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Milan to Lugano sightseeing

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Going to a wedding in Lugano next summer, and am trying to find a way to make it into a short vacation. I'll have about 5-6 days total. I've never been to Italy, so am contemplating a flight into Milan, and then tripping up to Lake Como and on to Lugano from there.

My question is about the logistics of this. Would renting a car be the easiest, so we could stop and enjoy Como and anything else along the way? Would driving be completely nerve wracking? Or would Como and Lugano be manageable enough on foot after arriving by train? Any suggestions or ideas are completely welcome!

I'm dying to see some of Italy, even if it's short!!

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