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Itinerary help !!!!! (Switzerland / North Italy in August)

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Jun 14th, 2016, 06:42 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2016
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Itinerary help !!!!! (Switzerland / North Italy in August)

Hi there!

My hubby and myself have a trip to Switzerland/North Italy coming up in August (Aug 17-28).

We are arriving to Milan on August 18th (morning) and taking the train straight to Switzerland (Murren) and will stay there for 3 nights.

After 3rd night, we cannot decide on the following:

a) do we go straight to Venice (via flight from Zurich to Venice airport) and stay there for 4 nights and then leave for Lake Como area and spend 3 nights there and leave from there to airport for our return flight.

OR

b) after Switzerland we go straight to Tuscany (San Gimignano) and spend 2 nights there and drive to Venice and spend 4 nights there and then leave early in the morning for our flight out of Milan on Sunday.

I looked up and it appears it takes about 3 hrs driving to get from Venice to Milan airport (Malpansa). Does not look like there are any trains that can get us there in time for our 1pm flight on Sunday so we would have to drive. If i am mistaken and someone knows of an alternative way please let me know!

We really love the idea of doing Tuscany, but not sure if we are overextending ourselves with the traveling. We do however love the adventure and dont mind driving through and stopping by some really beautiful areas/sites.

Any advice/feedback is highly appreciated!

Also, can someone answer this for me please: if we drive from Tuscany to Venice, where do we park the car before getting to Venice? Are the garages/parking lots there 24/7? Is there a ferry or boat that take you to Venice? What are the hours for that?

Thank you!!!
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Jun 14th, 2016, 09:15 AM
  #2
 
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"We are arriving to Milan on August 18th (morning) and taking the train straight to Switzerland (Murren)"

May be a bit tricky:
if you land early: take the 6.42 bus or a taxi to Gallarate, board there the 7.57 train and arrive at Interlaken at 10.28;
if you land later:
Malpensa Terminal 1 dp by taxi or by bus 7.56 - Gallarate ar 8.24, dp by train 9.02 - Interlaken ar 12.28
or
Malpensa Terminal 1 dp by taxi around 11.30 to Stresa, dp by train 12.21 - Interlaken ar 14.28

Venice - Milano Malpensa airport by car:
count about 4 hrs from Tronchetto parking garage to Malpensa, more if there are traffic jams around Milan.

early morning train connections from Venezia Santa Lucia to Malpensa airport Terminal 1:
Venice dp 5.40 - Milano C 8.25/8.55 - MXP ar 9.46
Venice dp 6.20 - Milano C 8.55/9.25 - MXP ar 10.16
Venice dp 6.50 - Milano C 9.25/9.55 - MXP ar 10.46
Venice dp 7.15 - Milano C 10.00/10.25 - MXP ar 11.16
neckervd is online now  
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Jun 14th, 2016, 10:32 AM
  #3
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Thanks so much for your reply Neckervd!

For whatever reason i did not find trains that were leaving early on Sunday before. Now i see there is quiet a few!

When i checked "Trainline Europe" and looked up the times, it had these notes: "Venezia Santa Lucia
ES 9702
Subject to compulsory reservation".

What does this "compulsory reservation " mean???
thanks!
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Jun 14th, 2016, 01:02 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This is where you look up train schedules in Italy [using italian city names]:

http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

MXP has an advantage with lower cost flights, but in this case you pay for that with additional time and trouble by not having multi-dity tickets.

It's generally suggested that when taking a train after a flight not to have pre-paid tickets. I suggest you find a city or town reasonably close by and available on Trenitalia, so you can by tickets on a Trenitalia machine.
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Jun 14th, 2016, 01:12 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Compulsory reservation means you have to have a seat reservation for that specific train before board - but all tickets sold come with the mandated seat reservation except on Regional trains that do not even take reservations.

Ron's good advice not to peg yourself into a particular train by buying before flying is good as discounted tickets are good for one specific train and that's it - miss the train and you're out. But you could save money on a Milan to Murren ticket - a lot of money - perhaps by booking in advance for a discount - if so leave plenty of fudge factor time in Milan in case your train is late.

You can IME always buy full-fare tickets at the airport rail desk - so no reason to buy ahead but you can at www.trenitalia.com - same site as for discounted tickets.

For lots about trains in general like first vs 2nd class check www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. If you were not flying to Venice then you could take a train via Milan there and if so you may want to look into a 4-consecutive-day Swiss Pass as it would cover all your transports in Switzerland previewed in your OP - full validity up to Murren for example. www.swisstravelsystem.com for details on Swiss trains.
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