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Recommendations & Help Orvieto/Pistoia/Camogli/Bergamo

It's our first time in Italy and we are very excited but a bit overwhelmed. We arrive in Rome on July 1st, spend one night in Rome then we will be off our main adventures:
Orvieto (3 nights) to
Pistoia (3 nights) to
Camogli San Futtuoso (3 nights) to
Mandali Retreat Center (6 nights) to
Bergamo (3 nights) then we will fly to Greece.

In each town our lodgings are booked. Our plan is to get from one city to the next by train. Would appreciate:
- Any advice about the specific trains & train station names (for example, there are 4 train stations in Milan) that offer the most direct route to our destinations. Also would you recommend a Rail Pass? If yes, which one?
- Best place to do an olive oil tour
- Any tours/hikes/restaurant recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!

Posted by
6684 posts

Where exactly is the Mandali Retreat Center?

No need for a Rail Pass, they are usually of no use in Italy

Use Trenitalia
https://www.trenitalia.com/content/tcom/en.html

I believe most of your trains will be regional ( no need to purchase in advance, price never changes and they can’t sell out)
Howeyyou can buy in advance if you prefer

Get the Trenitalia app
Just buy point to point tickets

Roma Termini
Milano Centrale ( probably)

The rest just have one station
Orvieto
Pistoia
Bergamo
Camogli-S Frutuosso

Posted by
18 posts

No advice to offer other than have a wonderful time! I’ll be in Orvieto for a couple of nights myself this summer and am looking forward to visiting it for the first time. Please share any positive experiences after your trip. Safe travels.

Posted by
5134 posts

If you aren't going to have a car, you may need to contact that Retreat for transportation.

Posted by
16914 posts

The retreat center is in the hills northwest of Lago Maggiore, overlooking Lago di Orta. The closest train station when coming from Milan is Verbania-Pallanza.

However, there is this note on the website:”From June to September Verbania-Pallanza will be closed for Maintenance work”.

https://mandali.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/how_to_reach_mandali_2024.pdf

They suggest alternatives, which you should look at. One they do not mention is to take the Lago Maggiore ferry to Verbania-Pallanza and use the private driver the retreat center will arrange from there. Verbania is connected by Getty to Locarno at the eastern end of the lake (2 hours by train from Milano Centrale) aand Stresa or Arona at the other end of the lake. These towns are accessible by bus from Milano Centrale.

Here is the boat schedule from Locarno to Pallanza:

https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Locarno_Arona_24.pdf

And for the opposite direction, Arona or Stresa to Pallanza:

https://www.navigazionelaghi.it/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Arona_Locarno_24.pdf

If you want to take this route, be sure to contact the retreat center to make sure they can arrange the private driver to meet the ferry.

Posted by
15485 posts

To go to Orvieto use ROMA TERMINI
To go to Pistoia use FIRENZE SANTA MARIA NOVELLA (Florence). If you go there from Orvieto you will take a train from Orvieto to Firenze S.Maria Novella, where you change trains and take a train to Pistoia (the last stop will be likely Viareggio.
To go to Camogli San Fruttuoso, if you come from Pistoia, you will take a train from Pistoia to Viareggio, then another from Viareggio to La Spezia, or (if an IC) maybe to Sestri then Camogli.
Mandali Retreat Center is near lake Orta (lake Maggiore area) and the closest station would be Verbania-Pallanza. Most trains to Lake Maggiore area (including Verbania-Pallanza) depart from Milano Porta Garibaldi.
Most trains to Bergamo depart from Milano Centrale, but a good number also from Milano Porta Garibaldi (but not as fast as from Centrale).