Trip Itinerary Help - Northern Italy

Mar 29th, 2009, 06:23 PM
  #1  
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Trip Itinerary Help - Northern Italy

My husband and I are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Italy. We would like to concentrate our trip in Northern Italy. We are planning on next May/June and about 10 days.

We would like to see Bologna and the Cinque Terre and perhaps Lake Como. Is this doable in that amount of time? How much driving does this consist of? Is it better to travel by train? We will be traveling with our daughter who will be around 15 months old at that time.

Any advice/information would be greatly appreciated!
CLPark2009 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2009, 08:12 PM
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CLPARK:

1. lots of people do Italy without a car, but with a 15 month old along for the ride, it will be very inconvenient. If you don't mind driving, rent a car.

2. 10 days is not enough time for Como, Bologna, and CT, especially traveling with a baby. Try to concentrate on one area, or at most 2. You'll spend a lot of time traveling. You can spend 10 days in the north visiting Como, and the lakes, and perhaps visit Piemonte as well, or you can spend 10 days in CT and Liguria. CT needs only a couple of days. I assume you planned to visit Bologna on the way from Como to CT.

3. You haven't given us many details. Have you been to Italy before? If so, where did you visit? What do you like to do?

4. We've been to northern Italy several times. You can check out several of our trips on my travel site. Here's the URL:
http://www.travel.stv77.com/
sssteve is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 05:40 AM
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Hi SSSteve - thanks for your reply. We don't mind renting a car at all - just weren't sure which was more convenient. Both my husband and I have been to Italy before but only to the major cities - Florence, Venice and Rome.

We like to eat - which is why we would like part of our trip to be around the Bologna area. I have always wanted to see CT. What do you think about just traveling to/around Bologna and seeing CT?

Thanks for your website!
CLPark2009 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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You can do that. You could visit Bologna, Modena and Parma, and after that head to the coast and visit CT and Liguria. Don't get stuck on CT. 1 or 2 days is enough for most people. Just to the north and south of CT is a selection of nice towns - Lerici, Portovenere to the south, and Santa Margherita de Liguria, Portofino, Camogi and others to the north. You can also visit Genoa which has a lot to offer.

I don't want to discourage you from visiting the lakes if that's what you want to do. Just don't try to do too much in 10 days.

Also, you say you like to eat. How about good wine? If you like good food and good wine together, then you should look into Piemonte, which is the area between Genoa and Milan. Check out the towns of Asti, Alba, Torino, and the the Langhe area (barollo and barbaresco). Are you flying to Rome or Milan?
sssteve is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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My eyes perked up at your mention of eating!

At the risk of foisting endless details at you, most of which will hold no interest, here are two of my trip reports; the first includes a few days in Bologna (at the end of the report) and the second is an account of a 10-day food-oriented trip to Liguria and Lake Como that I took a few months ago.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nd-bologna.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-much-else.cfm
ekscrunchy is online now  
Mar 30th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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sssteve - those sound like great suggestions. So what do you think about basing ourselves in Bologna for half of the trip and doing day trips to Parma and Modena. The second half of the trip we could be based in Genoa and day trip to CT and some of the other towns you mentioned. I like the idea of having some home bases as I think it will make it easier traveling with our daughter.

ekscrunchy - thank you for your reply - those restaurants all sound fantastic - that is really the point of this trip is to really indulge in all of that fantastic food!
CLPark2009 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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I live in Italy (not far from Cinque Terre), and I'd much rather have a car with a 15-month-old than be hauling babies and luggage up and down train station staircases and trying to get on and off trains.

I have no idea why ssteve thinks that 10 days is not enough time for your original itinerary. There is almost nothing to see or do on Lago di Como than look at the view from Bellagio.

Consider flying to Milano and having a car service deliver you to Lago di Como. Stay for two days, then rent a car in the town of Como and drive to Liguria (it will take you half a day). With a small child, I suggest you choose a town less staircase-ridden and with easier parking than the Cinque Terre. Consider staying in Sestri Levante, or Levanto.

I LOVE to eat in Italy, and I would drive the car from Cinque Terre to PARMA!!!!!!!!!!! I might forego Bologna in favor of an eating-sightseeing itinerary of Parma, Modica, Cremona, Emilia-Reggiano. Lots of easy parking, lots of fun sights.

Have a great trip!!!! Be sure to eat pesto and achovies in Liguria.
zeppole is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Sorry!!! Typo alert!

I meant to type MODENA (near Parma), not Modica (in Sicily).

Bologna is a great town, but its got lots of traffic and you'd want to daytrip, and it really is much easier to get around by car in that flat, central part of Italy, especially with a small child.
zeppole is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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ZEPPOLE:

CLP in the original mentioned "Lake Como". To do justice to Lake Como, you really have to spend at least 3 days there, and that's not really enough. With 10 days, and visiting Lake Como, and the Bologna area, and the CT area, that's a lot of traveling, especially with a baby.

CLP - what you have suggested is perfectly workable, but take into account what Zeppole has suggested. You do not want to stay within CT. Please look into the beautiful little towns to the north. Even if you have a car, a very convenient way to visit CT is by train. For example, from Santa Margarita de Liguria, it's about a 20-30 minute train ride and the trains run pretty often. A base north of CT will allow you to visit CT as well as Geboa.
sssteve is offline  

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