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Advice on Itinerary for Milan/ Lakes District

We have had to quickly reschedule a trip to The Netherlands due to rigid new COVID restrictions (quarantine even for vaccinated travelers), and are now going to Italy in late September. We have been to Italy several times but have never visited Milan. We will rent a car after leaving Milan, please comment on the following:
1 night/2 days - Milan
2 nights- Verona
2 nights - Lake Como (Varenna)
Final night stay near MXP (departing early next morning)

Thank you in advance for your advice!

Posted by
592 posts

Took this trip out of Milan 5 years ago and loved it…..Lake Como, stayed in Varenna, walked the streets of Bellagio, took the boat ride on the lake….it was wonderful. We added Venice to our trip and loved it!

Posted by
2879 posts

For a 6 night trip where 1 of the nights needs to be easy to get to an early morning flight from MPX, I’d skip Verona and add Bergamo as a day trip from one of your days in Milan. We’ve done a similar area trip but for a longer time using only trains and ferries and didn’t need a car at all for Milan, the Lake Como villages and Bergamo. September sounds like a wonderful time to visit this part of Italy.

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you for your responses! Would you include Verona as a place to visit? I believe it is about 2 hours from Milan.

Posted by
2282 posts

A car does not seem necessary for this trip: Varenna is easier to reach by train from Milan, and the lake ferries provide efficient transportation.
Same for Bergamo and Verona, easier by train.

Also, since your trip needs to end in Milan, I would save Milan for last and head straight to Varenna (by train, station "Varenna Esino") from Milan airport upon arrival. You need to take two trains but travel time is 2-2.5 hours, so it is manageable.

Otherwise regarding your question, a day trip to Verona is perhaps a bit far: if you want to go, it deserves an overnight. But note that Verona is also easily combined with trips to Venice, Bologna... so if you think you'll come back to Italy with a bit more time, then perhaps you could leave it for later.

Posted by
2166 posts

For sure you don't need a car to go from Milan to Verona and from Varenna (whose station is called Varenna-Esino) to MXP or Milan.

If you want to drive, be aware that Milan boasts both a congestion charge area in the city center and a ZTL in the Navigli district. The train from the Navigli station (Milano Cadorna) to MXP takes 40 minutes and the area is quite pleasant in the evening. Better than the airport.

Posted by
76 posts

I'm a huge fan of Verona and my memory is that it is just over 1 hour from Milan by train. And absolutely worth it.

I'm not into the Romeo - Juliet stuff at all, but the city, the valpolicella/amarone, wine bars, River Adige, Piazza Bra, and the Roman ruins are spectacular. Great food, too. Very walkable, and if you make it across the river to the Roman Theatre and museum there, you. get great views of the city, as well as from the Lambert tower (if it's open). I'm not sure what time your flight is, but pre-Covid there used to be a train that ran from Stazionne Centrale in Milan 2X per hour directly to Malpensa. The transfer to the airport was very very simple with lots of signs in English for international flights. It used to about a 50 minute trip.

Don't get me wrong, Milan is also a great city but I think Verona has a bit more "charm."

Posted by
12284 posts

Unless you decide to switch lake Como for lake Maggiore (very close to MXP), a car is neither needed nor recommended for your trip.

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you! We have decided not to rent a car, I agree that all places we wish to see are well-connected. We will try to visit Verona, even if a day trip.

Posted by
25742 posts

I think that that is a good decision