• CONTACT US if you have any problems registering for the forums.

Itinerary help please

BEERMAN

100+ Posts
On our upcoming trip we are planning 4 days in the Dolomites, homebase probably Ortisei? Weekends will probably be busy there in September so we're thinking about weekday stays. We will possibly have 2-3 nights prior to stay somewhere between Milan and Ortisei. We've been to Florence, Verona and Sirmione on Lake Garda...where would you consider staying within a two hour drive of the Dolomites? We are also thinking to use the train the first few days to somewhere that has car rentals, but we'll rent in Milan if a destination requires it. Thanks for any advice! Cheers!!
 
If taking the train, or driving, then Trento looks like a solid option. We've stayed there before, as well as day tripping from Lago Molveno (also an option if you want picturesque large village, lake, mountain and no boring filler - the scenery is wonderful, as is the walking). Trento described by friends as like Verona before mass tourism hit. It's got quiet spacious central streets, a very historic cathedral, super street market (I forget which day). It's also home to a lovely cartoonist, Fabio Vettori whose calling card is his landscapes with ants (formiche), and we arranged to visit him in his studio, which was a very special experience.
 
Ian, just watched a few YouTubes on Trento, looks like a good option, and close drive to Ortisei. And yes no boring filler stop for us! We haven’t been to Venice, if we go there it would be by train, stay 2 nights then Trento by train one night and rent a car there? Might seem strange, but Venice is Not a bucket list destination for us…
 
Might seem strange, but Venice is Not a bucket list destination for us…
Not strange at all. With so many of us repeat visitors, we develop a love of the country, the people, the culture and customs etc. The attraction of visiting locations where we're surrounded by other tourists, and where the culture becomes one focused on tourism, can be off-putting.

Trento is a decent option for a one night stopover (more so than Lago Molveno IMO), but absolutely rewards more days. On a single (say) half day, you could take the old cable car from behind the train station for mere loose change, visit the cathedral & crypt, and enjoy the stroll around the centre, with a relaxing drink in one of the open squares and a decent meal.

We've not been, but I'll throw in Comacchio as a potentially quirky / under the radar alternative to Venice which has lots of canals (but few tourists). We stayed in Ferrara a couple of times (itself brilliant IMO) and had that as a potential day trip, but that option never happened. Apparently they *love* eating eels.
 
Ian you are always great at providing ideas! I'll look at Lago Molveno and Comacchio with my wife today. We are finding Limone sur Garda interesting... The first weeks puzzle is looking like, arrive Malpensa on Thursday and train to some town for 2 nights,, then rent a car and spend 2 nights maybe around lake Garda area, then Monday to Friday in the Dolomites (Ortisei?). We are finding more lodging availability on weekdays in the Dolomites.

The second half of the trip will include a return visit to Guarene for 2 nights, We may just wing the whole 2nd week and decide on the fly? never know...my wife might say enough with the mountains head to the coast? or I want more mountains head to Aosta Valley, or more lakes???

Please keep the ideas flowing, Cheers!
 
Whilst we've not been, I wonder if Mantova might appeal for a short stay, with a lake of its own. It looks logistically good, with minimal distance to get to Lake Garda
 
We loved Comacchio
We were there for the Sagra dell' anguilla
But then we loved Mantova and Ferrara too ! Probably Mantova more than Ferrara....
 
I want more mountains head to Aosta Valley, or more lakes???
If this trip is soon, there has been damage to roads in Cogne, in the Aosta Valley, from the recent flooding.

From Instagram:

IMG_6245.png
 
We were catching the train and bus around, but in September 2022 we stayed in the beautiful village Brisighella to the south of Bolognia before moving on via Florence (Dante's Train) to the Dolomites. It was a stop to break our journey from south Italy but it's just stunning and well worth a few nights.

Our stay in the Dolomites (our 4th visit) was in Castellrotto and Fossa di Fassa. Our favourite stays over our visits have been Canazei (Valle di Fassa) and Dobbiaco (the stunning Santa Maria) - you can reach a lot of different places by bus from both (they encourage you to park your car and bus it while you're there) and they seemed more full of Europeans on holidays and less busy than Ortisei.

We jumped on the bus for the day to have a look at Ortisei in 2022 and were a bit let down by how overcrowded it seemed compared to our previous visit there. Also, watch out for the Sellaronda Bike Day (it's on a couple of times a year in June and Sept and everywhere is crowded and the roads are closed for the day) and check the lift opening and closing dates if you want to have a walk around the heights. Enjoy!
 
We were catching the train and bus around, but in September 2022 we stayed in the beautiful village Brisighella to the south of Bolognia before moving on via Florence (Dante's Train) to the Dolomites. It was a stop to break our journey from south Italy but it's just stunning and well worth a few nights.

Our stay in the Dolomites (our 4th visit) was in Castellrotto and Fossa di Fassa. Our favourite stays over our visits have been Canazei (Valle di Fassa) and Dobbiaco (the stunning Santa Maria) - you can reach a lot of different places by bus from both (they encourage you to park your car and bus it while you're there) and they seemed more full of Europeans on holidays and less busy than Ortisei.

We jumped on the bus for the day to have a look at Ortisei in 2022 and were a bit let down by how overcrowded it seemed compared to our previous visit there. Also, watch out for the Sellaronda Bike Day (it's on a couple of times a year in June and Sept and everywhere is crowded and the roads are closed for the day) and check the lift opening and closing dates if you want to have a walk around the heights. Enjoy!
Jo B welcome and thanks. We picked Ortisei for convenience especially to a couple sites. We know of the potential crowds and we chose an apartment just outside of the center. Also hoping later in September the crowds will be less especially during our weekday stay.
 
We have 3 nights before driving to the Dolomites. Instead of chopping that time up we plan to stay in Verona all 3 and rely on trains before renting a car for the Dolomites.

About 6-7 years ago we stayed one night in Verona and enjoyed the small portion we were able to see around the town centre. We figured it deserved another visit and would be a great hub to take day trips to some neighboring towns.

Any info you’d like to share about Verona and relatively close day trips by train would be appreciated! Haven’t done a lot of research yet but I saw a pilgrimage hike to a monastery high on a cliff near Garda? Getting excited starting to piece the trip together!!
 
If staying in Verona and thus dependent on public transport, I'll throw Soave in as a very charming place, served by direct train.

As for Verona itself, I did find it a little behoven to tourist trade, and perhaps most noticeably in the prominence of high end jewellers / watch shops. If returning and staying there, I'd probably research a little further out, to see if the stuff that more interests me has been pushed into the outer suburbs

The obvious other suggestion is the opera, which really was a big experience for us. IIRC the season finishes at the end of September, but tickets can sell out.

When we visited, we instead stayed outside the city at Massimago (a winery) in Mezzane di sotto. Whilst the apartments were relatively small, everything else felt luxurious - the pool, grounds, huge breakfast spread, etc. If staying here instead, it probably makes sense to hire the car on arrival in Verona, and then drive up to Ortisei after the 3 day stay.
 
Thanks Ian! We are going to rent the car on the 3rd day in Verona then depart for Ortisei. We do remember the groups being lead around by the flag carrying guides, and that was mid October in Verona! Knowing that, we chose an apartment outside of the center in a pedestrian only section. It looks to be 20 minute walk to the train and 10 to the center. If we had decided to rent a car at the start of the trip we would have gravitated to a small town like Soave, it's beautiful! We enjoy the train travel and it's sorta fun planning out the logistics involved with that... usually on the fly!

Our last time in Verona we had backpacks, hopped a bus from Sirmione. We had no idea where we were going and pulled the bus stop cord a little prematurely. We walked about a mile into town through the large archway. Looked around a while and decided to stay, walked into a hotel and they had a room. Funny memory, that night in Verona we discovered that there was a planned train strike in Italy and we had to be in Switzerland to meet our daughter in a few days, we took an early train to Lugano to avoid that... fun way to travel!

The "touristy" feel in Verona and then Ortisei does have us reconsidering our third leg of the trip, which currently has us going to Limone sur Garda? That third leg gives us 4 nights to get to Guarene in Piemonte. We would like to spend some time around water, so perhaps we can find an off the beaten track location, perhaps 2 locations, to break up the drive to Guarene.

My wife is showing interest in touring the Emilia-Romagna region for those 4 nights, but I'm wondering if the drive distances will wear me out?
 
As you'll have an apartment in Verona, it can soften the effect of tourism, as you'll seek out markets or specialist shops (or even supermarkets), which will be 'real' experiences, and not have you beholden to the somewhat touristy central restaurants (I'd recommend researching carefully - so many looked lazily touristy in the centre). It looks like there are a few gastronomie spread around the city (but still relatively few in the central area).

Lago Molveno might be an option for that 3rd leg, as it's also en-route. I daresay it can get touristy in peak summer and peak winter, but September is not so busy. Nearby Castel Toblino has a lovely lake, but not sure what options there are for staying there. p.s. the local dessert wines made from Nosiola grape are the most wonderful under the radar gems. Called vino santo (as opposed to tuscan vin santo), they're much fresher, without the oxidation of the tuscan version. The grape shines in this form (though Foradori's dry Nosiola is lovely as well). Typically the vino santo wines are released about a decade after vintage.

Lago d'Iseo looks like it's worth a look as well, as it's not a bad route and should be much quieter than Garda.
 
If you head towards Emilia-Romagna and have a car, do not miss going to Pomposa Abbey. It is possible to get their by public transportation from Ferrara, but requires much juggling of schedules. Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful destinations in the area.
 

How to Find Information

Search using the search button in the upper right. Search all forums or current forum by keyword or member. Advanced search gives you more options.

Filter forum threads using the filter pulldown above the threads. Filter by prefix, member, date. Or click on a thread title prefix to see all threads with that prefix.

Sponsors

Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

Recommended Guides, Apps and Books

52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata by Valerie Fortney
Italian Food & Life Rules by Ann Reavis
Italian Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
French Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
She Left No Note, Lake Iseo Italy Mystery 1 by J L Crellina

Share this page

Back
Top