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Two brief time slots near Milan. Suggested places?

Two brief time slots near Milan. Suggested places?

Old Mar 14th, 2017, 05:40 PM
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Two brief time slots near Milan. Suggested places?

Hello all - I have a tentative flight booking on hold, so must ask this without much forum research under my belt (apologies!):

I must be in Berlin for a week in mid-April and I noticed nice fares over the pond, JFK to Milan. Flying on the cheapest days would give me 2 half days (i.e., large portions of the days I fly) and 1 full day in Milan before Berlin. After Berlin are 3 full days, 2 half days.

Though brief overall, it seems a great opportunity for some short visits in Milan / nearby. But I'm not sure what to try to visit/see. Seems pretty obvious to stick to Milan itself for that short 1st portion, but how about the 2nd? Overnighting in the Cinque? Or Lake Como? Or [your suggestion here]?)

For reference, my typical touring style these days is maybe seeing one low-key sight/site or two, but mostly a lot of wandering by foot or bike, plus noshing on local goodies. Been to Venice, Rome, Florence, and quite a few of the small places in Tuscany. No car this time.

Thoughts?
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 05:52 PM
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Vicenza, Verona, Bologna
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 06:26 PM
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Lakes Maggiore and Como.
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 06:33 PM
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Also, the lakes, Lugano, Torino, Mantova, Ferrara, Padova, Parma. I think all of these are good 'wandering' towns, although weather/rain/temps could make some more appealing than others. The lakes are convenient because of the ferries. Ferrara is very bike-friendly. Bergamo is a nice day trip from Milan.

A lot depends on how far you're willing or interested in traveling from Milan and back. The CT would be too far for me, but I admit I wouldn't be very enthusiastic about going there anyway.

Don't underestimate what a great city Milan is. Lots to see, great neighborhoods to wander. If you want to view the Last Supper, you need to make a timed reservation ASAP.
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 06:56 PM
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If you want to visit Lake Como you could take the train to Varenna.

I think CT is too far.

Vicenza, Verona or Bologna are also good options. Torino might be another. Bergamo, Brescia and Parma are closer than those.
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Old Mar 15th, 2017, 01:27 AM
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The lakes are likely to be pretty shut down in April. The Cinque Terre is really quite a slog from Milan, and the weather could be chilly or rainy, or both.

There is really a lot to see and do in Milan, and some great restaurants. For the first ten years I lived in Italy, I sort of avoided the town, having heard that it wasn't very appealing. The first time we went there for a few days, I fell in love with the city, and now we go back nearly every year. In fact, we're spending three nights there this weekend.
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Old Mar 15th, 2017, 04:00 AM
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Lots of good suggestions, though as bv notes, LC will be iffy in April.

One other suggestion: Visit a winery, or wineries, in the Veneto region. You will need to rent a car for that.
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Old Mar 15th, 2017, 12:31 PM
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Lake Como will definitely not be "shut down" at that time. The ferries shift from winter to spring timetables at the end of March. Most hotels, restaurants and shops, if not all, will be open. (Once the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio opens, which is April 1st this year, almost everything in the mid-lake towns opens as well.)

A quick check on booking.com would seem to indicate that mid-lake hotels are filling up fast for the weekend after Easter (April 21-23).

I don't think you can travel in mid-to-late-April in northern Italy and expect warm, dry, cloudless days. If weather is an issue, pick a destination with indoor options like museums, churches, galleries, shops... That's not Lake Como or the CT.
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Old Mar 15th, 2017, 03:42 PM
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Thanks so much, everyone! Sounds like Milan itself will be enjoyable and more than adequate, but forcing other locations into the mix won't be ideal on this car-free & brief stopover (plus iffy April weather). I'll just have to book a separate dedicated trip, hopefully with the honey-bunny in tow. Your assistance is much appreciated - grazie!
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