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Florence-Venice-CT Itinerary

My family of 4 will be traveling to northern Italy in June with my parents, who are close to 80-years-old. We'll be flying into Milan and taking the train to spend 3 night in Venice. From there we're off to 3 nights in Florence, 2 nights in CT and 2 nights in Como. Should we consider renting a van on our way out of Venice for the balance of our trip or stick to trains? We're also considering cutting out Como and staying an additional night in CT & Florence. We want our trip to be as stress-free and leisurely as possible for my parents. Any thoughts?

Posted by
109 posts

You do not say where you need to fly home from. Is it from Milan? I have not been to the CT but believe it is full of walking and hiking on hilly terrain between towns that are not easily accessible by vehicles. maybe not the best for 80 year olds. I might be more inclined to add those 2 nights to the Lakes Region for a more relaxing end to the trip esp if you need to end up in Milan.

Posted by
6898 posts

Be cautious with the Octogenarians. The CT towns are very nice to walk around from the railroad tracks down to the water. Above the tracks is quite steep. Also, the most southern trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola is very level and a very easy walk. The biggest problem is where to stay. Very few places in the CT have elevators and many buildings can be as high as four or five stories. Lots of stairs.

I would suggest not renting a van to go from Venice to Florence. Most of the Florence historical area is a restricted traffic zone. Search for ZTL on the upper right. Computerized cameras will catch your license plate and you smiling. $150 ticket. Don't drive in Florence. The Eurostar between the two cities is excellent. For the CT, parking is very limited. Tourist cars are not permitted in the towns. You park high above the towns or in other towns outside of the CT. You picked locations where a rental car is a liability.

Posted by
290 posts

Valerie, if you stay in the CT consider Monterosso as far as finding a hotel without a lot of climbing. Vernazza has a fairly gentle grade from the train down to the Piazza but most of the rooms there have lots of stairs; maybe you could get lucky and find something near the ground. Manarola is fairly steep and Corniglia is 300 some odd steps above the station. The CT is (at least to me) a much more enjoyable place than Como. Stick to the trains, especially if you cut out Como.

Posted by
1589 posts

Considering your time frame and the age of the 'rents, I would skip the CT this time. Do the entire trip by train.