Venezia S. Luica to Varenna-Esino

1st things 1st. Thank you Rick for the very awesome guidebook! This is not our 1st time to Italy, but we are now happily using Rick's book for our upcoming family holiday in Italy in July 2013:) Grateful if someone can guide us in getting from Venice to Lake Como (Varenna) in late July 2013. Here's what we found (but confused) so far: (1) from http://www.trenitallia.com : - We get on at Venezia S. Luica to Milano Centrale, then switch train at Milano Centrale to Varenna-Esino. The entire journey takes about 4 hours. The earliest departure time at Venezia S. Lucia is 13:20, arriving Varenna-Esino earliest at 17:23. - Questions : (a) Is there any direct train from Venezia S. Lucia to Varenna-Esino? The need to make a transfer frightens us (e.g. train delays, missing transfer etc). (b) Is there any other way we can reach Varenna-Esino earlier during the day. (2) from http://www.trenord.it/it/home.aspx - Our hotel at Varenna-Esino is very kind and told us TRENITALIA is no longer a possible option from Milano Centrale to Varenna-Esino; instead, must take TRENORD. - Question : Any guidance on this please? (3) http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en
From a previous post here, we picked up we can check schedule from Veneia S. Lucia to Varenna-Esino. We tried it, and seems the stop Varenna-Esino is no longer available there therefore seems DB might not be an option. Thank you so much again.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6723 posts

Ryan, as far as we know, Rick Steves does not participate on this website. It does appear as part of his website but all posts are created and answered by people who have no direct relationship with Rick Steves or his organization except that we like and support the RS organization. To answer your question, it is indeed a 4.5hr train journey to Varenna-Esino from Venezia Santa Lucia. Yes, you will change train in Milano Centrale. There is no direct train to Varenna from Venice. 2.5hrs of this journey is the high-speed train run from Venice to Milano Centrale. The train ride to Varenna takes 1hr. I see 14 runs on a typical day from Venice to Varenna on www.trenitalia.com. I can see them right now so they haven't disappeared. I'm not sure why you only see the early departure of 13:20. Perhaps you are looking out past mid-December. If yes, you won't see all of the runs. First run out of Venice for Varenna departs at 5:20am. But, you will change trains 3 times for this run. For the first 1-change run, this departs at 6:50. The next two runs are at 8:50 and 10:50. Your concern about train changes, missing transfers, train delays is unwarranted. If you've ridden the train from Montreal to Quebec City, you'll be fine in Italy. Italy has 8,000 train runs a day. Most everything works just fine. There is 30-55minutes between trains so you don't have to worry there. Yes, Trenord runs trains from Milan to Varenna but this should be invisible to you. But, so does Trenitalia. I'm not sure if Trenitalia puts you on a Trenord train but this should be transparent to you. You can buy tickets for the entire run on Trenitalia. You do have to be ready and quick to get off the train at Varenna-Esino. The train only stops for about a minute.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Ryan, The trip from Venezia to Varenna is VERY easy, regardless of which rail line you're using. Regarding your questions..... (1a) No,there are no direct trains from Venice to Varenna. (1b) As the previous reply mentioned,there are NUMEROUS other trains earlier in the day. I'd suggest using a departure from Venezia S. Lucia at 08:50, arriving Varenna-Esino at 13:23 (time 4H:33M, one change at Milano Centrale, reservations compulsory on first leg). The layover in Milan is 55M, so you'll have lots of time to locate the train to Varenna. (2). It doesn't matter which rail line is operating to Varenna. Simply board the correct train and present your ticket when asked (DON'T forget to validate the ticket to Varenna prior to boarding the train on the day of travel!). (3) For some reason, the DB website doesn't show Varenna. That's not a problem, use the Trenitalia website instead. Will you be using P-P tickets purchased in Venice? That's a VERY easy trip, so you shouldn't have any problems. Happy travels!

Posted by Ryan
Toronto, ON, Canada
2 posts

Thank you Larry. Thank you Ken. You are Great :)