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Plane tickets booked! Please advise.

Hi ! We booked a trip to Italy for this summer. We fly into and leave out of Milan airport, MXP. We already have Air B&Bs booked but we can still get a full refund for a couple months if we need to cancel. I wanted to reach out at least once and ask your opinion on places to visit for the best experience. Our dates are 6/19-7/4. We are a family of 4 (2 teenagers) and love the local vibe, not a crazy tourist experience. We would love to be able to walk most places while at our destination and only rent a car when needed for a day trip or two. We love the beach! But not required for the entire two weeks. Right now, our places are Levanto, then off to Pistoia, then ending in Stresa for our departing city. Would you change anything? We are open to suggestions. Because we are not taking any guided tours, we are still unsure that we will get a wonderful experience having done this on our own.

Posted by
748 posts

It would help if you laid your itinerary out by nights -- how many nights booked in Levanto; then Pistoia; etc. Do you have any nights booked in Milan either coming or going? You've picked some interesting destinations and are already off to a good start for the "not a crazy tourist experience." But it would be helpful to know how you arrived at those choices. Was it based on train routes? Something you read or saw? Previous recommendations?

Posted by
5 posts

We decided on NOT Sicily. It was too expensive to fly in.

6 nights in Levanto, then off to Pistoia, Toscana, for 5 nights, then finishing off in Somma, Lombardo. Sorry, I initially said Stresa.
To answer your question about how we arrived at these locations, we have a very motivated 16 year old who spent lots of time researching areas. Also we looked at places "near" the touristy places, so not in the hustle and bustle. This was recommended by the Untold Italy podcast.

We still are not sure how we're going to get rental if needed at times. Somma house recommended bicycles/electric maybe to get to restaurants.

Posted by
748 posts

Well, I think you've done an excellent job of getting off the beaten path. Bravo!

I guess the only thing I'd suggest is don't rule out Milan entirely other than as your airport destination. Yes, it is a major city and busier than, say Somma Lombardo! But the Duomo and Duomo Museum are amazing, and Milan is filled with treasures big and small. And it definitely is NOT like Florence or Rome when it comes to crazy tourism.

Ultimately decide what's best for you, but maybe take another look at Milan and see if you want to add a night or two on the front or back end.

Posted by
107 posts

Milan is amazing especially for teenagers. Such a cool city. You could stay in the Navigli district. Just a thought for your consideration.