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Zurich to Varenna Italy

We are arriving in Zurich from US September 29, 2018. Most of our 2 weeks will be spent in Italy but we want to travel through the alps on the Bernini E press. Chur seems the likely starting point. Ideally we would like to go directly to Chur for one night and board the train the next day and take it all the way to the end then change trains to Varenna.

Is this too ambitious for day one of a two week trip? Also all hotels are already booked in Chur for the One night we will be there. We will have to stay about six miles away. How is local transport out side of Chur.

Thanks for any suggestions for better itenarary....we will be in Venice for a few days and in the Florence area for a few more days and flying back home out of Milan. Nothing is set in stone yet.

Posted by
16707 posts

We flew into Zurich for our most recent Italy trip, specifically to take the Bernina Pass route ( not necessarily the named Bernina Express). Our plane arrived in Zurich in early afternoon, and we took the train straight to Samedan to spend two nights. From there we rode the train to Tirano and changed to the Italian train to Varenna to spend one night. After that it was an easy trip into Milan to pick up the fast train to Venice.

Your plan to stay in Chur looks fine, and not too hectic. But perhaps you could book a more convenient hotel, within walking distance of the train station. Then you would not have to worry about local transport.

Posted by
33130 posts

I'm surprised that all the hotels in Chur are all booked up at the end of September.

I've just looked up the old reliable Ibis hotel close to the centre of Chur (yes it actually is a pyramid), and the only day they are booked up is that Saturday night, the 29th. They have good, cheap availability both sides every day except that day. Must be something in town that day to fill up 9 months ahead.

Do you want to catch your breath in Luzern for a night (and the neat nearby mountains and a lake to beat all lakes) and then go on to Chur on Sunday when you'd had a go at jetlag?

Posted by
1070 posts

Not too ambitious at all. The train leaves Chur around 8:45 am and into Tiranno around 1:00. The connecting train to Varenna departure is coordinated. You will be into Varenna between 2 and 3 in the afternoon. Its a lovely trip. We did it last summer. In fact, we stayed on the train to Milan and then connected to Venice all in the same day, so definitely doable for you.

Posted by
20319 posts

So tell us where you are staying. Swiss public transport is very extensive. You could look it up at Google your hotel on maps and zoom in to see the nearest bus/train stop. Use that stop as the start point and Chur as the end point and the arrival time as 8:30 or earlier.
Use it as the end point for your journey from Zurich airport and that will give suggested routes you may want to take on Saturday.

Posted by
33130 posts

The regional bus station is above the rail station and very convenient.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for all of this info. I feel better about our timeline now!