Half-Day in Lake Como

Old Apr 14th, 2006, 09:29 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Half-Day in Lake Como

Hi,

We are arriving in Milan from the US, around early morning (7am or so), and have one day before we head over to Venice. We also have one day at the end of our trip in Milan, where we are planning on taking in the local sights.

For our first day, we'd like to go to our hotel, leave our luggage and immediately head over to the Lake Como area for a half-day trip. Do you think it would be worth doing this (after a 7-8hour flight and some jet lag) ?

If we do this, any suggestions for making the most of the trip - we'll have about half a day at most for the Milan roundtrip. We love nature and scenic beauty - Any suggestions on towns (Varenna, Bellagio, etc) to visit and things to do, and logistical tips (trains, boats, etc) to make the most of our short time ?

Thanks in advance !
carlposter05 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 09:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are willing to spend money, anything is possible!

Get a driver to take you directly to Lago di Como from Malpensa. Cost is approximately 110 euros. Before you rule it out, consider that accommodations on Lago di Como can be cheaper than Milano, and you'll be saving the cost of bus fare to Milan and two roundtrip train tickets.

Second option has you taking a one-hour bus trip into Milano, dragging your luggage to the nearest hotel, walking back to train station, buying tix, taking train to Como, then a ferry to Bellagio. (Or train to Varenna, ferry to Bellagio.) I think the very soonest you would be in Bellagio is noon.

Your third option is waiting for the bus to Menaggio that leaves Malpensa at (I believe) noon. Can you sit in the airport that long? The advantage with this option is not only cheapness, but that you don't have to keep hauling your luggage around. The bus trip takes about 90 minutes. You'd probably be in Menaggio in time for lunch, but I'm not sure. (Bellagio is a five-minute ferry ride away.)

You can probably find accommodations in one of the lake towns for approximately 50 euros less than what you'll pay near the train station in Milan.


nessundorma is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 10:05 AM
  #3  
lonelyplanet
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I did a half a day trip to Lake Como on my own last year. I took the train at Cardorna Train Station. I got off the train at the last stop a few meters away from the Lake.

I took the shortest ride around the lake, and, after having ice-cream, I took a stroll around the town of Como. The town is nice. I've never been to Bellagio, but it's supposed to be the most picturesque town on the lake.

Maybe, after checking in at the hotel, you can rest for a while and then visit the lake. You can also go right after checking in, sit at a coffee shop to rest a little, and then explore the town.

I hope this helps.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 10:08 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the options - the idea of getting a driver to take us directly from Malpensa sounds interesting. However, me and my wife are arriving from different locations (she isnt working currently, so she's planning to go visit family before our trip) - so in case our flight gets delayed, etc we want to base out of Milan where we can sync up.

Plan is to meet at the airport if possible. If either of our flights is horribly delayed, we go to the hotel independently and wait for the other one to show up. If we meet at a reasonable time, we make a half-day trip to the Lake Como area.

Given this, we're stuck with staying in Milan.
carlposter05 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 10:10 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks lonelyplanet - what town did you get off at ? And any info on the "shortest ride around the lake" - was this a ferry and do you happen to have any info on schedules, routes, etc ?
carlposter05 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 10:34 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually, now that lonelyplanet mentions it, I remembered that route being discussed in detail once before on Fodor's. I found the thread. Be sure to read the whole thing, because some of the initial instructions change.

http://tinyurl.com/nysau

That thread assumes you'll be starting from Malpensa and staying on Lago di Como, but it does look to me like you could use the same route starting in Milan.

Please note that using this route means you do not want a hotel near Centrale Station, but instead want one near Cadorna Station.

nessundorma is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 10:41 AM
  #7  
lonelyplanet
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Take the train to Como and get off at the very last stop. You'll know it's the last stop because the train won't go any further and everybody will get off there. The train makes stops at a couple of stations called "Como something". You should get off the train at the last one called "Como Lago". Then, head to the dock. There are many kinds of rides. They have them all listed at the ticket office right on the dock. The one I did was recommended by the clerk. I'm pretty sure that they run quite often because it's like a bus service. Some people take them to go from town to town; some others, like me, take them to have a look around the lake. It's not really a tourist ride. I don't know how they're called in English, but let's say they are very small ferries. I chose the shortest one because I also wanted to explore the town. The town is small. After a couple of hours strolling, I was ready to go back to Milan. If I had gotten there earlier, I could've easily visited Bellagio too, but I went there at noon, and I didn't want to rush the trip. Remember to take the train at Cardorna Train Station and not at Milano Centrale.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 10:59 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Silly question - I am guessing all the tips about the Cadorna station apply only to travel to Como.

Is Varenna a better town to visit, and if so, I see trains from Milano Central to Varenna in the morning - am I missing something?

If I do Milan-Varenna-Bellagio-Varenna-Milan, would that work (with Varenna-Bellagio-Varenna) via ferry ?
carlposter05 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:09 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would recommend visiting Varenna or the nearby towns (like Bellagio), rather than stopping in Como. I've stayed in both locations and wouldn't go back to Como, but would happily go back to one of the towns uplake.
christy1 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:27 AM
  #10  
Neopolitan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Years ago, staying in Lugano, we drove over the border to visit Como one day. Unfortunately it was rainy and we had little time, so we walked through the town and along the edge of the lake and we had a nice lunch. We got back in our car and drove back to Lugano scratching our heads and both said, "what's the big deal about Lake Como?"

It took us several years to get back and to stay in Bellagio for several nights. Bellagio and Como (the town) do not belong on the same planet!
 
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:35 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
carlposter,

You can get a ferry in Como to take you to Bellagio. That is the town you want to see.

Bellagio is a 10 minute ride by ferry from Varenna, which has a train station.

It is also a 10 minute ride by ferry from Menaggio, which you can get to by bus or taxi from Malpensa. (look at a map of the lake.)

Once you get on a train from Centrale, it makes sense to go to Varenna.

If you take a train from Cadorna, you go to Como, where you catch the ferry. I've never taken the ferry to Bellagio from Como or vice versa. I suspect it is a 30 to 40 minute ferry ride, but I just don't know.

Do not leave Lago di Como without seeing the view from Bellagio.

If you pick a hotel near Centrale Station, you might consider:

Train to Varenna-ferry to Bellagio-ferry to Como-train to Milano Centrale

(but you can always just ferry back to Varenna and train back to Milano)

If you pick a hotel near Cadorna, then you would

Cadorna train to Como-ferry to Bellagio-ferry to Como-train to Cardorna

OR

You could, from Bellagio, ferry to Varenna, train back to Milano Centrale, then taxi to your Cardorna hotel.

Hope you are getting a picture of the options!

nessundorma is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:42 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are going to have to get yourself either directly to one of the three mid-lake towns (Varenna/Menaggio/Bellagio) from the airport via private driver which would be expensive, or, as you have already noted, get from the airport to Milano Centrale (there is a bus which runs every 30-60 minutes and the trip takes about one hour).

From Centrale, trains run to Varenna throughout the day (about every two hours) and the trip takes about 1.5 hours.

Although taxis will usually meet every train arriving in Varenna-Esino (the actual name of the stop) you can walk to the ferry dock in about ten minutes (all downhill).

From there you can take a ferry over to either Menaggio or Bellagio or both and that trip takes about 10-15 minutes.

The question is, of course, about timing. Will you have enough?

You can, as others have said, take a train to the city of Como and take a ferry from there to the mid-lake area.

other practical info:

the Varenna station is un-manned and sometimes the ticket machines don't work properly so a R/T train ticket is a good idea.

I personally think the mid-lake section is one of the nicest and you can do this in a long, well-planned day.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 01:33 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like the idea of taking the train to Veranna and spending some time in Bellagio.

If we can reach Veranna by noon (or later), we get around 5-6 hours before we head back to Milan, which is probably less-than-ideal, but better than nothing.

Thoughts ?
carlposter05 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 01:39 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can do with even less time on the lake. There is nothing to do in Bellagio except see the view. People who stay there stroll in the gardens, but they are not the real attraction. Sit where you can look at the vista and have some wine. All that really matters is your stamina.

You don't say when you are traveling, but days are longer in summer than winter, but the sun sets a wee bit earlier on the lake because of the mountains.

Some places are still worth seeing even if it is raining. Bellagio is NOT one of them. ;-)

Buon viaggio!
nessundorma is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 01:44 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
one more thought: Remember you will be taking a ferry and will be on a lake. Take along a windbreaker, since your body will be tired from the flight.
nessundorma is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 03:55 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry I missed mentioning when we're going ... this will be in the first week of June 2006. Thanks all !
carlposter05 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bornintheusa
Europe
8
Sep 11th, 2017 08:46 AM
eileenfa
Europe
8
Mar 18th, 2006 06:33 PM
frangipani
Europe
4
Feb 7th, 2006 07:16 AM
Straighthooter
Europe
1
May 4th, 2005 04:44 PM
chris
Europe
8
Oct 16th, 2002 09:08 AM

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 - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -