Northern Italy

Hello, My wife and I want to visit Northern Italy as part of a 2 week vacation to Switzerland, France and Italy in early September. We have been to Italy twice already but haven't been anywhere further north than Venice & the Veneto region and a day trip to Brescia. We are very interested in seeing more of Northern Italy, the alps, its unique culture and cuisine. We are currently working on creating our itinerary but I assume we will have anywhere from 4-6 days in Italy over our 2 week vacation. We enjoy sampling regional foods and experiencing regional culture. We enjoy museums but half a day at a museum is usually more than enough for us. A cooking class would be wonderful if anyone has any suggestions. We have also heard that "Agritourismos" are the place to stay but have never experienced one. Any tips on what to see and where would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for sharing and happy travels. Michael

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5996 posts

Since u have seen the NE Italy (at least part), now it's time for the NW. Top choices in the area (in no particular order). Val D'Aosta: Alps (lots of) and castles Piedmont: Langhe e Monferrato wine region Torino Lago Maggiore e lago d'Orta More Alps Lombardy: Lago di Como Milano Pavia, Mantova, Cremona, Bergamo.
More Alps

Posted by Robert
Tampa, FL, USA
689 posts

Lake Comp area and Varenna. There is a cooking class in Varenna you can do. Also a stop or stay at Lake Lugano in Switzerland

Posted by karren
oklahoma city, ok, usa
229 posts

I am a "Northern Italian" girl! I love Lake Maggiorie and have stayed there in Stresa, Baveno and CAnnobio. Have traveled the lake by boat and can recommend several hotels/restaurants/sights if you are interested. I fly into Zurich and take the train down into Italy for my trips each year. Last year,we departed the train in Lugano and stayed in that particularly quaint Swiss village on the lake before going to Cannobio. Let me know if you need any of my information. I also know quite a bit about Verona and Bologna if you are interested in those northern cities.

Posted by Michael
Sudbury, ON, Canada
3 posts

Thanks everyone for your great input. Karen, I would be interested in learning more about Verona. We have been to the Veneto region but mainly stuck to Venice, and Castello di Godego, my fathers home town. Also, any details you can provide about the lake regions, hotels and so forth. We are debating where to fly in this time so Switzerland is an option for arrival and or departure. Thanks again! Michael

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
5848 posts

Oooh, Verona is one of my favorite Italian towns. Google Verona Card to see the attractions. It's got a great atmosphere after dinner, when the locals come out.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5779 posts

I loved Verona. If you go to Lake Como there is a great cooking class you can take in Varenna at Il Caminetto. They will pick you up in Varenna and transport you to and from the class. Allow all day. It was a great value and a lot of fun. I made my reservation by phone. Book well in advance.

Posted by Jon
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
57 posts

Hi Michael, my family just returned from the area in late June. My recommendation for 4-5 days is Verona for 2 days (see the arena, Duamo, Castle Vecchio, etc. Then take a 1.25 hour train to Bolzano where you can see Otzi the Iceman and a nice touwn. You can spend the day in Bolzano, but catch an afternoon bus to Castelrotto (Kastelruth). Castlerotto was our favorite place. It is a sleepy town expecially in the morning and afternoonn when the tourist almost completely dissappear. Besides the amazing views there is a nice walk on the hill above tow (10 minutes) that is good for sitting and picnicing. Also, you can go to the Alps Du Suisse where I recommend the cable cars and taking hikes among the amazing scenery.
Castlerooto had the feeling of being "undiscovered" still. We stayed at the Cavallino with the overactive church bell Rick talks about in his book. Enjoy your trip

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22576 posts

@Jon, I visited Castelrotto last year and also stayed at Cavallino d'Oro. I very much enjoyed my time there, and I found it to be an ideal home base for exploring Alpi di Siusi and other parts of that area. The beauty of the scenery was incredible, but unfortunately the weather was a bit "mixed". Cheers!