Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

bellagio trip - train to como or varenna???

bellagio trip - train to como or varenna???

Sep 17th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 53
bellagio trip - train to como or varenna???

i'm flying into milan (mxp) in 2 weeks and need to decide the best (quickest & easiest) way to get up to bellagio. looks like there are 2 main ways - bus to central train station, then train to varenna and ferry to bellagio OR train straight from airport to como (with 1 train change) and boat to bellagio.

any suggestions would be much appreciated!
zooey1118 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,997
The two options are sort of 6-of-one, half-a-dozen-of-the-other.

I think the train to Como and ferry to Bellagio is the most interesting and scenic. The section from Saronno to Como is a commuter-type train with many stops, used primarily by locals. The ferry ride up one "leg" of the lake provides views of the many towns along the way. If you get lucky with timing, this journey could take under 3 hours.

The bus to Stazione Centrale can get tangled up in traffic at certain times of day, but you get to see a bit of Milan. The station's architecture is impressive in a massive, Mussolini-era style. The train ride to Varenna provides a few peeks of the lake along the way, and the walk from the Varenna station down to the ferry dock is one of my favorite memories of Lake Como. With lucky timing, this journey could take under 4 hours.

What time is your arrival at Malpensa?

Jean is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 06:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 53
i'm scheduled to arrive at malpensa at 9 a.m. on a monday morning. i'm currently trying my best to figure out the trenitalia site.

zooey1118 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,811
For train schedule, the Deutsche Bahn site is easier to use:


You can also take the Malpensa Express to Milano Cadorna station, then taxi or metro to Milano Centrale for Varenna route. It is probably more hassle than the bus method.

There is a faster bus from Malpensa to Como but it does not match with your 9am arrival:


Boat or ferry to Bellagio is a hassle both ways if you have too much luggages.

Varenna route: The Milano-Varenna train is a plain commuter train, no special provision for luggages. Need to take few steps between the train floor level and the platform. The Varenna station is very small and unattended. From Varenna train station to Varenna boat dock is all down hill. For Varenna to Bellagio, there are actually two ways, but most likely you take the car ferry (near but different from the dock where you buy the ticket.) Since it is a car ferry, getting on it with luggages is easy provided you are content to stay at the car level.

Como Lago station route from mxp: While the Ferrovienord train station is next to boat docks, it is NOT the boat dock of interest nor close to the ticket office. You walk on a busy side walk to the ticket office. You have two choices of boat to Bellagio: a slow boat and a fast hydrofoil. For both cases, the plank is narrow and requires you to lift your luggages to get into the boat. The hydrofoil lower level really doesn't have much view - you need to sit at upper level. The passenger boats from Como stop at a dock closer to the middle of Bellagio than the car ferry, which is at the southern end of the busy part of town.

If you are taking a train from MXP, you are using the Ferrovienord train, not Trenitalia. Here is the schedule:

greg is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 53
can't thank you enough for all the helpful info, jean & greg!! i thought i was so train savvy after my last trip to italy... but, i'm thinking now i just got lucky.

going to go check out the links you sent, greg, and see which route will work best for our arrival time.

zooey1118 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,811
Use Deutsche Bahn site for Trenitalia routes:
Milano Centrale - Varenna-Esino
Milano Centrale - Como S. Giovanni

Ferrovienord routes:
MXP - Milano Cadorna (Malpensa express)
MXP - Saronno - Como Lago
greg is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 12:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
IF you decide to take the train from Milano Centrale be aware that those trains are almost exclusively 2nd Class and there is plenty of luggage storage space but it is all in the overhead racks.

There is certainly no need to make reservations and no need to ride in First.

Those trains leave about every 2 hours and take about an hour and a half to get to Varenna-Esino. There are usually two stops en route: Monza and Lecco. Lake views begin at Lecco (sit on the left side of the train facing forward for those).

In Varenna, as has been pointed out, the walk to the ferry dock is all downhill and takes about 10 minutes.

There is a ticket booth and they will tell you when the next ferry is due; there seem to be more car ferries than passenger-only ferries and you'll have NO trouble at all figuring out which dock to leave from.
Dukey is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 AM.