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Milan to Varenna for the Lakes and Venice


Milan to Varenna for the Lakes and Venice

Old Jul 9th, 2013, 09:53 AM
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Milan to Varenna for the Lakes and Venice

I am trying to find the best way to arrange our trip on first week of September to N. Italy.
Any thoughts, suggestions are WELCOME!
Arrive to Milan from Los Angeles
spend 2 nights
train to Varenna, stay here as a base to visit the Bellagio, Como
spend 4 nights (too long?)
train to Venice
spend 3 nights

We can spend total of 14 nights. After the lakes, should we stop somewhere else for couple of nights before ending in Venice?

Thanks and can't wait for your advise.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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Verona is about half way I'd think between Milan and Venice - are you going by car or train?

Verona is steeped in history and has so so many neat things besides Juliet's faux balcony in her alleged old house - an unGodly number of old churches, palaces and Roman relics.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 10:51 AM
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I'd take at least one night from Varenna and add it to Venice, but that's me. It depends on how much activity you need and whether you're renting a car. We saw pretty much everything I was interested in seeing around Lake Como in two full days, but some people could spend weeks there. We had three nights in Venice, though, and there was definitely more I wanted to see.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 11:54 AM
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I would take the day from MILAN, not Varenna, and add it to Venice. BUT, you tell us absoluteely nothing about your interests as well as why you want to spend ANY time in Milan (not that it isn't worthwhile necessarily).

Four nights on Lake Como can be wonderful IF you are interested in a variety of things. Otherwise, you can easily see Varenna and for that matter Bellagio in one day.

Sorry, need more info.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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When I was last in Varenna, it was a n easy train ride.

However, there is no ticket booth at the train station. You have to purchase your tickets from the local tobacconist.

On the return trip, I had a morning train, and it turns out it was a commuter train. Railroad cars were totally full, so I ended up standing for the trip.

Two full days is more than enough time.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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2 nights in Milan is only 1 day so that's fine. You can see the Last Supper (book tickets on line) and visit the cathedral.


3 days is a great amount of time on Lake Como. There are various trips you can take on the lake; explore some of the towns. It's so relaxing and beautiful. If you do want to add a day to Venice you can see the lake towns in one day.

Take the hydrofoil (about an hour) from Bellagio to Como. It's a lovely trip with large windows to see the lake scenery.

You don't have to worry about where to buy your return ticket from Varenna as you'll buy a round trip ticket in Milan.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 03:42 PM
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I assume you're flying home from Venice...?

As I think you know, you'll have to return to Milan from Varenna to change trains. From Milan, there are several options on the way to Venice. Bologna and Verona would require the least effort and time, but there are some smaller places too. Like Parma, Modena, Mantova, Ferrara, Padova. It depends on the experience you're looking for.

I agree that how much time you want/need to spend in Varenna depends on what you want to do while there. I love Lake Como, so I wouldn't reduce the time there. However, though I like Milan more than most people here, I wouldn't stay more than one night. You can check out of your Milan hotel the next morning but leave your luggage until you're ready to depart for Varenna. There are direct trains throughout the afternoon and evening, and you can just walk up and buy tickets when you get to the train station. Be sure to buy the Varenna-Milan return ticket at the same.

BTW, when you look at train schedules for potential routes, use the Italian spellings and for Varenna use Varenna-Esino.

Jean is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Thank you so much!
I didn't realize I have to give a bit more details...
But our agenda is very simple: explore, eat, drink and enjoy with no rush. I'll be going with my lovely husband and 3.5 year old son who was a delight when we visited Sicily a couple of years ago.
We can rent a car, take a train and anything in between.

Now...I am not crazy about Milan too...
Maybe I should just start my trip from Venice, get into some small towns (I would love to see Like Parma, Modena, Mantova, Ferrara, Padova) on our way to the Lakes and finish in Milan with a one night stay?
Lilit is offline  
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