Thanks to everyone for the input on my last post!
We have sorted out the flights and are now flying into Rome on the morning of Sunday, May 3rd and departing Malpensa at 7am on Sunday, May 10th.
We are going to rent a car and drive the entire way, stopping in Lucca, Cinque Terre and Parma. I realize it’s a lot to pack into 1 week but this seems like our only option with these flights. We spent a few days in Rome last year and are not interested in spending more time there on this trip, and are only starting there due to flight restrictions.
I am looking for Chowers’ wise advice on: Up-to -date critiques on my potential restaurant choices or additional options; a place to stop for lunch between Rome and Lucca; a place to stop for lunch between Lucca and Vernazza; and a dinner between Parma and Malpensa. Also looking for tips on where to buy good foodie souvenirs along the way. Any suggestions of activities or places I’ve overlooked are welcome too. I realize we might not end up following an itinerary exactly but I would still like to get a good feel of whether this is realistic and which places we should make reservations at. Also what kind of prices should I be expecting at these places?
• Lunch and dinner in Rome: Antico Arco, Piperno? We had a great meal at Da Fabrizio last May but will most likely try something new, will all depend where we are staying.
• AM car pick up and drive to Lucca.
• Lunch between Rome and Lucca - any suggestions? I was thinking Siena (Il Rialto, Kopa Kabana for gelati, Il Mugolone, Da Enzo, Al Mangia, Le Logge).
• Dinner in Lucca: Buca di San Antonio
• Rent bikes for the day
• Lunch in Lucca: Trattoria da Leo, Il Giglio, La Cecca
• Dinner in Lucca: Canuleia
• Lunch somewhere between Lucca and Cinque Terre – any suggestions?
• Need to decide which town to stay in – leaning towards Vernazza
• Dinner in Vernazza: Gambero Rosso
• Breakfast in Vernazza: Il Pirate
• Hike the CT trail
• Dinner in Corniglia: Cantina de Mananan
• Drive to Modena for lunch: Hosteria Giusti, Osteria Rubbiara
• Dinner in Parma: Trattoria del Tribunale, La Greppia, Sorelle Picchi, Cocchi
• Parmagolosa tour – We’re looking for another couple to join our tour if anyone is interested! 8am to 3pm, $125 euros per couple for three destinations (cheese, ham and balsamic), lunch and tastings extra.
• Dinner in Malpensa: Hotel Villa Malpensa or elsewhere in Malpensa
• Return car, fly to Heathrow then home to Toronto.
Upon arrival home: Workout for 5 days straight to burn the calories!
Another option that would cut the number of traveling days is to arrive in Rome and immediately pick up a car and drive to Lucca. This would give us an extra day to spend somewhere along the way.