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Vienna, Lugano, Milan, Cinque Terre

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Vienna, Lugano, Milan, Cinque Terre

I'm a fairly experienced travel and have already been to Rome, Venice, Florence, Sicily, and the Almalfi Coast in Italy. This May I'll be taking a trip to Switzerland for an MBA class. I'm choosing to extend my trip in Europe for 7 days after. A friend of mine is meeting me in Zurich at the end of the Switzerland trip. We've been thinking about going to Vienna for a couple of nights (the flights are fairly cheap), coming back to Zurich and then renting a car and driving down to Cinque Terre. We would make short stops in Lugano, Switzerland and Milan. Both cities are right on the way. Does this sound like a good itinerary? Are there other cities we should be stopping in? Should we spend a night in Zurich or Milan? How many days do you need in Cinque Terre? Right now, we have it scheduled to spend three nights there. I realize we are trying to fit a lot in but we like to be on the go.

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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1. Re: Vienna, Lugano, Milan, Cinque Terre

A car rental in Switzerland with a drop-off in Italy will cost a fortune, so maybe only follow this plan if returning the car to Switzerland. And neither Milan nor the Cinque Terre are good places to have a car.

By train, Zurich-Lugano is around 2.5 hours, Lugano-Milan one hour and Milan-Monterosso three hours by direct trains. The fares for two may cost less than the fuel and tolls by car.

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2. Re: Vienna, Lugano, Milan, Cinque Terre

A car is worse than useless in any of the Cinque Terre villages except maybe Monterosso where there is limited parking available. And driving the rural roads into any of these villages is not for the faint-hearted.

In this case train is definitely your best and easiest option. Plus it should be a lot cheaper than the overall costs of having a car.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Vienna, Lugano, Milan, Cinque Terre

You can't drive in Milan or Cinque Terre - I'd get rid of the car in Switzerland and do the rest by train - I've gone to Lugano by train from Milan.

Read up on ZTLs in Italy (you need special permits to drive into cities/towns in Italy)

You also need an International Drivers Permit (legally required together with your regular driver's license) you get it AAA offices, requires passport style photo which most AAA offices can do on site and costs about $25 and lasts for 12 months. Do not forget to get this.

san francisco
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4. Re: Vienna, Lugano, Milan, Cinque Terre

HI Kolby C, I am fairly biased towards Italy, so I say Milan, but it depends on what your interests are. I love Milan, but I know people who only want to get in and out of there. I just returned from a trip that included Cinque Terre and Milan. it was not my first trip to either. Milan and Cinque Terre are very different from each other, one being sleepy and slow and one being an all-nighter if you choose and a ride in the fast lane. May could be wonderful in both. Three nights is great in Cinque Terre. I prefer four, but I love to hike the trails and decompress between cities there and then move on. I usually wake before dawn in Cinque Terre and sleep just after sunset where I get very little sleep in Milan since the nightlife is great and I like to take early morning photos. It is a beautiful city in the morning light. Ditch the car. Milan has amazing mass transit and most places can be reached on foot if you choose. A car is a no go in Cinque Terre. Have a great trip.

5. Re: Vienna, Lugano, Milan, Cinque Terre

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