day trip to Lake Como from Milan

Old Mar 8th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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day trip to Lake Como from Milan

Planning to go to Lake Como. Plan is to have lunch at Bellagio and maybe just do a boat tour of the lake for 2-3 hours and maybe a visit to one of the villa (Melzi?)(no time for hiking or walking) with hope to get back to Milan Central by 6PM to catch a train to Venice. Any suggestions :

1.How to get there? coming from Milan Malpensa airport to Lake Como/Bellagio?- should I go to Milan Central and take a train to Lake Como or should we take a train from the airport to varenna? Which one is shorter/easier? If I am trying to catch a train to Venice from Milan Central,what time should we leave Lake Como?
2. Lunch? bellagio? maybe see the town a bit? then a ferry ride to tour the lake?
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 08:12 AM
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You aren't going to get any trains direct from Malpensa to Varenna as you will have to change somewhere.

The services from and to Varenna-Esino from Centrale run about once every two hours and the trip takes about 1 hr 25 minutes each way. You still have to get from the station to the ferry dock (about a 10-15 minute walk) and then a ferry over to Bellagio which will add an additional 10-15 minutes.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 08:56 AM
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Just a tip for the Milan-Venice train. Not sure when you're traveling, but I did that ride 2 years ago, in February, on a weekday, mid-morning departure. It was surprisingly packed. Also, we bought the tickets at Milan Central station rather than in advance online - we wasted about 15 minutes in a huge lineup before we noticed a bank of automatic ticket machines, which were easy to use, and weren't busy at all. We even got a discounted rate (buying the day before departure).
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Take a Malpensa Express train stopping in Saronno (I do not remember if all of them stop or not). In Saronno you change to a local train to Como Lago, that is a tiny station very near to the ferry pier. From there you move by ferries on water - I suppose to Bellagio. Getting to Varenna from Malpensa would be much longer as it is on the east coast of the lake. For the return section, ferry to Varenna, then train Varenna to Milan to Venice. I would not like to do this tour with heavy luggage. For example, the walk from the Varenna pier to the railway station is uphill.

You need to study timetables on local Trenord trains to Como Lago, Navigazione Lago di Como for ferry services, Trenitalia for the last leg. It is a bit of homework to do.
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Old Mar 9th, 2014, 04:47 PM
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Thank you so much for the suggestions! I will be buying the ticket in advance and will get the route: Milan Centrale-Varenna-Esino.
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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My husband and I are looking to do the same thing this summer. Likely spending one night in Milan, heading to Como first thing in the morning, just for the day, and then catching a train to Venice that evening. This may be a silly question, but what are you planning to do with your luggage while out on the day trip? We'll likely have checked out of our hotel before heading to Como so I didn't think we'd be able to store it there.
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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Jlo - the Milano Centrale train station has a Left Luggage facility where you could check your luggage. Likely that is the station you would use to Varenna, and return to for your train to Venice.
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 06:31 AM
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Thank you, Janet! I am definitely going to look into the left luggage facility
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 06:56 AM
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1.How to get there? coming from Milan Malpensa airport - the best route without luggage worries would be on the Nord de Milano trains changing at Saronno but with luggage and a train out of Milano Centrale I'd first take the express train or bus to Milan Central from the airport - put your bags in a station luggage storage and then head to Como or Varenna by Trenitalia trains.

The Nord de Milan trains from Como's station by the boat docks I think goes to Milan's Cofrdona station and not Milano Centrale - the mainline station in Como, a mile or so from the boat docks goes to Milano Centrale

maybe take the train to Varenna - boat to Bellagio -boat or bus to Como and then train back from there - Como is a nice city worth a look over.

for lots of good stuff on Italian trains check these superb IMO sites - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

No need to pre-book Milan to Varenna trains as they are regional trains with no seat reservations possible and a flat fare to be used on any train that day on that route.
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