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Venice, Verona, Dolomites/Lake Garda, Rome

Venice, Verona, Dolomites/Lake Garda, Rome

Dec 27th, 2018, 01:24 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Yes, Bologna is on the way to Rome. Next time, I will for sure reread what I write
brookebanner is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 02:39 PM
  #22  
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Thank you for the other suggestions. Every place in Italy deserves more days then we are giving it. Unfortunately we are limited by both money and time. The one night we are giving Verona will allow us to experience a tase of Verona and Aida at the same time.

I am curious as to the reason you are telling us to skip Lake Garda--have you been there and disliked it for some reason?

Our Lake Garda/ Dolomites time is meant to be different than our city time in Paris, Venice and Rome. More landscape, natural scenery with stays in smaller towns. Perhaps more relaxed, too. Although I am sure Bologna is worth seeing and spending many days in, I don't think it will fit in this trip. Unless you are suggesting that it is the kind of stop over we could have on the way to Rome for a few hours or perhaps one night? But again, there are only so many days available and we cannot possibly do/see every fabulous thing Italy offers.
here4now is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 02:39 PM
  #23  
 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vittoriale_degli_italiani

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel...e-8930831.html

My favorite place on Lake Garda was this weird villa that Mussolini equipped writer-inventor and someone so popular Mussolini wanted to get him out of the limelight and dispatched him to this villa that he embellished with all kinds of weird things - there is a boat on top of one part - the guy was so bothered by light that he darkened the rooms, etc. Anyway a lovely area and a most interesting villa to tour.

And I loved Laken Garda - so many neat and different places along its shores - especially beautiful is the fjord-like north that even has lemon groves.

Lake Garda would be high on my list as a great foil to often tiresome cities like Rome (oh great great place but there is always something else you just have to see.) I certainly found the boats relaxing.

Last edited by PalenQ; Dec 27th, 2018 at 02:43 PM.
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Dec 27th, 2018, 02:43 PM
  #24  
 
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Lake Garda looks beautiful (I have never been) and I also understand your desire to go spend time there but Bologna is so worth it that I would take a day off both Venice and Rome to fit it in.

You will not regret it. It is unlike any other city in Italy I have ever been.
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Dec 27th, 2018, 09:23 PM
  #25  
 
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"Every place in Italy deserves more days then we are giving it. Unfortunately we are limited by both money and time."

Bingo. You can't go everywhere. Only you can decide how and where you want to spend your time on this trip. We can give logistical info and sightseeing suggestions, but much of the latter are personal opinions. FWIW, we are absolutely blown away by the Dolomites and can take or leave Bologna. I realize a 17 y.o. would probably like more time in cities than we do, so I'd ask your daughter for some help in deciding on your itinerary.
Jean is online now  
Dec 28th, 2018, 02:38 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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At a certain point it comes down to what your research has led you to believe about your own preferences.

I do not like Lake Garda. I can deal with Lake Como, but don't choose to visit it any more. I love Lake Maggiore and the islands and the mountains above it. I also love Milan, which most people dismiss as not interesting.

You can go round and round soliciting other people's opinions, but that's all they are - personal impressions and take-away experiences.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 28th, 2018, 03:04 AM
  #27  
 
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LOL, St. Cirq. I'll be happy to "deal with" Lake Como anytime but that's just me.

Somebody above suggested Bologna for a couple of days and the Mosaics in Ravenna: great suggestions in my experience.
Dukey1 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2018, 04:04 AM
  #28  
 
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Well, Dukey, I probably have a bit more leeway in what I choose to deal with than people crossing the ocean. I just find Como a bit pretentious, though why would it not be? It's gorgeous and can afford to be.

Both Bologna and Ravenna are wonderful.
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Dec 28th, 2018, 06:41 AM
  #29  
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Thank all. I do value all the suggestions-- understanding that everyone has their own opinions, likes and dislikes based on their own preferences. That is the reason I questioned why brookebanner told me not to go to Lake Garda. As it turns out, it wasn't from personal experience, but more from her opinion that Bologna is not to be missed. Which caused me to view and research Bologna- which does look great- but might not fit in this trip, unless we can stop there on the way to Rome. Also, StCirq's strong a preference for Lake Maggiore caused me to look at that as well. It looks beautiful and certainly worth going to. However, we think Lake Garda geographically fits in better with our trip to Verona, Venice and the Dolomites. My daughter and I both most definitely want this part of our trip to take place somewhere other than a city.

Last edited by here4now; Dec 28th, 2018 at 06:45 AM.
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Dec 28th, 2018, 08:49 AM
  #30  
 
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I think your plan sounds great.
Leely2 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2018, 03:59 AM
  #31  
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I have few more questions that have come up.

Since we will be now taking the train from northern Italy to Rome:

Is there any benefit to getting on the train at a particular destination (Bolzen, Verona, somewhere else)? We will have to drop the car off somewhere.

Is it a scenic train ride or better side of train to sit on?

Is there any town on the way worth getting off the train for? Or that we could drive to, ditch the car and get on the train after a visit? We would not at all be adverse to stopping for a few hours somewhere. I looked at Bologna and Ravena as suggested by Brookebanner and Dukey1. Both do look amazing and beautiful but I think (from my research) would require more time then we have to give. If we were to stop, do all or any specific Italian rail stations have luggage hold areas?
here4now is offline  
Dec 29th, 2018, 04:25 AM
  #32  
 
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IM very subjective opinion, the best part of the rail trip over the Brenner Pass is pretty much above Bolzano in terms of scenic views but I've done that trip (from Munich) numerous times so I'm probably not the best person to ask. In terms of turning in the car, you could do that in Verona but it might be that you'd have to turn it in at the airport as opposed to in town/at the train station-depending on the rental agency. Avis has an office in town; Europecar has an office at the station; Budget and Hertz are at the airport.

Verona is an easy place to get trains to Rome. Several of the timings start out in Verona (as opposed to starting out in Venice) and there are Freccia services available. You can check timings using the Trenitalia website or the Italiarail website. Anyplace west of Verona is probably going to require a routing through, or with a change in, Milan.

Last edited by Dukey1; Dec 29th, 2018 at 04:28 AM.
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Dec 29th, 2018, 08:22 AM
  #33  
 
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Where to board the train depends on what your final plans become and to a lesser degree what car rental company you use, so you might want to start some dummy rental searches to see your options. Autoeurope can be a good source for info because it will show you a list of cities with offices, although I know that it doesn't represent Hertz in some locations. Sometimes a return trip to the point you picked up the car is cheaper than a "one-way" rental, and sometimes you can find a better deal working directly with a particular rental company. Keep in mind that, other than airport offices and the largest cities, most rental locations are not open on Saturday afternoons or all day on Sundays.

According to Autoeurope, there are rental offices in (working from north to south) Bressanone, Bolzano, Trento, Rovereto, Desenzano, Verona, Mantova, Modena, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Chiusi, and Orvieto (directly thru Hertz).

Your question about driving to a city, dropping the car and exploring before catching a train raises the issue of luggage. Very few train stations have baggage storage, so if this becomes part of your plan you should keep the car to hold the luggage and turn it in just before you head to the train station. Of course, that means you have to find a place to safely park without driving into a limited traffic zone (ZTL). If you aren't familiar with ZTLs, here's some info:

https://www.italybeyondtheobvious.co...with-ztl-zones

The Truth about ZTL zones: Avoiding Tickets in Italy - GRAND VOYAGE ITALY
Jean is online now  
Dec 29th, 2018, 12:21 PM
  #34  
 
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Could you restate your itinerary? E.g.,

4 nights Venice
1 night Verona
3 nights Ortisei
1 night Lake Garda (where?)
4 nights Rome

Is this correct? And it is somewhere between where you stay on Lake Garda and Rome that you want to drop your car and get a train? As Jean says, do some dummy bookings on the car rental and you'll get a better picture of your options. Same with the train.

Last edited by Leely2; Dec 29th, 2018 at 12:27 PM. Reason: extra l
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Dec 29th, 2018, 03:04 PM
  #35  
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Thanks for the advice. I will try doing that and see what makes sense for the car drop off.

Itinerary :
3 nights Venice
1 night Verona
1 night in Lake Garda
3 nights in Ortisie area.
4-5 nights in Rome (not 100% sure about last day)

Minimum hotel stays may require an additional night in Lake Garda area. I still have to work on that.
here4now is offline  
Dec 30th, 2018, 01:41 AM
  #36  
 
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You do not need a car between Venice and Verona or IN Verona. Are you willing to stay somewhere at the south end of Garda and use the car to get to Verona for the opera and return to the Garda area? Going back to Ortisei from Garda?

This is confusing to me, geographically. Perhaps you could reiterate exactly where you will have the car.
Dukey1 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2018, 05:40 AM
  #37  
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We planned to take the train from Venice to Verona and then spend our 4th night in Verona. I assumed we would pick up the car after the night in Verona and use it to drive along the eastern shore of the lake, stopping at various points along the way. I would consider getting on a ferry at some point- but most seem to be passenger ones going from southern to northern part of lake. The goal was really to stay the night (or two if needed) in the Northern end of the lake. And then do the driving route you suggested through the Dolomites to Ortisie or similarly located town. After that, drop car off somewhere and take train to Rome.

We really had preferred to stay in the Northern part of the lake for the scenery and the towns, but have looked into other ones as well.

I thought this was the route suggested but perhaps I missed something? We can change the order after Verona but must be in Verona on our 4th night. The 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th nights are the time we would spend at Lake Garda and the Dolomites.

Dukey1, you had also suggested getting seats for Aida as close to the stage as possible. There are seats in the third row, slightly off center. Is it possible that is too close to the stage? Might we be better off slightly further back? We noticed that some in the front of the next section have an aisle in front. We thought that might offer a better view of entire stage with that space in front of us. We are not tall! It looks like the stalls area is on a slight incline- which might help as well.

Driving doesn't bother me, and usually prefer it. But I get that public transportation in Europe often makes more sense. While we both do not mind trains, both of us have an aversion (motion sickness) to long distance buses. I have never been a fan of organized tours and prefer to explore on our own (with some helpful directions!), if that matters.


Thank you all so much. Your help has been invaluable.
here4now is offline  
Dec 30th, 2018, 06:41 AM
  #38  
 
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Dukey1, you had also suggested getting seats for Aida as close to the stage as possible. There are seats in the third row, slightly off center. Is it possible that is too close to the stage? Might we be better off slightly further back? We noticed that some in the front of the next section have an aisle in front. We thought that might offer a better view of entire stage with that space in front of us. We are not tall! It looks like the stalls area is on a slight incline- which might help as well.


Are you talking about the the Poltronissime Gold, or the Poltronissime, or the Poltrone when you say "slightly off center?" IMO the closer to the center of the stage the better but tell me more about which seats you mean. Remember that the stage is HUGE and there can easily be a couple of hundred "spear carriers" on it during parts of Aida. Yes the "stalls" seats are raked; having an aisle in front of you is ok...you can stretch out that way but whatever you do stay IN the stalls if at all possible.

And another thing...the ticket which you can print out at home is going to have the usual blurb from the Foundation about being in the gold seats and the like about "dressing appropriately" yes folks do dress up but we have yet to be denied entrance to the Gold seats (where we always sit) because we didn't have a necktie on..I usually throw on a sport coat over a buttoned at the neck Izod-type shirt and long trousers. The women tend to dress up a bit more and some people REALLY dress up but it is like opera everywhere: you'll see everything from denim to Chanel.
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Dec 30th, 2018, 07:12 AM
  #39  
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Dukey1, we were looking at Poltronissime Gold and Poltronissime. In the gold seats, there are two center sections. The third (and fourth, fifth, etc) row seats were available on the aisle in the sections to the immediate left and right of those two center sections- still in the Poltronissime Gold sections though. Also, further back but in those center sections, there were seats available, including ones located at the front of sections that were further back- if that makes sense. A similar set of seats are available in the Poltronissime sections as well- but would be further back.

Frequently I find that seats slightly set back from the stage a bit (for instance 12-20th rows) offer a better viewing and listening perspective then immediately up front. But, of course, I have no idea about Aida in Verona.

I am sure at this point I am over analyzing this- but appreciate your input.
here4now is offline  
Dec 30th, 2018, 08:39 AM
  #40  
 
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I would go for the GOLD and being on that center aisle or near it is great seating. The stage is elevated from one side to the other and you are not going to have any trouble seeing the Aida action since the set is elevated even further above the stage.

Have you found a hotel?
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