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1 week Lake Lugano & Lake Garda -- driving or train?

1 week Lake Lugano & Lake Garda -- driving or train?

Jun 28th, 2010, 08:00 AM
  #1  
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1 week Lake Lugano & Lake Garda -- driving or train?

I'm planning a one week trip to Lake Lugano and Lake Garda in September -- Should I rent a car for a week or should I travel by train? Any suggestions on itinerary and driving route?
Thanks!
Simi10 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 08:44 AM
  #2  
 
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Where do you arrive and depart?
How many in your party? Any children?
The car question will depend on your planned side trips.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:21 AM
  #3  
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* How many in your party? Any children?
It'll just be me and my husband.

* Where do you arrive and depart?
* The car question will depend on your planned side trips.
This is kind of our delimma - We are departing from New York, but not sure if it's best to fly directly to Milan or fly to L.Lugano (via Zurich) first - so
Plan A: NYC -fly-> Lugano via Zurich -drive-> Garda -drive-> Milan -fly-> NYC.
Plan B: NYC -fly-> Milan -drive-> Lugano -drive-> Garda -drive-> Milan -fly-> NYC. (I think we would save $ on fights if we fly in/out from same city).
Plan C: NYC -fly-> Milan -drive-> Garda -drive-> Lugano -fly-> NYC (or drive back to Milan then fly to NYC)

(...reading up to this point, I can understand if anyone thinks I'm a psycho-control-freak and wishes to ignore me...)

A rough sketch of what we want to do: We want set base at L.Lugano for 3 nights, and base at L.Garda for the remaining 5 nights. While at L.Lugano, we want to visit surrounding towns like Gandria, Melide, Morcote, and Campione. While in L.Garda, we want to visit, Monte Baldo, Sirmione, and Verona. Drive to/from Lugano/Garda, I think we can stop by Bergamo.. but not sure if realistically this is all possible/do-able?

Thanks!
Simi10 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:34 PM
  #4  
 
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Hmmm ! I know the lakes region well and have traveled there many times. I am not sure how or why you picked these 2 lakes. Both are lovely but do not fit together. Lugano is right next to Lago Como, which is the most spectacular of the 5 major lakes in north Italy. Also, we find Lago Orta to be the most romantic of the lakes. Another factor is the car rental--much cheaper in CH but that may not be feasible with your current itinerary. And, you do not need your car in Lugano. All of the places you mention you can see in one day by taking the local excursion boat--which we just did again last Oct. I am sure you have good reasons for this combination, but if you are open to a revised plan let me know and I will help. It will be easier to fly RT into MXP.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:54 PM
  #5  
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I'm definitely open to a revised plan! Nothing is written in stone yet.
We prefer a less "tourisy" type of place with beautiful scenary. We love nature, hiking, good food, and are not shy from a little adventure.
What draws me to L.Garda was it's closeness to Verona, but if we can get same type of day/side trips in the Lake Como/Lugano region, I'm open to stay in either one side of the region.

Thanks for your help!
Simi10 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 03:40 PM
  #6  
 
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Car or train? You can do the lakes by train,taxi and bus. A car gives you more freedom, but on some of the stretches you almost better off just by train.

I agree that Lugano (except for Lago Maggiore)and Garda are essentially the bookends of the lake region. I would pick the northern part of Lake Como, and the southern part of Lake Garda If you are staying in Bellagio or Varenna on Lake Como, you can take the ferry across to Mennagio and go by bus to Lugano for the day.

On Lake Garda, staying in the old part of Sirmione (southern tip of the lake) is great fun. It is very pretty,with a castle, an old Roman villa and beautiful gardens.It offers boat connections to other parts of the lake. From nearby Desenzano you can take the train to Verona. I also spent a day re-visting Venice from there, again by train.

But do stay in the old part of town. During the day it is a bit croweded, but in the evening it really is great. There are many good restaurants.
treplow is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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OK---I will take you at your word that you want natural beauty, good food and hiking. Here is what I would do:

Arrive MXP---get car--drive to hotel on Lago Lugano
http://www.stelladitalia.com/htm_us/fr0_index.htm
This place is magical and is halfway between Lugano and the west shore of Lago Como--it has excellent food, but you can also eat seafood in nearby Gandria.The ferrry boat in Lugano will take you to the other places you mention, but one day you can spend on Lago Como---Bellagio, Varenna etc.
I would spend 4 nites here.

Drive to Stresa on Lago Maggiore via Locarno and the gardens at Villa Taranto. Also read about a place named Val Versasca just northof Locarno for some unique hiking and beauty. Stay at this hotel--or pick your own:
http://www.lalunanelporto.it/
See www.stresa.net for more info and read about the fabulous Borremean Isles just off shore from Stresa. One day, drive over the hills to Lago Orta, a most unique place that everyone loves. Of course, you could stay at Orta and day trip to Stresa as well. Both are less than an hour from MXP for your return. This is a good start for a week trip to the Italian lakes--my favorite region after our 16 trips to Italy.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 04:23 AM
  #8  
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Wow, those are great info! Now I have a better idea of distance and how much I can squeez into one week.

Bob and Treplow - thank you! I will look into all the info sites provided!

Thanks again!
Simi10 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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