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Traveling to Varenna then Lucca

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My husband and I will be arriving in Milan on 4/16 and immediately traveling to Varenna until the 21st. I have checked the train schedules and it looks like to get to Lucca I need to go back to Milan and from what I have read the Varenna train station is unattended so I want to know if I should purchase a return trip ticket on the train when we travel from Milan to Varenna? Also I will be meeting my brother in Varenna and he wants to take the highspeed train to Lucca, but checking the fares is it really worth it to save a few hours for the additional cost?

Also we have 2 days before my brother arrives in Varenna and we are looking for some recommendations. Once he gets there we are going to visit Bellagio, Menaggio and Lugano, so after we explored the city is there something else we can do for a day that isn't too far away?

I am also looking for recommendation for day trips from Lucca. We are planning day trips to Florence and C.T. but have a few more days to fill, so any recommendation would be great. We are looking for something that isn't overrun with tourists and we are not into shopping. We would like to visit some wineries and breweries while we are there.

Any help would be appreciated.

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