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Bernia Express to Florence, Italy

Spending the night in Pontresina and then the Bernia Express to Tirano or Lugano. Then on to Florence. How long will it take to get from Pontresina to Florence. Would it be wise to stop over in Lugano. or go from Tirano direct and not take the bus trip of the Bernia Express?
If this sounds confusing, I am. Help (I have a Swiss Pass)

Posted by
16883 posts

Michele, you may be confused, but you are not confusing. The Swiss or German train schedule sites can give you the Swiss schedules, but won't show the local train between Tirano and Milan; that one is reflected at or From Tirano, the train that runs south along the east side of Lake Como runs almost hourly and takes 5 hours to Firenze, with a connection at Milano Centrale station. I have enjoyed that route, as an alternate to taking the bus leg of the Bernina route (which only runs once daily). If you have time for another overnight stop, it could be at Lugano or at Varenna, but I would not continue to Lugano just for a transport connection point.

Posted by
31435 posts


The route suggested by Laura will be the quickest way from Pontresina to Florence. There's no reason to add the Bernina Express Bus from Tirano to Lugano, as that will make your travel day somewhat longer. That trip will be long enough without any "additions". The Bus doesn't move too quickly and as I recall they stop for about a 20 minute coffee & WC break part way along.

When you board the train from Tirano to Milano Centrale, it will likely be a Regionale train so DON'T forget to validate the ticket before boarding or you'll risk a hefty fine, which will be collected on the spot! The trip from Milan to Florence will likely be via a Freccia high speed train, which requires compulsory reservations. You could purchase that ticket in advance to save some money, but note that the ticket will be for one specific train, date and departure time so you can ONLY use the train specified on your ticket. If you board another train by mistake, again hefty fines!

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks should I buy the ticket in Tirano for the Milan to Florence segment? Michele

Posted by
31435 posts


Yes, you should be able to buy the tickets for the Tirano-Florence journey in Tirano. For the segment from Tirano to Milan, it's just as easy to buy there, since you'll be travelling on a Regionale and there are no price breaks. BE SURE to validate the ticket prior to boarding the train.

As I mentioned earlier, you may be able to save money by pre-booking the Milan to Florence segment, which will likely be via high speed Freccia train. Whether that's possible will depend on when this trip is taking place. The cheapest tickets usually sell out quickly, so if this trip will be taking place in the near future, it may only be possible to get "Base Fare" (which means it won't matter whether you pre-purchase or buy tickets on the day of travel).

Posted by
27464 posts

A Swiss train office can also sell those tickets, and can answer other questions, too.