Please sign in to post.

Lake region questions after village Italy tour in October

After ending in Lake Orta, has anyone travelled to Lake Maggiore and Lake Como? I would like to go to both areas. Transportation and hotel ideas? Also, I’d like to see duomo and last supper in Milan. Recommendations,please. Thank you.

Posted by
4604 posts

Valerie,

I traveled from Lake Maggiore (Baveno) to Orta San Giulio, and back to Baveno, in the Fall of 2017.

You can take a train from Orta- Miasino to Baveno but you'll need to transfer in Cuzzago. I DO NOT recommend this route because the Cuzzago train station is deserted and in the middle of nowhere!

I opted to take a private transfer from Orta San Giulio back to Baveno for €50. This is your best option, IMO.

I enjoyed my stay at Hotel Eden in Baveno.

Where in Lake Como are you considering? My mom and I enjoyed our stay at Albergo Milano in Varenna.

If you want to stay in Varenna, you can take the train from Stresa to Milano Centrale then transfer to a train to Varenna -Esino.

You can check train schedules on Trenitalia.com

You will need to book your tickets to the "Last Supper", 3-4 months in advance. Keep in mind that these tickets sell out very quickly, so plan accordingly!
Here's the website for booking your "Last Supper" tickets: Cenacolovinciano.vivaticket.it

Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you Priscilla. I will consider all your fine suggestions, including getting last supper tickets. Did you buy them online or would you consider Viator tours?
I am looking forward to our first RS tour.

Posted by
8248 posts

Just wanted to add Viator does not actually run tours. They are a 3rd party consolidator. With some footwork you can figure out the actual tour company. Booking directly may be cheaper as Viator takes a bite from the tour company.

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you Pam. I am not computer savvy and not sure what you mean by how to do the footwork

Posted by
619 posts

I really enjoyed Stresa on Lake Maggiore and took one of many water taxis that allow you to travel in-between the Borromean Islands. Just beautiful. The railway station in Stresa is just a short walking distance from the many hotels along the shore line of the lake. We stayed at the Hotel Regina Palace for two nights. (This hotel is over the top decor but goes in with the style of the islands. It was a large hotel - like many on the shoreline). We had a quick and easy transfer in Milan to Varenna, where we stayed at Michelangelo B&B. It was fabulous! (I much prefer B&B's). The roof top seating area is spectacular and the rooms just superb. From the train station in Varenna you may need to take a taxi into the village (depends on your fitness level) but once your are there in the village you can walk from the B&B to the Lake and the ferries.

Margaret

Posted by
4604 posts

Valerie, I booked my Last Supper ticket online.
It's not difficult if you now when the ticket become available for the month of October.

You may want to check the official website, cenacolovinciano.vivaticket.it now,and get an idea about booking tickets.
FYI: July and August ticket reservations became available on April 16.

Keep this in mind also:

FREE ADMISSION THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH.THE RESERVATION IS COMPULSORY ALSO FOR FREE DAYS. THE RESERVATION FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH IS AVAILABLE ONLY BY PHONE.

There are several posts about the subject if you're interested, just type, "Last Supper tickets", on the search bar above (top left)

Hope this helps!

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions. I will be looking at the hotels and ticket information and make my decisions. Thank you again everyone

Posted by
225 posts

This is how we did Lake Como at the end of our Village Italy tour (which we loved, BTW). The tour guide will help arrange transportation to airports, train stations, etc. We were dropped off right in front of the Milano Centrale train station, where we took a train to Varenna. Note that you need to watch the schedule board for the Varenna-Esino (Esino is the last stop) line.

If this is your first time taking a train in Italy, make sure you validate your ticket before getting on the train. There will be a yellow box right as you approach the walkway to board your train. Also, for going from Milan to Varenna, sit on the left side of the train for views of the lake. And make sure you are ready to get off at the station because the stop is very short.

After spending three nights in Lake Como, we returned to Milan where we spent two nights. We scheduled our tour of the Duomo and Last Supper for this part of the trip.

Posted by
46 posts

This is great information thank you for your recommendations. This is our first RS tour and we are looking forward to it. Thank you again

Posted by
153 posts

We went to Varenna before our Village Italy tour. It was my favorite part of our three week vacation. I would love to go back!

We purchased our return tickets to Milan at the Varenna train station the day before we departed.

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you. I guess Varenna will be on our post tour visit. Did you go to maggiore as well?

Posted by
225 posts

We just went to Lake Como. We arrived in Italy several days before the tour began and stayed in Venice. Then it was an easy train ride to get to Padua, where the tour began.

After being on the tour for two weeks, plus the extra days in Venice and Varenna, it was time to head home.

Posted by
46 posts

I amI still deciding if I want to go to Lake Maggiore and Como. Or just Como. I tried to get the b&b that someone recommended but it was already booked. I’ll keep searching. Thank you

Posted by
1 posts

Valerie,

We did a similar trip last year (village italy tour ending at Lake Orta), but then went to Lake Maggiore for 3 days after the trip ended. There is a bus that leaves from the parking lot right behind the RS Lake Orta hotel that takes you directly to Stresa that was very inexpensive and easy to use. Think it was about 30 min ride and very scenic. But easy transport, think bus is seasonal and starts for season in mid May and goes through summer.

Lot's to do in Stresa and a great public ferry system with boats going to many different destinations and islands around Lake Maggiore. We picked a different spot each day and went there to explore different lake side town, have lunch, etc. and then returned to Stresa for the night.

We did not go to Lake Como, which I think it a very different experience than Maggiore and instead went pver to Interlaken, Switzerland from Lake Maggiore for some hiking in the Alps.

Good luck with your trip and journey,

Brad

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you Brad for the wonderful information. We may have to reconsider going to both maggiore and Como.
I will try to find out if that bus is still available on October 20 when we end our RS tour. I’ll either call RS or email the hotel in Orta.
Valerie

Posted by
1 posts

Great info above. We are doing 9/30 Village tour, going in early to stay in Venice couple days, and considering 2 or 3 (?) post days in Lakes area - so above info is very helpful. My question regards flights in and out of Italy: We fly out of SeaTac, Washington - and hope(?) to use our air miles. Any suggestions based on experience as to what airline and what stop-over cities work best? Any and all guidance or suggestions appreciated.

Posted by
8248 posts

Vincefamily - I've flown via SEA to Italy and the connection I liked best was via Amsterdam. You get the long leg to Europe over with and then there are more intraEurope flights from that hub. I'd fly from AMS to Venice. Delta goes to Amsterdam with KLM connections to Venice.

I'm glad you are arriving early. It doesn't sound like you have specific plans yet so I'd plan to go to Padua at least the night before the tour start. I love Padua and did NOT allow myself enough time there!

I spent an extra night in Lake Orta and that was really too much time, lol. I was done by noon of the day the tour ended and should have gone to Milan that day for an extra day there. It was mid-Oct and it was pouring rain so that may have affected my view, lol!!

Posted by
6608 posts

It is so easy to basically go down the hill to Lake Maggiore. After staying there, train to Milan to Como or Varenna for time on Lake Como. Lake Orta was our least favorite so agree you should move on.

Posted by
62 posts

I will be on the 9/30/19 Village Italy tour, it sounds like you are on the one after mine. I always love reading all the comments getting ready to go on a RS tour. Really looking forward to this one, a friend did and said it was her favorite. This will be my third tour. I would have loved to stay longer but have to go back to work :( I am arriving though to have 3 nights in Venice, I loved it when I visited last year of the RS Best of Europe tour, can't wait to go back! I think there is a comment from another person on my tour on here? Vincefamily. I'll try to message you.

Regarding flights Vincefamily, I used air miles but booked several months ago so tickets were not a problem. I'm flying from San Francisco to Zurich, then to Venice. When I return I go from Milan to London, UK (my homeland) and then to San Francisco. You'll probably find wherever you can get to in Europe it won't be a problem connecting to Venice...good luck, look forward to meeting you. I'm traveling solo but meeting my friend who I met on my RS Greece tour last year. Although traveling and rooming solo we are doing to tour together, we had such fun in Greece! One of the things I love about these tours all the great people you meet on them.

Have a great vacation Valerie on your tour.

Posted by
46 posts

Thank you Lynn and Suki.
This will be our first RS tour and looking forward to it.
I have booked a hotel in milan and use it as our base for lake Maggiore. Also, I booked a hotel in Varenna so that we can stay in Lake Como.