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Split time between lakes Maggiore and Como?

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Apr 6th, 2012, 05:36 AM
  #1
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Split time between lakes Maggiore and Como?

We are planning to attend a wedding August 24th in Verbania on Lago Maggiore. We will fly to Milan arriving the morning of August 22 and leave from Malpensa on the 28th for a week in Israel. Obviously we will be in Verbania at least through the 24th and plan to also follow up on some of Zeppole's suggestions of places to visit in the area. However, we have never been to Italy's lake district so we are wondering if it is feasible or desirable to also spend some time at Como, for example driving there on the 26th and going from Como to Malpensa for an afternoon flight on the 28th? Or, would it be better to just spend the entire time in the Maggiore vicinity?
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Apr 6th, 2012, 06:56 AM
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That is a tough call. If you do it try to drive via Locarno and Lugano and make a day out of the transition. And, it will be easier for you to stay in Menaggio with a car.

But, if you decide to stay home, do not miss charming Lago Orta--less than an hour west. Heer are some shots at both Orta and Maggiore.

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=4173
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Apr 6th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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It looks like you have 4 days, correct? I would stay at Lake Maggiore rather than split your time. Agree that Lake Orta is a definite place to go and along the way stop at the St. Francis chapels.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 07:15 AM
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adrienne - yes that is 4 full days with an extra afternoon at the beginning and an extra morning at the end.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 07:19 AM
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Others can correct me, but I'd think you'd have enough time to drive to Menaggio as Bob suggests and spend a night or 2. You can park the car and easily take the ferries to Bellagio and Varenna. Visit Orto while you are in Verbania.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 08:59 AM
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I would probably spend the whole 4 days at Maggiore (lots to explore on both the lake and up in the hills above), and I would definitely be sure to visit Orta. But really, you can't go wrong.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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My own feeling is that Lago di Como is more beautiful by a factor of 10 and perhaps 100 than either Maggiore or d'Orta,. I've never attempted driving from Varbania, but the road from Locarno to Menaggio is hairpin and heavily trafficked (including buses) and that will be even more the case in the last half of August, in case that would make a difference to your thinking.

Another factor to consider is just how mobbed these lakes will be during the August holiday, which is at maximum intensity in your time frame. For me, there would be a real risk of a spoiled experience of any of the lake beauty spots. If you plunge in knowing you are going to be contending with that, maybe you can still be glad you saw the views.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Sorry -- Verbania.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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zeppole - thank you again for your insider's insights. I love hairpin roads - heavy traffic, not so much. But, the wedding is when it is so that is what I have to work around. I had better start brushing up again on my Italian. The way the trip is forming, it works best for me cash wise to use my FF R/T to Milan and then pay the R/T fare from Milan to Tel Aviv. There are some surprisingly good R/T fares on that route about then. Doing that may give me a day or two on the other end to spend at Como depending on how much time I can get off from work - it will be our busiest time of the year so I can't count on that.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 10:43 AM
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If you are going to drive from Maggiore to Como then the way via Vergania is very easy. It's the route I took going in the opposite direction.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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I just realized you can get a car ferry right across Lago Maggiore from Intra to Laveno, and from there it's only about 2 hours to Menaggio if you don't get stuck in traffic jams. Don't know if you will get the fun of hairpins, though.

The quickest route is to head due south and head for the bottom of Lago di Como and then up again -- at which point, you can go to Bellagio if you prefer -- but then you miss Lake Lugano if you care.

I would probably ask the locals for advice. It may be that one route avoids more traffic than the others.

Going on your way back from Tel Aviv would give you somewhat more elbow room on Lago di Como, but as you already know, booking well in advance will be necessary even in early September.
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