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7 days northern italy/switzerland

Hi: We are flying into Milan in May and would like to see northern italy and southern switzerland but we only have one week! Does anybody have suggestions for a good itinerary ? Thanks so much!

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What do you want to see and experience in Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland? There are lots of possibilities. Lake Como? Ticino? High Alps? Big City (Milan)?

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16488 posts

Not ideal, as you get just a bit of each, and lots of travel time. But here are two possibilities, each divided 50-50 between Italy and Switzerland and offering a mix of lakes and mountains.

Day 1–land in Milan, take the bus straight to Stresa on Lago Maggiore (1 hour), spend 2 nights

Day 2—explore the lake and island by boat

Day 3—take the train north into Switzerland, heading to Lauterbrunnen via Brig and Spiez Depart on EC 32 at 9:11 and arrive in Lauterbrunnen at 12:26. 3 changes on the way. Spend 2 nights

Day 4—explore the alpine villages of the Berner Oberland, maybe take a hike

Day 5—train to Luzern, overnight 1 night. Explore the town.

Day 6—travel south back to Italy by the Gotthard Panorama Express (boat plus train, all First Class) or the Treno Gottardo (less expensive, same boat and same train tracks). Change at Bellinzona for a train going toward Milan, but leave the train in the town of Como on Lago di Como. Overnight here.

Day 7—continue by train to Milan and to your airport in good time for your flight home.

OR,

Day 1—land in Milan and take the train into Milan, changing to a train for the town of Como. Spend one night.

Day 2—continue to Luzern by train or train plus boat (same options as above). Spend 2 nights in Luzern.

Day 3—do a mountain excursion from Luzern, either Mt.Pilatus or Rigi.

Day 4—take the train to Pontresina and spend one night in this alpine village.

Day 5—take the train over the Bernina Pass (could be the named Bernina Express, or a regular regional train on the same tracks) to Tirano. Change there to a train to Varenna on Lago di Como. Spend 2 nights.

Day 6—enjoy Lake Como.

Day 7—train back to Milan and the airport for your flight.

One caveat on this second option—-Varenna is a very small village and very popular. You may find the hotels already booked up. Check on that before you commit to this plan. Stresa on Lago Maggiore is a larger town with many more hotel options, making Option 1 more likely to achieve. (If you find Lauterbrunnen also fully booked, look in Wengen,Muerren, or Grindelwald).