Venice or Monte-carlo?

Apr 14th, 2009, 10:39 AM
  #1  
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Venice or Monte-carlo?

We are planning a 12-day trip to Nothern Italy/Switzerland in June. We plan on flying into Zurich and stopping off in Lucerne and Lake Como, over 2 days on our way to Milan to meet friends. We then plan on driving to Cinque Terre for 3 nights, and are still undecided on how to spend the other 3 nights we have...either driving west to Monte-carlo and then back to Milan, or east to Venice and then back to Milan.

Our friends are concerned about doing too much driving -- we want to be able to spend enough time in each location so that we can relax and enjoy our trip, rather than rushing to fit everything in (we have already decided to make Rome/Almafi coast/Florence another trip). Any suggestions on which place to go? And with 4 of us traveling, would it be easier to rent a car for all this traveling or take the train?
DLI0505 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Is there any place that could be between Milan and the Cinque Terre that interests you? Liguria? Piemonte? Other parts of Lombardia?

It does seem like a lot of driving back and forth to go from Milan > CT > Monte Carlo/Venice > Milan.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 11:00 AM
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First of all, I tend not to like Venice in the extreme off-season, but I'd almost rather spend the rest of my life there than ever set foot in Monte Carlo. It's really grim. But it's not far. It's only about two hours from le Cinque Terre.

I live near Cinque Terre. I highly recommend that you relax in Liguria, but if you want some wonderful places to go before you return to Malpensa, Parma is wonderful, and it can be fantastic fun to poke around that part of Emilia-Romagna (Modena, Cremona, Torrechiara, etc) but it will be hot.

Just over the French border can be quite lovely if you prefer to stay by the sea. But I wouldn't go to Monaco. Check out Eze or Villefranche sul Mer.

Piemonte is good, but I would try to stay up in the hills to avoid humidity. But there is great wine and hazlenuts, and great fruits and vegetables. I'd check out someplace like Cherasco for a base.

On your way to le Cinque Terre, if you like cultural sightseeing, you might think of visiting Vigevano or the Certosa of Pavia as part of stopping for lunch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigevano

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certosa_di_Pavia
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Oooops! Typo alert:

I meant to type: I tend to ONLY like Venice in the extreme off season.
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 11:45 AM
  #5  
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We were considering staying in Eze instead of Monte Carlo - thanks for your input! We are also interested in stopping points along the way (from Milan to Eze). We wanted to drive through Piemonte... it looks like beautiful countryside...any recommendations of towns to stop in or sites to see along the way (castles, vineyards, etc)?
DLI0505 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 12:04 PM
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I wouldn't do either one of those at that time of year, but if I had to choose (and it doesn't seem as though you have to), I'd pick Venice in a heartbeat. It's all I can do to spend an hour or two in Montecarlo.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 14th, 2009, 12:13 PM
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I have no idea why someone wouldn't come to the mediterranean in mid-June. It's beautiful here.

I think driving all the way over to Venice from le Cinque Terre and then back to Milano is a lot of driving in the autostrade and less time to enjoy being here.

Regarding where to go in Piemonte on your way to Eze, seeing castles and such, you might find it really useful to order the Cadogan guide to the Italian Riviera and Piemonte from Amazon. Not all of Piemonte is beautiful countryside, so you want to pick carefully.

So, logistically, it looks to me like what your most efficient itinerary would be to go from Milan through Piemonte to Eze (which might be crowded) and then from Eze to le Cinque Terre (you can do that in a few hours, with a stop for lunch) and then back to Milan?
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 12:23 PM
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By the way, where are you picking up your car?

If you have any interest at all in seeing Torino, then you might consider taking the 90 minute train ride from Milan to Torino, and picking up your car there. Torino is best for people who like highly unusual museums, and sort 19th c. cafe life. Otherwise, you should head for the countryside, and thus just pick up your car in Milano.
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Opinion only but I'd save the Cinque Terre for the trip to Florence, stay longer on Lake Como if possible, and go to Venice. Side trips to Bologna, Parma, Varenna, Padua, Verona (you pick!) are easily done by train btw. Venice has a casino (a jacket and tie were required to get to the second floor when we were there!) that may be on Lido in the summer-can't remember.
TDudette is online now  
Apr 14th, 2009, 12:31 PM
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I think for a trip where Florence is only part of an itinerary that is mainly focused on Rome/Naples/Amalfi, that adding Cinque Terre to that trip wouldn't be my choice. It's only 90 minutes by train between Florence and Rome. Cinque Terre is 3 hours from Florence. It's just not convenient.

It does make sense to simply eliminate coming to the mediterranean on this trip if you'd rather relax around a lake and see Venice and the Veneto, or Emilia-Romagna. But once you are in Milan, it is not far to the Mediterranean by car or train (2 hours by train).

And San Remo has a casino, but I've never been.
zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Your friends are correct Venice too much driving.

Instead go for Portofino and the Cinquetere...

www.torrettas.com Manarola very neat also

maybe over to San Remo www.sanremoguide.it

nice stop on your way to Monaco...

Monaco a little to blocky euro plastic

and expensive not as pretty as the Italian coast

but OK for a night or 2...
qwovadis is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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The answer is neither--stay closer to your routing. I have 3 ideas but one is my favotite. A nice B&B in Piemonte would be nice, or a drive over to the Dolomites if you like antural beauty. Or, my choice would be magical Lago Orta in combination with Lago Maggiore. Orta is only :50 from MXP. Heer is my gallery to give you a sneak preview.
http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=4173
bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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If you pick Venice, and I'd certainly pick it at any time of year over Monte Carlo, take the train. No point in driving when you can't use the car when you get there.

And I was just in Eze for the day, and I wouldn't want to stay there. Very small and very touristy. I suppose you could make a case for the Chateau de la Chevre d'Or if you have the money, but otherwise try Nice, which I liked much more than I expected.

But I would be inclined to pair the Dolomites with the lakes, as Bob suggests, for which a car would be valuable.
thursdaysd is offline  
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