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ADVISE: Overnight at Milan or Lake Como


Jan 29th, 2013, 05:50 AM
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ADVISE: Overnight at Milan or Lake Como


I will make my solo trip to Italy for 2 weeks this coming October. I'm in dilemma whether to stay in Milan or Lake Como after Genoa. This is because I will go to Interlaken in the next day. So I have 2 options herebr />
a. Morning train from Genoa to Milan. Arrive, spend sometime to explore the city (The Scala, Duomo & Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery). Afternoon, train to Lake Como and spend 1-2 hour there and come back to Milan to stay for the night; or

b. After spend the morning until late afternoon in Milan, go to Lake Como and spend the night there?

I'm thinking to go back to Milan to see the night life there, but then I think it will be beautiful to have some rest in nature at Lake Como since I'm more to nature person. Which will you suggest for the best?
CherryliszMurasaki is offline  
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Jan 29th, 2013, 06:34 AM
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If it's end of Oct a lot of things in Como may already be closed for the season.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 07:54 AM
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Consider Lugano and skip the others. It will be on your train route anyway and is a lovely place on Lake Lugano.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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If you spent the night on Lake Como, you'd have to return to Milan to catch the train to Interlaken. Have you checked the train schedules to see if either plan actually works?

Many things on Lake Como do close up for the season starting in mid-October; however, there will always be a restaurant open for lunch (Plan A) or a hotel available (Plan B). But choices are greatly reduced, and you could book a hotel in advance and then be informed in late September or early October that they've decided to close before your arrival. That's happened to us. The hotel has always confirmed availability at an alternative hotel that would be open, but the rate and amenities offered at the second hotel are not necessarily the same as at the first hotel.

The town of Como is much less affected by seasonal closures but also has less charm than the mid-lake towns. In your tight itinerary, the only other town I'd consider is Varenna which will have zero night life. Neither plan would allow time for taking the ferries anywhere, so the low season ferry schedule is moot.

I would choose one destination or the other and not try to combine the two.
Jean is online now  
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Jan 29th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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First of all as some have mentioned, many of the hotels mid-lake will have closed by then.

I would NOT take the 1.5t hours (each way) trip by rail from Milan to Varenna just to spend a couple of hours. If anything, i would stay at least the night.

Either skip it entirely or if you need a lake fix go to Lugano and stay there for at least one day/night. Otherwise, just go to Switzerland and be down with it.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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You don't have time for both. Pick one or the other. Where are going before Genova - or how long will you have there? If you are spending several days on the coast then perhaps Milan is a better idea. If you are just seeing the city of Geonva then perhaps a more relaxing lake day would be better.

Have you been to the trenital site to see if the train times would even work for this? You may not be able to get train times for Oct but put in a date in the next few weeks to see what the schedules are. They don't change that much from month to month.
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Jan 30th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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Hi All,

Thank you so much for all of your advise. Now, I decided not to go to Lake Como. I will stay one night at Milan and go to Interlaken in the next day as my original plan.

Hi Isabel, I will be from Cinque Terre from Genova so I guess it's should be enough nature time for me. and thanks for the train advise. I will constantly check the schedule from time to time & book ahead. I will be in Italy one & a half week before go my way up to Interlaken & Paris

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Jan 30th, 2013, 06:58 AM
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In Milan I recommend this hotel - http://www.hotelberna.com/

I stayed there last summer and found it very nice, great value for the price, very close to Milano Centrale for getting there and leaving the next day plus the metro is right there. Best hotel buffet breakfast I have ever had.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 12:51 AM
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Hi Isabel,

Thanks again for your helpful advice. Really appreciate it. You're the best

I will definitely consider it in my options.

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Jan 31st, 2013, 06:03 AM
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Hi, I would include the famous fresco 'Il Cenacolo' from Leonardo da Vinci (The Last Supper) in sightseeing, Museo del Cenacolo Vinciano in Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie, 2, Milano.
A close stay is at Hotel Raffaello http://www.hotel-raffaello.it/en a really comfortable place.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 11:50 AM
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I vote yes for Lake Como. For a day trip start out early in the morning.
We visited Lake Como for the day and we only needed a light jacket.
We visited Milan the second week of October and the weather was really nice. Took early train from Milan Centrale to Varenna-Esino (round trip ticket purchased in Milan Centrale train station). The machine would not take our credit card, so take Euros for the cash machine.

The train back to Milan that evening was 1 and ½ hours late arriving in Varenna-Esino.We should have taken an earlier train back to Milan. Keep that in mind. All the trains were running late that evening. We were a little nervous because we stood at the train station all alone for an hour and wanted to get back for the next morning departure to Venice.

We stayed in Milan at Hotel Berna [Do not confuse with other hotel with similar name.]
Via Napo Torriani 18,
Stazione Centrale
Milan, 20124
Booked it on booking.com.
Breakfast was outstanding. Best breakfast we had in Europe. Hotel was clean and 10 or 15 walk to Milan Centrale train station and safe.

Villa: We only had time for Lenno-Villa Balbianello. The ferry ticket window man suggested it, and he is totally correct. Fabulous!!!
Someone suggested to us the following hotel if you want to stay overnight on Lake Como:
Hotel La Darsena on Lake Como.
A ferry boat takes you from place to place.

There is a little street train that takes you from place to place on parts of Lake Como. It looks like a children train, but it is for everyone. (Trombetta Express)

The ferry boat has a difficult schedule and each person says something different.
Do your research and do not give up when you are there.
The ferry boat window man told us one thing, the tourist office told us another, and then a tourist told us the correct information.
They said the ferry stopped running from Lenno to Bellagio early, but it did not.
We took a ferry from Lenno back to Bellagio, ate dinner and then back to Verenna.
There was a very small festival going on with crafts and food in Lenno. I think it was Chestnuts they were cooking.

So there were people out and about.

We would have been able to visit 2 Villas if we had left early. We did not leave until about 11:00am.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 01:48 PM
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I just saw that you also recommend Hotel
My jaw dropped when I saw their breakfast.
They had dishes that I fix for supper. Eggplant casserole was divine. I never have thought that I would eat dinner meals for breakfast, but it was not difficult.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 02:29 PM
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I'd stay in Lake Como-- we visited in October and everything was open. Loved Bellagio alot more than Lugano frankly, but do check the train schedules as we had to take a local train back to Milan for departure back to the States. Milan is not our favorite Italian city-- Lake Como has no museums or churches to visit and it is a relaxing place in which to end your visit.
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Feb 5th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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Maltesec: Hi and thank you so much for the suggestion.

betsy3: You are the only one vote for Lake Como & Aliced too. Now I need to reconsider again. Your advise is very2 helpful. I consider to visit Milan in the 1st place as this is my first trip to Italy and couldn't let it pass to not visit famous city in Italy. Who wouldn't right? Lake Como comes in my thoughts suddenly because of its beauty which I would call as nature appreaciation day for me, something I love. Anyway, thanks again. I might open another forum to discuss my itinerary soon.

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