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Lucerne to Milan and Bellagio (Road trip/Day trip)

Hello,

I'm travelling to Switzerland in May 2024 (flying in and out of Zurich) and staying near Lucerne. Will be renting a car for the entire trip. Was thinking of doing a road trip from Lucerne to Bellagio and if time allows, stop at Milan on our way back. We plan on leaving early in the morning at around 6 am and hopefully reach Bellagio by 10 and then visit Milan in the afternoon and head back to Lucerne in the evening.

What would be the best way to approach this day trip? Some options are as follows: (i) park at Como and then take ferry or Water Taxi to and from Bellagio and then drive to Milan, (ii) park at Bellagio, and then drive back to Milan. Open to hearing from your experiences as to what approach may work best.

Posted by
5153 posts

The train system is very efficient, and I would recommend not using a car. This would be too much for me as a day trip.
If you're going to Lake Como, slow down and relax and enjoy the beauty. Why are you going to Milan? Also, Milan has traffic.
Safe travels.

Posted by
27426 posts

ViaMichelin.com estimates the driving time (no usage of lake boats) at 7 hr. 15 min. That is obviously far too much driving when you intend to see two places along the way, Bellagio and Milan. I am doubtful that tossing a boat into the mix would save time, if only because the scheduled boats don't run all that frequently and you'd have to pad your schedule to allow for that, but cannot say for sure. If by "water taxi" between Como and Bellagio you mean a private transfer, I'd expect that to be very costly.

Posted by
20461 posts

Viamichelin say 2 1/2 hours to Menaggio. Park the car there and take the shuttle ferry to Bellagio. Along with other spots on the lake accessible by ferry, i think you'll have a full day skipping Milan.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks, everyone!

I'll likely drive to Menaggio and then ferry to Bellagio and maybe add another town. Milan seems way out of the way and not possible to include in the day trip.

Posted by
33335 posts

check to make sure that the Gotthard tunnel is clear - all 9 and a half miles of it before you set off in either direction. There are other, but very very slow alternatives if it is bottled up.

Posted by
33335 posts

remember that the mid lake ferries go in a circle. You may find that your Menaggio to Bellagio ferry goes to Varenna first.

Posted by
104 posts

If for any reason you decide to use the Gotthard pass instead of the tunnel, check first if it is open. It usually opens mid-May, depending on snow conditions. I remember around May 20 one year, a few days after its opening, we were driving between two walls of snow on top, but the road itself had been cleared. I found it quite spectacular.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks everyone for their feedback. I ended up doing a 2 day trip. Drove to a hotel near Milan Airport, parked there and took an uber to Milan. Next day, on our way back, we spent half a day in Menaggio which was great and relaxing. We decided not to visit Bellagio.