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Ortesei, Venice and Stresa

We are a group of 6 traveling by van in mid-June/July for 3 weeks. Part of our trip will take us to Northern Italy. My husband and I have been to Europe several times (this will be our 4th time to Venice). We’re traveling with our two teens (who have been to Venice once before), along with my sister and her husband (their 1st Europe trip!)

I’m looking for recommendations for your favorite activities/restaurants for these areas. We are locked in to these locations and # of nights.

Ortesei - 3 nights, arriving from Munich via Mittenwald. Plans include Seceda, Col Raiser, Alpe di Siusi (maybe renting e bikes). Easy hikes preferred, and no chairlifts.

Venice - 3 nights. Plans include the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doge’s Palace and St. Marks, a gondola ride, maybe a ride to Burano (never been) and Murano. Any tips on ciccheti for someone who doesn’t eat fish?

Stresa - 2 nights. Arriving on a Saturday from Venice, so our full day to explore will be a Sunday. Planning to take the ferry to a couple islands. Is it worth it on a Sunday, or will everything on the islands be closed? Maybe we’ll rent a boat on the lake.

From Stresa we head to Switzerland.

My sister and her husband don’t plan to return to Europe. They’re pretty chill and will do whatever we want to do (no pressure!). They’re not foodies, but love food, if that makes sense. So no need for Michelin star places, but love a great pizza! I want them to fall in love with Italy (like we did!) and make the most of our time in these places in the time we have. Any tips/recommendations are welcome.

Posted by
9632 posts

We stayed in Ortisei at Hotel Grones, family owned. Wonderful experience. Indoor pool for your kids!
I have a severe fear of heights but had no problems riding a gondola up from the valley on one side of Ortisei and a funicular up the other side. Once you are up there it is nice walking paths, easy. Very special.Stunning beauty!
The chef at Hotel Grones is excellent!
Venice- Burano and the adjacent island island of Torcello, birthplace of Venice. Lovely cathedral.
Stresa- Yes, do the tour of the islands. I would be shocked if they were closed up in June or July.!
It is a beautiful lake. You can also take the short drive up to Lake Orta; you’ll be glad you staying on Lake Maggiore with more to do and see.
This won’t be your sister’s only trip to Surope, rather her first.

Posted by
3018 posts

I'm watching this thread- especially chicceti without fish. I'm also not a seafood lover, and certainly not a fan of the lagoon fish that is often served. We did a pub crawl a few years back, with the very fun guy that RS recommended, but so much of the fare was fried foods.
Have a great time!

Posted by
5719 posts

Stresa’s ferries will definitely be running. Purchase your ferry tickets at the white building where you board - not at vendors along the sidewalks or people offering to taxi you somewhere.

I like Isola Pescatori and love Isola Bella! Also, there’s Santa Caterina del Sasso across the lake that I really enjoyed seeing and photographing. Villa Taranto further up the lake past the first few islands is another one with great gardens and places to relax.

I like to eat at the outdoor restaurants along the waterfront. There’s a grouping of restaurants in a piazza behind some of the hotels, but the food is pretty touristy. Also, walk inside the lobby of the Regina if you’re not staying there - beautifully elegant!

One of the nicer hotels has a rooftop bar (I haven’t been to it) if you would like a special view for drinks.

Also, read about Stresa’s history on-line ahead of time. It has a very interesting history.