Q – Heidi L. of Verona, NJ inquires: My family of 5 is planning a trip this summer to the Sestrieres in Italy, where we have a timeshare. However, we would like to day trip to neighboring France, Switzerland, Monaco, etc. and I need help planning a functional itinerary that will give us a broad overview of the area and surrounding countries. I thought it would be a good idea for us to rent a car and perhaps get Eurail passes as well. What do you suggest?
A – Regarding your time in the Sestrieres, please read FTF for “Skiing Italian Style at Sestriere,” a ski-based story about the region which may help you with its general flavor.
In planning your explorations of the region, please be aware that the roads go through and around mountain passes, making driving very slow, and trips can take much longer than expected. With this in mind, I need to clarify what you need by “day trips.” In that you have 2 weeks of lodging in the timeshare, are you referring to excursions where you can return to Sestrieres each evening to sleep, or do you mean that you will spend some nights in other locales?
The charming walled city of Briancon in France, is a short distance (<50 kms. west) from Sestrieres, and perfect for a day trip. The Middle Ages is explored here with information about family life, clothing and the trades practiced, and you can visit a fortress, and an 18th century church.
Turin is about 90 kms. east of Sestriere, also making it a possbile day trip. While located in Italy, it has been called Italy’s most French city, due to history and architecture. A reconstruciton of a medieval Piedmont village, known as the Borgo Medioeveale, is located in the Parco del Valentino, a lush retreat along the Po river. And, nearby, is an actual 18th century royal palace, the Castello del Valentino. The Duomo houses the famous Shroud of Turin, however the actual item is not on display – it is presented through photographs. Outside of the church are the remains of a theater and the Porta Palantina. Going from past times to the present, your family might enjoy Turin’s Museo dell Automobile, in honor of the city that manufactures most of Italy’s cars.
Please confirm what your expectations are, and don’t hestitate to contact me for your information.
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