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Please help us plan Northern Italy/lakes trip 6/19

Please help us plan Northern Italy/lakes trip 6/19

Old Jan 21st, 2019, 04:50 PM
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Please help us plan Northern Italy/lakes trip 6/19

We are just starting to plan a 10 day trip with another couple to Northern Italy--the lakes region, and spend the last few days in Switzerland. Instead of spending a couple of days at each of 3 lakes, we are thinking about 3 days at two of the lakes. (maggiore and garda). Are these the two you would choose? and are day trips to the others easy to navigate? Also any suggestions for lodging with a view would be welcome. airb&b?
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 05:10 PM
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In the fall of 2017, we went to Lakes Como, Iseo and Garda and northern cities (Turin, Milan, Bergamo). We did a 2-part trip report. In short, we liked Garda best (just less touristy, at least American touristy). However, Como was breathtaking.

Trip Report: Part 1 Northern Italian Lakes & Cities (12 days October)

Trip Report: Part 2 of 2): Northern Italian Lakes & Cities (12 days October)

Last fall, we stayed on Lake Orta and did a day-trip (a return for us) to Lake Maggiore. I think we preferred Como and Garda but that may have been that we relied more on the car when at Maggiore. We much preferred the ferry transits we used on the other lakes, but that as I understand it, Maggiore also has some great ferry service.

Lake Maggiore/Lake Orta/3 Nights September

We also did a brief but perfect (thanks largely to good weather) couple of days in Switzerland in September. Here is that trip report:

3 Countries, 8 Places, 8 Nights, Awesome!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 04:02 PM
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Thank you whitehall. The more I learn, the more my ideas of what to do changes. Your info will be very useful. I'm sure i'll have more questions.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 08:54 AM
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Lake Garda forms 1 area and the 3 lakes of Maggioere, Lugano and Como form the other one.
Day trips from Lake Garda to the other 3 lakes is not a good idea IMO. Lake Gasrda is a good base for trips to Verona, Trento, Vicenza, Mantova and the Dolomiti di Brenta, however.
Lugano is in the center of the 3 other lakes, with trains to Como (Lake Como) and Locarno (Lake Maggiore) every 30 min as well as train connections to Lucerne/Zurich (2 hrs journey) at least every hr and to Milan (1 hrs journey) at least every 2 hrs.
If you stay in a hotel on the Swiss side of Lake Lugano or Lake Maggiore, you will most probably get a regional travel pass for free.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 11:09 AM
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Our favorite lake is Maggiore, with a side trip to Orta most times we go there. We always stay in Stresa. If I had only 3 days I wouldn't go lake-hopping. I'd pick one and settle in.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
Our favorite lake is Maggiore, with a side trip to Orta most times we go there. We always stay in Stresa. If I had only 3 days I wouldn't go lake-hopping. I'd pick one and settle in.
I think Maggiore and Orta makes TWO. I also think the OP is talking about 3 days at EACH of two lakes.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 11:41 AM
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Well, Orta for me is just a daytrip from Maggiore.

But yes, I see she wants to spend 3 days each on two lakes. In which case I'd say Maggiore and Garda.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 12:34 PM
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Maggiore and Garda would be fine - my two favorite lakes but Como is nice too. You going by train or car? Trains would be fine as once on the lakes boats go all over all the time.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 02:54 PM
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Other than Garda, where I've returned, I've only been to Maggiore and Como once each.

I'd pick Como and Garda. I liked the scenery better, and the food too. Just my own take on your questions.
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Old Jan 24th, 2019, 11:15 AM
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Ah that is very helpful information. Thank you! So does it make sense to spend 3 nights near Lake Garda, and the other 3 nights at one of the other 3 lakes maybe Como,, then take a day trip or two to see the others.
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Old Jan 24th, 2019, 12:01 PM
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Como and Garda would probably be enough. We needed 3 nights in each and thought that was a minimum, and we enjoyed perfect weather in each. The biggest attraction on Iseo is the island of Monte Iseo, and that isn't an easy day trip. I guess you could do a day trip from Como to Stresa on Lake Maggiore and take a ferry to Isola Bella, but that probably would be at he expense of time you might need on Como. If you opted for Maggiore instead of Como, a day trip to Lake Orta is easy (only really worth seeing Orta San Giulio there).
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Old Jan 24th, 2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Maggiore and Garda would be fine - my two favorite lakes but Como is nice too. You going by train or car? Trains would be fine as once on the lakes boats go all over all the time.
We are not planning on having a car. I've red that its easy to get around by ferry and train.
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Old Jan 26th, 2019, 01:47 AM
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As I told you in post 4:
if you have no car, want to see all 3 lakes (Como, Lugano, Maggiore) and to proceed later to internal Switzerland, Lugano is the best place. From no other place, you can reach the 2 other lakes every 30 minutes by public transport in 1 hr or less and from no other place you have direct trains from Lake Garda (only once daily, however) and to Zurich/Lucerne (at least every hr, 2 hrs journey).
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Old Jan 26th, 2019, 04:56 AM
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thank you tuscanlifeedit We have Garga for sure and are deciding on the other one. Which town around Como do you suggest?
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Old Jan 26th, 2019, 05:00 AM
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Thank you necker This is the first international trip i've planned myself and the thing I'm the most nervous about is the transportation. So any and all tips about that really helps.
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Old Jan 26th, 2019, 05:01 AM
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So it sounds like Como might be a better choice than Maggiore? A tough decision. Which town in Como would you sggest?
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Old Jan 26th, 2019, 05:34 AM
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May be it would be helpful if you could tell us to which place in Switzerland you plan to proceed after the lakes. Some places along Lake Como are real cul-de-sacs.
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Old Jan 26th, 2019, 07:56 AM
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It would be useful for you to see which towns are served by ferries and buses. The ferry website is currently showing the winter timetables, so you can check routes and trip durations now and return to the site in March/April to check frequency of service.

Navigazione Laghi | Lago Maggiore | Lago di Garda | Lago di Como

Navigazione Laghi | Lago Maggiore | Lago di Garda | Lago di Como

Bus service:

https://lakecomotravel.com/bus-servi...enaggio-colico

Bus timetables Lake Garda | Visitgarda
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Old Jan 26th, 2019, 10:33 AM
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Bus lines Lake Como:
https://www.asfautolinee.it/content/...te-extraurbana

Bus lines Lake Lugano:
Lubano - Gandria
Lugano - Menaggio
Lugano - Campione d'Italia
Lugano - Carona
Lugano - Morcote
Lugano - Tesserete - Valcolla
Lugano - Sonvico - Valcolla
Lugano - Arosio - Breno - Miglieglia cableway
Lugano - Cademario - Novaggio - Astano - Sessa
Ponte Tresa - Castelrotto - Novaggio
Ponte Tresa - Fornasette - Luino
Ponte Tresa - Ghirla - Luino
Ponte Tresa - Porto Ceresio - Varese
Ponte Tresa - Ghirla - Varese
Porto Ceresio - Brusino - Capolago
Capolago - Arogno
Capolago - Mendrisio
Mendrisio - Serpiano
Mendrisio - Serpiano
Mendrisio - Chiasso - Como
Mendrisio - Muggio - Scudellate

Bus lines Lake Maggiore:
Locarno - Ascona - Brissago - Cannobio - Intra
Locarno - Ronco
Locarno - Bignasco - Fusio
Locarno - Sonogno
Locarno - Spruga/Vergeletto
Magadino - Indemini
Magadino - Ranzo - Sant' Abbondio
Maccagno - Biegno
Luino - Dumenza - Agra
Luino - Brezzo - Musadino
Luino - Varese
Stresa - Gignese
Arona - Colazza - Gignese
Cannobio - Malesco
Cannero - Trarego
Intra - Premeno - Piancavallo
Intra - Pallanza - Omegna

Train and cableway lines Lake Como:
Milano - Monza - Lecco - Varenna - Colico
Como - Lecco
Milano - Seregno - Como
Milano - Saronno - Como
Como - Brunate
Arcegno - Pigra

Train and cableway lines Lake Lugano:
Bellinzona - Lugano - Capolago - Como - Monza - Milano
Varese - Porto Ceresio
Lugano - Ponte Tresa
Capolago - Monte Generoso
Lugano - San Salvatore
Lugano - Monte Bre
Brusino - Serpiano
Miglieglia - Monte Lema
Rivera - Alpe Foppa

Train and cableway lines Lake Maggiore:
Bellinzona - Locarno - Domodossola
Bellinzona - Magadino - Luino - Laveno - Sesto Calende
Domodossola - Verbania Pallanza - Sesto Calende - Milano
Laveno - Varese - Saronno - Milano
Locarno - Cardada - Cimetta
Intragna - Costa
Verdasio - Comino
Verdasio - Rasa
Piero - Monteviasco
Laveno - Sasso del Ferro
Stresa - Mottarone
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Old Jan 30th, 2019, 05:23 AM
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Thank you so much for all of this info.
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