Venice to Bernini Express


Apr 18th, 2016, 08:51 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Venice to Bernini Express

Yes, sounds convoluted, but we have to fly in/out of Zurich, and on last leg of 2 week trip we'd like to take the Bernini Express and ultimately end up in Lucerne - then train to Zurich airport.
It's clear that we take train from Venice to Milan, then Milan to Tirano - that's 6-8 hours depending on connections. We thought we'd stay over in Tirano (as there's really no other choice) then catch the Bernini - Chur next day and then on to Lucerne. Is this the best way? Any suggestions on a nice place to stay in Tirano, and what's the town like?

Our travel agent is suggesting going to Lucerne and doing the William Tell Express as a day trip? Is this a disappointing compromise?

Rational suggestions appreciated if it sounds like our Bernini plan is unrealistic. Thank you.
horacemann4152 is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2016, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Nothing beats the Bernina route. What's the problem?

Easy enough to do Venice-Milan in 2h35 from €19 pre-booked at (book Venezia S.Lucia to Milano Centrale)

Milan-Tirano in 2h50 for a fixed-price €11, buy at the station - although you can usually also book through as one booking Venice-Tirano at

Now EITHER buy a ticket at the station Tirano-Luzern via Chur (you can check times and prices at and use the regular local trains OR if you insist on using the BEx itself, which requires seat reservation, book it with reservation Tirano-Chur at then add a Chur-Luzern ticket bought at the station or (to save time, same price) at

Tirano is a nice little Italian town, plenty of facilities for tourists to stay, though I passed through, with just time for a beer and panini at Margy's Bar across the road from the station.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2016, 10:21 AM
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I would NOT stay over in Tirano as opposed to some of the other places you COULD stop over which are also lakeside, such as Varenna (just one possibility).
Dukey1 is offline  
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Apr 18th, 2016, 11:01 AM
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I stayed in Tirano once and it is not much of a town - a transit town but if arriving in early evening and leaving next morning it's OK - there are many hotels including some on the plaza by the train stations (Italian and across the square the Swiss one)- a regular non-touristed Italian town.

Varenna on Lake Como is nice but it may be tough to book a one-night stay in high season. And it is still a couple of hours from Tirano I think.

For lots on the Bernina Pass railway check Man in Seat 61 who posts above his commercial site; and and and

for the official BEX yous hould book far far in advance as it is often full IME with tour groups - regular trains always have seats IME and I actually like them better than the chock full BEX trains - on locals I can move side to side as the scenery dictates (but most of the best scenery is on the west side of the train)- in summer there are even open-air flat bed cars on some local trains that makes you feel like levitating thru the scintillating scenery.

And again regular trains need no pre-booking - just buy ticket and hop on and off all your want. buy a thru ticket from Tirano to Lucerne - again no need to order ahead of time.
PalenQ is offline  
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