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Angela from United States asked

Northern Italy trip for 35th anniversary - where to stay and what to do?

Planning a 10-14 day trip to celebrate a 35th wedding anniversary for two couples in Northern Italy - travelers in late 50s/early 60s.  Budget is flexible.  Looking to cover a lot of ground - thinking of flying into Milan, spending a few days in Lake Como, on to Bologna, over to Portofino & Cinque Terre and then up to the Piedmont wine region.  Any recommendations for how many days to spend in each city and must sees/dos while there?  Hotel recommends?  Is it best to explore the areas on your own or with guided tours?

Thanks for the help!

Bologna   Cinque Terre   Portofino   Piemonte

2 Answers
answered by
Judy from Wyoming

Hi Angela, I just returned from a similar trip. We flew into Milan and used train for travel. Stayed in Varenna, Parma, Bologna and then back to Milan for the World Expo (it ends Oct 31). I loved Bologna and plan to revisit there. The porticos are beautiful (except for all the graffiti tagging)! I found 2 nights in each place good. 

We did our own planning - no guide. However we did do a hop-on, hop-off your in Modena and visited the Museo Ferrari (amazing how many people come today homage to the brand and every many seems to be jealous when I tell them we toured),  Luciano Pavarotti's house and Parmigiano and Balsamic places.

Down time is good. We took the ferry from Varenna to Bellagio just to enjoy and drink and people watch.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Milan (city)
  2. Varenna (city)
  3. Parma (city)
  4. Bologna (city)
  5. Museo Ferrari (attraction)
  6. Bellagio (city)
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answered first by
Sara from Vienna

I would spend most of your time in Cinque Terre and around Lake Como and not so much in Milan (not much to see/do). Make sure you explore Vernazza!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cinque Terre (hotel)
  2. Lake Como (attraction)
  3. Milan (city)
  4. Vernazza (city)
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