Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Last minute help needed! Milan/Lake Maggiore

Last minute help needed! Milan/Lake Maggiore

Jul 16th, 2007, 06:20 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 255
Last minute help needed! Milan/Lake Maggiore

We are flying home from Milan/Malpensa in early August. We have been going back & forth on whether to stay our night before flight IN Milan or in Stresa (Lake Maggiore). I have hotel reservations in both places. We were going to have a business meeting in Milan which is now cancelled so I am now leaning toward staying in Stresa however, the logistics of getting there & then to the airport seem more complicated. I am unsure about the drive itself (5+ hrs?)& whether we would then return the car to the airport in Milan or return it in Stresa & take a shuttle to airport.

We will be traveling from Venice. If we go to Stresa, we will likely drive there from Venice. If we go to Milan, we will take the train. We will have little or no time to sightsee in either location, but it seems it would be more pleasant to stay on the Lake than in the city.

Can anyone share experiences of driving from Venice to Lake Maggiore? (or vicinity). How about the drive from Lake Maggiore to the airport? I am having difficulty getting a feel of the layout of Milan/Lakes/Airport.

I would appreciate any input on which would be simpler and/or more pleasant for a such a brief stopover before the flight home.
tinamidon is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 06:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,707
>Can anyone share experiences of driving from Venice to Lake Maggiore? (or vicinity).<

We drove from Lake Maggiore to Venice and, except for congestion around Milan, it was easy. Your 5 hours is about right.

>How about the drive from Lake Maggiore to the airport?<

We drove from near Luino (on Lake Maggiore) to Malpensa at around 8am and it took about an hour. No problem whatsoever.

On our first trip, we stayed closer to Malpensa, in Sesto Callende. That would be easier to reach coming from Venice too - not far from the autostrada.
TuckH is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 06:57 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 255
Any thoughts on taking the train from Venice to Stesa? It takes 3 hours 41 mins...

Or maybe we should just take the train to Milan and stay there for the night?
tinamidon is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 07:15 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,523
train is straight forward - change in Milan and Stresa' station is right in town. There is no need for a car in Stresa due to the boats that go everywhere.

Buses go direct from Stresa to Malpensa Airport frequently i believe - no need to go thru Milan.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 08:31 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,278
We had a short, easy drive from Malpensa to Ranco on Lake Maggiore(SE side of lake) when we arrived from US.. We stayed at Il Sole di Ranco
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jul 16th, 2007, 08:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
So, what time is the flight?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 08:56 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,521
Here's what I would do:

1. Take the train from Venice to Stresa. You'll change in Milan, and it's an easy and scenic trip to Stresa.

2. Assuming your visit in Stresa is brief, you won't need a car (though if it's longer than a couple of days it would be nice).

3. Take either the shuttle to Malpensa the morning of your flight (your hotel can book it for you) or arrange for a cab to take you if the shuttle is not convenient (again, your hotel can arrange it for you). Ballpark price for the cab is 100 euro.

If you've already got a rental car (though why you would is unclear, given that you're in Venice) you could certainly drive from Venice to Stresa and then drive down to Malpensa the morning of your flight, turning in the car at Malpensa. We recently did this and found the car return area to be a bit more confusing than ideal, but managed in the end.

An important caveat: strikes by railroad workers are common, and scheduled in advance. Check the schedule to make sure your plans won't be affected.
Therese is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 09:05 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 255
Our flight leaves Malpensa at 10am.

No, we will not already have a car in Venice, we would have to pick one up in order to make the drive...

Sounds to me like taking the train from Venice to Stresa and then a shuttle to airport would work best. I guess I just feel like we are going so far out of the way to get to Stresa, especially since the train passes through Milan. The part I keep reminding myself is that the airport is outside of Milan...toward the Lakes area.

Good reminder about the strikes...hmmm...if plan is to train to Stresa, would there be buses available as an alternative?

I do appreciate everyone's input...
tinamidon is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 09:16 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,523
I think Stresa could be as close to Malpensa Airport as Milan - perhaps closer. That said check on shuttles that early whereas in Milan at least you have the Malpensa Express train that could get you there reliably for probably 7:30am check-in
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 10:24 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,393
Hijacking just for a minute to comment to Tuck and Happytrvlr that they both were in my neck of the woods, so to speak. Gerra-Gambarogno, just north (whatever) of Ranco and Luino, I think. Any special places you visited?

Tina, if you decide to make your last night Stresa, I hope you get there early enough in the day to do a bit of exploring. Hope everything works out well for you. J.
jmw44 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 10:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,393
Oops, my mistake. Happy, I confused your Ranco with my Ranzo. Never the less, Il Sole looks like a winner. Take a look, Tina. J.
jmw44 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,521
There's a shuttle between Stresa and Malpensa, and you can certainly make a 10:00 AM flight. You'll also make it easily if you drive.

So, plan A:

Train from Venice to Stresa, and shuttle from Stresa to Malpensa (your hotel can arrange the shuttle for you, or a cab, even more convenient).

Plan B: Rent car in Venice, drive to Stresa, return car at Malpensa morning of your departure. Check on prices for doing this, as there may be a penalty for different pick-up/drop-off. This would be the back-up plan for rail strikes.

Plan C: Well, I don't really have a Plan C, as I've not taken a bus in Italy in a long time and don't have particularly fond memories of the one time. Perhaps it's improved.

Plan D: Train to Milan and spend the evening there. The express train to Malpensa leaves from Cadorna station (as mentioned upthread) and is located in a nice part of town, but I can't give this idea too strong of an endorsement either, as Milan can be pretty darn hot and dirty in early August.

Therese is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 01:58 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 255
The hotel in Stresa confirms they have a shuttle that leaves @ 6:30am for a 7:20 arrival...plenty of time. I think that will be our plan...train to Stresa; shuttle to airport. Plan in case of strikes, pick up a car in Venice & drive...thanks everyone.
tinamidon is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 06:27 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,523
sounds like a perfect plan
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 27
Just flew home from Malpensa...went from Montecatini Terma to Milan, then slept at a lovely hotel near the airport, they provided breakfast and a shuttle to the airport for a morning flight. The traffic in and around the airport in the a.m. is terrible, and driving there is not fun. We were happy to be so close.
marlynek is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 07:21 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,521
Marlynek, you may have encountered worse traffic precisely because you were close to the airport and so would have been taking surface streets into the airport rather than using the highway. Coming from Stresa via shuttle tinamidon shouldn't have much trouble, and in any case has left plenty of time.
Therese is offline  

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 - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:50 AM.