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Old 07-20-2017, 10:49 AM
 
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Looking for suggestions of places to visit in northern Italy. We will likely be flying into Milan and out of Venice with 12 days to spend in between. We're in our 30s, fairly active and don't like to sit still for long. In addition to the two mentioned above we also plan to visit Florence and cinqueterre. Looking for suggestions on which town to stay in there. Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:01 PM
 
Location: SW France
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Our daughter lives in northern Italy and loves it there.

One of our favourite vacations was on Lake Garda. It is one of a series of lakes, with Como possibly being the best known. I'd strongly suggest you check them out as they seem ideal from what you say about yourself.

Between Milan and Venice you'll find Verona, and our daughter's home, Padua (Padova). I can even recommend the lovely B&B where we stay when we go there!

Padua benefits from lovely public squares and churches, including the incredible Scrovegni Chapel, and doesn't have the massive crowds that can often be found in Venice.

What time of the year are you looking to go?
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:10 PM
 
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We stayed in Lucca, which is between Florence and Pisa. It is a walled city with a bikepath along the wall around the city. There are tons of fantastic restaurants and the town is well connected via public transportation. We fell in love with Lucca and will be back. There is enough tourist infrastructure to make a stay enjoyable while having enough residents to make you feel like you are experiencing a real Italian town.

We went to Cinque Terre and while it was pretty, it was very toursity and gets very crowded in the summer. However, the hikes are fantastic, but you need to check the status of the trails since mudslides often close them from long periods.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:26 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Loved Cortina and the Mtn areas of the Dolomites ~2hrs from Venice
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Both Garda Lake and the Dolomites.
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Monnem Germany/ from San Diego
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The Dolomites, Garda, Como, Verona, Venice, Liguria... all amazing.

I go to Garda now and then mostly to windsurf or race sailboats. I have done a bit of climbing there and around Finale Leguria as well.

Get off the beaten track and stop in small villages, drink espresso in the small cafes and eat in the out of the way restaurants there.

I need to spend more time there, my dad and his family came from near Como, I have some old letters and hope I can one day make some contact with long lost family. I wish I spoke Italian.
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:58 AM
 
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Excellent suggestions so far. Bergamo is also worth a day if you have time.
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:53 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
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Last year I went from Napoli to Bologna, and then continued to Parma. Bologna and Parma were very worth seeing, especially as they are not as crowded as Rome, Venice, etc.. and there is awesome food (Parma regions is where the famous Parma ham and Parmigiano comes from) historic buildings (nice cathedrals) and everything well connected by train.

Como became a bit strange these days. Last year I have been there for a day, and the whole city was overrun by illegal immigrants that were looking to take the train to Switzerland/Germany. They had a camp with dozens of tents right in front of the main station. Felt not really comfortable, but I do not know how the situation developed meanwhile.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:05 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the suggestions! We will be there in February which isn't ideal timing but we plan to make the most of it. Unfortunately that's just how it works out for this trip.
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:31 AM
 
Location: SW France
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annabanana123 View Post
Thanks for all of the suggestions! We will be there in February which isn't ideal timing but we plan to make the most of it. Unfortunately that's just how it works out for this trip.

I'd check how the lakes look at that time of the year.

We stayed in Sirmione at the southern tip of Garda and the northern part of the lake heads up towards the base of the mountains.

I've stayed in Padua at various times of the year, twice during the winter months and one time was fairly chilly, another quite nice.

The crowds will be down so I wouldn't worry about that.

I've stayed in Venice in December and it's been very pleasant and reasonably quiet.

Oh! Hang on! Isn't the ginormous Venice Carnival on at that time of the year?.....

Yep- January 27- February 13.

Maybe you want to see it, maybe you want to stay away- your choice, but be warned.
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