Milan to Lake Como in April

Old Feb 3rd, 2015, 03:10 PM
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Milan to Lake Como in April

Hi All,

In April, my friend and I will be flying into Milan for one night before training to Zurich. We do not plan on doing any sightseeing in Milan because we want to see Varenna and Bellagio on Lake Como. We will not have a car so we plan to use the train or bus system to get around.

Our flight arrives mid morning so my thoughts are to train from Milan airport to Varenna then take a ferry to Bellagio, stay somewhere on Lake Como, and then take a train the following afternoon for Zurich. We love wine, shopping, and want to take in the scenery of Lake Como! Logistics wise, does this seem doable? What town would be the best place to stay the night with us leaving on a train the following afternoon? Does anyone have any accomodation recommendation for a 100 euro a night budget?

I have considered taking the Bernina Express back to Zurich, but it seems like it would take quite a bit longer to go that route than directly to Zurich. With the small amount of time that we have (our travel days are unable to be changed), is it worth it to take away some of our morning on Lake Como to ride the Bernina Express?

Any advice is welcomed & appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
irinigk is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2015, 03:29 PM
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Which dates in April would you be in Lago di Como?
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2015, 07:40 AM
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The beginning of April!
irinigk is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2015, 08:01 AM
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Beginning of April can be a lot cooler and rainier than the last part of April, which is why I asked. Things will probably be very quiet on Lago di Como, unless you will be there on a sunny weekend. Unless it is absolutely pouring, Lago di Como can still look lovely in the rain, and hopefully you would get some early flowers.

However, I would be concerned about forays into scenic Switzerland. I wouldn't book them without knowing what the weather will be.

I don't know what kind of travel personality you have, but what might tempt me is to fly into Milan, take the direct bus from the airport to Lugano, and then see what my options are according to the weather. If there was a chance to see some of Switzerland in the bright clear sunshine, I might go for it. Otherwise I would be looking to enjoy the lakes. I wouldn't expect to have trouble booking last minute accommodations in Switzerland or Lago di Como in early April. You can use

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Hopefully someone who knows more about Switzerland and the Bernina Express specifically will come along to add theirs.
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2015, 08:08 AM
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If you are looking for a short stay on a beautiful North Italian Lake before heading to Zurich, Lake Maggiore would be the better choice than Lake Como. Check Stresa, 25 miles north of Malpensa airport
The train ride from Stresa to Zurich takes about 3 1/2 hrs, last departure at 19.21

Varenna is far away from the direct itinerary to Zurich.
The shortest journey from Varenna to Zurich takes 5 to 6 hrs, either all by train via Monza or by ferry to Menaggio, then by bus to Lugano and finally by train to Zurich.

For example:
Varenna dp 14.37 - Monza 15.26/16.37 - Zurich ar 20.28
Varenna dp 15.10 - car ferry - Menaggio 15.25/16.00 - bus - Lugano Cassarate ar 16.57 - citybus - Lugano FFS dp 18.11 - Zurich ar 20.51

Bernina trains:
there is no need to leave Varenna in the morning. Last train connection with day light (in April) along the scenic legs:
Varenna dp 13.24 - Tirano 14.50/15.00 - Chur 19.03/19.09 - Zurich ar 20.23
neckervd is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2015, 08:25 AM
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Just so you know that there is a real difference in the appearance of Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como.
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2015, 11:58 AM
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Thank you both for your advice! We definitely want to see Lake Como so I like your idea of seeing what the weather is like once we get there, Sandralist! You're transportation advice is helpful, Neckervd!
irinigk is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2015, 10:46 AM
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I live on Lake Como and what I can suggest you is that the best solution for the train to Zurich is to take the train in the town of Como. The name of the station is Como San Giovanni and you can reach it by bus from Menaggio (tell the driver that you have to get off at the train statio) or by boat from Bellagio.
The boat trip is very nice and allows you to see the lake from a particular point of view. But it takes at least two hours, so you have to check the time table very well to be sure to have enough time to cath the train. Once in Como, you have to walk 15 minutes to reach the train station.
If you decide to reach Como by bus, from Bellagio you have to take the boat to Menaggio (on the opposite side) and there take the bus C10. By bus it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes and you get off directly at the San Giovanni Station. Even in this case make sure to have enough time, because the road that leads to Como is just one and quite busy...

For more details and if you need help to read the bus or boat timetables ask me! I know they are quite confusing..
lakecomoaddicted is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2015, 01:59 AM
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I never saw that a misleading (rather completely wrong) advice than that given above by lakecomoaddicted. Forget it!
neckervd is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2015, 01:50 PM
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Should be "I never saw SUCH a misleading..... Sorry!
neckervd is offline  
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