How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
As a family
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
Because Italy, of course! My parents were meeting my family (me, my husband, and our two small children) in Europe after a business trip, and since they don’t make it overseas very often, we needed somewhere epic. Also, we found good deals on flights to Milan! So, Italy was a no-brainer. We decided to rent a car, and therefore decided we just wanted to stay in the Northern part of Italy, to avoid long car trips with two kids.
What was your itinerary?
Day 1: Arrived in Italy
Day 2: Visited Lake Como, Lenno
Day 3: Explored Lake Lugano, Bellagio
Day 4: Travelled to Portovenere, Cinque Terre
Day 5: Went to Palmaria Island, Towns (Riomaggiore and Manarola)
Day 6: Visited Tuscany, agriturismo, San Gimignano,
Day 7: Explored Certaldo, Monteriggioni, Siena
Day 8: Explored Collodi, Pinocchio Park
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
Lake Como (first base): We spent three days in Lake Como, including a day trip to Lake Lugano across the border in Switzerland. We stayed in the small lakeside town of Lenno, which we loved, and had an amazing view of the lake. The highlight of our time in Lake Como was taking the ferry across the lake to see Bellagio. Bellagio is very bustling and beautiful, but also pricey, which is one reason we didn’t stay there. The ferry ride alone was so gorgeous!
Portovenere (second base): We spent four days in Portovenere, along the coast, near the Cinque Terre. Portovenere is sometimes called the “sixth” town of the Cinque Terre, and it is truly charming. We wished we could have spent more time there! We stayed right up at the top of town in a section of Doria Castle. One day, we took a ferry around Palmaria Island, which is across a small channel from Portovenere. Another day, we took a ferry to the Cinque Terre, although we only made it to two of the towns (Riomaggiore and Manarola). They were incredible! We had great weather and went swimming in Manarola, and visited a playground with a view of the bay (as we were traveling with two small children). We ate our weight in pesto and gelato, swam in the Bay of Poets, and explored the quaint town of Portovenere.
Tuscany (third base): We stayed in an agriturismo near the very small (but charming!) town of Tavarnelle val di Pesa. It was a stunning setting, although we did wish that we were a little closer to a town, for convenience. From our little villa, we visited San Gimignano, Certaldo (where we took the funicular up to the Old Town), Monteriggioni, and the small city of Siena. On our way back to Milan, we stopped in Collodi to visit Pinocchio Park, which was a little kitschy but probably the highlight of my daughter’s trip! Besides all of the gelato, of course.
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
Visiting the Cinque Terre and the coastal city of Portovenere, boating on Lake Como, exploring San Gimignano, seeing Tuscany in the autumn.
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
For the size of our party, we should have rented a bigger car. There were a few experiences we missed that I would have liked to make time for: we didn’t see all the towns of the Cinque Terre, for example. I would also have liked to explore more of the towns along Lake Como via the ferry. In addition, we stayed in a very lovely agriturismo in Tuscany, but we would have preferred to stay within one of the many charming towns instead, just to be able to walk and explore a little easier.
@amygreatworld – (Insta)
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