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Milan to Lugano by train day trip

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Jan 3rd, 2013, 09:56 PM
  #1
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Milan to Lugano by train day trip

I am travelling to Italy in May this year, and will be spending 5 days in Milan in a hotel near the Central Railway Station. I am thinking of taking a day trip by train to Lugano as I not only want to see some of the beautiful Lakes, but would like to also travel through a bit of the Swiss Alps. Has anyone done this before, and is it worth it, or would I be better off visiting one of the other Lakes?
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Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Como is a bit closer with buses around the lake or you can travel by boat. You could train to Varenna (1 hour, 6€ if you take one of the earlier/faster connections), catch one of the boats around the lake to Bellagio or Mennagio (?€) and then on to Como. Train back to Milan from Como (1/2 to 1 hour, 4€ to 19€ depending on train).

If it must be Switzerland, Lugano is just a bit further than Como.
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Jan 4th, 2013, 03:20 AM
  #3
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Thanks for reply. I have read that they are both about an hour away by train. Lugano train ride I've heard is a bit more spectacular. I've heard Como is the most popular lake, but is one any better than the other?
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Jan 4th, 2013, 06:48 AM
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I don't find it much different (it's the same train line as Como). Take a look at the Italian lakes scenery on this link and compare it to Lugano pictures.

http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/eng/news.asp?ID=141
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Jan 4th, 2013, 06:51 AM
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You really have 3 options and each is about an hour by train.
Lugano is a medium city and is lovely but not close to the real Alps. Como is spectacular but also not an Alpine venue.
Also consider Stresa on Lago Maggiore. Each will give you a good feel for the lakes. but you will get your best mountain views from atop Mt. Mottarone above Stresa. Good luck !
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Jan 4th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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Lugano is most certainly an Alpine city in the "real" Alps:

http://www.lugano-tourism.ch/en/52/h...ch-lugano.aspx

Since you have tagged your post Italy, a lot of the responses you get will be from people who always prefer traveling in Italy.
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Jan 4th, 2013, 11:21 AM
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(And some of the responses you get will come from people who don't know what the Alps are or where they are! Fodorite's legendary "expertise".
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Jan 4th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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The contrarian strikes !
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Jan 4th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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Lugano is most certainly an Alpine city in the "real" Alps

Well yes yes - I spent some days in Lugano and did a spectacular ride into the Swiss Alps - about an hour up and it is mountains and a quintessential Swiss look - plump cows with bells - flower bedecked chalets and soaring peaks overhead.

Some folks above have been to Lugano but never gone into the Alps near it that they do not even know exist apparently.

Now that said these are not classic Jungfrau or Zermatt like Alps with glaciers strewn about but at many times of year snow, etc. - Alpine as the Alps can be in most regards.

Take the postal buses into the Alps from Lugano and also boat trips on a Lake Lugano largely hemmed in by mountains - not dramatic mountains but yes Alps.
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Jan 4th, 2013, 07:13 PM
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A matter of defination. Foothills are surely nearby, but you have to travel an hour to see any significant peaks. I know the area well and have stayed there 3 times.

I suggest a bus ride to Soglio if you want to see the real Alps---about an hour.
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Jan 5th, 2013, 02:48 AM
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cavalierkc,

If the bus schedules favor it, and you are up for a scenic adventure, you might be able to include Lugano, a postal bus ride into the peaks, and Lago di Como all in the same day, especially if you are traveling in the latter part of May when the daylight hours are longer.

In addition to the postal buses that travel from lakeside Lugano into the mountain peaks, there is a bus that travels between Lugano and the town of Menaggio (on Lago di Como) and takes about 40 minutes or so. From Menaggio, it is a lovely 5 minute boat ride to Bellagio (the classic view point).

From Bellagio it is another 5 minutes by ferry to Varenna, where you can catch a train to return to Milan in an hour (train station is a 15 minute walk from the ferry dock). Or if you still have enough twilight, there are ferries from Bellagio to the town of Como (about an hour), where you can catch the train to Milan. (30 minutes or so).

But overall, for your day out to the lakes and alps, better to check in with the TripAdvisor forums for Lugano and Lago di Como where residents of those places are usually around to answer detailed questions accurately. (This thread will give you some indication of relying on Fodor's for planning:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic..._Lombardy.html
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