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I am planning a vacation for my fiancé and I. So far, we will begin in Amsterdam, then spend a week in Hamburg, next train to Florence (which is a secret to him!). There we will spend the midnight of the year change on the Michael Angelo Piazza over looking the city. I have a nice hotel booked in a main square for the night of Dec 30/31. This is the largest part of the budget.

Next we would like to go skiing. We are thinking about getting a romantic chalet through Airbnb in a small French town called Passy. There is a nearby slope and skiing is not too expensive. On our last days we would like to go into Geneva and tour CERN (we are both physicists).

I need help with planning what to do on Jan 1st. Since the Airbnb we both like is not available on this night. The train from Florence to Geneva is ~13 hours I was thinking about stopping somewhere about half way and enjoying some small New Year's celebration.

Does anyone know of any traditional/neat events occurring between Milan and Geneva on January 1st, 2017?

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I would not expect you to have much choice. Milan is dead on New Year's Day - even restaurants are shut (some as part of closure over several days). The towns between Geneva and Milan seem not very promising.

A somewhat indirect route would take you from Lake Geneva to Milan via Lake Como (so about 1-1/2 hours more driving). Rambler Holidays enthuse about the area:

THE ROMANCE OF THE ITALIAN LAKES
Enjoy the charm and beauty of the most picturesque lakes in the world. You can almost hear the lakes and mountains resonate with romanticism.

At Lake Como it is possible to hire motorboats by the hour (several hours might not be enough). TripAdvisor highly recommends AC BOAT di Bolgiani M. Cristina. However, whether available on New Year's Day seems may depend on management. In winter during the winter season our company will be open only by reservation in advance. You might try "For Informations & Reservations (reservation in advance is necessary) call us at: (+39) 345 9010694 or send us an email to: acboat@hotmail.it" and test out your powers of persuasion.

Other than that I suggest contacting Swiss/Italian tourist boards because I think there is very little on offer (your choice of date may be more restrictive than I first realised).

  • (+1) I don't know that there is any event there and accomodation for one day is likely close to impossible to get (not because it's closed but because it's peak season, with prices 2-3 times above the low season and 2- or 3-day minimal booking periods in most places) but the area around Courmayeur at the feet of the Mont-Blanc massif is also very nice. It's also a more logical way to go to Passy (but only if you have a car, which might not be the case for the OP). – Relaxed Dec 1 '16 at 12:57
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Seconding @pnuts, head to Lago di Como to celebrate Capodanno 2017, and splurge on one of the many package such as that at the Palazzo Gallio or a dinner cruise on the lake.

A Google search on Lago di Como Capodanno 2017 returns many more options.

Or head to Turino for the public celebration in the Piazza San Carlo with music, parade and fireworks.

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    @pnuts true so why not sleep it off at the Palazzo or walk it off in Torino :-) and you're right; they're looking for the 1st, while I was focused on celebrating; that's just me. – Giorgio Nov 30 '16 at 0:43

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