My husband and I are combining our fourth and fifth RS tours into back-to-backs this April and May: 8 Day Barcelona-Madrid and 14 Day Village Italy. The downside is that they are truly back-to-back with only a day in between. Our first tour ends in Madrid on Sunday, April 28 and Village Italy begins in Padua on Monday, April 29 at 5 pm. I haven’t booked our flight from Madrid to Venice yet. VI ends on Sunday, May 12 and our flight out from Milan Malpensa airport is at 9:55 am. We plan to leave Lake Orta on the morning of the tour and spend the day in Milan. On the front end we will have 2+ days in Barcelona. I realize that we may have compressed this trip a bit but we usually find that three weeks away is about right for us. So here are my questions:
1). After our flight to Venice (hopefully to arrive before noon) should we spend the day and night in Venice and head on to Padua after noon on the following day or just go straight to Padua? I realize this would be a very short visit but we’ve never seen Venice (except the one in So Cal, haha!) and have no immediate plans to return to Italy. Of course that may change after this trip!
2). If we decide to spend the day and night in Venice, do you have hotel and activity recommendations?
3). Can you recommend a hotel in Milan? What would do if you had one day in Milan?
4). Any recommendations for our free time in Barcelona? I’m not too concerned about this as we are happy walking around following Rick’s recommendations. We will, however, arrive on Good Friday and the tour starts on Easter Sunday so it may be more crowded (or possibly closed?) than normal.
5). Finally, any recommendations for short-hop airlines from Madrid to Venice are appreciated.
Thank you for your advice and suggestions.