Three weeks in northern Italy by train

Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 10:29 AM
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Three weeks in northern Italy by train

This is a preliminary itinerary starting on September 18th. Would appreciate your thoughts, thank you.
We will be flying in and out of Milan and traveling by train.

Milan, 3 nts
Verona, 2 nts
Venice, 4 nts
Bologna, 5 nts
Rimini, 2 nts
Florence, 6 nts
Milan, 1 night
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 04:47 PM
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It sounds good, but, if it was my trip, I'd head to Verona immediately after landing. You'll already be on the train from Malpensa to Milano Centrale for about an hour and, after a short but comfortable connection, Verona is only 2 hours farther. There are even a few train combos during the day that only take 2:15 hours in total from Malpensa to Verona Porto Nuova. If you put all of your Milan nights at the end, you eliminate one hotel change.

I like the fact that it appears you'll be in Florence entirely mid-week. Weekends can be problematic with museum open/closed hours.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 07:41 PM
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I like your suggestion, thank you so much. This will allow us another night in Florence!
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 02:23 AM
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I cannot imagine what you plan to do at Rimini (less than 2 hrs by train from Bologna) during 2 long days.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 02:43 AM
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Good advice and Rimini (what is there to do in Rimini?)

You could swap it to stay in Padova (Padua) or Mantua or even Ferrara and hire a bike to visit the Po.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 03:06 AM
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Why Rimini? Why not Ravenna?

The mosaics there are some of the most astounding anywhere and while we did a day trip to this small city, many love it at night when the tourists are gone.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 04:16 AM
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Ravenna centre is a little gem.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
I cannot imagine what you plan to do at Rimini (less than 2 hrs by train from Bologna) during 2 long days.
Thanks for your comment. My research indicates things of interest such as the Borgo San Giuliano neighborhood, the Malatesta Temple, the connection to Fellini, Cinema Fulgor, etc. Day trips to Ravenna and San Marino are definite possibilities as well. I’m glad the days in Rimini are long as it looks like there is plenty to do.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Good advice and Rimini (what is there to do in Rimini?)

You could swap it to stay in Padova (Padua) or Mantua or even Ferrara and hire a bike to visit the Po.
Thank you for your suggestions. We plan to visit Ferrara as a day trip from Bologna.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
Why Rimini? Why not Ravenna?

The mosaics there are some of the most astounding anywhere and while we did a day trip to this small city, many love it at night when the tourists are gone.
Thank you for your suggestion. We also like to be in towns after the day trippers have left. Have you been to Uzebekistan? I’ve seen amazing mosaics in several countries and Uzbekistan does it better than anywhere else.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 08:12 AM
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I liked Rimini well enough. I'd prefer Ravenna for mosaics, but if mosaics are of interest there are wonderful mosaics in Rimini also. There are Roman and early Christian archeological sights. For fans of Italian cinema, there's a Fellini Museum. If there are kids in the group, there's an aquarium and an Italy in Miniature amusement park.

I wouldn't discourage visiting Rimini if you want a quick trip in that region to a beach destination. The OP is only going for 2 nights, so it's 1.5 days at most.

https://pauls-bologna.blog/2020/11/2...-carousel-4126

https://pauls-bologna.blog/2020/11/2...-carousel-4125

https://pauls-bologna.blog/2020/11/2...-carousel-4124
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Ravenna centre is a little gem.
“a little gem” is a description I love to hear, thank you!
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 02:51 PM
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I've written elsewhere here about the ravishing Ravenna, as I've spent several weeks there mostly in mosaic courses.

The ancient center is fairly compact, pedestrians and bicycles only, contains dining and drink options with the excellent cuisine of Emilia-Romagna, delightful evening passagiata, and very reasonable lodging and dining, as well as 1500. year-old mosaics that are some of the finest in the world, Dante's tomb, etc. Despite the draw of the mosaics it never seems overrun with tourists. I've spent far less time in Rimini, 35 minutes away by train, but to me it pales in comparison.

We found San Marino a bit challenging to get to but got a driver from Ravenna, even shorter from Rimini.

You didn't ask about lodging options, but in Verona we found Hotel Milano very well located, quite close to the Arena but on a side street. There are also b&b options (that's where I stayed on a solo language class trip).

In Venice, Hotel Al Ponte Antico would be a splurge well worth considering.

We also travel almost exclusively by train and your trip sounds terrific. Ferrara's a great choice for a day trip from Bologna.

Vicenza is architecturally interesting and an easy train ride from Verona or Venice, as is Padua.

Have a great trip!


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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 02:53 PM
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And Capello Rosso was a good central hotel in Bologna.
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by annw View Post
I've written elsewhere here about the ravishing Ravenna, as I've spent several weeks there mostly in mosaic courses.

The ancient center is fairly compact, pedestrians and bicycles only, contains dining and drink options with the excellent cuisine of Emilia-Romagna, delightful evening passagiata, and very reasonable lodging and dining, as well as 1500. year-old mosaics that are some of the finest in the world, Dante's tomb, etc. Despite the draw of the mosaics it never seems overrun with tourists. I've spent far less time in Rimini, 35 minutes away by train, but to me it pales in comparison.

We found San Marino a bit challenging to get to but got a driver from Ravenna, even shorter from Rimini.

You didn't ask about lodging options, but in Verona we found Hotel Milano very well located, quite close to the Arena but on a side street. There are also b&b options (that's where I stayed on a solo language class trip).

In Venice, Hotel Al Ponte Antico would be a splurge well worth considering.

We also travel almost exclusively by train and your trip sounds terrific. Ferrara's a great choice for a day trip from Bologna.

Vicenza is architecturally interesting and an easy train ride from Verona or Venice, as is Padua.

Have a great trip!
Thank you, Ann, for these suggestions. I really appreciate them as well as the hotel recommendations in Verona and Bologna. Hotels will be my next project!
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Old Jun 4th, 2021, 07:08 PM
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We've also stayed at the Capello Rosso in Bologna. Great location.

In Verona, we stayed at the Hotel Bologna which is nearly across the street from the arena.

We've stayed in a few hotels in Venice, most recently at the Pensione La Calcina overlooking the Giudeca Canal in Dorsoduro. The hotel's restaurant terrace, when open, is one of my favorite spots in Venice.
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Old Jun 5th, 2021, 02:21 AM
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Ravenna can be visited in a day trip from Bologna as well. The train journey time is the same than that from Rinini (1 hr).
The Malatesta temple in Rimini is usually visited within a few minutes.
If it must be the Adriatic coast, Ancona might be more interesting: regional museum, Frasassi caves, Loreto sanctuary, day trips to Umbria.........
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Old Jun 5th, 2021, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
We've also stayed at the Capello Rosso in Bologna. Great location.

In Verona, we stayed at the Hotel Bologna which is nearly across the street from the arena.

We've stayed in a few hotels in Venice, most recently at the Pensione La Calcina overlooking the Giudeca Canal in Dorsoduro. The hotel's restaurant terrace, when open, is one of my favorite spots in Venice.
Thank you so much, Jean for these hotel suggestions. I appreciate it very much.
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Old Jun 5th, 2021, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
Ravenna can be visited in a day trip from Bologna as well. The train journey time is the same than that from Rinini (1 hr).
The Malatesta temple in Rimini is usually visited within a few minutes.
If it must be the Adriatic coast, Ancona might be more interesting: regional museum, Frasassi caves, Loreto sanctuary, day trips to Umbria.........
Thank you so much for your suggestion of Ancona. I will definitely look into it. I’m wondering if we can travel by train from there to Florence without back tracking through Bologna. I will have to check on that.
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Old Jun 5th, 2021, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
I liked Rimini well enough. I'd prefer Ravenna for mosaics, but if mosaics are of interest there are wonderful mosaics in Rimini also. There are Roman and early Christian archeological sights. For fans of Italian cinema, there's a Fellini Museum. If there are kids in the group, there's an aquarium and an Italy in Miniature amusement park.

I wouldn't discourage visiting Rimini if you want a quick trip in that region to a beach destination. The OP is only going for 2 nights, so it's 1.5 days at most.

https://pauls-bologna.blog/2020/11/2...-carousel-4126

https://pauls-bologna.blog/2020/11/2...-carousel-4125

https://pauls-bologna.blog/2020/11/2...-carousel-4124
Thank you, Jean, for the links. This is your comment that, for some reason, I couldn’t reply to yesterday. Sorry this is so late.
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