iffy in the mountains; I have seen grey overcast skies and pouring rain in other times of year as well. Try to be flexible; if the weather is good, do the mountains and if it is bad, see castles or move on. The swiss train system is great and Interlaken area is central, so on a cloudy day you could try a day trip to another area of the country to a medieval town. I like the Bernese area a lot; I have stayed in Interlaken for convenient train connections down to Italy, but Murren is beautiful and I would like to stay there. As for stops between the CT and Venice, I would go to Verona. It is a wonderful city with roman ruins (big arena) medieval buildings (bridge, castle, etc.) and a nice lively atmosphere. I have been there several times and really like it. From there you can also day trip to Mantua to see the palace and famous frescos by Mantegna. The train is the way to go, no point in getting a car for this trip. Rail fares in Italy are cheap but steep in Switzerland, try to decide if a pass is worth it. Have fun, and try the swiss Caillier milk chocolate bars (lavender and gold wrappers)- my favorites! Sitting on a train going up the Jungfraujoch and munching on this choclate is a special memory.

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