Switzerland to Italy

Old Jan 31st, 2006, 03:25 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Switzerland to Italy

We will be traveling from Switzerland to Venice in the middle of September, 2006. We are thinking of taking either the Glacier Express or the Postal Bus from Zurich to Lugano. Has anyone done either of theses? Also, from Lugano, what is the best 3 day route to Venice if we want to see the Lake District? Lugano, Como, Garda? I need advice from someone who has made this trip. And should we take the bus or train or rent a car in Lugano? Thanks
reuscher is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 04:40 PM
  #2  
Doble_Vergasser
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
One idea (different from what you posted)would be to use trains exclusively (no bus). You could take the Bernina train from St Moritz to Tirano (Italy).
From Tirano you can train to Lake Como.

Lake Garda has train service only to Desanzano.

As far as I know there is no train service to Lugano (only bus).
 
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 05:46 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is, in fact, scheduled rail service in and out of Lugano from Luzern and Zurich, etc., in the North and from Milan in the south.

The Glacier express will not get you to Lugano but will take you to St. Moritz where you could take the Bernina Express into Italy as Doble has suggested.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 05:48 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lugano is a very short bus ride from Menaggio and from there it is a 10-15 minute ferry ride to either Bellagio or to Varenna.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 06:36 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your post confuses me, because the Glacier Express goes between Zermatt and St Moritz, it does NOT go between Zurich and Lugano. You want to go from Zurich to Lugano and then the Lake District. The Bernina Express goes from Zurich to Tirano, and then has a bus connection to Lugano, I think this is what you mean. This is a great train ride, IMO the best of all the scenic rides. I have not taken the bus from Tirano to Lugano, so don't know how long it takes, I think you could get info from the website, go to rhb.ch. The one drawback to this train is that you have to leave Zurich very early in the morning, like 7 am, to be in Chur in time to catch the Bernina Express.

You could also just take a "regular" Swiss train between Zurich and Lugano. This trip takes about 3 hours, go to rail. ch for schedules. Trains run pretty much all day. The "regular" train ride is very scenic, albeit you don't go up and over glaciers, but do go through some very pretty country side and some deep valleys and tunnels.

Now the Post Bus is an interesting thought, I have never taken such a long one as between Zurich and Lugano. Is it one continuous journey or do you have to keep changing? Post buses are generally for service to towns which are not served by rail, and are generally used to bring people to/from a town with a train station, so my guess is that you would have to change buses quite frequently, so with luggage, the Post Bus would not really be a good option, IMO and this could take all day if not several days.. Did you see a schedule for a Post Bus to Lugano? If you share the website I could take a look and see. (I used to live in Switzerland and am pretty familiar with Post Buses.)

With only 3 days, I would pick two lakes, I would not try to "see" all three or you will spend all you time getting to and from them and no time actually relaxing and seeing the lakes and the lovely little villages. I would pick Lugano and Como as they are close together and Garda is quite far west. IMO, the best way to see the district is to take trains or buses between the lakes and then ferries on the lakes. Look at a map and see how long and thin the lakes are, esp Como and Lugano, and you can appreciate that a car will take longer to get around the the various villates on the lakes than a ferry. A car is more of a waste here and of course in Venice as well. Some places like the lovely village of Morcote on Lugano are not accessible by car. I would go Lugano and Como and then from the towns of Como or Varenna take a train to Venice (3.5 hours and 4.5 hours respectively.) The rail.ch site above can give you train schedules and will also indicate when a bus is necessary instead. For ferries on lake Como go to www.navigazionelaghi.it and www.bellagio.co.nz. and for ferries on Lake Lugano go to http://www.lakelugano.ch
Cicerone is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 06:38 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Garda is of course east of Como and Lugano, I have a mental block here on east and west. . . .still a bit far to try and "do" all three in just three days IMO.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 07:02 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 25,073
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
Further to Cicerone's comment about seeing Lakes Lugano, Como and Garda in three days. If the passing scenery is all that you're interested in, then, yes, it can be "done" in three days. But if you want to experience any of the lakes you mention, you need to spend time in one place.

Lugano isn't high on my list, but it's purely a personal preference. Since your final destination is Venice, I'd drop Garda unless you do decide to rent a car. It's harder to get to by train.
Jean is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 08:02 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do trains, not buses, or you will be nuts by the time you reach Italy (if you ever do). The Swiss are known for keeping punctuality, but I don't believe the Post Bus system was designed for long-distance travel.
NorCal is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2006, 08:11 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regular trains (not the Glacier Express, that runs a different route alltogether) take an interesting route from Zuerich to Lugano, along the lake of Luzern and through the alps, you get many good views even though it's not a "special" train - it's the countryside that's special, and the windows are generous in those modern carriages. You get there in under three hours.

With a ticket Zuerich-Lugano you're entitled to hop off en route and pick up a later train to carry on. Unfortunately these fast trains don't stop in Luzern itself, but from nearby Arth-Goldau you could take a regional train into Luzern and back (about 30 minutes each way) to pick up a later fast train for Lugano, this would only take a little reading of the timetables at www.sbb.ch.

The postal bus does not go from Zuerich to Lugano, unless you painfully cobble together an itinerary of many segments with intermediate train trips, but the postal bus called Palm Express goes from St. Moritz to Lugano. It's a great ride down the Maloja Pass and along the Lake Como (through a bit of Italy) and back into Switzerland to Lugano. Check the map and other info at

www.swisspost.ch/en/pag_rf_palm_express.htm

You need to reserve, as far in advance as possible, it's a very special service, only one a day and very popular. It leaves St. Moritz (next to the train station) at 12:20 and gets into Lugano (next to the train station) at 16:10.

Regular trains go from Zuerich to St. Moritz, in a bit over three hours. It's a pretty ride. So if you wanted to have a quick look up and down the main drag of St. Moritz and grab an early lunch before boarding the bus, you could leave Zuerich Hbf (main station) on the 07:37 train that gets into St. Moritz at 10:58 (one quick change of trains in Chur is required).

That would be a great way to get to Lugano. Better still, go to St. Moritz a day or two early and enjoy the Engadin region, one of the most special ones in all of Switzerland (and that's saying something...).

From Lugano to Como it's only about 41 minutes on the fast InterCity Cisalpino train, a few minutes longer on the connections that require a change of trains in Chiasso.

From Como to the lake Garda where Peschiera del Garda is the closest train station to the town of Garda, trains go through Milano where you change trains. Not a big deal, just takes longer than one might think, like more than two hours.

Now you'll be on the main line to Venice, from P.del Garda it's only 1:33 or 1:45 to Venezia Santa Lucia.

There must be a bus from P. del Garda to Garda itself, it's only about 11 miles, so even a taxi might do it.

So you can do it all by train and postal bus.

Hope this helps.

WK
WallyKringen is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2006, 03:32 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much to all of you. I wasn't clear - I know that the Glacier Express doesn't go from Zurich ... I was trying to decide between going down to Zermatt and taking it, or going up to Lucerne and coming down through Andermatt to the Como area. We're spending a little over a week in Lauterbrunnen, and then going to Venice. I appreciate your help. If anyone can recommend an inexpensive place to stay in Andermatt and Como, let me know. Thanks.
reuscher is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2006, 08:29 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't think that the Glacier Express is all the interesting or scenic, it is my least favourite of the various "scenic" trains in Switzerland. If you want to see Zermatt that is of course another thing and a nice place in itself, but if you are just going there to take the Glacier Express then I would skip it.

However, if you want to see Zermatt and stay overnight or longer and have a really fun trip, I would rent a car in Thun or Interlaken and drive down and back, going down via the Grimsel Pass and back via the Furka Pass and then take the San Gothard Pass to head toward Lugnao/Como or Venice. These are really, really fun passes to drive, great views, glacial lakes at the Grimsel, you are above the tree line most of the way, and the Furka Pass especially has some great twists and turns. A good bit of this trip follows the same route as the Glacier Express along the Andermatt valley. Each leg of this drive would only take 2-3 hours at most, so you could get sightseeing in as well. On the way back, after the Furka Pass and St Gotthard Pass, you could drive down to Lugano and drop the car (saving drop off charges as you are still in Switzerland). From here you could take the train on to Como, which is less than 30 minutes from Lugano by train.

I find Andermatt a little bleak as its sits in the middles of a rather treeless plateau, I would definitely prefer to spend time in the Zermatt valley over the Andermatt area. There are some excellent walks in Zermatt not to mention the Matterhornm and esp if you have a car and can spend a day in the Saas Fee valley next door which is quite lovely and virtually untouristed by Americans, some good walks on the valley floor or up in the town of Saas Fee itself. Lunch or dinner at the Fletshchorn Hotel is in Patrica Shult'z book of 1,000 Things to See Before You Die, go to http://www.fletschhorn.ch/english/hotel/hotel.html. I dream of their cheese tray. . . . (It's a great hotel to stay at too. ) Can't recco budget hotels, but take a look at the following for Andermatt and perhaps you may find things for Lugano/Como as well.

karenbrownguides.com
alpineclassics.ch
relaischateaux.com
romantikhotels.ch
www.swisshotels.ch (I think this is in German and French only)

Autoeuroepe has branches in Thun and Lugano
Avis has branches in Interlaken, Lugano, Thun and Tasch (if you wanted to rent or drop in Zermatt)

Cicerone is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mermaid2020
Europe
22
Jan 28th, 2016 09:06 AM
CltLwyr
Europe
5
Jan 25th, 2008 04:07 AM
111op
Europe
21
Aug 1st, 2007 08:49 AM
Cicerone
Europe
3
Apr 24th, 2003 05:33 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -