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Pls help..Rome - Lauterbrunnen via Bernini

We were going to fly from Rome to Zurich but as we have eurorail seems a shame to waste it and miss scenery.

Can anyone please advise on diect(ish) route

Thank you so much, Lisa

Posted by
1934 posts

One of these days Treni Turistici Italiana will introduce a traditional touristic long distance service between Naples and Milano via the old line and call it the "Bernini Express". And everyone will be confused :-)
(I hope they do this btw :-)

The scenic route over the Alps via Tirano is in deed very nice. It is called the Bernina railways, and over it there are normal trains, and named trains called Bernina Express. (And while we are at correcting spelling mistakes... Tirana is the capital of Albania...)

Now going Rome - Lauterbrunnen via the Bernina railways is a large detour. Doable in one day but it will be a huge one. So if you plan that you probably will want to break that up somewhere. Pontresina is a good spot for that. Route would be Rome - Milano (which you will have to reserve) - Tirano - Pontresina and then on day 2 Pontersina - Chur - Zurich - Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen.

A faster route would be Rome - Milano - Luzern - Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen. The normal route is Rome - Milano - Spiez - Lauterbrunnen. But this summer that route is going to involve a coach for part of the route.
All routes can be looked up on

Note that an Eurailpass is not really a good pass to have when traveling to Italy and Switzerland. In Italy it just makes things more complicated, and in Switzerland it does not cover as much as eg. a Swiss Travel Pass would.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your timely response and my, apologies for my spelling errors I’m currently in hospital with pneumonia so I’m a bit dopey)

We have already purchased the Eurorail passes as we are travelling for 7 weeks. I realise it’s going to be a long day. Are there any other options you could recommend? Pardon my ignorance..I just thought we might be able to travel the Berina and then perhaps catch a regional train to Lauterbrunnen?

Which train is better the Glacier or Berina?

Thank you again for your time and patience.


Posted by
20309 posts

You do not say when you are going. Looks like there will be train replacement buses between Colico and Tirano beginning June 9. So that may impact your going from Rome to Lauterbrunnen by the Bernina route. Right now, it looks like your best option is to go Rome to Milan to Lugano to Luzern to Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen. The route from Lugano to Interlaken Ost is quite scenic. Lugano to Luzern has one train a day called the Gotthard Panorama Express, but you don't need to take that to get the views seen from the frequent regular trains. Luzern to Interlaken Ost is the eastern portion of the Golden Pass panoramic route. That is still a 10 1/2 hour journey.

Posted by
16651 posts

Maybe this map of the Swiss rail system will help. The so-called scenic trains are highlighted.

All train routes into Switzerland pass through Milan, which is just off the map to the south. The “fastest” route to Lauterbrunnen from Milan is normally the tunnel route via Domodossola and Spiez. But there is track work on this line which means a section is closed beginning June 9. There will be a replacement bus, but service will be limited and will likely take longer (not on the schedule yet). Between that and the Coloco-Tirano closure, your best option is the Lugano—Luzern route recommended by Sam. Note that this is also marked as a scenic route. It is my preferred route even in “normal” times.

It would be best if you could break up the journey with an overnight stop, maybe in Lugano.

The Glacier Expres is an east-west route that goes nowhere close to Lauterbrunnen. It is of no use to you unless you want to go out of your way to ride trains.