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[Venice, Florence, CT, Lugano/Ticino] Sanity check and hotel input, 2-week itinerary for June/July

I would love a sanity check on our itinerary while I can still shift things around a little!

We are a family of 3 (ages 49, 44, and 14) traveling to Italy and Switzerland from 19 June to 4 July this summer. My husband and I have been to Europe before, but our son has not.

Flights are booked and so are hotels, but hotels can still be changed without cost. All have good reviews and some good qualities, which is why we’re having a hard time finalizing. Doing all trains, no car.

- 20 Jun Arrive in Venice, stay 3 nights

  • STAY: Alle Guglie (smaller, cheaper) or Locanda Leon Bianco (bigger, pricier)? Leaning strongly Locanda

- 23 Jun Depart to Florence, stay 3 nights

  • This departure is firm, already bought Italo tickets for Venice to Florence
  • STAY: La Signoria di Firenze B&B (cheaper, more central) or Piazza Santa Felicita Boutique Ponte Vecchio AirBNB (pricier, bigger, Oltrarno, has washer)?
  • DO: Cathedral and Uffizi are top draws – haven’t booked either one yet. Sounds like I do need to get on that. How soon? Would really prefer to stay flexible if at all possible.

- 26 Jun Depart to Italian Riviera, stay 3 nights in Camogli

  • STAY: Booked at Locanda I Tre Merli – fun fact, we tried to take this trip in summer 2023 and United Airlines left us stranded, canceling the entire trip. Locanda couldn’t refund our booking but offered to honor the money already paid this year, so this one is not flexible.

- 29 Jun Depart to Ticino region of Switzerland, stay 4 nights in Lugano

  • STAY: Booked at Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano. Really liked the looks of this one and didn’t explore other options.

- 3 July Depart to hotel near Malpensa, morning flight home on 4 Jul

  • STAY: Best Western Hotel Cavalieri Della Corona or Osteria della Pista? Leaning strongly Osteria

Hoping this sounds feasible and sustainable for a pretty active, fit family. If anyone has personal experience of any of these hotels or a strong argument for or against any element, I’m all ears!


Posted by
329 posts

Just based on location I would go with:

Venice: Locanda Leon Bianco. If this is your first time in Venice, I wouldn’t stay in the other one because it’s too far from the main attractions.

La Signoria di Firenze. The other one is fine, but this one is perfect.

Posted by
26 posts

Thank you, Marco! It's the first trip to anywhere in Italy for our whole family. My husband and I have previously visited the German and French parts of Switzerland, but none of us have ever been to Ticino (the Italian part) before.

We're so excited to introduce our son to Europe and to the experience of a non-English speaking culture.

Your suggestions are super helpful!

Posted by
921 posts

Hello Laura,

For the Duomo in Florence if you buy the GHIBERTI PASS you get to visit all the Duomo sites for any three days from the validity date:

If you want to climb Giotto's Tower you can do the same thing with the Giotto ticket:

You're only locked into a schedule if you want to climb the Duomo. Also if all you only want to see is the Duomo itself (although the museum is excellent) entrance is free because it is still a working church unless they have services.

The Uffizi is timed ticket only or show up and wait in line for a ticket (if they have them) at a random time. In June I would strongly advise booking ahead and sacrificing some flexibility for guaranteed entry and not wasting time in a ticket line.

Have a great trip,