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Switzerland / Italian Lakes in May

Hi all,

I've had a good trawl through the forum on tips and have found some useful points on both places to visit and travel options but really need to some particular advice.
My partner and I arrive from Australia in Zurich on 17th May for the start of our honeymoon. We have to be in Positano on the afternoon of the 23rd May. I've been to Switzerland before by this will be my partners first time, we'd like to take in some of the Alps and a trip to the Italian lakes before flying down. Milan airport looks to give us the most flexibility in flight options to Naples so we're leaning towards ending this portion of the trip in Lake Como. Points of interest I've looked at are Zermatt.

Questions for this group are alternative places to visit and routes from Zurich to Lake Como? And then best travel option, is it point to point train tickets, SSB travel pass, hire car?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
15573 posts

Considering that May 23 is a Saturday, and you can get a 2 for 1 special from Trenitalia, and it is only a 4 1/2 hour direct high speed train ride, look at taking the train from Milan to Naples. 103 EUR for 2 in Standard Class, of 145 EUR in Business Class. Eliminate all the hassles of flying.

If you want to go to Zermatt, you should probably do Stresa on Lake Maggiore. If you want to do Lake Como, you could go to St Moritz from Zurich, then the Bernina Express to Tirano, then regional train to Varenna on Lake Como, It is also a short ferry ride from there to Bellagio. Or you could go to Luzern for a few days from Zurich and take the Gothard Panorama Express to Como city, then a ferry to Bellagio, or to Lugano then a bus to Menaggio, also a ferry ride from Bellagio.

Whether or not to get an STP depends on the actual tickets you plan on buying. If more than 240 CHF pp, a Half Fare card often gives the most savings.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for that Sam, I've just had a look through the train journey and agree that makes sense both financially and ease of travel. We'll definitely look to do that and either head to Naples and grab a private car or to Salerno and get a car from there.

For Zurich to Lake Como, i think we'd prefer the scenic route so looks like St Moritz route might be a better option for us.

Posted by
30928 posts

Osh,

There are a number of possibilities and perhaps something like this would work....

  • May 16 - D1 - Flight to Zürich
  • May 17 - D2 / N1 - Arrive Zürich, train from airport to either Lucerne or Lauterbrunnen (depending on what type of "Alps" experience you're looking for)
  • May 18 - D3 / N2 - Lucerne or Lauterbrunnen, touring
  • May 19 - D4 / N3 - Lucerne or Lauterbrunnen, touring
  • May 20 - D5 / N1 - Early train to Stresa (Lago Maggiore) - trip will be as short as 2H:35M from Interlaken Ost depending on which train you choose. Difficult to make specific suggestions without knowing where you'll be staying.
  • May 21 - D6 / N2 - Stresa, touring
  • May 22 - D7 / N3 - Stresa, touring
  • May 23 - D8 / N1 - High speed train to Napoli Centrale. If you use a departure from Stresa at 06:33, you'll arrive at Napoli Centrale at 12:33. I'd suggest using a private transfer from there to Positano. Have a look at this - http://www.monettitaxi17.it/English.htm . They will drop you right at your hotel in Positano, and you could also arrange a sightseeing trip along the Amalfi coast with them (depending on your budget).

I suggested Stresa rather than Varenna (Lago di Como) as it's sort of "on the way" from Switzerland to Milano Centrale.

I really doubt that you will save any time or money with a flight from Milan to Naples. By the time travel to & from airports, check in, security, waiting, boarding and deplaning, flight times etc. are factored in, the high speed train will probably still be about the same or faster. With the train there won't be any hassles with baggage charges, cramped seating and the other usual hassles of a budget flight. Even with a flight, you still have to get from Naples to Positano.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for your reply Ken. I agree with your last point, we've decided to just get the train down to Naples and then jump in a private car to get to the hotel. The fact that it's a Saturday and they offer the 2 for 1 deal on tickets, it just makes so much practical sense.

I'll look in to your suggestions for Lucerne to the Italian lakes and hopefully I can get this all booked over the weekend. Then I'll just be counting the days down to getting over there to explore and enjoy.