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Northern Italy and Switzerland itinerary assistance

I am planning a trip to Northern Italy and Switzerland in June.
I have 15 nights on the ground to play with; am thinking of flying into Milan and out of Zurich but that is flexible. Not sure how to divide the time and would like suggestions.

My tentative itinerary is

Fly into Milan

Cinque Terra - 3 nights
Lakes region (Lake Como? Lake Maggiore?) - 3 nights

Bern - 2 nights
Murren B. O. - 4 nights
Lucerne - 3 nights

fly out of Zurich

I want to see as much of the Alps as possible but want to see the architecture and culture of the cities as well. not sure about backtracking and sequence... please offer opinions if I have too much or too little in any of these places or suggest a new locale. I'm flexible!

The board members have always been so helpful to me in the past with knowledgeable and experienced advice and I appreciate any help you can offer here.


Posted by
328 posts

Bern is so convenient as a day trip from the Berner Oberland. I'd spend more nights in the Berner Oberland and do Bern as a day trip when/if you get a rainy day. That will give you more opportunities to spend clear days in the mountains.

Posted by
32244 posts


Your proposed Itinerary looks good, but of course you'll have to fill in the details. A few questions and comments.....

  • Which of the five towns are you planning to stay in the Cinque Terre? As I recall, you stayed in Levanto on the previous visit.
  • Were you planning to go directly to the C.T. after arrival in Milan?
  • Visiting Lago Maggiore would be a more efficient and logical destination, as it's on the way to Switzerland. Lago di Como is an "outlier" from the C.T. and would involve extra travel time. Stresa would make a great home base for that area. While there you could visit the beautiful Borromeo Islands or take the Cable Car up the mountain for incredible views. If you'd like an interesting day trip and another view of Switzerland, you could take a day trip to Locarno via the scenic Cento Valli Railway, returning to Stresa by boat in the late afternoon. While in Locarno you could visit the beautiful Madonna del Sasso Franciscan Monastery, tour the city and posh shops, visit the Casino or take the Cable Car to Cardada for some incredible views of the city and the lake (although it's a bit on the pricey side). There's a Cafe and Hotel right next to the Cable Car station at the top where you can have a "cool one" and watch the Paragliders sailing past the balcony.
  • The suggestion in the previous reply to just visit Bern as a day trip is a good one to consider. You could always add a day to Stresa?
  • I'm sure you've seen the recent comments here on the Forum about the "adjustment" of the value of the Swiss Franc. Be sure to budget accordingly!
  • Zürich is a good location for a return flight, as the airport is only about 10 minutes from the Hbf. If you need a hotel suggestion, post another note.