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Better by train and ferry to Bellagio from Geova or by car from La Spezia to Belagio

Better by train and ferry to Bellagio from Geova or by car from La Spezia to Belagio

Old Apr 12th, 2008, 11:18 PM
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Better by train and ferry to Bellagio from Geova or by car from La Spezia to Belagio

We are within 10 days of leaving for Italy and making our final travel plans. The loose ends now are how we spend our last few nights in Italy after 3 nights in Cinque Terre. We have a young Italian friend who used to work at the Belvedere in Bellagio who has explained the trains situation and boat trip to get us to Bellagio. It is not easy. And, it sounds quite tiring. Would anyone recommend we instead should rent a car in La Spezia, drive to Bellagio, and then when our return is due, we drive to the Malpensa airport. I speak decent Italian, so driving is not a fear or worry. We have a GPS unit as well for our trip. Any thoughts? Better to drive, or better to take trains, and ferry, to get to Bellagio from Cinque Terre?
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 06:26 AM
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While renting a car would be the way to go if you want to explore the lake area, if that is not your goal, then taking a train to the town of Como and then a boat up the lake really couldn't be easier.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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I'd go for the train-boat combination. You'll probably just park the car for the duration in Bellagio (where?); mostly one just takes the little ferries around the mid-lake area. And I've heard the road up to Bellagio is narrow and a bit harrowing to drive.

You can train to the town of Como and take the hydrofoil to Bellagio. Or you can train to Varenna, walk downhill a few blocks, and take the little ferry to Bellagio.

And the trains and boats are a very relaxing way to travel.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 07:56 AM
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I've done it both ways - driving and train/boat and I'd favor the train/boat. I took the train to Varenna and ferry to Bellagio and returned via the hydrofoil to Como City.

You don't say what town you'd take the train from so I'm not sure why the train would be difficult (perhaps connections to Milan/Varenna??). Once you get the train to Varenna you walk down hill about 5 minutes to the ferry landing and get the boat to Bellagio. It's very easy.

If you do drive, the west shore of Lake Como is a much easier drive than the east shore, although not as scenic. If driving up the west shore then put your car on a ferry to cross over to Bellagio.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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Sorry - I just noticed in your title that you're leaving from La Spezia. There is a direct train to Varenna every couple of hours that takes 4.5 to 5.5 hours (depending on which train you take). I would take the train, pack a picnic lunch and sit back and enjoy the scenery.

Believe me...the train to Varenna and ferry to Bellagio is very easy. The ferry docks right by the TI in Bellagio and you can inquire about a taxi to your hotel, if you need one or pre-arrange with your hotel.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Thank you for the replies.

Adrienne, we are to arrive in Bellagio on Thursday, May 8. We have not yet tried to make train reservations. I've got to get on some sites to try to find schedules. But, do you have an idea if the trains run in the mid- afternoon to Varenna. [I would think they do.] But, if we arrived in Varenna in early evening hours, is there a ferry to Bellagio in the evening hours? [I make no assumptions on that.] Can reservations for the ferry be made in advance? [I'm insecure showing up without a reservation but maybe that's the only way--no reservations possible.] If you have any links to websites for info, that would be great.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Here's the link to the ferry info. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the English version to work. It looks like the last ferry from Varenna to Bellagio is at 22.35 during the week and 21.40 on weekends. If I'm reading the schedule correctly the weekday evening ferries are at 6:40, 7:10, 7:50, 8:00, and 9:35. In the middle section of the site (column heading "Orari") then the line "Partenza da Bellagio" you'll see the ferry times.

The trains do run in the afternoon leaving La Spezia at 12:40, 1:53, 2:40, 3:53, etc.

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/ita/com/nlc_ora.html
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 12:31 PM
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We were at Lake Como last summer. From that schedule, the last ferries Varenna to Bellagio were at 9:00 and then 10:30. It is about a fifteen minute ride. I don't think that reservations are possible. This is a car ferry, so I can't see how there would not be room for two people and some suitcases. There is one boat taxi out of Bellagio (Barindelli?) but I don't know the cost, probably high.

For train schedules I like to use the Diebahn website. Try googling 'Diebahn English' for that website.

The trains to Varenna typically run every two hours, occasionally more often. There will be a mid afternoon train. All of these trains originate out of Milano Centrale.

As a last resort, last summer we were told that the least expensive taxi to Bellagio would be from Lecco and be 40 to 50 Euro.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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One minor caution - "Partenza da Bellagio" means 'Departures from Bellagio'. "per" means 'to'.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for the info, all!
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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I'm not going to tell you to drive rather than train and ferry via Varenna, but I will point out this is about a 3- to 3.5-hour (290 km.) drive from La Spezia and does not involve anything I would describe as "harrowing" or even a ferry. You can drive up SS583 along the shore of the eastern "leg" of the lake, on the Bellagio side. That portion is only about 20 km. (12-13 miles).

You can view driving directions and maps at either/both of these websites:

http://www.viamichelin.com/viamichel...MaHomePage.htm

http://www.mapquest.it/mq/directions/mapbydirection.do


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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 07:08 AM
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Not to confuse CapriAnn. (must be a nice memory), Lake Como is shaped like an inverted Y or running man, and Bellagio is right at his crotch. On a kind of peninsula in the middle, not on the eastern side.

As for the quality of the road, I merely report what others have said. Maybe Jean's information is more recent.

The other consideration, which we haven't dealt with, is getting from Bellagio to Malpensa without a car. Depending on the time of your flight, there are buses and trains from Como.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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About the roads to Bellagio:

There are three ways to drive to Bellagio from the south (without needing/using ferries).

The road north from the Erba/Lago di Pusiano area is the one some people describe as "twisty and harrowing." It is "twisty" in a few spots, but it is not "harrowing" at any point (unless you're going in winter when there could be snow at the highest elevations). The hardest part is not getting lost, and a good map is required. The views along the way are beautiful, and you pass through many charming hamlets.

The road from the Valmadrera/Lago di Annone area is the shortest route. There are few towns along the way on either side of the lake, and the views are more rugged hillsides.

The most interesting and scenic route (and probably slowest because of it and traffic) is the road north from Como along the Bellagio side of the western leg of the lake. Many charming towns on both sides of the lake and beautiful views. When you get to Pognana Lario, wave across the lake to George Clooney in Laglio.

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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Per Viamichelin.com:

Valmadrera to Bellagio
20 km., 12.5 miles
30 minutes

Erba to Bellagio
30 km., 18.5 miles
45 minutes

Como to Bellagio
30 km., 18.5 miles
50 minutes
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Old Apr 15th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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Thanks, Jean
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