Hi. We will be going to Bellagio on Lake Como for three nights prior to a R.Steves' tour which begins in Padova. Any hints on transportion options appreciated. Is train from Malpensa then bus to Como and another bus to Bellagio is best option. Then ferry to Varenna and train to Padova? Also wondering if any easier to book online for Italian trains than it used to be. We are staying at Hotel Silvio in Bellagia, by the way.
There are several options. The fastest is probably a shuttle van with www.flytolake.com. Otherwise the fastest is probably the train to Varenna (via Milan Centrale) then the ferry. From Malpensa to Varenna is a 2 hr journey via train (with change in Milan). The ferry is a short 15 min crossing, but of course you may have to wait for the ferry. This is the ferry schedule. http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/c_download/NLC_Traghetto.pdf This is a full list of options from Malpensa to Bellagio: http://www.bellagiolakecomo.com/bellagio-lake-como-italy/utility/how-reach-bellagio From Bellagio to Padova the best option is probably ferry to Varenna, then train to Padova (via Milan Centrale). Trains going to Venezia or to Trieste/Udine from Milan are the ones you'd be taking. Both stop in Padova. I'm not sure if booking trains ahead of time on the regional trains to Varenna via Milan Centrale (if that is your choice) is even possible. The price is not that much anyway.
Very helpful, Roberto. Thank you.
Laura, A few comments to add to Roberto's always excellent information..... The easiest method is to either travel by train or Malpensa Shuttle (Bus) to Milano Centrale (about one hour depending on traffic, current fare €10 one way). I assume you're arriving at MXP Terminal 1? From Milano Centrale, take the train to Varenna (1H:03M) and then Ferry to Bellagio. Realistically, the trip to Varenna will take at least three hours. When you arrive at the small station in Varenna, it's relatively easy to walk to the Ferry dock (it's all downhill) unless you're hauling a couple of Steamer Trunks. The dock and ticket office is in front of Albergo Olivedo (large yellow building, you can't miss it). If you need to purchase rail tickets for the trip to Padova, there's a very helpful travel agency just below the station in Varenna (you have to walk right past it). The trip from Milano Centrale to Padova may partially be via Freccia trains, so reservations may be required. The fastest travel time on that route is about 3H:35M, with at least one change. Check the Trenitalia website for the details. The trains to and from Varenna are Regionale, so there's no reason to pre-purchase (which may not be possible). Buy those from a ticket Kiosk when you arrive there. DON'T forget to validate! I assume you're taking the 14-day "Village Italy" tour? Happy travels!
Hi Ken. Thanks for the wonderful advice. Yes, we're on the Village Italy trip, our third Italian trip with R.Steves. We actually have been to Varenna (years ago, used R.S. guidebook before many people knew about Varenna). So somewhat familiar with ferry, etc. Since we have nothing to do but deal with jet lag the day we arrive, the journey to Bellagio will not be that bad however we decide to go. Thanks for advice on travel agency in Varenna, which may help very much for return trip to Padova.
Laura, When will your tour be taking place? It will be interesting to see who your Guide is? One of the HelpLine regulars was on that tour in September, so I'm sure he will have some good comments. Hopefully he will spot this Thread.
Trip begins May 20, ends June 2nd. anyone who would like to chime in re: tour guides etc. be my guest. And I also do know where the reviews of tours are(this is our fifth tour with RS and third in Italy - so we may have a repeat guide, which would be fine and dandy since all three were great in totally different ways).