We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
11,856 posts
49 reviews
Save Topic
Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

10 days in October, just the 2 of us this time.

The original plan was to fly to Torino, stay a few nights, drive to Alba/Asti for a few days for the truffle festival and make our way to Parma and Bologna. But now I'm reconsidering because a) No direct flights to Torino (not a show stopper) and B) the festival is only on weekends (we want to leave on a Friday, sort of weekend to weekend). Here's the new rough itinerary. Got nothing reserved but ideas

Arrive to Milan (Malpensa), Rent a car

Asti - 3 nights (perhaps include a day trip to Torino)

Spend 2 nights somewhere along the coast perhaps...

Genoa - 1, Cinque Terre or Portovenere - 1

Parma - 2 nights. Drop car

Bologna - 3 nights (include day trip to Ravenna perhaps)

Fly home from Bologna

What do you think? Any other suggestions? We could forgo the coast if needed, but wife wants to see CT (we havent been). So perhaps "Happy wife, happy Ziggy" but if I'm overlooking something else along the route please share.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
3,853 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

That looks like a great trip!

Given the ease and cheapness of the direct flights between NYC and MXP, I'd be inclined to save Bologna for another trip and just return from Malpensa. But I'm a cheapskate when it comes to plane tickets.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
40,540 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Ziggy! - If you have not yet booked, do consider the B&B in Bologna I stayed - you will love this place (well, just from your descriptions of things) - the two owners are delightful and make the best cappuccino I have had in Italy (well, not complete hyperbole as it is close to the truth) - If you click on my username, you will see my (very detailed) review - it is so wonderful. anticaresidenzadazeglio.it/en/residenza.html

Without exaggeration, my favorite place I have stayed in all these years traveling to Italy - and, there's been a lot of nice places - but, between the charming hosts and the residence itself, it was very memorable.

I haven't been to Genoa for a long while but I did like it - it's a big city. If I had just two nights for the coast, I'd probably spend them in a small village/town on the coast - I've stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo and Vernazza (CT) - at that time of year, it could still be warm (or rainy and cool, you never know) - But, if you want both a big city and village, Genoa is a nice choice. Seems few people ever even mention it -

I would not have a car for the coastal area - it is not an easy drive, you drive inland from the coast and tunnels, etc - just not quite what you imagine it will be and the trains will be faster and much more efficient in getting you close to where you want to be. (It's not like driving on the Amalfi Coast or Highway 1 on the west coast)

If it is not three full days (and it is just 3 nights) in Bologna, I'd probably skip a day trip but at least you can decide that once you are there - it is such a delightful city, I couldn't tear myself away even as I had originally planned a few other day trips, I just stayed put and soaked it in and can't wait to return.

I went, my first afternoon, to the Museum of the History of Bologna (bolognamagazine.com/content/palazzo-pepoli-m…) and it was a great introduction to the city as they have an extraordinary exhibit about the history of the city - really amazing (and, the museum if free!) and they give you a terrific little book about the city which is great to supplement a guidebook. Having seen the exhibit, I was able to appreciate the city even more when wandering through it - sigh.

Actually, when you get a taste (and sight) of the food, we may never see you back in NYC again - be very very careful….

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
40,540 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Oh, wanted to add - Bologna is just one hour via train to Milan; if you can get a better price on a round trip ticket to Malpensa and back, I'd do that. When I left Bologna, I went to Milan - fast and furious. So, if you can save enough money that that makes sense, it will be an easy and fast trip to Milan.

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
11,856 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Invaluable as always Momcat.

I was planning to ask for that B&B name anyway, so glad you mentioned it.

So how should I handle the car situation. Drop in Genoa and train to the villages and Parma? Or its not that simple

I didnt realize or forgotten there was high speed service between Bologna and Milan, so good point.

Thanks for the input

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
40,540 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

That's what I would do with the car. All around less hassle (since you can't, for the most part, drive into many of the coastal villages and there are ZTLs in Parma - well, every city/town mostly - so with frequent train options, it would be a less cumbersome way to travel.

When you decide which coastal village you want to stay, then look at Trenitalia - probably use a date within the next 7 days because many in that area are regional trains and may not show up beyond that date with prices, etc - If a regional train, no need to buy in advance, just buy when you plan to leave.

The issue with booking in Bologna (prices) is that they have lots of conventions/meetings/whatever you call it - and, when some of them are on, prices will rise. Not all are as well attended and large as others but it is hard to tell -

I would suggest choosing possible Bologna dates and emailing Agostino at the B&B and asking him if those dates are available - I'd do that very soon (very) - here's the calendar and there are October events happening:

bolognafiere.it/en/…cronologico_corrente

Have fun planning….

Portland, OR
Destination Expert
for Positano
Level Contributor
6,400 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Zig, have you yet been to Antica Corte Pallavicina? If not, I would STRONGLY recommend keeping the car for the sole purpose of spending one night there. We had a private tour and lunch there and it was one of the best meals I have had in Italy. Spending one or two nights there is now on my Italy bucket list.

Italy
Level Contributor
6,041 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Hi Ziggy, my 2 cents here: if you plan a food tour around Parma you really need a car because cheese, prosciutto, culatello factories and so on aren't in town and difficult to reach by public transport.

So, you can consider using the car in Piedmont and then Parma, drop the car in Parma, go to the Cinque Terre by train and then to Bologna by train.

If you stay in Parma area I'd like to suggest you to stay out of the city in order to enjoy the countryside, feel free to ask if you need any recommendations in my area.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
40,540 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Yep - definitely would keep the car if that is the plan as Tabata suggests.

Getting hungry now….

Portland, OR
Destination Expert
for Positano
Level Contributor
6,400 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

So hungry ....

Zig, if I haven't already, I can email you my trip report from our visit to Parma/ACP/Piemonte, etc.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13,758 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Friends, its Rough Itinerary Time

Am green with envy, Ziggy. I loved the coast: Sta Margaherita, Rapallo, Portofino. If we were there in the right season, going by ferry from any of these cities to CT would have been the thing to do. Love the Mediterranean coast of Italy and France.