46 Replies Latest reply: Jul 22, 2016 4:48 AM by donethat RSS

Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016

pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Hello Insider Friends,

We have settled on a trip back to Italy this Spring, with the focal points being the Renaissance in Barga and a trip up to Lake Como.  I need your help with planning!  I know that IAHFLYR, ssindc, fschumpert and now melissaerb have experience with this, along with some others, like newhiltonmembr, jerrycoin and possibly sg1974 I am hoping to glean from your experiences.  Here's some starting information... We've got up to two weeks to spend.  We've already seen Pisa, Lucca and Florence (more than once), so no need to spend any time there.  Also been to many places in the Toscan countryside, but are happy to return to such places as Volterra, San Gimignano, Siena, Greve and any other little Toscan towns that might be recommended and that we haven't seen.  We would like to also visit Cinque Terre, and while in Lake Como, perhaps head up to St. Moritz.  We would be flying out of LAX and using airline miles.  We will be using Marriott Rewards points for Barga, and feel that we need to hash this out asap, as rooms on points will go fast.

 

Questions:

  1. Using airline miles, I assume that we will need to fly a U.S. based airline to avoid the atrocious fees/fuel surcharges that foreign airlines charge.  Where should we fly into (Milan?) and which U.S. airline serves this best?
  2. I assume we will need to rent a car for this?
  3. How much time will we need to see/enjoy Cinque Terra?  Is one day trip enough?
  4. What is the best way to visit Cinque Terre from Barga?  Car?  Train?  Or should we come in from Genoa?
  5. Is there anything else we should see besides the Duomo while in Milan?
  6. How many days should we plan for at Lake Como?
  7. Any hotel/dining recommendations for Lake Como?
  8. Dining recommendations for Barga/Toscana?
  9. Is a day trip from Lake Como to St. Moritz possible?
  10. What else are we missing?

 

Well, that's a start.  Please and thanks (in advance) for any help and suggestions!

 

- P77

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Barga, Lucca, Italy Renaissance Hotels Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa
  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well, pluto77, I'm jealous!!!  ENJOY!!!

     

    First - before I start a new data dump - for some reason, this hotel review appears to have survived - it's got most of my thinking on many of these topics:  A Tuscan Gem with Renaissance Style!  And, of course, my pics are here: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1734

     

    As for your questions, I'll start, but I don't know if I'll be much help:

    • Using airline miles, I assume that we will need to fly a U.S. based airline to avoid the atrocious fees/fuel surcharges that foreign airlines charge.  Where should we fly into (Milan?) and which U.S. airline serves this best?

    We flew to Florence (connecting in Frankfurt), but our friends flew to Pisa

    I haven't flown to Milan for 25 years, so I'm no help there...

    • I assume we will need to rent a car for this?

    Yes - I think so - and, unless you want to pay a huge price premium, expect to drive a manual...  (But, if you don't drive a stick, you can get an automatic.)

    • How much time will we need to see/enjoy Cinque Terra?  Is one day trip enough? [A day trip was fine for us, but you could spend much longer there if you wanted...] What is the best way to visit Cinque Terre from Barga?  Car?  Train?  Or should we come in from Genoa?

    As I indicated in our review: we drove - it was somewhat lengthy, and some of the roads were a challenge, but it was fine...  in addition: to spend a day touring Cinque Terre (which we recommend), contact Doug Heise at Voyager (for a personalized guided experience) - www.voyagertrips.com [see Cinque Terre Walk & Boat Tour - Voyager]  - nice folks, sophisticated, and a pleasure to do business with... 

    • Is there anything else we should see besides the Duomo while in Milan?
    • Dining recommendations for Barga/Toscana?
      • We ate (and enjoyed) a lot of meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner - indoor and outdoor) at the Il Ciocco resort - very relaxing, great food, accommodating staff (for all of our dietary requests), stunning views - my wife and boys and our friends raved about the drink (alcoholic and non) at the pool as well...
      • try to plan a casual, relaxing lunch at the top of the resort - up a the sporting complex - it's a nice relaxing setting
      • in addition, we twice asked at the front desk for (and were ecstatic with) dinner recommendations within the walled city of Barga - nice places, great food, very reasonable prices, and the front desk took care of the reservations too...
    • For others (knowing you've already been there):
      • Pisa may be touristy, but it's worth stopping by for an hour and some photos
      • Don't skip the walled city of Lucca, and - if you like bikes - plan to rent bikes and ride the wall around the city....

     

    Well, that's a start.  Please and thanks (in advance) for any help and suggestions!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      As a follow along to ssindc and his data dump I will start by telling you I do not recall paying an outrageous fees to Lufthansa for our last trip to Italy.  We flew on UA reward tickets leaving IAH to FRA then MXP on LH, then BLQ to MUC on LH and home from MUC on UA.  It was all booked from my UA account and that was 18 months ago now, but run a dummy reservation and check it out.

       

      Yep, I'd recommend renting a car AND making sure you get the toll pass as well as there are quite a few toll roads where the pass simply helps you not having to deal with the credit card machines.  Sure you may be paying a bit more for using the toll pass, but in my mind it is well worth it.  There are so many little villages to wander off and enjoy a little glass of wine and some cheese/meats that you'd miss without a car.

       

      While in Tuscany we only ate one meal at the hotel II Ciocco and it was FABULOUS.  The view sitting out on the deck overlooking Barga is gorgeous and the service, food and drinks equally wonderful.  We enjoyed taking day trips to the different villages and enjoying some of their local cuisine then having dinner in Barga or at the corner of SP20 where you turn on to SR445 that was highly recommended by the resort GM Georges, a spot named Osteria Al Ritrovo.Osteria Al Ritrovo.  But yes the food at the resort is excellent as well.

       

      Milan, not a fan other than to fly into and MXP and out of.

       

      Lago Di Como, I would plan a minimum of three full days to enjoy the lake and towns around the lake.  We've always stayed in Bellagio and used the ferry system right in the middle of town to get around to the other towns.  During our three different stays in Bellagio we have stayed twice at  ROOMS | Hotel BellagioDuLac and last time at Hotel Metropole Bellagio Lake Como - Official Website Albergo Lago di Como.  While DuLac was very nice Metropole had larger rooms that seemed to be a little more comfortable, much better view of the lake from the rooms on the terrace floor and just fit us better. 

       

      The terrace floor has the red umbrellas.

      P1020574.JPG

      So yes, there is a start from my memory (no old man jokes now) and I look forward to others responses.

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    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      ssindc, Thank you!  We've heard that Milan is very "industrial and unappealing," but the Duomo is worth a visit.  I will look into voyagertrips.com.  A manny is no problem.  We love Lucca too!  Your photo album is fantastic!!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    pluto77,

     

    Thank you for the question!

     

    I can only comment on a few of your questions, but here goes:

     

    Milan, is not a place I would want to spend much time there.  It's just not a place for relaxing.

     

    Yes, St. Moritz, is a place for a day trip from Lake Como, and it is a beautiful one hour ride, each way.  When you get there, take the tram to the top of the mountain, for a relaxing meal.

     

    While in Lake Como, which is going to be expensive, take a drive, (Yes, get a car, but beware, the roads can be narrow).  Drive to my favorite place in Northern Italy, and park your car free, and enjoy Chiavenna.  It is a lovely place to walk and see a real Italian city.  Park at The Best Western, it is along the way to St. Moritz.  From there it is 45 minutes by car!

     

    BTW, I would consider flying Delta from LAX to Milan, 15 hours and $ 1129  for coach, or use points!

     

    Good luck, you will have a great time!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    sg1974 Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    Interesting trip you have planned with many options in this area.

    We have been around this area several times and there is always plenty to see.

    It would be better if you could fly into Pisa and leave from Milan.

    this would be the best for time, but probably not ideal for the plane and the additional charges with the hire car.

    You can do a dummy booking and see the potential additional charges

    You certainly need a car to get the best out of this trip.

    We have been to Milan a couple of times and used it as a base to visit other areas. I would agree with the others it is not that exciting of a city. The Duomo is very good, make sure to walk on the roof. The shopping centre (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele) close by is nice for a few photos.

    Apart from that I don't remember too much about the city. If time is an issue I would certainly limit the time in Milan and spend more time in Lake Como.

    Cinque Terre area is good, but when we went it was very busy. Best not to visit on the weekend when the weather is good. We caught the train from La Spezia to Monterosso and then caught the boat back from there stopping off at a few of the places. It is worth the trip, but i thought one day was enough for us due to the train delays and big crowds on the boats also.

    Lake Como area is very nice, plenty of nice places around the lake.

    I will be able to provide more information when we are back from our trip.

    We are off to the Acropolis today, if it is open!

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    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      sg1974,

      Thank you for your reply, especially as you are on holiday (enjoy)!  Yes, it's an interesting trip alright, and for sure not my Northern Italy dream trip, which would be starting in Venice - which I'll never tire of, and working my way across the north and towards the west, hitting Ravenna, Padua, Vicenza and Verona, then over to Milan to see the Duomo and The Last Supper (FWIW, I guess it's pretty faded), up to Lake Como and St. Moritz, then across to Cinque Terre and if time, heading west as far as Antibes, bypassing Toscana altogether (saving for another time).  That would be my dream trip.   This trip is for my Mom.  She's worried about her age and how many more trips she can take across the pond (though she still has plenty of energy), and for some reason, her MR points are burning a hole in her pocket.  I think she is also afraid of what will happen with MR once the merge takes place.

       

      Thanks for the confirmation on spending one day at Cinque Terre.  We'll plan on utilizing a car with the same p/u and drop off.

       

      As we are all (I'm sure) aware of your mad photography skills, we certainly wouldn't object to being treated to a photo or two of your trip, if they just happened to fall out of your camera and onto these webpages.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    fschumpert Platinum 22 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Looks like an exciting trip. Here are some of my suggestions:

     

    I'm not sure about your travel accommodations from LAX to Italy; however, living on the East Coast we always fly from Atlanta to either Milan, Venice or Rome (direct flight to Venice only available during summer months.

     

    If you want to visit Lake Como, I'd suggest flying into Milan and spending night at the Marriott on Washington Avenue. From there you can walk to some great restaurants nearby, but you might want to also make reservations to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's famous "Last Supper" original painting at the Academia.

     

    You can drive from Milan to Como, but since I haven't stayed there, someone else might make hotel, or B&C recommendation here.

     

    You can either drive from Milan to Barga, you might want to stop off in Verona for a day, or take a train from Milan to Florence and rent an auto there and drive to Barga via Lucca.  if you plan to stay at the Renaissance near Barga. It's not exactly central for visiting other Tuscany villages, but it's quite nice. http://www.renaissancetuscany.com  (*If you stay here, look up General Manager Georges Midleje and tell him I referred you.)

     

    If you'd prefer to stay in small village, more central to several Tuscan places to visit, you might consider San Gimignano again. I've always stayed at a small B&C in the heart of the city - Locanda La Mandragola - http://www.locandalamandragola.it  From there, you could visit Cinque Terre, Sienna, Montepulchiano,  Cortona, Assisi, etc.

     

    Regarding Cinque Terre ("five lands"), you can drive there. I'd recommend driving to LaSpezia, and taking train to the first town, get off, then visit the others you want to see. Make sure you allow for time to return on train to LaSpezia.

     

    Hope this is helpful.

     

    Fred

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for the suggestions, Fred.  I tend to agree with you, that Barga isn't really conducive to visiting all of the lovely little towns between Florence and Siena.

       

      So (to anyone who has been there), and at the risk of outing my ignorance, what is there to do in the area, besides re-visit Lucca and Pisa?  I read the local attractions on the hotel website.  The property and surroundings do look beautiful.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      mastersman Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Fred,

       

      My wife and I are planning our 30th Anniversary with a stay at the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco April 12-18 of 2017. The room and flights and car are already booked. I am an old Life Platinum member and would appreciate any suggestions and advice you may be able to lend us. We are in our 60's so heavy walks and stairs are not our friends. We do enjoy photography and the setting this property offers. Any suggestions for food and photo opportunities would be great. I know that we would like to participate in a Italian Cooking Class and possibly a Hot Air Balloon ride. Other than that, we have not made any plans. May I use your name as a reference to the GM and staff?

       

      Thank you in advance.

       

      Mastersman54

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
        fschumpert Platinum 22 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        @mastersman - Hope this will be helpful:

        Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016

        fschumpertPlatinum

        Looks like an exciting trip. Here are some of my suggestions:

         

        I'm not sure about your travel accommodations from LAX to Italy; however, living on the East Coast we always fly from Atlanta to either Milan, Venice or Rome (direct flight to Venice only available during summer months.

         

        If you want to visit Lake Como, I'd suggest flying into Milan and spending night at the Marriott on Washington Avenue. From there you can walk to some great restaurants nearby, but you might want to also make reservations to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's famous "Last Supper" original painting at the Academia.

         

        You can drive from Milan to Como, but since I haven't stayed there, someone else might make hotel, or B&C recommendation here.

         

        You can either drive from Milan to Barga, you might want to stop off in Verona for a day, or take a train from Milan to Florence and rent an auto there and drive to Barga via Lucca.  if you plan to stay at the Renaissance near Barga. It's not exactly central for visiting other Tuscany villages, but it's quite nice.http://www.renaissancetuscany.com  (*If you stay here, look up General Manager Georges Midleje and tell him I referred you.)

         

        If you'd prefer to stay in small village, more central to several Tuscan places to visit, you might consider San Gimignano again. I've always stayed at a small B&C in the heart of the city - Locanda La Mandragola -http://www.locandalamandragola.it  From there, you could visit Cinque Terre, Sienna, Montepulchiano,  Cortona, Assisi, etc.

         

        Regarding Cinque Terre ("five lands"), you can drive there. I'd recommend driving to LaSpezia, and taking train to the first town, get off, then visit the others you want to see. Make sure you allow for time to return on train to LaSpezia.

         

        Hope this is helpful.

         

        Fred

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
          iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi mastersman,

           

          Love the screen name, but we can discuss that at another time.

           

          My Wife and I have been to Lake Como maybe four times and loved each and every visit, yes even the interesting and beautiful road along the lake to get to Bellagio.  On our last visit we went from Bellagio to Tuscany after reading about the awesome resort and surrounding area from folks like fschumpert and ssindc who had both visited previously.  Here are a few of the blogs written for you to shuffle through, some with way more information than you may want as well as some photos from previous trips to Bellagio.

           

          Off To Italy We Go, Part Three-Tuscany Here We Come

          Off To Italy We Go, Part Four-Discovering Tuscany

          Lago Di Como, Italy

           

          Milan Malpensa Airport is very friendly as signage to/from when driving is very good as well as inside the airport.  Since most flights from the U.S. arrive early to mid morning staying the day in Milan is a great idea to awake the next day fresh and bright eyed. 

           

          The two hotels we've stayed while in Bellagio are  Hotel Metropole Bellagio Lake Como - Official Website Albergo Lago di Como and Hotel Du Lac – best bellagio accomodation.  We found both to be very very clean yet enjoyed Hotel Metropole better as it had very comfortable beds, larger rooms and a huge terrace for rooms on the first floor if you so desired to book that type.  Just now looking at Hotel Du Lac's website it appears they may have remodeled some and the website is much better looking than my previous visits to it.  Regardless of where you stay Bellagio is a lovely friendly spot to base your stay on the lake.


          If you decide to rent a car make sure you get one that has a toll pass as it will make your life so much easier when coming upon a toll plaza which you'll find many of driving around on the Autostrada.

           

          Hope some of this is useful and please don't hesitate to seek out more information.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
            ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Thanks for the plug, IAHFLYR...

             

            As, for the cross-reference, mastersman, if you scroll up to the top of this initial discussion, roll, you can see my data dump and links to more information related to Barga, Cinque Terra, Florence - MUST VISIT FLORENCE, Lucca, Milan (not much to add there), and Pisa.

             

            In other directions in Italy:

             

            It's been a while, but two of my other favorites are Verona and Vicenza...


            Enjoy and eat well.  And, if you've never been, if you see an EATALY anywhere, try it. See here: Eataly - Italian Food, Recipes and Gift Boxes ...  saying that it's like Whole Foods on steroids is an understatement!!!  Foodie/epicure heaven....  They've got one in NYC and one in Chicago, and rumor has it Boston is next, but FIND IT AND TRY IT!!!   WoW!!!


            p.s. still disappointed that I never received for the invitation to travel as a (checked) bag carrier or trip chronicler/photographer on pluto77's trip (which started this discussion), but I'm sure the letter simply got lost in the mail....

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Pluto77,

     

    Sounds like a great trip!

     

    I'd fly the multi-city (open jaw) option going into Pisa or Florence and leaving from Milan.

     

    Price out AutoEurope or Kemwel for your rental car.  I seem to get the best price from them.  They are US-based consolidators (and sister companies) who have contracts with all the major car rental companies.  I usually end up with a Europcar or Avis rental car.  Try to rent at an off-airport/train station location to avoid the additional fees.  You should not incur a one-way drop fee within the same country.

     

    In Milan, I'd add a visit to view the Last Supper masterpiece.  But, you need to book early to get tickets.  Very limited as to the number of visitors they allow in each day.

     

    Assisi, as well as Siena and San Gim, is one of my favorite towns.  It isn't Tuscany but is in Umbria.  Get off the main drag and stroll along the beautiful back streets.  The basilica is stunning!  Had the best gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce there at Medioevo restaurant.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Found another picture of Bellagio and the hotel from the water.

    P1020638.JPG

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  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    We were at the resort for 3 days/4 nights and enjoyed Barga just wandering around Old Barga as well as Castelnuovo di Garfagnana  and Lucca.  We really enjoyed Castelnuovo di Garfagnana as they had some nice little cafes to dine and drink some wine.

     

    Google Maps

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  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    psudad Alumni Steward Gold 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    From Barga, it would be a relatively short drive over to La Spezia, where you can catch the train, which stops in the five (cinque) towns.  When we were there, not all the walkways were open, so the train is a nice way to jump from town to town, if needed or wanted.  Great little restaurant, right off the water, in Monteroso, called Belvedere.  When we were there, we were probably some of the few tourists, and it was excellent and reasonable.  We sent friends about a year later (last year) and they, too, raved about it.  Enjoy!!!

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  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    chautauquany Gold 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

         If you go to see the Last Supper, you can call directly to get the best priced tickets.  There are English speakers on the other end.  I mistakenly thought we needed to go to one of the tours in English, but any tour will do as you can get earphones/headset with the recorded information in English at any of the tours.  I actually asked for earphones even though I was on the English speaking tour as the room has an echo, and I could hear the explanation much better through the head set.  Either before or after viewing the Last Supper for your 15 minute tour, I would recommend visiting the church next door to see the frescoes.  Then I would take a walk down Corso Magenta, or Magenta Street.  It is an interesting street with lots of different buildings and uses.  The oldest patisserie in Milano, Pasticceria Marchesi is just down the street and a good place to have a coffee or pastry.  There is a good website that I used that describes more things to see in Milan, my-milano.com, and specifically mentions Magenta street and a day's worth of things to see, do and eat.  The huge cathedral in Milan is beautiful, but an entirely different church is Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, further down the street.  It is free to enter--and it is so nondescript on the outside that you will wonder why I am recommending it.  The entire inside is covered in fresco paintings and you can go through a door to another room that had been part of a monastery--finely decorated with tons of gold leaf.  Wealthy patrons supported the building of this church.  This church is so beautiful inside, and we only happened to find it.  The winter of 2012 in Europe was the coldest in history--it snowed all over Tuscany, and we were very cold on our walk, so ducked in to get out of the frigid cold wind.  It was such a surprise discovery.  You will more easily forget the Doumo than Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore!  Milano is a beautiful city--has it's own castle, a great opera house, etc., but you might wish to research before you go.  If you want to try a hotel outside the Marriott chain, I would recommend the Hotel Berna.  It is one block from an Avis car rental office, 3 blocks from the train station where you can catch a bus to/from the airport and has good nearby restaurants and nearby tram stops, one of which will take you to L'Ultima Cena--the Last Supper.  Have a wonderful trip.

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  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    fschumpert Platinum 22 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Here's some additional information about Tuscan area you might find helpful:

     

    http://tuscandream.com/5-small-towns-in-tuscany-that-you-probably-never-heard-of/

     

    Fred

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Cannot believe that the trip is just now 6 weeks away!!!

     

    Our itinerary is set.  Some of us will fly into FCO, one of us into FLR.  Meet in Florence the next morning, and it's off to Barga (so excited! .)  5 nights in Barga (and I'm pushing to visit Lucca again), then off to Cinque Terre, where we will spend one night, departing in the morning for Lake Como, stopping along the way in Milan for a length that has yet to be determined, depending on the collective interest.  3 nights will be spent in Lake Como, with a possible afternoon spent in St. Moritz (still need to meet and confer on this), and round out the trip with 3 glorious nights at the JW Venice!  Fly home from VCE via FRA, LHR, IAH for one, via FCO, LAX for others.

     

    Many thanks to everyone for their generous advice, especially

    IAHFLYR

    For the terrific idea of going with LH/UA for a whirl on Boeing's 747-8i and 788.

    For the tip on getting the toll pass.

    For mentioning some great places to dine in Barga and Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.

    For the wonderful hotel and dining recommends in Lake Como (even though we booked too late to get in to them, .)

    sg1974

    For the Barga property email addresses and to walk the Duomo roof in Milan

    fschumpert

    For the Barga property email addresses and other contact info

    For the GPS info to get to Barga!

    ssindc

    For the tip to enjoy a lunch at the top of the resort in Barga and

    For the wonderful tip off for voyagertrips.com.  Golden!!

    psudad

    For the 411 on Belvedere in Monterrosa

    chautauquany (that's a lot of a's and u's, my friend!)

    For the wonderful info about Milan and the hidden gem Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, and Corso Magenta, and Yes, yes!

    jerrycoin

    For the terrific info on St. Moritz and Chiavenna!  How will we fit this all in?  We must plan an encore trip!

    To the persons I can't remember who to give praise and thanks to, you know who you are

    For the ZTL info and for the advice to listen to the concierge's advice on how to get to Lucca, regardless of what the SatNav says.

    newhiltonmembr, have every word you've ever written on this site locked away for future reference, and a million thanks!

     

    We will reach out to GM Georges Midleje and will repeat your praises and pass on a warm hello from fschumpert, ssindc and IAHFLYR.

     

    Thanks to all again!

     

    Now, for the AC Hotel in Florence, no complimentary breakfasts at this brand, correct?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      WAY TO GO, pluto77!!!  Looks like it's gonna be a great trip! JEALOUS!!!!

       

      And special kudos for (1) mining the wealth of valuable insights from the Insiders community and (2) being so gracious to the folks that, as a group, make this site worthwhile.  Classy!

       

      Say hi to our friends in Cinque Terra!  Glad to hear you can make that connection!!!

       

      Can't wait for your full report!!!!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      FH060014.jpg

      St. Moritz is "The Top of The World", and the beauty is worth the day trip!

      DSCN0123_0098.jpg

      This the place to stop, along the way from Lake Como, to enjoy some real Italian Food, Inexpensive and they do take US Dollars and speck English.  In Chiavenna, about 45 minutes from St. Moritz!

       

      Good Luck, and have a safe trip!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks very much for the thanks, Pluto77!  Have a wonderful trip!!!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      pluto77, thanks for the shout out and you are MORE than welcome.  So glad to have been able to help and trust your trip will be wonderful.  That is a shame about Bellagio, but ya might check again and see!!!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    psudad Alumni Steward Gold 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!  Beautiful place!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Need Help with Barga, Cinque Terre and Lake Como Trip - Spring 2016
    donethat Platinum 5 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great restaurant, Il Gatto Nero,

    www.ristorantegattonero.it/en, is a fabulous place to dine, in Chernobbio, a short drive from Como.

    While Milan is an industrial city, it has wonderful restaurants and if you are into fashion, you are in the right place.

    Milano Restaurants

    Convivium- Via Ponte Vetero 21—Brera area, great

    Obika=Via Mercado 28—Mozzarella Bar- also in Rome, Florence

    Armani Café

    Osteria La Carbonella Da Santo- nice quiet, family run,

    Al Pont Du Ferr- on the River

    Trussardi – by La Scala- nice bar, café, formal dining upstairs

    Noon- bar, by Cadorna station

    Important to remember, many of the bars, like Noon, and also Obika [which is restaurant] put out huge buffet at happy hour which are complimentary w/ a drink.  You could really dine off the buffet, but what would be the fun in that

    The main thing is getting out in the country side, out of all of the cities.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)