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trip report italy: lake como, lugano, milan, bergamo

trip report italy: lake como, lugano, milan, bergamo

Aug 15th, 2007, 04:47 PM
  #1  
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trip report italy: lake como, lugano, milan, bergamo

Just back from one week in Northern Italy and I wanted to post some observations that I hope will be of help.
-to get to the lake como area, be careful because there are only two buses from Malpensa. One is at 8:30am and the next at 1pm. So if you arrive at 9 am like I did, you're stuck for a while. I chose to bus to Milan central station and then train to Como. I think it is much shorter to go to Saronna (?) and go from there to Como.
-Lake Como is magnificent!!! Everyone should see it at some time....especially Bellagio and Varenna. Menaggio is a distant third for me. Varenna may be quiet but a photographer's dream. Anyone can look like a pro there. I would stay at the Villa Cipressi; looks like a 5 star place at a 3 star price. If I were to stay in Bellagio, I would stay at the Metropole. Anyone who wants to splurge should do the Grand Villa Serbelloni.
-took the bus to Lugano from Menaggio, what an interesting ride! Steep curvy roads and not much room. There was an inch of clearance with opposite traffic where they actually had to stop and back up so the bus could get by.
-Very bad day in Lugano. My hotel was not where it was supposed to be!! I did a search on booking.com and in lugano hotels, this place came up and I booked it. I get there and turns out it is in Varese which is in Italy. It was a wild goose chase and I never found the hotel and gave up and took the train to Milan.
-Stayed near the Duomo at the Gran Duca di York. Very nice. All beds are a bit firm for my taste throughout ITaly but it was very clean. Great location. Paid $88 per night for a single with free internet in the main floor.
-My new favorite museum: the Pinoteca Ambrosiana, right next door to my hotel. This truly is magnificent! I call it the anti-Louvre since I've never like the Louvre. Amazing art housed in a stunning palace. This place is a real find!
-Trains and public transportation in italy is so inexpensive. really fantastic.
-Went to Bergamo, what a place! this is another place to add to must see list. Quaint, old, charming, etc. And for me, the ultimate shopping, believe it or not. All the styles I need that are generally hard to find and incredibly cheap. Half the price of Milan which is half the price of Bellagio. I was buying outfits at 10-20 euros!
-existed on a diet of gelatos primarily. Salads were not impressive there. No salad dressing. I was told to use olive oil and salt.
-one night at Naviglia. this is a great place to stroll at night. Beautiful outdoor cafes lining the canal; great atmosphere.
-departure: BIG note, give yourself at least 2 hours. It was very difficult to maneuver and figure out where to be at Malpensa and I went from one huge line to another huge line. I had allowed two hours and barely made it!
-stayed at the King Mokinba hotel my last night. great value. I paid $65/night for a single. Was afraid I'd get a twin bed but all the places gave me at least a double bed. The place was very small but very clean. It was all that I needed. I had room 508 which had a nice view of red roofed palace across the street. This is amazingly cheap but without compromising any essentials. Next time, I might stay in Naviglia and then stay here again my last night because Cadorna is only two blocks away and that is the best place for exit to Malpensa. The express train to Malpensa leaves from there.
-Milan in August is half deserted. try to go there in September/October or April/May/June.
-I enjoyed unseasonably glorious weather, breathtaking natural beauty combined with historic architectural wonders, fashion and beautiful people watching, and the Italian men haven't changed (contrary to recent reports)...they are as amorously pursuitful and complimentary as ever.
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Aug 15th, 2007, 06:26 PM
  #2  
ComfyShoes
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Hmmm... Consider posting your pictures. Never been to Varenna/Bellagio or Lugano but very curious given some of the pictures I have seen.
 
Aug 16th, 2007, 08:47 AM
  #3  
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I will try to figure out how to do the pics. I found Lugano a bit touristy and busy and preferred Bergamo instead.
ncounty is offline  
Apr 26th, 2010, 10:39 AM
  #4  
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better late than never! here are my photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncounty...7603202278077/
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