Milan to Zurich via Automobile


May 20th, 2016, 11:06 AM
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Milan to Zurich via Automobile

I am trying to plan a route from Milan to Zurich that will allow myself and three others to stop and see some of the sites/small towns in the alps. We had discussed renting a car and taking it from Milan up to either Lago di Lucendro or Göscheneralpsee lakes and maybe site seeing for a few hours or even staying the night at a bed and breakfast of sorts.
I have read several forums that promote the rail for this route, however, part of this trip was supposed to be a "backpacking/road trip" through parts of Europe. I also realize there is a tariff of sorts called a "vignette" that is mandated for auto travel through Switzerland, which I am assuming we can buy at the border or wherever we rent our car in Italy?

People: Early 30s from the U.S.

Time: As far as our schedule goes, we are allotting up to a full 24 hours, but would preferably like to complete the trip within the span of a days drive.

Budget: Fairly flexible here, but obviously would like to keep it to a reasonable price.

Dates: Will plan the drive between the dates of June 24-29. Any one of those dates.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
kofadko is offline  
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May 20th, 2016, 11:22 AM
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If you have not done it, I recommend you do a dummy rental car booking short of actually making the payment to find out the estimate of how much it costs on rental side alone. Read all the fine prints.
greg is offline  
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May 20th, 2016, 11:28 AM
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Picking up in one country and dropping off in another can result in steep drop-off fees - if you have time go up and over the Gotthard Pass on a serpentine road vs taking your car on the train and going under the Alps but that can take lots of time but probably doable in a day - get an early start - and yes you could take the train to Lugano, rent a Swiss car there which may have a vignette on it and avoid the steep drop-off charge.
PalenQ is offline  
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May 20th, 2016, 12:14 PM
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The dropoff charge is a problem and PalenQ is correctly suggesting to rent in Switzerland. However, if you don't have a vignette, as you enter Switzerland at Chiasso highway border point you will be directed to a separate lane where an attendant will sell you a vignette.
asps is online now  
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May 20th, 2016, 02:41 PM
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The serpentine sinuous Gotthard Pass Road:
PalenQ is offline  
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May 21st, 2016, 01:41 PM
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Gotthard Pass and Lago Lucendro are fine.
Lugano - Airolo - Nufenenpass/Passo Novena - Grimsel Pass - Bruenig Pass - Lucerne - Zurich is a nicer itinerary, however.
I suppose you will start at Milan citxy center.
From Milan Malpensa airport (MXP), the most scenic route would be MXP - Arona - Stresa - Simplon Pass - Brig - Grimsel Pass ....
If you want to travel via Gotthard Pass, you can sleep in a WW2 fort converted into a hotel.
neckervd is offline  
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May 21st, 2016, 03:46 PM
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My favourite driving routes would be:

Lugano - Airolo -Nufenenpass - Grimsel Pass - Susten Pass - Lucerne

For a shorter drive but also quite scenic:

Lugano - Biasca - Lukmanier - Oberalp - Andermatt - Lucerne

I would not rent a car just to drive over the Gotthard. It's probably the least scenic of all the passes.
kleeblatt is offline  
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May 21st, 2016, 03:59 PM
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For people in the Lucerne / Central Switzerland area, a favourite circular route for driving over the passes is: Susten, Grimsel and Furka. I've done this many times: as a passenger on a motorbike and in a convertible. In fact, tomorrow I'll be going over the Julier and Fluela in a convertible: it almost beats hiking deep in the alps.
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