Rome to Venice to ? to Fussen to one week in St. Martin Bei Lofer, Austria (will visit Salzburg and Hallstat from there) Still working on planning this vacation! (9 months in the works). Final undecided dilemmas are: After Venice we want to get to Fussen. Is there somewhere amazing to stop overnight along the way or should we just continue on the train? What in fact is the train route from Venice to Fussen? That may answer our question? Innsbruck would not be a first choice based on multiple reviews. My dream is to find a place like Brugge in Belgium. We were there years ago and it still seems magical to me. We are brining our 14 and 10 year old children.
Now if those dang Dolomites and Alps just weren't in the way! I recommend using the DB BAHN website to search for the routes. Click on an option, show the intermediate stops and most of all, click on the route map. You will have to buy the tickets from the Italians, though. If you put in Venice as your starting point and Fussen as your destination, you will get the basic routes. Oddly, the one with the most changes, including a bus, seemed tp be the one with the shortest time, the most interesting and you don't have to go through Munich. These are all mountain towns and won't be like Bruges. If it was me, I'd use those town names in Italy and stay somewhere in the Dolomites. We rode through there from Munich to Venice the other direction and noticed the small town of Bressanone. It is probably where I would stay. Google it for a description and images and you'll see why! The downtown square is lovely. But some town in Austria would probably split the trip up a little more evenly.
Ok, so I'm spending too much time researching but found Sirmione to be exactly what I've been dreaming of which is not on route to Fussen but not too far from Verona. Does it seem reasonable to leave Venice for a night in Sirmione and then take the 7.5 hour train ride to the castles near Fussen?
Thank you for the insightful response! Bessanone looks great. You're right though, it isn't exactly the halfway point but that doesn't really matter. An embarrassing question about the train schedule: There are many transfers listed along the way--are these just stops the train makes or do we actually have to get off and change trains each time? (Not sure if "transfer" has a different meaning in Europe)
when you look at the detail of a route on the Bahn website it will show when and where and how long you have to change trains. A transfer means to get off one train and sometime later get on another.
Maybe Verona, Castelrotto, or Hall in Tyrol. They're all worth a visit, all convenient to the Brenner Pass. The first two are probably better overnights than the third.
Does it seem reasonable to you, kirsten? Its your vacation, and there isn't a one size fits all. If it works for you, go for it. If you realize that it is a pipe dream then drop it. Up to you.... If it takes 8 hours plus to reach the castles, what time will you get your little troup up and out? If you leave at 10 and add 8, that's 6pm and everything will be closing. Do you just want to have the kids see the outside of the castles or do you want to go in?
My experience is that you want to be at the castles first thing - meaning about 1/2 hour, or better, before they open. We visited in mid October and we're able to tour both castles efficiently. By the time we left, the short line we stood in to buy tickets looked more like a line for a major Disney attraction. The empty parking lot we parked in was full of cars and tour busses. If you can, stay at the place you mentioned - Verona isn't too far to get to from Venice in a day. Plan to stay another night in the Fuessen area after training up there, so you can get into the castles early.