My husband, two daughters (19&17yrs old) and I are planning to visit Northern Italy and the Swiss Alps in mid July. So far we have only booked the flight into Venice and out of Zurich for 10 days (less 2 days for traveling. I am trying to plan the destinations giving sufficient time to enjoy each. We like variety however especially like the natural scenery and culture. I am thinking it would be best to limit it to 3 destinations:
Venice (probably only for 2 days),
Somewhere in Italy bewtween Venice and the Swiss Alps (for 1-2 days) to break up the trip (thought maybe the Lakes region but open for a different type of area to add variety)
Jungfraujoch, Lauterbrunnen, Shiltorn, Murren (this area at least 4 days)
Activities I would like to include are (# of * indicates priority)
winery tour somewhere in Italy (destination #2)
- 1-2 day bicycling tour (destination #2)
-** viewing/experiencing the spectacular Swiss Alp scenary (It seems as though Jungfraujoch and Lauterbrunnen are at the "top" of the list for that) - thinking the cable car rides, maybe paragliding
-** hiking around the Alps
-* Express Train ride (public vs private train is fine) but not sure which route is best and ties in with the itinerary
-*Swiss cheese and chocolate tour/or experience
I am completely open for suggestions and would greatly appreciate any recommendations on the itinerary, destinations, lodging and transportation (ok with train, renting a car or a combination of the two if it is appropriate). For lodging, I would like something decent but not too expensive. I am considering the Hostels in Switzerland for a couple of days since they seem safe and clean and then treating ourselves to a "nicer" hotel for the other couple of days for a treat.
Open and appreciate any input and your time!