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Switzerland to Northern Italy

Old Mar 26th, 2013, 12:11 PM
  #21  
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Thanks, guys... I think that's a trifle exaggerated, getting home at midnight, etc. if the trains are so frequent! We're early morning risers, so having a couple of hours there before day-trippers is perfectly doable. I think Padua sounds a delightful place to stay and probably overlooked by travellers making a beeline for Venice. Quite happy with the decision, especially since it's also convenient for Verona.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 04:41 PM
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We took the train from Lauterbrunnen to Venice in August 2012. I think it was 6 hours through Brig. Venice is definitely a must see, but the crowds during the prime day hours squeezing through the narrow streets in summer was trying on our patience at times. We stayed in a reasonable (for Venice) suite room at Ca'angeli on the main canal near the Rialto Bridge.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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Thanks, javafan - it's great to have an idea of the travel time to Venice. Yes, it is a must see, for sure. Hopefully (maybe not?) the crowds might be slightly reduced in late Sept., and also weather cooler.

In spite of many recommendations we stay IN Venice, I'm sticking to my guns with Padua! I really think the boys may tire of Venice quite quickly, and then at least we have the option of just chilling out in Padua, or hopping along to Verona. It is the tail end of our trip, after all. I can imagine we'll all be beginning to think about home. And after all, Italy is Italy and everywhere is some sort of eye-opening experience!
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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"I think that's a trifle exaggerated, getting home at midnight".
It's up to you. Italian people usuallly enter restaurants for dinner around 8pm. Count about 1 1/2 hrs for a good meal (until you have paid the bill) and half an hour or so for a gentle walk to the railway station.
There are trains to Padova at 20.40, 21.04, 22.17, 0.08 and 5.07
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 06:57 AM
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"I think that's a trifle exaggerated, getting home at midnight".
It's up to you. Italian people usuallly enter restaurants for dinner around 8pm. Count about 1 1/2 hrs for a good meal (until you have paid the bill) and half an hour or so for a gentle walk to the railway station.
There are trains to Padova at 20.40, 21.04, 22.17, 0.08 and 5.07
with arrival at Padova at...... 21.25, 21.52, 23.03 ....
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 07:39 AM
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I like Padua! But you really do need to stay in Venice to experience it fully. I can't imagine kids tiring of Venice.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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OK, so here's the thing. We'll stay in Padua, day-trip to Venice (early start, early finish, dinner in Padua; or late start, late finish, dinner in Venice). If they fall in love with it and say 'let's go back and stay here instead', we will! That's my thinking at the moment. It is difficult, with so few nights left in the trip. Staying in Venice would seem to preclude Verona, which is what's making it difficult. AAGGH!!
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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OK, rethink! All you lovely helpful people, tell me what you think of this!

Travel from Grindelwald to Venice, which I believe is about 7.5 hours? Please correct/confirm. If there is more than 1 route, pls let me know.

Stay 2 nights Venice.

Stay 1 night Verona.

Stay 2 nights Bergamo, which could include a day trip to lake. Up early for shuttle into Milan for long flight home (to Australia).
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 03:20 AM
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I see you are caving to the 'stay in Venice' people. Seriously, staying IN Venice is wonderful and if you have the time and can afford it you should do it. But I would spend all three nights there and do Verona as a day trip even though it will mean a little extra time on the train. It is only just over one hour from Veniza SL (the station IN Venice) to Verona (most trips are 1 hr 10 minutes). You'd loose more time in switching hotels than you would save in not taking the extra train trip. Actually your sons will probably enjoy multiple train trips.

And if you do this you would have the advantage of being able to leave Venice during its most crowded hours. I would do this: first day spend it in Venice. Day two take the train to Verona - you will probably want to spend the entire day, but if you don't you can always stop in Padua on the way back. Day three go to Padua if you didn't stop there on day two.

Another idea to consider since you seem to really want to try and include a lake visit is Sirmione on Lake Garda. It's another half hour past Verona but I suppose you could do it en route to Bergamo if you don't have too much luggage. I don't recall if there was left luggage at the Desanzano del Garda train station (the station you get off at in order to catch the ferry over to Sirmirone). You could also combine it with your Verona day trip but it would be a very long day. I'm suggesting this because I think your sons might find the castle there more interesting than anything they are going to find at Lake Como.

Actually, now that I write this - here's another suggestion. Go with your two days in Venice (day trip one of them to Padua). Then move to Verona but stay two nights and do a day trip to Sirmione and only have one night in Bergamo. If you got to Bergamo by mid day (easy enough to do from Verona) you'd have enough time to see the old city with only one night.

Here's photos of Sirmione: http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/ital...s_cinque_terre
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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You have been SO helpful, isabel. Thank you!! Your mention of a castle was spot-on, because it was one of the things the boys said they'd like to see in Europe and there wasn't one on our itinerary (bad mum!).

So I think we will do as you suggest, but since we'll be arriving in Venice late-ish on day 1 after train from Switzerland, I think we may be better off just staying there without any day tripping, until moving on to Verona for the next 2 nights. And at least on the day we leave (Venice), we won't have to start at the crack of dawn, but can enjoy the morning once again without the crowds. Two days in Verona gives us the chance to see the colosseum and see the castle!

The only thing I'm not really looking forward to is the LONG train trip from Switzerland and the semi-loss of a day, but them's the breaks. It's called 'travelling'!

What do you think? You have been so knowledgeable and helpful!
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 07:36 AM
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Castles? You will find some of them every few miles!
The most popular castles (which can be visited) along your itinerary are:
Thun, Wimmis, Spiez, Oberhofen (all around Lake Thun), Brig, Vocogna, Isola Bella, Angera, Somma Lombardo, Castello Sforzesco a Milano.....
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:28 PM
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Fair enough!!

Final adjustment to plans:
2 nights Verona (not such a long trip from Switz)
2 nights Venice (arrive fresh and earlier from Verona)
1 night Bergamo
home to Oz
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