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Venice, Verona, Dolomites/Lake Garda, Rome

Venice, Verona, Dolomites/Lake Garda, Rome

Dec 30th, 2018, 08:57 AM
  #41  
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We have seen a couple, but would love any suggestions! I am booking that later today.
here4now is offline  
Dec 30th, 2018, 10:33 AM
  #42  
 
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Sorry for the delayed response. We have stayed everywhere from the Due Torri to the Grand but lately have been pleased with the Accademia. The Bologna is another possibility. All depends on your budget. The Due Torri is perhaps the most "traditional" and is in some ways rather "grand" (more so than the Grand itself) and the furthest away of the three I mentioned but all are a fairly easy walk to the Arena. Look on Booking.com for possibilities.
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Dec 30th, 2018, 11:15 AM
  #43  
 
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I also enjoyed my stay at the Accademia in Sept 2017. From my trip report:
The largest of my hotels with 95 rooms, the Hotel Accademia (superior single, €171/night) was ideally located just off the main shopping street, Via Mazzini, between the Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe. My room, #131, was tastefully furnished and had a Juliet balcony that looked out onto to the street at the back of the hotel. The bed was centered in the room which made it feel a bit tight. Bath note: only the Corono d’’Oro and Hotel Greif supplied washcloths, otherwise, and, as expected, bring your own. Breakfast was served in a large room on the ground floor. It was really busy the first morning and I wondered if there were a tour group in residence; the following mornings were quieter. The cured meats were noteworthy—I have a memory of complimenting the waiter on the prosciutto—scrambled eggs also good, limited cheese selection, the oj may have been canned as was much of the fruit. Excellent service at breakfast and overall. The Accademia was a solid choice.
bon_voyage is online now  
Dec 30th, 2018, 04:57 PM
  #44  
 
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We've stayed at the Hotel Bologna. I liked its location for a short stay.
Jean is online now  
Dec 30th, 2018, 05:34 PM
  #45  
 
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The Bologna is about as close to the arena as you can get because it is on the side where most of the entrances are located. There are many restaurant venues in the city and we have actually had what we felt were decent meals at several of the Piazza Bra places which face the arena. There are people who despise these venues and there are, in fact, more upscale places to eat but it is all part of the Verona opera "experience." Enjoy the performance. As I said, we will be there in late June (once again at the Accademia) for what has become a real summer ritual for us these days.
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Dec 31st, 2018, 08:43 AM
  #46  
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Thank you all!
here4now is offline  
Jan 7th, 2019, 04:08 AM
  #47  
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I have done some more research and feeling a bit overwhelmed- I have a few more questions. Our basis itinerary is still the same.

We have our hotel in Verona booked and I am pretty sure of our hotel in Ortisie.

Does anyone have any hotel recommendations or areas to stay in Venice? We are arriving by plane and leaving by train. We are there for three nights. We want to see all the San Marco sights, but are not at all averse to staying in one of the other areas provides easy access to them considering our limited time. Other possibilities of things we would add if time allowed would be to go to Marino and/or Lido. (I realize they are in opposite directions). I would love the hotel/b&b to have easy canal access for arrival from airport and be under $250 per night if possible. This will be our first part of our Italy trip, so it would probably be useful to have hotel staff or a host that speaks some English. We will try to learn as much Italian as we can beforehand. Can you get to the train station via water taxi? We will have luggage so that is a factor for us.

Second, concerns the Dolomites. Wow, the more I research, the more I want to see. But still, our time is limited. Assuming we are starting in Verona where we will rent a car and spending one night on Lake Garda, we will have three nights in the Dolomites-- should we split up our base? Ortisie seems ideal for hikes and lifts from town- but, if I am reading the maps correctly, it is in the northwest corner. If we want to at least drive through some of the remaining passes and perhaps visit Cortina and Lago di Brais (as suggested), does it make sense to add a night further east? Or can we make a loop during a day or drive through these areas on our way in or out of the Dolomites?

We are still heading to Lake Garda/Dolomites from Verona. Neckervd gave me a great route from Verona to Lake Garda (stay one night) and then on to Ortisie (three nights). I assume I could reverse this route it if we wanted to enter the Dolomites from further east and end this part of the trip in Lake Garda if that makes sense. Wherever we ended this part, we are getting rid of the car and taking the train to Rome.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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Jan 7th, 2019, 06:46 AM
  #48  
 
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I suggested a car drop off at Bolzano/Bozen and to change there to a fast train to Rome. If you want to do it the other way round (car drop off at Verona), you will have to drive about 100 miles more.
Of course, it's possible to enter the Dolomites from the Eastern side. But if you want to do so, you have to backtrack from Verona into the Venice area and to reach Cortina d'Ampezzo from there.
A long day trip from Ortisei over the passes to Cortina and back along another pass itinerary is perfectly possible. If you want to do more, like Tre Cime del Lavaredo or Lago Braies (very popular with people from overseas and film makers from Rome, but incredibly overrated IMO), however, you will have to spend 1 night around Toblach/Dobbiaco.
neckervd is offline  
Jan 7th, 2019, 07:58 AM
  #49  
 
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Three nights in Ortisei is just two full days, so you'll have to decide what and how much you want to see. You can take lifts and hikes right out of Ortisei, but IMO you'd be missing the most dramatic scenery of the Dolomites. The parts of the area that I find most amazing are between Ortisei and Cortina, but I admit I'm most drawn to the passes, esp. Passo Giau, and I'd be more likely to spend the two days driving. There will be lifts operating in lots of locations almost wherever you go, so you could be spontaneous.
Jean is online now  
Jan 7th, 2019, 09:12 AM
  #50  
 
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As often happens, I agree completely with Jean.

We drove from Riva del Garda, stopped at lift at Ortisei, went up and hiked a lot of the way down, got back in the car and drove to the Alta Badia. Spent two nights and two days driving and stopping. Came back through Cortina.
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Jan 10th, 2019, 02:46 PM
  #51  
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Jean and Tuscanlifeedit, I have looked into continuing on to Alta Badia and staying there. It looks like it is about 45 minutes further from Ortisie if Rome to Rio is correct. That area has the benefit, it seems, of being less expensive then Ortisie and has refundable hotel reservation options. If it promises to have better access to scenic drives and lifts, it seems to be a win win. But I am not clear if that is true.

I have been playing with our days and times, with what we want to see and I think it makes the most sense to have two nights in northern Lake Garda area (starting in the morning with a rental car at Verona, to the southern part of Lake Garda (stop and have lunch) and then drive/ferry to the Northern part and two night hotel stay)-- and then two nights in Dolomites.

On the morning after our second night at Lake Garda, we would head towards the Dolomites. It looks like we can take a direct highway route (presumable non scenic) and get there in 2-3 hours. Which would then give us half a day to explore Ortisie before either moving on to Alta Badia area or checking in to our hotel in Ortisie. Or, we can take the route that was suggested by Neckvrd which I think would take the better part of a day to get to Ortisie and beyond. If we did the route suggested by Neckvrd, we would not have anytime that day to take a lift in Ortisie (I think).

I think our intentions in the Dolomites is to spend time driving the passes with stops a long the way, taking some lifts, light hiking/walking and wandering the villages a bit. Both of us love photography and are looking for those opportunities as well. Although it looks beautiful, I think Lago de Braies will be too far out of our way (but would love to be corrected on that). Thoughts?

I'll admit, all the different names of the towns and the passes, as well as the unfamiliar geography, have been challenging for me.

I also started to make dummy reservations for a car. So far it seems to be a pretty hefty drop off fee if the drop is in a different location to pick up. Which would leave us with the choice of paying it, and taking train from Bolzen to Rome, or driving back to Verona and taking the train from there. If anyone had any thoughts on those options (or others), I would love to hear them. Either way, I am sure we need to be on a train to Rome by mid day at the latest.

All of you have helped me more than you can ever know. I only wish I could add more days to our trip some how!

Last edited by here4now; Jan 10th, 2019 at 03:10 PM.
here4now is offline  
Jan 10th, 2019, 07:17 PM
  #52  
 
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"I think our intentions in the Dolomites is to spend time driving the passes with stops a long the way, taking some lifts, light hiking/walking and wandering the villages a bit."

You'll have to be selective. For me, the priority would be driving the passes and taking in the scenery. I might take a lift, but I probably wouldn't want to spend time on a hike of any distance. My wandering of "villages" would be limited to before/after dinner in whatever town I was staying in. Your priorities may be different.

If it was me, I'd consider driving back to Verona via Cortina and take that opportunity to cross over the passes between Ortisei or Alta Badia and Cortina. That would give you more freedom on your one full day in the mountains. It would be a long day, but if you got an early start it should be easily doable. It looks like the last fast train from Verona to Roma leaves shortly before 7:00p.
Jean is online now  
Jan 11th, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #53  
 
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I have to say that in terms of preferences, I'm the complete opposite of Jean and tuscanlifeedit. I want to get out of the car and get on a lift and then take a hike and be outdoors rather than see it through a windshield. I'd drive passes on my way to somewhere, not as an activity itself.
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Jan 11th, 2019, 11:15 AM
  #54  
 
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I might have different priorities if there was more time, but the OP is only spending 2 nights in the Dolomites bookended with longish drives.

If the OP follows my suggestion to drive to Verona via Cortina after the second night, they would have some flexibility on the previous day to ride a lift or two, hike a little, explore a village. Even then, hiking means staying alert to forecasts of thunderstorms, lightning, etc.
Jean is online now  
Jan 11th, 2019, 05:32 PM
  #55  
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Thank you for the suggestions. We will let you know how it goes!
here4now is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 01:38 AM
  #56  
 
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" Or, we can take the route that was suggested by Neckvrd which I think would take the better part of a day to get to Ortisie and beyond. If we did the route suggested by Neckvrd, we would not have anytime that day to take a lift in Ortisie (I think)."
Not at Ortisei, but at Madonna di Campiglio.

Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee:
once again (see post 48 above):
A long day trip from Ortisei over the passes to Cortina and back along another pass itinerary is perfectly possible. If you want to do more, like Tre Cime del Lavaredo or Lago Braies (very popular with people from overseas and film makers from Rome, but incredibly overrated IMO), however, you will have to spend 1 night around Toblach/Dobbiaco.

" Which would leave us with the choice of paying it, and taking train from Bolzen to Rome, or driving back to Verona and taking the train from there "
The drive along the motorway (many trucks!) takes about 2 hrs.

" Either way, I am sure we need to be on a train to Rome by mid day at the latest"
Train timetable (direct trains only):
Bolzano/Bozen dp 15.16, 17.13 - Roma Termini ar 19.48, 21.45
Verona PN dp 16.52, 17.52, 18.52 - Roma Termini ar 19.48, 20.45, 21.45
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Jan 12th, 2019, 04:23 AM
  #57  
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Neckervd, thank you for all the detailed responses! You really help me get from dreaming and planning to reality. Assuming we start in Riva del Garda and we follow your suggested route to Ortisie, and stop at a few sites and towns along the way (including somewhere for lunch), how long approximately will it take? Or maybe I should phrase it, how long would that route take without stops (although obviously we plan on stopping but you would have no idea how long we might stop for)? We would like to arrive in Ortisie area no later then 5pm, preferably earlier.

Jean, I love your idea of the last day drive out of the Dolomites via Cortina to Verona. However, regarding taking a fast train to Rome on our last day, I hesitate to take one that will have us arriving in Rome very late and after dark. We will be in an unfamiliar city and need to make our way to our hotel with luggage. But maybe if we could get there in time for the earlier ones.

Choices and decisions! But at least I am making them with the benefit of all your collective wisdom.
here4now is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 05:40 AM
  #58  
 
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Let's ask https://www.viamichelin.it/
Riva del Garda - Madonna di Campiglio: 1 3/4 hrs
Madonna di Campiglio - Cles - Mendel Pass - Lake Caldaro vineyards: 2 hrs
Lake Caldaro vineyards - Bolzano/Bozen: 1/2 hr
Bolzano/Bozen - Ortisei: 3/4 hrs
neckervd is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 05:58 AM
  #59  
 
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" Jean, I love your idea of the last day drive out of the Dolomites via Cortina to Verona"

If you want to do that, you should know that the fastest way from Cortina d'Ampezzo to Verona goes through Venice Mestre. In this case it might be easier to rent your car AT VENICE MESTRE the afternoon before the opera performance, begin your drive at Mestre and do the drop off at Mestre too.
The drive from Cortina d'Ampezzo to Mestre is about 2 1/2 hrs; up to Verona, it's 1 hr more.
Trains from Venice Mestre to Rome (3 1/2 hrs journey):
Venezia Mestre dp 15.37, 16.12, 16.37, 16.47, 17.37, 18.12, 18.37, 19.12, 19.37
neckervd is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 09:35 AM
  #60  
 
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There is a plethora of hotels around Rome Termini station - a short walk away. I've stayed in many there and never felt unsafe at night though you could easily take a cab to any Rome hotel.
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