a VirtualTourist member from Los Angeles
Our 2-week Italian Mosaic tour will end in Rome after breakfast on 6/18/2013. From Rome, we would like to take the train to go to Lake Como possibly to Varenna or Bellagio via Milan Centrale on 6/18. We will spend 2 nights in Varenna/Bellagio and will proceed to St. Moritz on 6/20 for 2 nights. After st. Moritz, we will take the train to Zurich for 3 nights before heading back to Los Angeles n 6/25.
I would like your help on the following:
1. What train should we take from Milan to Varenna to Tirano? I tried TreNord and RailDude and I did not see train schedules. 2. If we take the Bernina Express train from Tirano to St. Moritz, is the SwissPass valid on the Bernina Express and on our train ride from St. Moritz to Zurich and during our stay in Zurich? Some highly suggest taking the regional train through Bernina Pass but is buying the SwissPass for our journey to Zurich cheaper than buying Bernina Express and Regional train? 3. Do we have to go through Milan to get to Varenna or is there a better route without having to go through Milan Centrale station? 4. From Rome, if we go through Verona-Tirano-St. Moritz-Zurich, is this a better option? I am asking because we also would like to see the land of Romeo and Juliet.
I appreciate your help.
1. Its always best, when looking for European railway information, to look at the official railway website for the country concerned. For Italy, it's Trenitalia:
which also carries LeNord info. The link above is to the English version..
which train is 'best' for you obviously depends on timings etc, but you'll be able to work that out from the site.
3. Railway websites are set by default to show the fastest (i.e. 'best') routing from A to B. You can, if you wish, choose another routing (buying separate tickets) but there's generally no point: the routing shown on official railway sites is the 'best' in terms of speed and ease.
4. It's not a 'better' way, but if you want to visit Verona then it's perfectly feasible. It really depends on your own personal preferences.
Use the Trenitalia site to explore departure & journey times and fares on the routes you are thinking about: that may hel you make a decision.
The Swiss Pass is valid on all regular public transit in Switzerland. You have to pay for some mountain railways, and you pay a surcharge on some scenic named trains. The Bernina Express is such a train. However on the Bernina Express you only pay the surcharge when you take place in the Panorama cars. If you take a seat in the unit pulling the train you don't have to pay extra. I would in your case however not buy a Swiss Pass. Tirano - st. Moritz is only 30,- CHF, less than what a day on a Swiss Pass costs. And you can buy the ticket in Tirano without any problem. You also can take any of the many regional trains on the route, which are as fast as the "Express".
Thank you so much for your response. It is really helpful to solicit other people's idea. I appreciate it.
It is indeed possible (if not particularly easy) to go from Verona to Varenna without going through Milan. You would go Verona to Brescia, Brescia to Bergamo, Bergamo to Lecco, then Lecco to Varenna.
At 6:54 in the morning, a regionale veloce leaves Verona for Brescia, and after 3 changes, you end up in Varenne-Esino at 10:52, for the princely sum of 12.75 euro (2nd class one way). This is about the slowest way to get there, but it's also the cheapest.
I have not made this run, but the scenery MAY be more interesting, as it runs closer to the base of the Alps than the Verona to Milan course.