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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Transportation: Moving Between Lago Maggiore And Lake Como

It's easy to reach Stresa (A) from Milan (B), and it's easy to reach Como (C) from Milan, but how do you get from A to C?

A reader writes: "I will be in Stresa for 5 days and want to visit Como and Milan as well. How can I do this?"

Another reader writes: "I was curious if there are any one day tours to Bellagio from Stresa or is there an easy way to get there on my own."

And another writes: "We would like to make an excursion from Stresa to Madonna del Ghisallo - 12 k from Bellagio on Lake Como."

These are just a few of the many mails we get from readers who are visiting Stresa, but who also want to see Lake Como. And who can blame them? The only thing better than one gorgeous lake could be two gorgeous lakes. The problem is that traveling between the two, even between main cities on each, is not that simple to do. As you can see in the map above, although both lakes are very easy to reach from Milan or Milan's Malpensa airport, they are not easy to reach from each other  ....
From Stresa, Lake Como is possible to visit as a day trip, either by car or private tour. For example, Tomassucci Travel in Stresa offers a three-lake one-day tour (http://www.stresatravel.com/Tomassucci_Web/the_three_lakes.htm). 

But if you are wanting to travel between the two via public transportation, usually to stay in each, not just visit for a day, unfortunately you will need to make at least one transfer. 

Here to give us precise directions on how best to do this is Chiara, who manages the blog Italy Lakes. This will help you to see two great lakes in one vacation, in the easiest ways possible to you. 



Moving between Lake Como and Lake Maggiore



Lake Como and Lake Maggiore are the two most well known of northern Italy's lakes.   Situated relatively close to one another, these lakes are as popular with Italians as they are with foreign visitors.  Are you thinking about coming to Italy and visiting both? If so, here are a few tips which will help you do just that.


If you fly into at Malpensa airport, you can take the Malpensa Express train to get to either Lake Como or Lake Maggiore. The Malpensa Express (http://www.malpensaexpress.it/en/index.php) stops in Saronno, from which a connecting train will take you on to Como, or, if you want to visit Lake Maggiore, to Varese.  It is also possible, and probably easier – no connections - to catch a coach directly from Malpensa airport which will drop you in the lakeside city of Como or in the town of Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

If you arrive in Italy by rail, you can use Italy's Ferrovie dello Stato rail service which will take you from central Milan to Como in about an hour  (http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=ad1ce14114bc9110VgnVCM10000080a3e90aRCRD). Alternativly, there is the Ferrovie Nord railway which has regular trains to the city of Como  (http://www.ferrovienord.it/en/index.php) from Milan's Cadorna station or from the station of Saronno.  Once in Como, it is possible to reach Lake Como's western shore by using the C-10 bus service which makes plenty of stops all along the Como-Colico side of the lake.

If you want to head for Como's eastern edge from the Lake Maggiore town of Stresa, then take the train to Milan's Central Station where you will need to change and catch a train on the Milan-Lecco-Sondrio-Tirano line.  Trains on this line stop at  Lecco, Varenna, Bellano and Colico.
To reach the western side of Lake Como, get off at Varenna and then take the ferry across the lake to Menaggio, Bellagio or Griante.

Finally, if you are travelling by car from Milan, follow the signs for Genoa, Milan, Lecco or Como.

Thanks Chiara! I know this is going to be very helpful to many. For lots more information on Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, and on northern Italy's other spectacular lakes, as well as what's on in terms of festivals, shows, concerts, exhibitions and sporting events, take a look at the Italy Lakes.net blog (http://www.italylakes.net/). 




To book a holiday or a short stay in the Lake Como area, visit the English language website of Vacanze Lago (http://www.vacanzelago.com/en/index.php), a tour operator which specializes in organizing holidays on and around all of northern Italy's  lakes.






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