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Wishful thinking about Italy 2007!

Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Wishful thinking about Italy 2007!

My husband and I finally have enough frequent flier miles to begin thinking about a trip. I have a 4-week old right now and won't be able to stray very far from him for a while...

SO - I've started my wishful thinking and research about a trip in fall 2007. After a very small bit of research (I admit, I have a long way to go), I'm hoping that we'd be able to fly into Venice. My questions begin after that!

1 - I'm hoping to do an open jaws flight. We have a week to spend. After a couple days in Venice, would it be reasonable to rent a car to go to Lake Como and then down to Florence? Should we fly out of Florence or also try to get to Rome? (We have been to Rome before. We'd like to get back, but wouldn't be crushed if this wasn't the right trip for it.)

2 - What is considered affordable lodging in Venice and Florence and around Lake Como? I'm sure it's more expensive than other towns, but we don't need anything fancy - just relatively convenient and clean and safe. What should we expect to pay for that?

3 - The appeal of Como for us is as a break from cities. Is there good hiking or other non-urban activities in the area? What would be the best base for us in the area?

I'm sure I'll have a ton more's so nice to have a trip to plan - I haven't had the opportunity for a bit!!


TravelingMom is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Hi TraqvelingMom, congratulations on your baby! Four weeks is such a sweet age and know the next months will be so enjoyable.

Dreaming of Italy is enjoyable also, isn't it? When you say fall 2007 do you know what month you are thinking of? I ask as perhaps Lake Como would be to chilly. Of course with the weather patterns around the world it is getting harder to estimate what to expect IMO.

Flying into Venice and enjoying Venice is a wonderful idea. If the weather would seem workable Lake Como is beautiful. And Florence of course has a wealth of treasures.

An open jaw flight is a very good idea. Besides flying home from Florence think about perhaps flying home from the Malpensa Airport north of Milan also. I don't know where you live and what airport you use in the US (assuming you are in the US). Family members that are spending three weeks in Tuscany right now found the airfare was lower using Malpensa versus the Florence airport but I do not know if that is true regarding all flights.

Do have fun researching your trip. I personally think staying in Northern Italy versus going back to Rome this time is a good idea, although I love Rome. With a week you would be more relaxed staying in one area. If it will be to chilly to enjoy Lake Como you could train to Florence after enjoying Venice and than do a few day trips from Florence and fly home from Florence. Best regards and enjoy your new little bundle of joy!!
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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We went to Lake Como several years ago in mid September, and had gorgeous sunny days in the mid-80's. That would be a great time to go. We stayed in Varenna, and took several very long walks ( hikes ) in the area. I would suggest keeping your itinerary to Venice and lake Como, and fly into Venice and out of Malpensa. Do the whole itinerary by train, as a car is a big waste, IMO, in Lake Como area. Anyway, planning is at least half the fun, so enjoy!
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 05:41 AM
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Four weeks old is a sweet age, except for the refusing to sleep through the night part

I'm assuming I'll no longer be nursing by the end of June 2007, but we were thinking we'd wait until late August or September to let some of the crowds die down in Venice and Florence. I'm hoping the weather would still be OK in Como?

We do have a lot of airport options...sincewe live in Charlottesville, VA it's relatively convenient to fly out of Dulles, Richmond, or Norfolk. Hopefully we'll be able to use miles to fly out of one of those places.

We've never rented a car on previous trips to Europe and have done the train instead. We haven't had any problems, except for occasional train strikes. It's good to know a car won't be necessary in Como.

I'm assuming we would need hotel reservations in all three locations? We tried to follow the advice of some guidebooks on a previous trip and call a day ahead for reservations...let's just say it led to some rather stressful days and unpleasant accommodations!

We'd love to hear any other specific suggestions for these areas!
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 05:59 AM
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I would agree that you do not need a car at the mid-lake region of Lake Como and you can get to Varenna with one train change (in Milan) from Venice.

The three towns mid-lake are somewhat different from one another and each has its own supporters.

Would you prefer to stay in a place that offers the most opportunities in terms of nightlife and shopping; in a more "traditional" Italian town; is air conditioning an issue for you?

Dukey is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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I'm interested to hear the different personalities of the towns. Nightlife is definitely not a big deal for us - at the most, we might like somewhere quiet for a drink in the evening. And we're not big shoppers - just one small Christmas ornament per trip.

We'd definitely prefer something more "traditional" and AC is not really a big deal either - aren't planning to be in the room that much!

TravelingMom is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2007, 10:07 AM
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Well, it's a little more real now. We have our flight reservations...flying into Florence on Sept 15 and out of Venice on Sept 22.

I've been to Venice before and honestly don't have very positive memories of it. I'm looking forward to spending a few days there (we were on a tour the last time and only had 1 day) and readjusting my image! Since so many people rave about Venice, I'm sure I'll be pleasantly surprised this time!

When we travel, we get burnt out on big cities very quickly. I would like to add one (maybe two) nights in a smaller town or city in between our time in Venice and Florence. I am planning to look into Varenna...what other suggestions are there for "pit stops" in between?

Now that I have flights, next on my agenda is lodging for the week. We are definitely budget travelers, but we're also past the dorm-style hostel lodging. We'd like to find cheap-to-moderately priced, clean, safe lodging in Venice and Florence and somewhere in between. I value convenience over fanciness, and local over chain. Suggestions?

As always, Thanks!
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