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1. Stresa (Lake Maggiore): inter-island transport in early autumn? 2. Also question re Varenna/Malpensa transport

1. Stresa (Lake Maggiore): inter-island transport in early autumn? 2. Also question re Varenna/Malpensa transport

Aug 21st, 2003, 08:10 AM
  #1  
cmt
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1. Stresa (Lake Maggiore): inter-island transport in early autumn? 2. Also question re Varenna/Malpensa transport

I am very very late in making my trip plans. I'd like to make my plane reservation today.

I want to go away for two weeks late Sept/early Oct. I plan about 2 nights in Varenna on Lake Como and about 3 in Stresa on Lake Maggiore. The rest of the time, I'll be in various towns in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, possibly using Verona as a base for part of the time, visiting Mantova, Cremona, possibly Ferrara and/or Pavia and/or Vicenza, or remotely possibly someplace in the northern pre-Alpine part of Veneto. I WAS planning to go to Varenna first, as a restful stop after the flight, and to be in Stresa at the end of the two-week period, because I think it may be easy to get to Malpensa from there in time for a late a.m. flight. I will DEFINITELY not have a car.

I just checked the schedule for transport between Stresa and the islands on Lake Maggiore and among the islands, and it seems that the schedule is only for summer. Can it possibly be that there is no transportation to the Borromeo islands after Sept. 19? It seems unlikely. If anyone knows, who you let me know quickly? This info will affect my decision re the dates to fly.

If I avoid the issue by reversing the order of Varenna and Stresa, goping to Stresa before the end of the summer inter-island boat service and staying in Varenna at the end, I'll need to get to Malpensa from Varenna. I did not research that, because I just assumed I'd go from the airport to Milan and take a train from there, but when going TO the airport, I'd need to have a fast direct way. Does anyone know whether there's service from Varenna to Malpensa?

Thanks. (P.S. If you could "top" this thread now and then today if it drops, that would be helpful, because I am finally going to try to decide on the plane dates today. I've had some huge mental block about planning this trip for months--don't know why. Fortunately, I'm not psychic, so it's probably nothing bad.)
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Aug 21st, 2003, 08:33 AM
  #2  
cmt
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P.S. To clarify--I do see that there is still inter-island transport year-round, but it seems that certain service, e.g., the one to Isola dei Pescatori, does not seem to run after Sept. 28 (or 29).
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Aug 21st, 2003, 08:43 AM
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Hi Carol - If no-one answers soon and you're in a hurry, you could make a quick call to Stresa APT or the Borromean islands ferry number on this page.

http://www.primitaly.it/laghi/lagomaggiore.htm

Hope this helps ...

Steve
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Aug 21st, 2003, 08:46 AM
  #4  
GAC
 
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Based on schedules of prior years, the lake services from Stresa to the Islands offshore continue through about October 25th. You can send an e-mail to your hotel in Stresa to confirm, or you can e-mail the Lake Authority. Look up their e-mail address on their website, www.navigazionelaghi.it
They do answer e-mail inquiries.

By the way, do you know that there is direct bus service from Malpensa to Stresa by Commazzi Lines through the middle of October?. Check info. at www.commazzibus.com
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Aug 21st, 2003, 08:48 AM
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CMT, While ferries are the most cost effective way to get to the islands (and around the lake), there are always the private boat operators who are anxious to take you wherever you want to go. I don't know how much they charge (and would probably try to negotiate with them) but if choosing your dates is dependent on being able to get to islands.. know that you CAN get there. Kind of like a taxi vs the bus.
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Aug 21st, 2003, 08:54 AM
  #6  
cmt
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I don't have a hotel yet, since I haven't made plane res. yet, so I don't know my dates. I did know about the Stresa to Malpensa service and actually that's why I was planning to stay in Stresa at the very end of the vacation.
But if I find the Oct. inter-island transport inconvenient, I may reverse the order and stay in Varenna at the end, and that's why i have to look into how to get from Varenna to Malpensa.

I know I had plenty of time to figure this all out, but....
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Aug 21st, 2003, 09:04 AM
  #7  
cmt
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It sounds like one way or the other I will be able to get around in early Oct., so I'd better make my plane res. and then figure out the sequence of which lake to see first/last.

Thanks very much for the quick answers. Any further replies will be welcome if you think of anything.

Re Comazzi bus, I see the route, but not the schedule.

I need to build up my nerve before making a phone call in Italian to total strangers, so will save that task for another day. (I don't want to assume I can call and ask Qs in English.)

Thank you.
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Aug 21st, 2003, 09:20 AM
  #8  
GAC
 
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www.vcoimbus.it Bus schedules Malpensa to Stresa

www.trenitalia.com Italian trains

From Varenna, take the train to Milano Centrale (70 mins), thence transfer to the airporter bus to Malpensa (60 mins).
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Aug 21st, 2003, 10:12 AM
  #9  
cmt
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Thanks, GAC. You're confirming that there's no DIRECT way from Varenna to Malpensa, yes? (I knew I could take the train to/from Milano Centrale, ut was wondering whether there might be a direct bus to/from the airport/Varenna. It seems not.)

I just made my plane reservations. I still would prefer Stresa at the end of the trip, so now I'll look into the ease of getting around Lake Maggiore and to and between the Borromeo islands the first week of October.

Does anyone happen to know the cost of a taxi from Stresa to Malpensa? I see it doesn't seem to be longer than from Milan to the airport, so possibly taxi is a reasonable option for a morning flight. (I think it was $45 a year and a half ago for a very very early morning taxi for a 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. flight, long before the shuttle started running.)
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Aug 21st, 2003, 10:14 AM
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cmt
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I did not find a page for this url: www.vcoimbus.it Is it correct?
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Aug 21st, 2003, 10:48 AM
  #11  
GAC
 
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My mistake. Web site is

www.vcoinbus.it

From Varenna to Malpensa, you could also take a ferry across the lake to Menaggio, thence the direct airporter bus to Malpensa which leaves at 6:30 a.m. and arrives at 8:30 a.m.
The problem is that there may not be a ferry at 6 a.m. to get you to Menaggio!

You could also take a ferry to Como, and thence the airporter bus to Malpensa

There is no direct service between Varenna and Malpensa, other than private limosine services, which are prohibitively expensive!

www.sptcomo.it Airporter bus to Malpensa from both Menaggio and Como.
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Aug 21st, 2003, 10:52 AM
  #12  
cmt
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Thank you, GAC. It looks like I should focus on determining whether I can get around easily from Stresa in early Oct. and, if so, arrange to make Stresa my last place ot stay, since it is easier to get to Malpensa from there. (Or, I suppose it wouldn't kill be to stay in Milan again for one night, but I don't want to.)
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Aug 21st, 2003, 11:33 AM
  #13  
GAC
 
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The direct airporter bus from Stresa to Malpensa ceases on October 5th, according to the web site. Afterwards, you can still take an early morning local train from the Stresa station to the GALLARATE station, and thence a taxi to the Malpensa Terminal. The taxi will run about 20 Euros, or much less than the cost of a taxi all the way from Stresa. There is also a local shuttle bus from the Gallarate Station to Malpensa (approx. 1.50 Euros), if you can connect in time for your flight.
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Aug 21st, 2003, 06:06 PM
  #14  
cmt
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I just made my plane reservation thios a.m. I'm flying back Oct. 7, just two days after that bus service ends. The train + taxi sounds doable, or I can see whether the taxi all the way is not more than 50E maybe.
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Aug 22nd, 2003, 09:07 AM
  #15  
GAC
 
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If you can find a taxi which will take you from Stresa to MXP for only 50 Euros, grab it! I suspect that the fare will be closer to 70-80 Euros. The local trains to Gallarate are reliable and leave very early in the morning (for commuters).
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