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Trip Combining Italy Lake Region & Switzerland

Planning a trip to the northern Italian Lake region and Switzerland in early October. Looking for recommendation on what mode of transportation is best when I'm looking to go from Italy and finish the second half of my trip in Switzerland. I've seen buses and boats for day trips across the border. What do you all think is a good choice.


Posted by
11368 posts

We did a loop starting and ending at Milan MXP. However, we drove and included what we wanted to experience and it was terrific.
Milan, Lake Orta, Grindelwald, Pontresina, Lake Como, MXP.

Posted by
11490 posts

Trains are easy and efficient but where, exactly, in Switzerland do you want to go and where will you be, exactly, in Italy?

An example of transit times via train would be

  • Varenna on Lake Como to Lauterbrunnen in the spectacular Berner Oberland Via Milan: 4 trains, almost 6 hours

  • Stresa on Make Maggiore to Lauterbrunnen is 3 trains, <3 hours

  • Stresa to Luzern is 2 trains, a bit over 3 hours

  • Lugano on Lake Lugano to Luzern, 1 or 2 trains, a bout 2 hours

So where from and to? You can play around online at or, the Swiss train company.

Posted by
7463 posts

We did the Stresa-to-Lauterbrunnen train route, or in our case up to Wengen as our final destination. If you do that route, just be sure to switch trains at the “Interlaken OST” train stop, not the first one in Interlaken. The route is easy by train, and you wouldn’t want a car up in Wengen.

Beautiful locations on both ends of that trip!

Posted by
806 posts

Reading the above reminds me of why we drive. Simpler and no connections plus if the weather is clear you have the option of going over the St. Gotthard Pass, not under it in a 20 mile long tunnel. My recommendation is drive if you can.

Posted by
4935 posts

I've done trips in both directions.

From Luzern, Switzerland by regular train to Lugano on Lake Lugano and then train back to fly out of Zurich.

From Varenna on Lake Como by train to Tirano and from there by Bernina Express to St Moritz, Switzerland. From St Moritz I took the Palm Express bus back down to Lugano and a regular train from there to fly out of Milan.

Both the train to St Moritz and the bus from St Moritz were stunningly scenic!