Only 1 Night in Lake Como Before Flight Home - Is it Doable?

Hey everyone, After countless hours of research and reading I've finally decided to post my question and seek some advice. At the end of the month we will be coming to the end of our Italy vacation, we are flying out of Malpensa outside of Milan. Considering that we will be flying out of MXP at 11am we really wanted to try and fit in a Lake Como visit, knowing it'll be a short "visit". We will be coming up to Como from Florence, originally I wanted to stay in Varenna but now am thinking near Como Nord for sake of logistics and ease to get to airport in morning. What are your thoughts and suggestions, is Varenna doable? If not, is Como and that portion of the lake not worth the trip at all? I appreciate the help and look forward to your responses. Thanks so much.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6824 posts

Hourly TreNord service from Como Lago NOrd to Malpense Aeroporto begins at 6:17 am and takes 1:17 to get there. (There is one change at Saronno). Even the 7:17 train would get you there by 8:34 so it is certainly doable. I cannot comment on the difference between Como town and Varenna as we have only stayed in Varenna. There are several companies offering car service from Varenna to Malpensa, taking about an hour. It was around 100 euro, I believe. That would certainly make it doable, but expensive. The first train from Varenna to Milano comes through at 6:23, with another at 7:38. Either gets you to Milano Centrale a bit over an hour later. Whether you can then get from MC to the airport fast enough is a question I can't answer, but I'm sure others can. Seems like that 6:23 train, arriving MC at 7:38, would give you enough time to get to the airport, but it might be stressful. Personally, I would do the car service (assuming it is not more than 100 euro), as I like to make our last night in Italy memorable, even if it costs a bit more.

Posted by Sheron
Alta Loma, CA, USA
1334 posts

Cole, Varenna is definitely "doable" and Varenna is a lovely town, but personally I don't know that I would bother for only 1 night. What time would you get to Lake Como on your last day before leaving? If you won't get there until the afternoon, then it's really not worth while in my opinion as you'll probably only have 4-6 hours of sightseeing time. Also, keep in mind that April can still be very cold/rainy in Lake Como so depending on the weather, it also might not be worth it. I think I would stay in Milan your last night and perhaps visit the Duomo & maybe see 'The Last Supper' and save Lake Como for a future trip in which you can spend 2-3 days there. I haven't visited the town of Como either but have heard mixed things about it. I've heard it's an okay town but it doesn't have nearly the charm of Varenna. Look at pictures on-line and judge for yourself. We departed from Milan Malpensa as well (10:30 am flight) and stayed our last 3 nights in Varenna. We took a shuttle bus to the airport (cost was a little over 100 euros) but felt that it was worthwhile because we were tired by the end of our trip and didn't feel like "schlepping" luggage onto/off of any more trains. The shuttle was more relaxing. Have a great trip.

Posted by dennis
lagrange, Ga., USA
10 posts

I agonized over this myself on a past trip.I don't think so.Check the connections via trento italia.You'll be hustling to get to Malpensa but hey listen to other's here they really should know.It is even difficult from Bergamo and what a lovely place that is.Try Lugano?What a treat!

Posted by Ken
Lafayette, Colorado
82 posts

I agree with Sherron that it is doable, but I would want at least 2 nights in Varenna. If it is only 1 night, especially if you arrive in the afternoon, there isn't much time to take it all in. We stayed at Varenna on the last 2 nights of a trip and used a care service--it was well worth it. I enjoy travelling by train but the pressure of "making your flight" is easier with the car service.