Travelling North Italy leisurely

Old Feb 5th, 2003, 12:56 AM
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Travelling North Italy leisurely

My girlfriend and I hope to fly from Scotland to North Ital in Septempber for maybe 2 weeks. We're hoping to take in the major sights like Venice, Lido di Jesolo, Lake Garda, Verona etc. We're thinking of flying in Milan/Bergamo and out of Venice, travelling by car (possibly?) in the meantime. We would welcome any advice on how best to do this and what are must's and what are no no's. Many thanks.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 03:43 AM
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We had two weeks of wonderful travelling in Nov 2000-cheap flight to Milan from Stanstead. Then train. We had 3 nights in Milano; 1 night in Brescia (we visited Bergamo on the way); 1 night in Cremona; 3 nights in Mantova, 2 nights in Ravenna. We caught the train to Rimini where we picked up a hire car to drive to Urbino (3 nights)<BR>As you are hoping to get to Venice you could go to Verona, Padua and/or Vicenza finishing up in Venice. I'm very envious- enjoy!
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:25 AM
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Many thanks for your prompt reply. Can you tell me what those places are like and how accessible they are via train or car should we get one. <BR>Thanks again.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:39 AM
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I would be a big fan of renting a car for this. An alternative airport into northern Italy is Verona (Brescia). You could take the bus into Verona from there, and get by without a car IN Verona for a day or two - - then rent for 7-10 days, finishing up in Venice, where you would turn the car in.<BR><BR>All of Lake Garda is good, I'll recommend also Trento and Bassano del Grappa.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>[email protected]<BR>
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:43 AM
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Thanks Rex. If you had any ideas of places to stay also that would be fantastic. We're not looking for very cheap accomodation but clean, value for money places also if you know of anywhere around Lake Garda that would suit for just relaxing for a few days and chilling out by the pool that would be super also.<BR>Many thanks.<BR>
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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rex
 
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Stayed in a villa, suitable for 7-10 at Lake Garda, so that probably won't help you. I have previously posted about staying at Hotel Al Castello in Bassano del Grappa. Solid value, okay location, nothing stunning, but easily recommended to you.<BR><BR>Search Malcesine here, I think there are one or two neat places there.<BR><BR>And there is certainly no shortage of places to stay in or near Sirmione.<BR>
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:32 AM
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Anybody else any thoughts? What about closer to Venice / Lido?<BR>Thanks again.<BR>
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:43 AM
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Hi,<BR>Northern Italy is wonderful to explore. We have been several times and still haven't see everything (but does one ever?). I recommend:<BR>Milan--The Duomo is fantastic and IMHO, better than Florence's. Also, The Last Supper.<BR>Verona --staying at Serego Alighieri La Foresteria--fabulous working vineyard/farm just North of verona. You will need a car
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:50 AM
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Hi,<BR>Northern Italy is wonderful to explore. We have been several times and still haven't see everything (but does one ever?). I recommend:<BR>Milan--The Duomo is fantastic and IMHO, better than Florence's. Also, The Last Supper.<BR>Verona --staying at Serego Alighieri La Foresteria--fabulous working vineyard/farm just North of verona. You will need a car.http://www.seregoalighieri.it/Foresteria.htm There is also a restaurant (the only one) in the tiny village by La Foresteria that has some of the best food I have had in Italy. The gnocchi were light as feathers!<BR>The Dolomiti region--again, car necessary. Mountains unlike any I had seen and I live in Switzerland. We stayed in Bolzano which I do not recommend. I would stay in one of the small towns ie Cassiano etc. Here is a hotel rec. Haven't been but we have friends who love it. The Rosa Alpina http://www.rosalpina.it/index-e.htm<BR>Asolo--only recommended due to research. I haven't been (yet) but am dying to go. And of course,<BR>Venice--We stayed at the hotel La Picolo Fenice. Great litte hotel about 5 minutes from St. Mark's Square. Very reasonable for Venice.<BR><BR>Ok cheers and enjoy!<BR>Jan
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 10:19 PM
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Hi there<BR>I just had a month in Italy, Florence three weeks and the north a week. I stayed in Verona and enjoyed the Archeological museum, the castle, the market in the centre of the old town and of course Juliet's house. I then took the train to Lake Garda staying in Peschiera, (spelling could be out a bit). There are some nice hotels within walking distance of the train station, however I found that Sirmione was the pick of all the towns and would suggest staying there, it is truly delightful. There is an excellent local bus service which also goes to Brescia which I thought was a dreadful place and no reason to visit it at all. If you are going to Verona and Venice you will ask yourself why on earth you included Brescia. Because the train ride is only 20 minutes or so from Verona to Lake Garda and the accomodation costs much cheaper and better quality than Verona, I decided that it would have been more sensible to stay at Lake Garda and just take the train in to Verona each day. However it was too late by then. Also the cafes were less expensive and the food fresher than Verona. The lasagne I had in two places of Lake Garda was freshly made by the chefs and just melted in your mouth, what a memory, among others of course. The train fare Verona to Lake Garda was so cheap.
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 09:24 AM
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Thanks Kathy.<BR>Did you stay near Lake Como on your travels? We were thinking of a few days on Lake Como and a few days on Lake Garda making day trips to the like of Milan and Verona.<BR>Thanks again.<BR>
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 12:04 AM
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Hi Ryan<BR>Just again, if you do the day trips by train into Verona, stay in Peschiere and when going to Sirmione take the local bus. they are regular and very cheap and comfortable as they are really tourist coaches. There's an info office in Peschiere. The bus stop is across the road from that.<BR>I haven't been to Lake Como, a friend has and loved it, I have been to Lake Lugano and loved that but Lake Garda is the biggest of the italian lakes. In Peschiere I stayed at a small hotel called Al Veliero. I did not book but walked there and knocked on the door!! They speak no english at all and I have limited italian but it was great as the rooms are very nice, large and modern, not so in Verona. They also have a restaurant.
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 04:26 AM
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In other posts re: northern Italian lakes people have recommended Torre de Benaco on Lake Garda. It's a wonderful little town. We didn't stay there but stopped there on our way to take the ferry across the lake. I think Bob the Navigator suggested a hotel there. Do a search and you should find the info. We stayed just down the shore from Torre de Benaco (sp?) on a little spit of land that juts out into the lake--at San Vigilio. The hotel is also so named. If you do a search you should be able to find my trip report that included that hotel. It's owned by a count and has great Italian style with a bit of Austrian feel in the dining room. There is a pool but best of all a wonderful basin of the lake around which the hotel has lounge chairs and a grape arbor type wine bar. Very relaxing. Rates are in the $200 to $300 per night range. I think this place would fulfill your interest in finding somewhere to really relax. Combine it with a side trip to Torre de Benaco and you have a wonderful couple of days on Lake Garda. Also recommend Lake Como (again a search will provide lots of recommendations--mine is Menaggio and the Grand Hotel Menaggio there) and car travel for sure. Be sure to leave enough time for Venice. If this is your first time there make it 5 days IMO.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 11:55 AM
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Kathy, you are just the one for whom we are looking. My husband has a business meeting in June and will be staying in Sirmione. Needless to say, I MUST join him on this trip. We were in Italy two years ago and so we have some idea how much fun(?) it is to get from point A to B. I dislike traveling by car, especially since our Italian is sooo limited and we don't drive at the speed that most Italians enjoy. However, even the train stations can be challenging, due to our inability to read all of the signs. <BR><BR>So, for the day trips to Verona, you suggest a bus trip from Sirmione to the train station. From your note, we have decided to extend a day or so in Sirmione rather than pack &amp; unpack for a stay in Verona. Could you estimate how far Sirmione is from the train station as when we depart to continue on to Venice, we don't want to be dragging our luggage onto a bus and will need to travel by taxi. <BR><BR>Thank you and/or anyone else for your assistance.<BR><BR>
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Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 07:59 PM
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Hello Ryan and Pam<BR>To answer your question Pam, luckily I wrote in my diary that the bus trip from Peschiere where the train station is, to Sirmione only takes 15 minutes, obviously depending on how many passengers to pick up. Allow 25 anyway. The bus stop in Sirmione is at the entrance to the city gate. Make sure the bus that arrives is going in your direction as the one to Desenzano uses the same side of the road. The drivers on this route were especially cheerful and helpful. In Peschiere I got off the stop at the info centre but I do believe the bus goes on a short distance to the train station. Ask when you board it in Sirmione. The lady in the info centre speaks good english and is very helpful. I pulled my bag quite a way from the station to the hotel where I stayed in Peschiere but in reality if you needed to get from the info centre there to the station by taxi it would take five minutes and cost very little. I don't think you will have to do that. <BR>I just read the last piece of your post, taxi to the station. From Sirminone I presume. I would still use the bus, as they are like tourist coaches, I cannot see it to be a hassle at all and would cost so much less than a taxi to either Peschiere or Desenzano where I believe the train also goes thru. Perhaps someone else can jump in here and confirm that. <BR>I just noticed also that you are going in June, it will be very busy, all along the coast are large campgrounds as well. It should be a lot of fun.<BR>Feel free to email me on [email protected]
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Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 08:35 PM
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And do not forget to go to GARDALAND!!why return to Scotland with out a vist to Gardaland.
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Old Feb 24th, 2003, 01:18 AM
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Thanks very much for all your replies again. This site is a wonderful fountain of knowledge and it's amazing how much information you can pick up from all you people. <BR>From the last few threads it looks like it might be a better option (and more fun) to take the train and bus rather than hire a car? We are flying into Bergamo, staying the first few nights in Bellagio on Como, moving from there onto Sirmione for a few nights and then from there on towards Venice where we hope to stay in Lido di Jesolo or Venice Lido for maybe a week. Is hiring a car a better, if not more expensive, option? My feeling was that a car was the better option because it would give us the flexibility but from what I'm reading the train and buses are quiet good and cheap??<BR>Thanks a million again.<BR>Mark.<BR>
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Old Feb 24th, 2003, 01:39 AM
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Ryan<BR>The trains in Italy are very reasonably priced compared to say, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. I have some tickets here I am looking at, Peschiera to Florence via Verona, Bologna - 17.46 euros one way. This was november, went up slightly 15/12/02, <BR>Florence to Siena return 10.60 euros, distance return 194 kms.<BR>when you check your distances you can gauge against these fares and calculate what the trains will cost you.
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Old Feb 24th, 2003, 01:41 AM
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Sorry Mark, apologies for the name error
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