Hi, we are traveling from Bellagio to Tuscany. We are trying to figure out the best way to get there. Can anyone tell me how long of a drive it is and if it is difficult terrain? After driving the Amalfi coast by accident, I'm nervous. We have considered driving or taking a train to Florence or Milan and picking up a car there. Your thoughts are appreciated!
First, you'll have to catch a boat out of Bellagio, as roads don't take you there. You can catch a train from Lecco, Varenna, Asso or Como to Milano Centrale. It's about a 45 minute ride. Then you'll transfer to a train going to Firenze1 hour and 45 minutes usually. It takes a train reservation from Milan to Florence, as it's a fast train. And rail is preferable to an automobile. After you visit Florence and if you're wanting to see Tuscany, then rent a car. The roads in the region are pretty crooked, but they're well paved and not too difficult to negotiate. There are many hill top fortress towns to visit, like Siena, St. Gimignano, Volterra and others.
Although it's a ferry ride from Bellagio to Como-S. Giovanni, you can catch the high-speed train from Switzerland on its way to Milan. It's a 33-minute Eurocity train to Milano-Centrale and a 2hr38min travel journey overall from Como to Florence. Until you research and understand the term Zona Traffico Limitado (ZTL), I would not recommend renting a car in Florence with the intent to drive around any of the historical area. You'll understand why when you learn about the ZTL.
Jami.. I have done both the Amalfi Coast drive as well as the drive to Bellagio ( I think we stayed in Varenna) and when we got there they were selling t-shirts that said 'I drove to Bellagio and survived'... but, while it is a very winding road and slow going for a good part of it, the drive itself was beautiful and loaded with gorgeous flowers and it is not like the Amalfi Coast drive (which I would never do again)
Will you have a car in Bellagio? If yes the drive to Lecco freeway entrance is on a winding highway along the lakeshore (kind of narrow highway, by American standards, but not that bad at all), then it's freeway all the way to Florence. Less than 4 hours and you're there. If you don't follow the instructions given above. Ferry to Varenna, train to Milano Centrale, then Freccia high speed to Florence.
Jami, If you're travelling via train, one of the most direct methods would be to take the Ferry from Bellagio to Varenna (about 20 minutes) and then train to Milano Centrale (1H:03M). From Milan you'll travel via the Freccia fast trains to Firenze SMN (1H:45M). The combined times will mean at least a half day of travel, but it's a relatively easy trip. If you choose that method, you might want to buy tickets for your Bellagio-Florence journey before going to Bellagio. There's a very helpful travel agency just below the station in Varenna, so you could buy tickets there (or you could buy the Freccia tikets online). Happy travels!