Excellent 13-Day Trip to Northern Italy
We got back from our trip to Italy a couple of days ago. I'm still a bit jet-lagged, and I have a cough and runny nose from some bug I must picked up on the flights to Italy. I'm a bit too out of it to go into detail right now, but some observations.
Avoid Air Canada Rouge if you can. Old aircraft, lots of broken stuff and dirty. No entertainment center (you can pay to use an iPad or some such device). Not even an air valve. Fed us something not totally unlike food. But it was cheap flying Philadelphia to Venice via Monteral--and then back to Venice from Milan via Lufthansa.
Flight home on Lufthansa from Milan via Frankfurt was much better. Clean aircraft, excellent entertainment system, attentive flight crew very generous with the adult beverages and snacks.
The slim line seats all the airlines are installing are terrible if you are not a lightweight person. We took a home made cushion with us--helped a lot.
We have finally and totally determined that we are hotel people as opposed to apartment people. We have absolutely no desire to cook while on vacation, and we like the hotel amenities. We stay in local hotels and midrange European style chains. Our apartments were OK, just inconvenient in some ways.
For location, comfort, and amenities, we were very happy with the Hotel Lisboa in Venice and the Gran Duca di York in Venice. In both cases, location and service were top notch. Very close to the center of things in each city, but off the main streets just enough that it wasn't busy and crowded.
Varennahouse on Lake Como was the best of the apartments we stayed in. They have several apartments in Varenna. Ours had a nice balcony with an excellent lake view. The kitchen was sparkling clean and modern--and we used it to get glasses of water.
The Dolomites and the rest of the Italian Alps make an excellent road trip. The mix of Austrian and Italian cultures is interesting. And the mountains are amazing.
Milan was more interesting than I anticipated. Originally we were only going to spend 1 day there, but I'm glad we had 2 days.
We enjoyed each town we stayed in--Venice, Wolkenstein in Groden (Selva di Val Gardena), Pellizzano, Varenna, and Milan. Location, restaurants, people, sights--all good.
Otzi the Iceman in Bozen (Bolzano) is well worth a visit.
Squid cooked in its own ink is very tasty.
A GPS is very helpful. Not perfect, but a definite plus.
More when I have recovered and recuperated.