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  1. #1
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    Italy trip, May 2016, any suggestions?

    Looking for some tips on Northern Italy. We will be staying in Venice for a few days then we will head north for some quiet time. Preliminary searching is pointing us towards Bormio. Some biking or skiing would be nice. Both would be great. Any suggestions or alternate locations that may be better? Looking for a smallish town in the mountains.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    What kind of riding and what kind of skiing do you want to do? Alot will depend on weather, It's been super warm here in the alps and not much snow, but that can change fast of course. May is kind of shoulder season so you could get decent skiing up high on groomers but don't expect any fresh snow. Likewise it's a good chance the mtb trails up high will have snow in may...but it all depends on weather. You will have a car?

  3. #3
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    check out lifts systems for may unless you intend to pedal up the hills, as many places close in this month for maintenance. Cervina near the Aosta valley has both glacier skiing (12 miles) and a bike park with a good mix of trails, not that many but enough for a couple of days.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. Skiing would be pretty much anything other than cliff drops and biking would be XC or flowy stuff without big drops or gaps. We did the Red Route at Ft William last year and that maxes out the Mrs. as far as DH stuff goes. We are still undecided on our trip at this point. Venice & northern Italy is one option, Park City, Utah is option 2. All depends on the funds at this point.

    If we go to Italy, I think we will have a car. Unless someone can convince us that the rail / public transit system will get us where we need to go. Neither of us has ever been to Venice and north so we aren't really sure where to start.

    Skiing is her sport and biking is mine. It's a rough life :thumbs:

  5. #5
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    We stayed at Lake Como for two weeks. It's the most beautiful place I've been to!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    We stayed at Lake Como for two weeks. It's the most beautiful place I've been to!
    Back in 91-93, Wife and I spent many weekends windsurfing and MTBing in the Lake Garda area, biking is great. Malcesine and Limone are superb starting spots. We also rode the passubio della galleria, crazy on an MTB but friggin' awesome

  7. #7
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    Sella Ronda

  8. #8
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    I wrote this on another thread about northern Italy...

    Livigno! It's a bit of a schlep to get there (it's in a valley between Switzerland and Italy and also a tax free zone, so cheap food and drink) as it is waaaay in the north of Italy and you will need a car to get there (I'm talking about a days drive from Milan). It is effing awesome, however. Right up high (around 1800m IIRC) and the centre for trekking, skiing (alpine and XC), running, hiking and biking for the entire area. A lot of pro athletes (XC skiers mainly) go there to train at altitude so there is a sports shop on more or less every street. Plus September is off season so the hotel rates should be low too. Trails? Oh there are trails out the yin yang up there, of all sorts of difficulty. My personal favourite was the loop from the town centre to Lago di Livigno, round the mountain to Lago San Giacomo, round the other side of the mountain and back - 60 km +/- and almost all of it on dirt.

    Check out Bolzano/Bolzen and some of the other places round about. The hiking and biking (and skiing - alpine and XC) in this area is killer & if you are up for it I would recommend the Passo Pordoi or Passo Sella (just Google "Passo Pordoi MTB") - It is only a little out of the way to the east, just past a nice little place called Canazei - we've stayed there twice (Hotel Croce Bianca) and it is fantastic!

    I remember a nice little place called Madonna Di Campiglio we stayed at too (check out the "Giro dei cinque laghi" if you do go there - it is a day trip around 5 lakes; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD0aeigQs4Y )

    Corvara is nice also.

    I would recommend when driving from Venice to get across to the west as far south as you can (I would go across to Trento and join the A22 at it's start - the smaller roads can be a challenge in poor weather) then take the A22 north to Bolzano - from there pretty much everything I mentioned above is easily reachable with the exception of Livigno.

    If you were to check out Livigno (which I massively recommend) you could take a day / night in Maddona di Campiglio - it is in a logical place to take a break on the journey).

    Whatever you do - Northern Italy is a great place to visit! I'm sure you'll have a great time!

  9. #9
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    Tuned in

  10. #10
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    I am from northern Italy, I suggest you to move from Venice to Verona (which is close) and start from there all the way up to Brixen.
    Plenty of proper bike paths in that area, you can turn all around lake Garda, from Peschiera to Riva Del Garda and see Limone.
    If you move north you should see Trento, Bolzano, Meran (beautiful spa there), Brixen and the Pustertal which leads to the stunning Braies lake.
    There are very good bike paths there.
    You will find plenty of cheap and cozy accomodations, esp in the area north of Trento (see redroster.it)

    That's much better than Bormio, and much more bike-friendly.
    I believe May is too late for skiing, in that period it's much better to focus on mountain lakes and bike trips.

    Hope it helps

  11. #11
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    Yes. Try their coffee and pizzas. They're the pros.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshevilleMtBiker View Post
    Yes. Try their coffee and pizzas. They're the pros.
    Yeah, their pizza is the best! This is pizza from Cernobbio, Italy.

  13. #13
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    I see your pizza, and raise you a PIZZAItaly trip, May 2016, any suggestions?-uploadfromtaptalk1449260482908.jpg


    Anyways, since it's December, I would wait to see what the weather does this winter before making plans. Still no snow in Piedmont. May should be a pretty easy time to find hotels and airbnb

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the replies. I have been slacking on trip planning with the holidays going on. And we have been back and forth on where we are going. Still between Park City Utah in the US or over to Italy. Today it looks like Italy. Tomorrow, I not sure. Haha. It really depends on airfare which seems to be decent right now. Ciquta and Ghost_HTX, Thanks those are the recommendations I am looking for. We don't need anything hardcore but we would like to experience the trail systems. So if we go, it will be May 22nd to the 28th.

  15. #15
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    You can do Utah anytime. You will not regret going to Italy. If you're from the United States, Europe will have so much more to offer than another place in the United States. We had such a good time that I think about italy a lot. And we have decided that we have to go back to Lake Como in the next couple years.

  16. #16
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    I can't speak for Utah (never been there) but northern Italy is awesome. Heck, Italy is awesome - I've never been further south than Florence but in that I've experienced a ton of awesomeness.

    Everything I mentioned should be very doable in May. Livigno will most likely still have some snow too, for XC skiing and alpine.

    Italy. You know it makes sense.

  17. #17
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    Chamonix (very close to Italy).

  18. #18
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    Chamonix, FR OCT 2015

    Italy trip, May 2016, any suggestions?-frchamonix92915.jpgItaly trip, May 2016, any suggestions?-frchamonix292915.jpg

  19. #19
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    So as of today. Italy it is. We have been scanning airfare and are open for any airport between Florance, Milan, and Venice. All depending on price and logistics. 1 to 2 full days in Venice is a must. The rest of the time will be spent wandering around the countryside and checking out the Alps as much as possible. My wife as already been to Rome so no need to head south. So now my big question, do we drive or rely on public transit. I was in Switzerland a couple years back and the transit was phenomenal. Any thoughts? I've heard mixed things about driving there. We have both driven in Europe so we are okay with swapping sides of the road. Thanks again

  20. #20
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    2 days in Venice is not enough IMHO, you miss too much.

    That said, how long you planned to spend in the Alps?
    Driving a car in that area is fine (no different than european standards), but there are good and cheap trains which can save you the hassle.

    It much depends on what kind of tour you want to do and how long you're going to stay... if you want to see as much as possible moving every day in a different place then you need a car. If you find a smallish place somewhere to use as a base for bike tour... then train could be fine.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciquta View Post
    2 days in Venice is not enough IMHO, you miss too much.

    That said, how long you planned to spend in the Alps?
    Driving a car in that area is fine (no different than european standards), but there are good and cheap trains which can save you the hassle.

    It much depends on what kind of tour you want to do and how long you're going to stay... if you want to see as much as possible moving every day in a different place then you need a car. If you find a smallish place somewhere to use as a base for bike tour... then train could be fine.
    Good to know about Venice. We will be arriving mid day Saturday and we will have to leave the following Saturday. We really do not have any itinerary planned yet. Venice is the main reason we are going. It is something my wife has always wanted to see.

    Both my wife and I tend to get bored easily so we normally wander around. Having a base town is fine too. After Venice, I think we would like something with a slower pace and in the mountains. With the option to bike or alpine ski if the mood hits us. The biking or skiing do not have to be hardcore, just something fun that gives us a taste of what the local terrain is like. Normally group tours aren't our style but if it's a day long bike tour or guided bike ride, then that would work.

    As you may be able to tell, we are in the preliminary stages of deciding what we are going to do while we are there. We are also open to quite a bit and would like to be non-touristy as much as possible.

  22. #22
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    mmmm you don't have much time

    you also have to rely on the season: forget about skiing, May it's too warm for that. There are few places where you can sky in May but they are far away (and the snow tend to melt in the afternoon, it's nice only in early morning).


    so my suggestion is:

    Venice at least 2 nights (don't miss outher islets like Burano and Murano).
    After that rent a car and go to Verona, see the city center, then find a place to stay somewhere in SE lake Garda (like Lazise). There you will find nice bike paths around the lake, so you bike west to Sirmione and north to Lazise-Bardolino-Garda-San Vigilio. You will love it. To relax in the evening you may have a look to Aquaria spa in Sirmione.
    On a rest day drive clockwise to see SalÚ, Limone all the way up to Riva. Riva is a beautiful place between lake and mountains (pictures speak for themselves) and so there are a zillion of activities to do (surf, bike, hiking...), so you may spend there last two nights.


    Another option could be to drive from Venice to the Pustertal, a beautiful valley between mountains with nice lakes (see Braies lake) and good bike paths. You can easily cycle from Toblah in Italy to Lienz in Austria and come back with train same day (it's the well-known Drava bike path).

    I do love South Tyrol but according with the season I reccomend the first option.

  23. #23
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    You will have to plan it pretty tight if you are there for 7 days and 2-3 are already committed to Venice. Ciquta sounds like he/she knows what they are talking about. Lake Garda is beautiful.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BXCc View Post
    We have both driven in Europe so we are okay with swapping sides of the road. Thanks again
    They don't switch sides in Italy and Switzerland. And, one day in Venice is more than enough on a short trip. After a few hours it all starts to look the same. Oh, bring some plastic boots with you. The one size fits all boots they sell there suck. If you go in late fall or winter, chances are it will rain everyday.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for all the help. It's all appreciated. The trip will be late May and the wife can only get one week off of work at a time. She did the the Friday before off so we will fly out on Friday, arrive Saturday, and fly out the following Saturday or Sunday. Monday is Memorial day and we have that day off to so we have a rest day regardless.

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