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Milan --> Lake District loop, which direction?

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We arrive in Milan around noon in May, leave 14 days later at 4pm.

Trying to decide which direction of travel makes the most sense logistically and best use of time.

Cities we are vising:

Cannobio, Piedmont, Italy
Lugano Switzerland
Varenna,Italy.

Would we best served to start in Cannobio, then head to Lugano and on to Varenna - in a clockwise direction or should we reverse the order, going counterclockwise?

I know there is no place in Varenna to buy train tickets, so that was one concern if we go clockwise. It is also a longer journey to start the trip in Cannobio after a a transatlantic flight, so fatigue and lack of knowing the surrounding area might play into this direction not being the best way to go.

As of now, I have us staying the first night in Milan and then starting out on the clockwise trip. But this morning, I am thinking that we could head right out to Varenna on the first day as its an easier, shorter trip and it would get us right into the Lake District ASAP.

As always, your insights are appreciated.
Thanks~

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