Italy/sestre levente-asti-lake maggiore
Hi I am based in boston, US and would love to visit italy this september (last weeks of september) for 2 weeks with our 2 and 5 year old. We are mainly interested in beautiful scenery (rolling green hills, beauty beaches, alps etc) After much research I think a trip from sestre levente to asti to lake maggiore might suit our needs. Are those kid friendly towns? do we need car rentals? are these 3 towns doable in 2 weeks? any tips or recommendations on cheap hotels,eateries etc.
these 3 locations are surely doable in 2 weeks: Sestri Levante and Asti are small towns, they can be visited in a single day and they are surely children-friendly. In September, if the weather is good, you might even be able to go to the beach and enjoy the sea.
The lake Maggiore area is big, you could choose one or two places to stay (Arona and Stresa, for example) and take short trips from there.
A car would surely help you move around easily (but take into account that those regions you'll visit have mountains, and finding a place to park might be difficult); another good option is traveling by train: tickets are relatively cheap and railway coverage is very good, meaning you can reach even smaller towns.
For timetables and prices see the Italian railways' website: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en
If you want to travel around a bit you can consider visiting other places, such as Chiavari, Lavagna, Rapallo, Genoa (all easily reacheable from Sestri Levante - among other things to see, Genoa's aquarium is one of the largest in Europe and a favourite of children); from Asti you could have trips in the countryside and hill region (Monferrato) or visit Turin.
Around the lake Maggiore you'll also find lots of small villages and towns to visit (Arona, Angera, Stresa and the islands in front of it).
You can usually eat rather well in those areas, at affordable prices: just wander around, look at the menus displayed outside and give a try. Avoid the places that display menus in English only, those are tourist traps!
Have a great trip! Feel free to write me again if you need further information.