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3 days to spend traveling by train from Ravenna, Italy to Erlangen, Germany (just east of Nurnburg)

In mid October we have this 3 days interim as we travel to meet up with our daughter's family in Erlangen where she and her husband teach.
Traveling by train, we are seeking a place that offers cultural enrichment and enjoyment while making geographical and economic sense. We prefer smaller towns, B&B or guesthouse lodging.
We have spent limited time in the broader area (Munich 1 day and Interlaken 2 days 30 years ago, more recent visits to Venice, Padua, Mantua, Verona).
Wondering if perhaps Northern Croatia may be interesting and fulfill our hopes for a new experience. We looked into Bolzano. While it was dramatically beautiful, it seems to cater to tourist. We would love to return to Interlaken and Grindewald, but that will be quite the excursion out of the way the crow flies.

We are walkers, not really agile hikers at this advanced point in our lives (celebrating 68th birthdays on this extended journey and we have enjoyed perhaps a bit more food than necessary along the way).
Thank you for your suggestions.

Posted by
631 posts

"Traveling by train" - "Northern Croatia" - one pretty much excludes the other.

Bolzano (or Bozen as most locals call it) is a good idea because it has a regular direct train service to Munich which can be very good value if booked in advance ,and from there it's easy to continue to Erlangen. It is also quite easy to reach from Ravenna.

Bozen has a beautiful old town and a museum with Oetzi the Iceman. But it isn't touristy, many of the people sat outside cafes are locals. It also has excellent local transport links into the surrounding areas. Which is good because the fantastic Mobilcard is based here http://www.mobilcard.info/en/mobilcard.asp Bozen if anything is a little short of hotels but there are many options in surrounding areas, try the village of Oberbozen on the Ritten plateau a cable car or bus ride from Bozen railway station. Or the old wine growing town of Kaltern a bus ride to the south.

Posted by
27419 posts

Agree. Love Croatia, but I don't think it's a practical waystation between Ravenna and the Nurnberg area. And Bolzano is very nice, with multiple museums. If you prefer something smaller, investigate Bressanone.

Posted by
14580 posts

In 2015 on the trains from Munich to Vienna I talked to a woman living there, got into a conversation of the region, etc. She always referred to the place as Bozen, not Bolzano, which I did obviously notice.

Posted by
631 posts

it's along story Fred, with a lot of complicated history. And soon it will the centenary. But they call it Bozen because the area is ethnic austrian and the indigenous population speak german.

Posted by
14580 posts

@ Steve...exactly, the 100th anniversary is a little over a year away. It is the Südtirol, which has only been part of Italy since 1919. So, one can call it Bozen or Bolzano.

Posted by
2779 posts

Slovenia is a perfectly fascinating country and culture. It's a great mix of Italian, Slavian and Austrian cultures. From Trieste, Italy, travel to Piran (probably stay at a hotel in nearby Portoroz), then visit one of the largest cave systems in Postojna and the largest underground Grand Canyon in Skocjan. The capital city of Ljubljana is of old Austrian charme mixed with modern Slovenian culture. It's only 45 minutes from Lake Bled which again is only 30 minutes from Lake Wörthersee in Carinthia, Austria.

Posted by
7568 posts

Slovenia is a wonderful destination, but on our small-ship coastal cruise, we were under-whelmed by the Postojna cave. It's partly a matter of personal taste. The historic cities are much nicer, and the coast almost as nice as Croatia - which IS better.