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Milan to Zurich via Automobile

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I am trying to plan a route from Milan to Zurich that will allow myself and three others to stop and see some of the sites/small towns in the alps. We had discussed renting a car and taking it from Milan up to either Lago di Lucendro or Göscheneralpsee lakes and maybe site seeing for a few hours or even staying the night at a bed and breakfast of sorts.
I have read several forums that promote the rail for this route, however, part of this trip was supposed to be a "backpacking/road trip" through parts of Europe. I also realize there is a tariff of sorts called a "vignette" that is mandated for auto travel through Switzerland, which I am assuming we can buy at the border or wherever we rent our car in Italy?

People: Early 30s from the U.S.

Time: As far as our schedule goes, we are allotting up to a full 24 hours, but would preferably like to complete the trip within the span of a days drive.

Budget: Fairly flexible here, but obviously would like to keep it to a reasonable price.

Dates: Will plan the drive between the dates of June 24-29. Any one of those dates.


Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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