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Stresa or Milan?

Old May 13th, 2018, 08:06 AM
  #1  
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Stresa or Milan?

My boyfriend and I have 8 days in Switzerland and Italy in late August. (Flying into Zurich and out of Milan-Malpensa.) We have decided to spend 5 days in Switzerland and then take the train from Bernese Oberland to Stresa, spend 1 night in Stresa, and then take the train to Milan and spend 2 nights in Milan. (We also looked at Lake Como but it seemed like too much of a detour from on the way to Milan). We are not sure if this plan is the best option and would like your advice.

Question: which one should we do:
1. Bernese Oberland -> 1 night in Stresa -> 2 nights in Milan (original plan)
2. Bernese Oberland -> 2 night in Stresa -> 1 nights in Milan
3. Bernese Oberland -> 3 nights in Milan (skip stresa)
4. Bernese Oberland -> 3 nights in Stresa (skip milan)
5. Some other option??

I am asking because I have heard both good and bad things about Milan.

About me: I am not interested in fine art but I am interested in architecture. I like cities but I also like being in nature/outdoors. And I LOVE Italian food!
nadinesm is offline  
Old May 13th, 2018, 08:30 AM
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All depends oon the number of museums you plan to visit in Milan. Milan can usually be visited in a day trip from Stresa, may be by train Stresa dp 8.40 - Milan ar 9.37, Milan dp 21.29 - Stresa ar 22.37
neckervd is offline  
Old May 13th, 2018, 09:43 AM
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Milan is a wonderful city, much unappreciated by people who just pass through. Stresa is also worth several days.
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Old May 13th, 2018, 12:25 PM
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I've stayed in Stresa and loved it but be sure to leave enough time to take boats to the three Borromean Islands just offshore:

https://www.google.com/search?q=borr...w=1879&bih=922

If going to Malpensa Airport Stresa is just as close as Milan I believe (I took a bus there - not very far it seemed) so a base in Stresa could be nice - especially in evenings when the lake takes on a serene setting - Milan however at night is the animated city full of evening strollers like any large Italian city.
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Old May 14th, 2018, 09:24 AM
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Most people I know that truly enjoy Milano are very much into fashion/desing/art/music (and often shopping). Others are less enthusiastic. The fact that if you (probably) can shop tax-free and are considering skipping Milano for Stresa makes me think that Milano may not be a city for you.

But of course I could be wrong. If you are interested in architecture there are a good number of wonderful buildings including a whole new area around the piazza Gae Aulenti. You'll also want to walk around Brera, see the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Cracco's restaurant has finally opened), the Ultima Cena, maybe the Castello Sforzesco, the Palazzo Reale, the Navigli, and even if you are not into fashion a visit to Milano without walking around via Montenapoleone and via della Spiga would not be complete.

I would book 3 nights in Milano and maybe do a day-trip to one of the lakes on the last day. Milano won't be at its best in August. Many stores will be open (at least high-end fashion) but the ambiance will not the same during the summer when most locals will still be away.
ticino is offline  
Old May 14th, 2018, 11:37 AM
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BTW- book Interlaken or whatever town you're staying in to Stresa at www.sbb.ch - can get serious discounted tickets - www.seat61.com has loads on doing that yourself online - general train info BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old May 14th, 2018, 01:35 PM
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There actually IS a way you could include Lake Como as well as the spectacular Swiss scenery of the Bernina Express on the way to Milan if you wanted to.
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Old May 14th, 2018, 01:50 PM
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Yes a great routing via St Moritz and Tirano and train to Lake Como but would take an extra two days probably. but if cut Stresa and day off Milan could be done and Bernina Pass rail route is awesome - most scenic IMO in Switzerland.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 04:50 AM
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On the other hand there are tons of short and scenic itineraries between Lake Maggiore and Como, like
Locarno - Lugano - Como,
Locarno - Lugano - Menaggio,
Cannobio/Cannero - Luino - Varese - Como
Cannobio/Cannero - Luino - Lugano - Menaggio
Verbania Intra - Laveno - Saronno - Como
Stresa - Gallarate - Varese - Como.

But you can easily spend a whole week exploring Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano and Lake Orta.
neckervd is offline  
Old May 16th, 2018, 10:23 AM
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I would opt for 2 nights in Stresa and 1 night in Milan. It depends on what you will be doing on your trip prior to getting to Stesa. Will you be in the countryside a lot, or in cities? You might consider taking a break from whichever you are doing, just to mix it up. In Stresa, you can stroll along the town and take the boat to the Borremeo Islands; In Milan, there's the cathedral, La Scala, Victor Emmanuel's "shopping center", and the Last Supper, if you can get tickets to see it. Funny, we've been to Stresa 4 times and Milan only once. To me, Stresa is where I want to be to wind down and relax.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 08:00 PM
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What if we did: Bernese Oberland -> 3 nights in Milan (skip night in stresa)
And on one of the days in Milan, day trip to Stresa or Varenna?
Does it make more sense to do a day trip than one night?
nadinesm is offline  
Old May 24th, 2018, 08:00 PM
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@Bellarosa70032, Prior to our trip, we will be doing all countryside things in Switzerland.

Last edited by nadinesm; May 24th, 2018 at 08:01 PM. Reason: add tag
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Old May 26th, 2018, 08:52 AM
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" What if we did: Bernese Oberland -> 3 nights in Milan (skip night in stresa)
And on one of the days in Milan, day trip to Stresa or Varenna?
Does it make more sense to do a day trip than one night? "

Perfectly feasible if you like to do the Stresa - Milan leg 4times (and to pay for these 2 RT journeys).

If you don't like to waste your time in trains, you may take the direct train Spiez dp 8.05 - Stresa ar 9.38, deposit your luggage in a hotel close to the railway station, enjoy Stresa and Lake Maggiore and reach Milan the following day by train (1 hr journey).
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Old May 28th, 2018, 07:16 PM
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Don’t commute to Stresa, enjoy the lakeside setting.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
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