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Ingo and others: Do I need a car for my Como/Chiavenna/Zurich trip?

Ingo and others: Do I need a car for my Como/Chiavenna/Zurich trip?

Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:54 AM
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Ingo and others: Do I need a car for my Como/Chiavenna/Zurich trip?

I am debating whether to rent a car or to rely on public transportation. I am landing in Milan, want to head to Lake Como for a few hours (I know how to get there--easy) and then need to get to my hotel in Chiavenna where I will spend a few days. For those days, I will want to hike around Soglio, take the Bernina express, and spend time around Chiavenna. Then I will need to get to Zurich by train. I have looked on the Trenitalia website and it seems like train travel from Como to Chiavenna is very long and complicated with many changes. And it's pretty much the same way to Zurich (3-4 hours just to get to Como!) Are there better ways to get from place to place, like busses? Or should I just go ahead and rent a car? Is the post bus to Soglio frequent and reliable in late March? Finally, Ingo was somewhat skeptical about my ability to hike in the Bregaglia at that time of year. Having done some more research and become more excited about hiking, could anyone else weigh in on the amount of snow on the ground and weather conditions on the Swiss/Italian border that time of year? Is it too optimistic to plan on mountain hiking then?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:26 AM
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Hi Guy18,

I want to suggest you use the Swiss rail website at www.rail.ch to get all the Swiss bus/train options. That site says the trip from Chiavenna to Zurich takes 5h17, starting with a two-hour bus ride from Chiavenna to St. Moritz, then continuing by train via Chur to Zuerich.

If you do rent a car, why not drop it in Italy (say Chiavenna) and continue by train for the Swiss portion? Or maybe drive to Tirano, drop the car, and continue to St. Moritz via Bernina Pass (don't do it on the day-trip excursion then).

You may want to stop in St. Moritz for a day or so to absorb the beauty --

Looking forward to the other responses!

s
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:50 AM
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We went from Milan to Varenna on Lake Como, spent several days there, and then to Chiavenna by train. I don't think we had to change. It was a short easy trip, and we enjoyed seeing Chiavenna.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:41 AM
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ttt
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 09:42 AM
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I didn't mean to slight you who responded! I should say "thanks!" Hoping Ingo will see this as well...
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Hi,

left the office late today ...

I don't think you need a car. (We had discussed the drop-off stations, and found out it is not possible in either Chiavenna or Tirano, right?)

The bus Chiavenna - St. Moritz runs every two hours. Change in Promontogno, connections are guaranteed (a few minutes waiting time). You can also take the local bus from Chiavenna to Villa di Chiavenna/the Swiss border and hike up to Soglio - it is not long ... about 1 - 1.5 hours. The Swiss Postbuses are always reliable!

Train travel Como - Chiavenna is indeed complicated with some changes. The fastest option is to take the ferry (traghetto?) to Varenna and catch the train there (change in Colico). As far as I know there are also buses along the lake shores, but you'd have to get off in Menaggio (or Bellagio) and take the ferry from there to Varenna.

I am still sceptical about hiking in late March. A few days ago the southern Alps (Ticino and also the region around Lake Como) got a dump of snow (heaviest snow fall since 20 years!) and I have doubts all the snow will be gone till late March. Maybe if they don't get some new snow, and in spite of that sun, sun, sun ...

I.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Thanks, Sara, Swandav, and Ingo.

Ingo--First skiiing, now working! Don't you know that you're to be immediately at my service? Well, thanks for the help once again. I think the only slightly tricky part might be getting to Chiavenna from Como. Trains and buses should work okay at that point. (It sounds like there's no need to return to Como to get to Zurich.) No car after all!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:28 PM
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P.S. Thanks, swandav, for the link. No offense to the Italians, but the Swiss transport website is far more thorough and easy to use.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:34 PM
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Maybe you could skip Como and just take a train from Milan to Varenna- it's a lovely little town- and then train to Chiavenna.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 07:49 AM
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For schedules of the ferries see www.navigazionelaghi.it

As far as I saw there are 3 ferries leaving Como around noon +/-2 hours for Varenna. Hope you can catch one of those and hop on the train in Varenna then.

I.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 07:55 AM
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I would certainly agree with ditching the city of Como in favor of staying in the mid-lake area; better for your proposed plans of taking the Bernina Express, too.
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