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Logistics, Lake Como fit into an Italy trip

Logistics, Lake Como fit into an Italy trip

Sep 10th, 2005, 06:39 PM
  #1  
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Logistics, Lake Como fit into an Italy trip

I'm planning a relatively short re-visit to Italy next spring. I've always wanted to visit Lake Como and though the season won't be perfect and my trip time is relatively short, I'm starting to wonder if I could fulfill this dream, even if only for a day.
I fly into Rome, want to visit Florence, will fly home from Venice.Have been twice before to R and F, three times previously to V.

What would be a recommended way of getting myself to Lake Como via public transport, preferably Cernobbio, if possible, but would settle for staying elsewhere and just visiting Cernobbio (want to have lunch at Villa d'Este.)
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Sep 11th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #2  
Doble_Vergasser
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We are big fans of Lake Como. Since going to Lake Como is one of your dreams, you should do it.

As far as public transport goes, Train service goes up the east side of the lake (stops at Varenna). In addition there train service from the Milan Regional Transit System to the city of Como. Your best bet for Cernobbio is train to Como, then boat (or possibly bus) to Cernobbio.

I recommend an overnight if your itinerary can stand it. In Cernobbio, there is supposed to be a fine, affordable alternative to sleeping at Villa D'Este. (I will see if I can find the name.)

Are you thinking of early spring or late spring?
 
Sep 11th, 2005, 07:31 AM
  #3  
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It would be early April, I booked a free FF ticket JFK to Rome, Venice to JFK.
So, I'd have to get myself to Milan and then take a train to somewhere on the Lake? Would a train from, say, Florence, go to the same Milan train station as the train going on to Lake Como? I've been to Milan's Centrale train station before.

And, then after time at the Lake, do I have to go back to Milan, or can I proceed on to Venice some other way?
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Sep 11th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Since posting earlier, I've actually been able to make some changes in my FF ticket

Now I am flying first into Rome, later flying home from Milan to JFK.
So, I will need to get myself from Venice to Lake Como (how?), and then to Milan airport early one morning for the flight home.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 08:31 AM
  #5  
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You will be rewarded for going out of your way to see Como -- SOOOO beautiful! But prettier as you go north, IMHO -- so if only lunch at Villa d'Este, draws you to Cernobbio, I'd recommend staying elsewhere. According to http://www.imsforum2004.org/pdf_box.asp?left=7 you reach Cernobbio either by bus from Como or by ferry, also from Como, or by train from Saronno.

The ferries on Como include higher-speed semi-"expresses" and very pokey sort of "locals." The major stops are places like Varenna, Menaggio, Bellagio, and Como itself. Varenna is right on the train line from Milan and has a lovely view. I loved Bellagio, might try Menaggio next time. Less impressed by Como, but for you time is a factor.
 
Sep 11th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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We just got back from a week in Bellagio after a week in Venice.

We took the train from Venice to Como -- about 3 hrs 40 min. total. The train did go through Milan Centrale station but we stayed on the train, which actually was headed to Lugano or Zurich (will check the ticket).

We much prefer train and boat travel to driving.

A couple of caveats -- 1. when we pulled into Como, they didn't announce the stop, and the train was so long we had to guess that we were in Como and head out of the train before it left the station! We weren't alone in our confusion.

2. from Como train station we took a taxi for a 5 min. ride to the Hydrofoil stop and then took that to Bellagio. On the return trip, which was at morning commute time, it wasn't all that easy to get a cab from that area to the airport.

3. Going from Como to Malpensa, which is a really inconveniently located airport, was not easy. With a lot of time on your hands you could take a taxi to the train station, take the train from Como station to Milan Centrale, and then backtrack with a shuttle to Malpensa. But we preferred to take a taxi to Malpensa for about 100 euros as time was limited, and that seems more direct.

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Sep 11th, 2005, 08:33 AM
  #7  
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From Venice, take the train to Milan and connect either to Como or (better in many opinions) Varenna.

Just to clarify, the mountains get higher, the towns more sparse, and the views more breath-taking as you go north -- but you can't really go wrong anywhere there.
 
Sep 11th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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You can take a train from Venice to Varenna, it is about 4-1/2 hours. From Varenna, you can take a ferry to Cerobbio, sorry I don't know how long of a trip that it. I visited Villa Carlotta, near Mennaggio (sp) to see the lovely gardens. They should be blooming in early April. The train to Como is closer to 5 hours. The hotel can let you know the quickest way to the airport in the morning. There is a thread here about just that topic, I'll see if I can find it and top it for you. I don't know how to insert the link to it in a post, sorry.

here's the train website:
http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

Here is a link to a good planning resource, there is a link to the ferry schedule for the lake and some logistical info about getting to Malpensa.

http://www.bellagio.co.nz/

Have a fun trip!
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Sep 11th, 2005, 08:41 AM
  #9  
pat
 
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Just to let you know, we had coffee at the Villa d` Este one year. The next year we went back and they said we couldn`t even go in the restaurant if we weren`t guests of the hotel. Some how, they missed catching us the first year.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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thanks all so far

Cost aside for the moment, if I were to fly from Venice to Milan, I would then have to get myself to Centrale station to get the train to Como, correct? Or is there some place on the Lake I could fly to from Venice?
I'll be solo, don't want to drive at all.

Then, because I am a worry wart, I would leave Como the p.m. before my 10 a.m. flight home on the following day, I would guess either stay in Milan, or near Malpensa.

Wow, a few days ago Como wasn't in the plans, and now it is!! That WILL be a dream come true.

Will have to consider how best to spend very limited time at Lake Como, 1.5 to 2 days (I know! I know! but I'm going to try to include a lot in my entire ten days in Italy. And yes, revisits to R, F, and V are musts.)

Will look into evening trains or flights for a lot of this intra-Italy travel. I've only taken trains a couple of times in Italy before, but except for the time, that doesn't worry me, it's the possible logistics of transfers and ferries and airports.

For once, I may actually force myself to travel with a small suitcase.


More advice appreciated, esp for Lake Como which up until now I have researched not at all.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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pat, your experience is worrisome, but a friend of mine just got back from a trip,and he and his travel companion did go to Villa d'Este just for lunch.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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I believe the train ride will involve one change in Milan for both Varenna and Como. So, that should not be difficult. Check the ferry schedules, they are frequent and it is really a nice way to see the beautiful scenery and get from one place to the next. Did you find the post about ways to get from Malpensa to Bellagio? I topped it for you. There is information about Como and Malpensa as well. It looks very doable and depending on your departure time, the bus from Como might be easier than staying in Milan. Lake Como is so beautiful and peaceful, I loved being there. I'm sure you will enjoy it also, a nice relaxing way to end your trip to Italy!
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Sep 11th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Elaine, here is the site for the bus schedule from the town of Como to Malpensa. Looks like the earliest one gets you to the airport at 8 a.m. Don't know if that's early enough.

http://www.sptcomo.it/malpensa.php
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Sep 11th, 2005, 02:04 PM
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I think there was a bit of "semantics" confusion about going into Villa d'Este. If you have a reservation for lunch there (or dinner) there will be no problem in getting in. I suppose the hotel would call that being a "guest of the hotel" when you are booked for lunch there, even though you're not staying there.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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For future searches, this is the link to the thread on travel between Bellagio and Malpensa that cls2Paris kindly topped earlier today

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34528846
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Sep 11th, 2005, 02:45 PM
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Patrick, wondering if you have been to Villa d'Este yourself. If so, what did you think?
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Sep 11th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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No, I haven't. We did make reservations for lunch there a couple years ago, on our way down from Bellagio, but decided we needed to get much further earlier in the day so we cancelled -- maybe next summer?
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Sep 11th, 2005, 04:27 PM
  #18  
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Villa D'este is supposed to be fantastic. Since it is part of your dream, then you should do it.

Regarding leaving, we made an 11:00am flight from Malpensa. We left Varenna at 6:30 (one train earlier than the panic point). The rest went smoothly (Train to Milan Centrale, Malpensa Shuttle (Bus) to the airport). For it to work this way, you need to sleep IN Varenna.
 
Sep 11th, 2005, 05:11 PM
  #19  
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Thanks for the encouragement, but with a 10am flight out of Malpensa, and a Murphy's Law mentality, I'm sure I'll end up planning to stay the last night in Milan or near Malpensa, the anxiety would ruin my time in Varenna anyway.
Maybe I'll finally get to see Milan's Duomo, all I've ever done in Milan before this is change planes or trains.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 05:16 PM
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elaine our travel agent booked our train tickets from Venice to Como and we got the tickets before we left. It did just take us under 4 hours to get to Como by train; perhaps it was a more direct train than some; it also did not require a change in Milan, though perhaps some do.

Since you don't want to drive you can do fine in Lake Como without a car IMHO. You can take either the hydrofoils or the ferries (the former much faster). We were just there for a week (got back last night) and took boats to Mennagio and Varenna as well as Como, walking around, having lunch, visiting villa gardens and town squares.

In retrospect we might have taken the train to Varenna and the boat to Bellagio.

Have a great time --
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