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Travelling to the Dolomites or The Swiss Alps from Milan

Travelling to the Dolomites or The Swiss Alps from Milan

Old Nov 28th, 2017, 10:23 AM
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Travelling to the Dolomites or The Swiss Alps from Milan

Hey Everyone,

I am travelling to Italy from the 15th if January to the 3rd of February to sort of do a pilgrimage to see all the artworks of the Renaissance the country contains. However, I was thinking of taking a break in the middle of it to maybe go see either the Dolomites or The Swiss Alps with my journey beginning from Milan? Does anyone have any suggestions of a route by train that would be easy to take and perhaps any destinations that would be best to see either that would have a hostel to stay in as I don't want to pay outrageous prices for a hotel.

Thank you all!
heytravelleryes is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2017, 11:27 AM
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Well besides Rome and Florence for your art interests I'd consider the Swiss Alps as being the easiest to access by train once there and as usual I suggest the awesome Jungfrau Region around Interlaken as the easiest of these and not that far from Milan- maybe 4-5 hours by train.

It is winter however so many places up in the hills will be booked by week but Interlaken has hostels that should be available - especially the (in)famous Balmer's Auberge that attracts many younger folk from all over the world and organizes action sports excursions should you wish to do those types of things.


there are other similar youth hostels in Interlaken. There are a few up in mountain villages like Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen but those are official HI-hostels and not so Bohemian as private hostels.

Anyway trains are great to Jungfrau Region and once there - various local regional passes are available if traveling around the area enough to make them worthwile.

Great train info - www.sbb.ch; www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

But it is easy to take trains and aerial gondolas to many awesome places - even some hiking trails are groomed in winter or just to places for summit views.

By train Milan-Spiez mainline thru Simplon and Lotscherg tunnels and change at Spiez for 20-minute trains to Interlaken.

Dolomites are closer but don't have IME the myriad of public transit devices for non-skiiers to get around. But for a few days the Aosta area accessible by train from Milan-Turin could be nice too.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2017, 12:51 PM
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If going to Interlaken area book trains there thru www.trenitalia.com - Italian Railways which offer a limited number of Milan (or Florence, etc)- Interlaken tickets at a steep discount over full fare - each way. Those tickets not refundable nor changeable from specific trains however so be sure. Same for anywhere in Italy. www.seat61.com tell a lot about doing this yourself online.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2017, 01:02 PM
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I assume you are going to Florence, Bologna or Verona, and from any of those cities you can take a fast train up to Bolzano, which is the principal town of the western Dolomiti. ,Since you are traveling in skiing season, I can't really advise about what prices will be like. But I would think hotels offers lots of packages for getting into scenic areas. Contact a few and see what they offer.

Or if you are going to Venice (lots of Renaissance art there), there are buses in ski season that go from Venice straight to Cortina d'Ampezzo, a very important skiing town in the eastern Dolomiti. Again, I would contact hotels in Cortina d'Ampezzo (or look on their websites) to find out details. In Cortina itself there are loads of cable cars that you could use to reach snow-shoe trails if you don't want to ski -- and the town itself is in a maginficent settting.

If you are not against flying, you might find some good deals out of Bologna, Pisa and Milan to Swiss airports. Likewise Roma or Napoli if you really mean to see all the Renaissance art in Italy.

Most of the Renaissance never quite got to the areas that are convenient to enjoying the valle d'Aosta, so I would not attempt that.
massimop is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2017, 01:08 PM
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Dolomites like Italy would be cheaper across the board than Switzerland but the hostels in Interlaken area would I think be just as cheap and they have affordable meals too. Both areas are awesome but again public transportation is I believe much better in Jungfrau area than Dolomites - but massimop is a real expert on all things Italy so a great resource.

I've been to Cortina d'Ampezzo and nice town but seemed rather remote from awesome high Alps that from Interlaken are a 15-minute train ride. No trains in Cortina area (get there by bus from a train station) but buses of course - just did not seem as easy but I only spent a few days there.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2017, 01:38 PM
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The beauty of the Italian Dolomiti is not their height and awesome volume, like the Swiss Alps, but the extraordinary rock spires made of pink coral that jut up into the sky. It's a different landscape, and no point in comparing them.

I have never been to the Dolomiti in the snow season, so can only advise that you contact hotels and ask about transportation options to scenic areas for non-skiers if you don't want to rent a car.

Although I have traveled to Switzerland via Milan, to Spiez & the Bernese Oberland, it was quite some time ago, so I don't know what fast-train options are available. however, In general, Switzerland has a better train network in its Alps than you will find in the Italian Dolomiti.
massimop is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2017, 03:25 PM
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What do you mean by "see the Dolomites or the Swiss Alps"? Do you just want to go somewhere for 2 nights and see what the mountains look like, or do you want to spend 5-6 days exploring? If the short version, you can take the bus from Venice to Cortina and see the Dolomites from the middle of town. There are cable cars from the town up to the mountains, but you'd have to take appropriate clothing for that.



If you want to spend 5-6 days seeing spectacular scenery, then Switzerland might make more sense (at greater cost, as mentioned). But it would be much more enjoyable IMO to go either mountain area outside of winter when getting around is easier and doesn't require specific clothing to be comfortable.
Jean is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2017, 06:01 PM
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You can take Cortina Express to Cortina D'Ampezzo

From Cortina you can visit Passo Falzarego, we went there in the summer. I am not sure if the buses schedule would be different in the winter.
There is a cable car fro Passo Falzarego to Refugio Lagazuoi.
Lovetotravel48 is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2017, 01:00 AM
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I think you might want to look at a map. It will be faster to take a train from Milan to Switzerland than to the Dolomites. You will have to change in Verona for a train to Bolzano from Milan.

Florence to Bolzano requires a change in Bologna; Verona has direct service to Bolzano and onward to Munich.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2017, 06:24 AM
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"I am travelling to Italy from the 15th if January to the 3rd of February to sort of do a pilgrimage to see all the artworks of the Renaissance the country contains"

It will never be possible to see ALL the renaissance buildings in 2 weeks only.
If you really start in Milan (not the centre of Italian renaissance buildings, however) and if you don't want to sit too long in trains or buses, you may just go to

Monte Moro Pass (3000 metres above sea level):
Milano Centrale dp 7.29 - Domodossola 9.07/9.20 - Macugnaga Staffa 10.37/11.00 - Monte Moro Pass ar 11.15
Last departure back from Macugnaga at 16.08 - Domo 17.22/17.58 - Milan PG ar 20.11; RT fare around 50 EUR

Riederalp/Aletsch Glacier: 105 EUR
Milan C dp 7.23 - Riederalp ar 9.49
Riederalp dp 19.03 - Milan C ar 21.37
RT fare around 105 EUR

Sils Maria/Engiadina:
Milan C dp 8.20 - Segl Maria ar 12.24
Segl Maria dp 17.31 - Milan C ar 21.40
RT fare around 50 EUR
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