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MXP to Como, Garda then Venice driving

Hi everyone.
I am traveling to Italy soon with my daughter and we are arriving at MXP. Our first stay is Strada Provinciale Molina, Lombardia. From there we go to Via Giardino, Brenzone sul Garda Veneto. After that, we are headed to Venice. Our host for the first location "strongly recommended a car rental."
How is the drive from MXP? Any thing to avoid or be aware of? This is our first time driving or being in Italy. We are renting a very small vehicle.

Thank you.

Posted by
6660 posts

I strongly encourage you to NOT pick up a car and start driving right after a transatlantic flight.

There are many discussions here about driving in Italy
Do some searches, you’ll find them

All drivers must have an IDP

Posted by
13 posts

I have been reading through several threads and realize I was not clear at all with my question. I am aware of the zones to stay out of, speeding issues, IDP, stay in the right lane, tailgating etc. This forum has been an excellent source of information. I am wondering specific things about driving out of MXP to Como. I do not know of a way to avoid this based on where we are staying. In anyone's experience, would it be easier to drop off the car in Verona and take a train to Venice rather than trying to drop off in Venice? From what I've read the Piazzale Roma drop off can be very hectic and crowded. Is this accurate?

I am trying to determine the safest and easiest way to have a car for when it is needed but get rid of it asap.

Thank you

Posted by
39 posts

My husband and I, now in our 60,s, have been going to Lake Como since 2006. We pick up a rental car at MXP, after an overnight transatlantic flight. The route is easy, well marked, and with a gps, no issues.

There is a coffee vending machine next to the rental car desks, the coffee is quite good, and a small market
You will be pleases at how easy the trip is
Have a great trip

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you.
I am looking at options. I can also consider changing our reservation and staying in Cernobbio. Once we leave Lake Como, we could pick up our car to travel to our next place.

Thoughts on Cernobbio? I go from very confident in our plans to immediately "this is a terrible idea!"

Posted by
5114 posts

Use the filters on either Google Maps or via Michelin to see your driving route options. But given that you are driving while jet lagged, suggest you opt for the fastest route. Have your daughter help with navigation, and keeping you awake and alert during the drive. The suggestion to have a coffee when picking up the car is not a bad one. In fact, have 2.

As for where to drop off the car- that depends on the closest town or city with both a train station and an office owned by your rental company. The sooner you can drop it off, the better. There is no advantage in driving all the way to Venice unless that's the only place your car company has an office.

Posted by
855 posts

If you are coming from the East Coast with a direct flight to Milan and if you are arriving at a traffic free time and using gps, expect about a 45 minute drive to Como. Fairly easy. We come from the West Coast and after 18 hours plus of multiple flights, there’s no way we’re going to get in a car and drive and we’ve been numerous times to Italy. So “Dependo.”

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you everyone.
Flying out of Toronto at 7:50pm ESTto Frankfurt then MXP. Toronto is in our same time zone. Should arrive at 14:00. I am not sure how quickly we will get through the airport. We aren't bringing any checked luggage. Carry on only.
When I originally booked our stay, I was thinking it would be easier to hop in a car and drive rather than navigate unfamiliar trains and buses. I didn't really consider how we would feel!