Before you make any final decisions, check flights to the UK using the reliable www.skyscanner.net
Book on the airline's own website but make sure you factor in the cost of checked luggage, plus size and weight limits for both checked and cabin bags. If you've got several bags and/or heavy bags, you may find you can't use the excellent budget airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair, so you'll be stuck with mainstream airlines such as BA. That will limit your choice of airports too.
> Should we head towards Florence or Venice?
Neither, in my opinion. Why go to the busiest and most tourist-popular (year-round) places if you've already visited them?
you have several options:1.
Drive (or take the train) to Bergamo
. Base yourselves there (plenty of hotel options) explore its lovely, historical Citta Alta
(upper city) with its two funiculars, try some of its fabulous food and walk in the surrounding countryside. For day trips from Bergamo you can drive or take the train to lovely a) Varenna
on Lake Como and to b) Brescia
, which is full of history and has a truly fantastic museum which incorporates two Roman villas. You can drive or take the bus to a) Sarnico
on the beautiful but much less-visited Lake Iseo
and b) drive or take the tram to nearby Albino
(worth a wander for its architecture) then bus from the tram station to wonderful Clusone
, a 'painted city' in the mountains with many Medieval murals on its historical buildings.
You can fly back to the UK from Bergamo
, Milan Malpensa
or Milan Linate.
Drive or take the high-speed train from Milan to Bologna
which has more than enough history and superb food to occupy you for 4 days. For a day trip, drive or take the train to Ravenna
, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site with many magnificent Byzantine mosaics.
There are some UK flights from Bologna airport but it would be easy to return to Milan
(Linate or Malpensa) or take the high-speed train to Venice
(Marco Polo or Treviso) 3.
Drop the car in Milan
and take the high-speed train to Venice
. Either base yourselves there or stay in Mestre
, a much cheaper option with its own interesting historical centre and easy access to Venice
by bus or train. From either place take the train to explore a) buzzy and hugely historical Padova
('Padua') and b) historically-fascinating Verona
Fly to the UK from Venice.
Plenty of choice but, if it was me, I'd drop the car in Milan and choose Bergamo for its lovely Citta Alta, its many easy daytrips by public transport and its ease of access to Milan airports. :-)