Milan to Verona - Lake Como/ Garda?

Mar 30th, 2016, 02:07 AM
  #1  
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Milan to Verona - Lake Como/ Garda?

Hello All, We are a couple in our mid-30's hoping to travel to Milan and Verona for one week in late July/ early August this year. We were thinking of flying into Milan (for 3-4 nights) then flying out of Verona where we would spend our final 2 nights where we are interested in catching one of the open-air operas. We would also love to do a quick stop in Lake Como or Garda in between (and are open to staying for a night here also). We are open to hiring a car or doing the travel by train.
What would people recommend as an itinerary? We love atmospheric Italian towns, good food and scenery. We like to browse a few museums but are not big fans of spending all of our days in churches or alike. Would love to see Como or Garda and maybe spend a night in of the scenic towns on their shores. We know we have not time for both lake districts so would love advice on which is preferable for a short visit?
Thanks so much in advance! Your advice is really appreciated!
D & E x
EimearLyons is offline  
Mar 30th, 2016, 03:11 AM
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Either one can easily be done between Milan and Verona. And both are great, although both are 'best' if you go to the mid or northern sections of the lake. Como is more popular with Americans, on Garda you will hear lots of German. I think Como is a bit more expensive. Both will be crowded in August so you should reserve something now.

What is it you want to do in Milan? From what you said you like to do I would think you would want more time in the Lakes and Verona than Milan but perhaps you have specific things you want to see in Milan.

One option is to go to Como when you land (it's closer to MXP airport if that's where you are landing) for a couple nights, then Milan, then Verona. OR Milan then Garda (Malcesine, Limone or Riva del Garda), then Verona. OR if you would rather not have 3 different hotels, you can see Lake Garda as a day trip from Verona, but in that case you'd be best to stick to Sirmione on the southern end of the lake (and that will be very crowded mid day). I did Sirmione as a day trip from Verona once and it was great early but got really crowded after noon or so. I then went back on another trip for three days in Malcesine and loved it (though I would have wanted to see Sirmione if I had not done so previously). I've also visited Lake Como (just before flying out of MXP) and stayed in Varenna (which I preferred over Belagio).

You don't need a car for either option.
isabel is online now  
Mar 30th, 2016, 04:18 AM
  #3  
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Hi Isabel, Thanks so much for your reply. It is very helpful. Re Milan - nothing specific yet in mind - it was just a handy port to fly into via Ryanair and would allow an opportunity to explore another Italian city (although I have heard mixed reports about it.) Do you think it is best avoided? We like exploring cities in terms of cafe culture/ galleries/ bike tours/ trendy bars that type of thing - just for a few nights crossing a weekend.
We appreciate it will be a busy time of year to holiday in Italy but unfortunately we do not have alternative options on that one!
Great to hear the feedback on the lakes too!
EimearLyons is offline  
Mar 30th, 2016, 04:25 AM
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"One option is to go to Como when you land (it's closer to MXP airport if that's where you are landing)"

It depends:
MXP - Desenzano del Garda by train: 2 hrs 23 min, every hr
MXP - Varenna by train: 2 hrs 10 min, every 2 hrs
MXP - Como city by train: 1 hr 18 min, every hr
neckervd is offline  
Mar 30th, 2016, 06:41 AM
  #5  
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Thanks Neckervd - unfortunately we would be flying into Milan-Bergamo which I believe is not serviced by any train network . We may just do a car hire from there and head on for Como. Looks like Milan gets mixed reports in the fora and we may optimise our short time bewteen Como and then on to Verona. Flying into MXP would be more attractive but alas is much more expensive also.
EimearLyons is offline  
Mar 30th, 2016, 08:42 AM
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Bergamo itself is a great little city so you should consider spending the first night there. The old city on top of the hill is one of the most magical places in Italy I think. It's one of my favorite places in Italy. There's a bus from the airport into the city (stops in front of the train station). And there is decent public transportation up to the old town. So I would definitely do one or two nights there (depending on what time you land).

From there it's easy to get to either Como or Garda via train (last year I went from Bergamo to Desenzano del Garda by train and then took the boat up to Malcesine for three days). Como is closest to Bergamo, but Garda is closer to Varenna where you'll be ending up so either one is equally convenient.

Here's my trip report from last year. You need to scroll down about a third of the way to get to the Lake Garda part. http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nd-castles.cfm

Here's my photos of the lakes: www.pbase.com/annforcier/italian_lakes

and here's Verona: www.pbase.com/annforcier/verona

and here's Bergamo: www.pbase.com/annforcier/milan_bergamo_mantova
isabel is online now  
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