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Trip Advice for Family of 6 in Northern Italy for 5 days

Trip Advice for Family of 6 in Northern Italy for 5 days

Old Apr 8th, 2008, 12:52 AM
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Trip Advice for Family of 6 in Northern Italy for 5 days

These forums are a 'goldmine' of info! I need some advice for a trip I'm taking my family of 6 on in mid-June. We are going to land in Milan and have 5 days to spend in Northern Italy. I have four daughters; 17 - 10 and they are good travelers and enjoy soaking up local culture and exploring. We've never been to Italy and the trip needs to be very cost efficient. Can you help me on these points?

1. General itinerary? - I'm thinking of going by rail to a North Central city (Bologna?) and doing day trips out from there via rail/bus. To Venice and Florence? Skip Rome?... too far away?

2. Transportation? - I'm thinking of doing this only via rail and bus for cost factor primarily. Bad idea? Note: I do have to get into the French Alps by the 16th for a 10 day conference there.

3. Lodging? - Again, would maybe want a low cost apartment rental or family friendly hostel in a less frequented city?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
bparks64 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2008, 03:26 AM
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The most cost efficient way for you to transport yourselves would be to rent a vehicle (a small van in your case) and for lodging, to stay in an agriturismo (with a kitchen) outside of an urban area.

Find a location that's central to your intended daytrips and branch out, even taking rail or bus into a large city, say Venice. Yes, skip Rome (much too far) and Bologna and Florence too.

Actually, I'd strongly suggest a 5 day visit to The Lakes - a scenic region easy to get to from Malpensa and return to from the French Alps. Focus on the area around Lake Lugano - the prettiest of The Lakes IMO. There are many economical lodgings around there.

Thus I'd also skip Venice on this short trip.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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I vote for a car as well. With so many of you you will find it much less expensive that way...and the driving is easy.
Bologna is a super city - We visited last year for one evening stay on our way to Venice and it was one of the highlights of our trip. I would recommend it as a place to visit. And easy trips into Venice. Not sure how many hours drive from Milan to Bologna though...at least 2.
The Lakes Region, though as suggested by Tuck H, is hard to compare - simply beautiful. I might stick around Milan and let those four daughters of yours shop! shop! and then spend time relaxing in Lake country for a few days. It is a beautiful drive into the area - maybe about an hour depending on where you end up.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 04:31 AM
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Hi BP,

I suggest basing yourselves in Mestre.

Less expensive than Venice, nut only 10 min by train.

Schedules are at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

You can easily visit Bologna (2hr), Florence (3hr), Verona (1:15) and Padua.

You don't have enough time for Rome this trip.

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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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Another option: The Veneto.

From there, you can reach Venice, Verona, Vicenza, Lake Garda and even the Dolomites. You'd be close to the Autostrada for your return.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your advice... I'm open to more comments and suggestions if others drop in on this posting.
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Old Apr 8th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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For one or two, public transport is cheaper. For three or more, getting a car will be cheaper. Be sure to get a GPS system (or bring yours from home) and make sure you know how to use it. Posted road names or addresses are very rare in Italy and it's easy to get lost.

Balogna is good. Another good North Central city is Verona. It has a beautiful old center and is convenient. Modena and Parma might be good choices but I've only spent a night in Modena and can't tell you much about it.
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