Northern Italy


With amazing hiking and fabulous landscapes Northern Italy is a worthy trip destination in itself, especially if you anchor either end with the world class cities of Milan and Venice.


This 18 day trip through Northern Italy in June/July of 2015 started in the picture book coastal villages of Cinque Terre, followed by a short stay in Milan where we picked up a rental car and drove onward to Varenna on Lake Como. After three days on the lake we drove to the Dolomites where we spent the next week day-hiking, using Ortisei and then Cortina as bases. The trip ended with a romantic stay in Venice.

Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre – The Start of a Journey through Northern Italy
Post includes first impressions of this magical section of Italian coastline and our train adventure in reaching our home base in Vernazza.
Sleeping and Dining in Cinque Terre
Includes information on choosing a home base.
Hiking the Cinque Terre

Milan Sights
The rooftop of the Milan Cathedral is not to be missed.
Sleeping and Dining in Milan

Lake Como
Sights Around Varenna
This quaint village on the banks of Lake Como is a Rick Steve’s pick and makes an ideal base for exploring the area.
Varenna to Dervio along the Wayfarers’ Path
Easy day hike along a pretty section of the lake.
Sleeping and Dining in Varenna
Drive from Varenna (Lake Como) to Ortisei (Dolomites)
This longer route through the mountains is worth the detour.

Day Hikes out of Ortisei, Dolomites
First Hike in the Dolomites, Ortisei
Hikes Across the Sella Group, Val Gardena
Crossing the Ridge Above Seceda, Val Gardena
Sleeping and Dining in Ortisei

Day Hikes out of Cortina, Dolomites
Hiking the Dolomites – Home Base Cortina
Day Hike in the Dolomites, Tofana Group
Hike to Lake Sorapiss, Dolomites
Hike Around Croda Da Lago
Sleeping and Dining in Cortina

This page outlines post from a previous trip in May of 2013. This time around, we found the hotel just as pleasant and convenient along a quiet street off the Grand Canal.