Northern Italy in January
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 13, 2012 10:30 AM Last Post By: chiaram
Oct 7, 2012 4:16 PM
Northern Italy in JanuaryI'll be in northern Italy for a few weeks in January for work. Will have weekends free. I'm looking for some suggestions for some weekend trips. Preferably train travel and gneral walking/sightseeing type stuff, etc.
Have been to Rome/Florence/Venice before. Would consider another trip to Venice if nothing else piques my interest. Otherwise, considering these areas:
- 5 Terre
Will January weather (or just being the off season) be an issue? Any other areas I should consider?
Oct 7, 2012 4:50 PM
1Can't speak to winter weather issues, and I'm not sure what you're looking for, but here are a few places that are really nice:
Bellinzona, Switzerland: really pretty castle, charming Italian-Swiss culture. I think it would be lovely in the snow.
Lucerne, Switzerland: pretty town right on a huge lake. Also would probably be really pretty in the snow.
Bellagio, Italy: charming town on Lake Como (though getting there in icy weather may be hard...the roads are narrow and even taking the bus in summer was a bit nerve-wracking). Great views, though.
Cinque Terre is also really lovely. I'd love to go there in the winter.
Oct 8, 2012 1:35 AM
2Where will you stay in Northern Italy? There's so much...
Venice and the Veneto region (Verona, Padova, ...), the Garda Lake (Sirmione, Desenzano, ...), Bergamo, Mantova, Parma, Piacenza, Bologna, Ferrara, Genova, the Como Lake, Maggiore Lake, Torino, ... and I could continue for very long! And this is just the neighboring area, you can spend a weekend in Rome, Florence and many other locations with a few hours train commute, or even go to Sicily with a low-cost flight.
Not sure what you mean with Monaco... if the Principate of Monaco, I am not sure I'd spend a weekend there in anuary when I could choose among so many other destinations; if the German Munich that's definitely worth but farther away.
Oct 8, 2012 1:55 AM
Oct 8, 2012 7:11 AM
4.....but the chance to see "Bellinzona in the snow" would rather be small. It may snow in the Lakes area in January, but not every year.
I completely agree with flapic: "a few weeks" is by far not enough for a somewhat decent visit of all the gems of Lombardy, Piemonte, Valle d'Aosta and Western Veneto. There is absolutely no need to go up to Liguria, Venice or even abroad.
Oct 8, 2012 10:04 AM
Oct 10, 2012 7:24 PM
6Thanks everyone for the feedback! Will be based in Torino. I won't have a car, so train transport is a must. I could probably figure out a simple bus option, but I don't speak (much) Italian so a complex bus route is out. How does Lake Como fit in that framework?
Flapic -- yes, i did mean Monaco / Monte Carlo. Will be in Munich later, so just considering places an easy journey by train (<5 hours or so) from Torino. I have spent a lot of time in Torino (and will be there during the workweek), looking for elsewhere on weekends this time. On a separate Torino topic would love to get some Juve tix...
Edited by: tmarti22
Oct 11, 2012 3:58 PM
7I second Gigigriffi's suggestions: in particular, Bellinzona is one of the most enchanting places that I've seen. From Torino it's quite a long day trip, so it's probably better if you can spend a night there (in which case, I suggest also visiting nearby Val Verzasca, if you like hiking). From Milano, Bellinzona is just 80 minutes away.
As for Cinque Terre (or, in general, Liguria), if you get down to the coast and are looking for some hiking ideas, you're welcome to visit http://liguriah.wordpress.com (a website from a Liguria-based hiking group). In early January, be sure to check out the lit Xmas crib in Manarola!
Oct 12, 2012 1:46 AM
8" How does Lake Como fit in that framework?"
Local people prefer the closer beautiful lakes of Piemonte. But if you absolutely want to maximize time spent in trains, it's feasible. Change trains at Milano Centrale and go up to the place you want to see: Varenna, Fiumelatte, Bellano, Colico, etc.
As to Val Verzasca, I agree with vid that's a nice mountain valley, almost as nice as the mountain valleys close to Torino.
Oct 13, 2012 10:30 AM
9Well, in January I'd spend a weekend in Aosta, trying to be there for Fiera di Sant'Orso, a market/fair nearly 1000 years old (I am not sure, but it should be the last weekend of the month). The city itself is small but beautiful and lies in the middle of the Alps. If you are a skier, there's a cable car from the city to the skiing resort of Pila, or countless other skiing opportunities in the valley. Direct train form Turin to Aosta. January is low season for skiing, rather cold but far less crowded than February.
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