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Lake district Italy, some advice? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Lake district Italy, some advice?

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  • Lake district Italy, some advice?

    I'm off to Italy for 3 weeks in September and could use some advice. My husband and I plan to stay in the lake district for the first week, followed by a bunch of running around the country for the other 2 weeks. Can anyone recommend a place to stay somewhere in that area? Also, what do we HAVE TO SEE during our other 2 weeks. We plan to visit Cinque Terre, stay in Rome etc. Any advice would be appreciated. Can't wait to go.

    Karen

  • #2
    Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

    We stayed in Stresa on Lago Maggiore a couple of times. There is a row of elegant older hotels on the west side of the lake that bring back the feeling of a quieter, gentler time. Good food, cool weather, great views.

    If you are ready to rough it with the fishing ship crowd, Genova has the world's best seafood stew. Fresh off the boat, with great tomatoes and olive oil. The area can be a little gritty, but it's authentic. :-) North of Cinque Terre.

    James
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

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    • #3
      Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

      Thanks James. We love "gritty", staying in more rustic places, seeing places off the beaten path and carrying backpacks instead of suitcases. A friend of ours grew up in Genova. We'll have to talk to her about it. Do you think it's necessary to book accomodations for every night ahead of time in the month of September? We love stumbling upon things but were told not to count on that in Italy. Do you agree?

      Karen

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      • #4
        Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

        There is a Restaurant in Stressa , I think it's called Papaggalo...it translates to Parrot that inspired me to do my oven
        Just perfect 1 minute pizza's coming out of a wood oven.
        It's worth going to Stressa just for the three Borremeo islands, in the lake.
        There is an amazing cavern room on one of them, with millions of hand lake river rocks from floor to ceiling.
        My oven design is an homage of sorts to the Borremeo's and Stressa.
        I used black river stones for the top and back and italian mosaic inlays for the front and landing.
        It's still a work in progress..maybe 2 more weeks
        Attached Files
        Last edited by pizzaziggy; 06-25-2008, 01:35 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

          Ten years ago we went there and loved the Lake Como area, it was in June before the crowds. Stayed at a lovely place overlooking the lake but don't remember the name. Went to a fishing village called Bellagio (I think) and was impressed.
          If you go say hi to George for me.
          RCLake

          "It's time to go Vertical"
          Oven Thread

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          • #6
            Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

            We were in Cernobbio on Lake Como the last 2 years.
            Stressa was the add on last year.
            George lives just down the road from Cernobbio, he's just one of the locals there and his place is just beautiful.
            You can tell when he's in town, the girls all hang outside his gates.
            Hell, I'm a happily married guy and I think he's cute.

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            • #7
              Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

              I love your black river stone idea. We may have to add the Borremeos to our itinerary. I'd also like to visit Papagallos to have some pizza. I have a parrot so I even like the name. I'll do some searches on places to stay in Stressa. One friend recommended Villa Selva au Lac in Muralto LOCARNO on Maggiore. I think it's on the Switzerland side. Anyone heard of this place?

              I'm starting to think 3 weeks isn't enough time to see everything everyone recommends. Our only son heads off to his first year of college and we're celebrating the empty nest in Italy. Karen

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              • #8
                Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

                I'm of the "don't do too much" camp of travelers. We don't like the feeling of running from one must-see place to another. Sometimes it's really fun getting to know something a little off the beaten path -- and giving it the time it needs. :-)

                James
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

                  James, do you think it's a "must" to have reservations ahead of time in September?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

                    Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees is featured in 1000 places to see before you die, as are the islands
                    Not inexpensive, but even if you don't stay there, be sure to walk through the lobby.
                    One picture is of an elevator !
                    The other is just a run of the mill floor mosaic that is just spectacular
                    I'm still trying to imagine how all that marble work was done by hand..perfectly.
                    Each floor of the hotel is actually a private art gallery with sculptures and beautiful art everywhere.
                    The town is a 5 minute stroll and the islands are just in front.
                    I'm also sending my youngest off to college in the fall.
                    Like I tell her when she's being difficult...I'm going back to Italy to spend your inheritance.
                    When she's really ornery I threaten to get a really big suite.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

                      I haven't been to Italy in September, so I can't tell you about reservations. I don't think 3 weeks is enough to see everything there is to see without killing yourself. We've been 3 times- we just keep promising ourselves to go back and see something else the next time! My husband loves Venice (well, so do I, but not the same way) I love Florence. There are lots of towns in Tuscany which are lovely to visit and wander around. Rome is great too, but it's such a "big city" that it doesn't feel the same. It's also really easy to get "museumed-out" in Rome. If you've seen one bust with marble stuck to it, you've seen them all. Ostia Antica is kind of neat, it's the ancient seaport for Rome, you can get a one-day tour if you want. We also liked the Amalfi coast. Pompeii was worth a day, if you're into that kind of thing, just watch out for the people from the cruise ships. They're everywhere, and they think they own the place. And there are SO MANY of them at a time...

                      I didn't like Naples at all, but they were having a garbage strike when we were there, and it was beyond description as far as trash goes. Also didn't like the train station there and the people trying to make a buck off you even when you didn't want it. Unfortunately, you can't really avoid it if you want to go to Amalfi coast or Pompeii and don't drive.

                      You'll have to decide what you really want to see and plan accordingly. We prefer to base ourselves for 3 to 4 days in one place and make trips from there. Get familiar with the train system. We usually buy passes good for so many trips in so many days, and use them to get around, but you can also buy single trip tickets for the day trips.

                      Don't spend all your time in churches and museums. Do try the local food specialties. I'd rather spend a morning in a market than a museum, but I've been to a lot of museums over three trips. And a lot of markets. I always wish I had pots and pans to cook with when I"m there... I wouldn't bother with some of the ones the guide books say you "have" to do. I hated the Uffizzi in Florence (while it has some really good stuff, they also have a lot of, well, stuff. Indiscriminate.) but I love the Opera del Duomo (where they put all the stuff they took out of the Duomo) I love the view from the top of the Duomo and from the top of St. Peter's, and I'm afraid of heights. It was worth it anyway. Siena's cathedral has the stripiest interior ever, and Lucca is pretty all over. I love the wretched excess of St. Peter's and the Vatican museums. Venice is, in itself, one big museum, really. The Amalfi coast is one beautiful view after another.

                      No matter where we've been, we've found the people to be terrific, the food wonderful, and the country to be lovely. I doubt I'll ever get tired of it. Have a good time!
                      Elizabeth

                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

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                      • #12
                        Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

                        We travel with two kids, so we always have reservations. :-)

                        Still, my parents visited us twice in the spring, without complete reservations and they did fine. They were flexible and it worked out well. They were able to make last minutes changes on what to see and what to do, and I think they would do it that way again.

                        I think there is a risk tolerance question in here. If you end up sleeping in the train station, you can't blame us. :-)

                        James
                        Pizza Ovens
                        Outdoor Fireplaces

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Lake district Italy, some advice?

                          I think we're going to risk it. Our friend, on the other hand, may never talk to us again. He likes staying in Holiday Inns we like cottages on farms etc. They want to see some museums, we want to see the countryside (they do too). There's going to be a lot of compromise on all parts. We're going to be based in Rome for one week to make him happy and take the train here and there. We already have that reservation. The rest of the time is up in the air. We've traveled with them many times and it's always gone well so I hope this time will go just as well. We're all looking forward to good wine, good food and a good time seeing Italy for the first time. I've never heard anyone tell me they hated their trip to Italy.

                          Thanks everyone for all the input. Karen

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