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Milan Como, Bellagio, Varenna

How to do a train trip from Milan

Starting from Milan to Varenna, Bellagio and Lake Como.
Would like to know the best route to take by train or bus.

3 Answers

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)
Trains from Milano Centrale Railway Station leave every hour or two to Varenna and take just over an hour.  They cost about 7 euros for 2nd class and about 11 euros for second class.  I have found to be a very good way to book European trains.
From Varenna, you can easily take the ferry to Bellagio and Menaggio.  They run more than hourly during the day, and cost about 5 euros.  There are also ships and hydrofoils that will take you to virtually anyplace on Lake Como.
There is a very scenic bus that will take you from Menaggio to Lugano if you want to see another lake and a bit of Switzerland.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Milano Centrale Railway Station (attraction)
  2. Varenna (city)
  3. Bellagio (city)
  4. Menaggio (city)
  5. Lugano (attraction)
1 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Mary from Leicester
See my other answer for trains Milano Centrale Railway Station to Como.
Milan to Varenna by train is pretty straightforward. Trenitalia operate the route. The station you need is Varenna-Esino, which is about 5 minutes' downhill walk from the lakeside and ferry dock and another 5 minutes or so into Varenna's centre
Direct (that is, no-change) trains to Varenna-Esino leave from Milano Centrale and journey time is about an hour. 
Make sure you buy a two-way ticket from Milan (the ticket machine will offer you the option to do so). Unless things have recently changed Varenna-Esino does not have a ticket office and may not even have a ticket machine (it certainly hasn't whenever I've visited). It does have a validation machine so make sure you validate your return tickets to Milan before boarding. 
To get to Bellagio on the same trip just take the lake ferry from Varenna. No need to book tickets in advance: just buy them when you're there.
The official ferry website in English has timetables:
If you want to visit Bellagio on a separate trip you could take the train to Varenna in the same way, or to Lecco (worth a wander in itself) and then the bus from there to Bellagio. Bus timetable on this link (timetables from June are not yet uploaded):
Or you could go to Como by train and take the lake ferry to Bellagio from there (timetables on link above)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Milano Centrale Railway Station (attraction)
  2. Varenna (city)
  3. Bellagio (city)
  4. Lecco (city)
1 thanks

answered first by
Mary from Leicester
Most definitely journeys to be made by train. Even if there is a bus service trains encounter no traffic hold-ups to slow the trip! 
First of all Milan to Como: Train journey time is around an hour though there are a few faster Trenitalia departures. 
Como has four railway stations. Three are served by Trenord and one by Trenitalia. It doesn't matter whether you take Trenord or Trenitalia trains (fares aren't much different, if they differ at all).  It only matters which Milan station is most convenient for you to leave from and which Como station is most convenient to arrive at.
Trenitalia trains leave from Milano Centrale Railway Station and Milan Porta Garibaldi railway stations and all arrive at Como  San Giovanni station,  a couple of minutes' walk from the historical centre and about 10 minutes  from the lakeside.
Trenord trains leave from Milan Nord Cadorna station, which is nearer the city centre than Milan Centrale. The best Trenord station for a visit is Como Nord Lago which, as its name suggests, is by the lakeside. Como Nord Borghi is in Como's centre but is a longer walk to both the historical centre and the lakeside. 
You can find train times and details for both (and fares for the Trenitalia trains) in English on the official Italian railway website below. Choose 'Milano tutte le Stazioni' as your departure point but you must choose your Como arrival station by name:
The  Trenord site in English gives times and details for both and fares for Trenord trains:
Standard one-way fare is 4.80 euro for both Trenitalia & Trenord, though the few faster trains may be a bit more expensive.
You do not need to book your tickets in advance. Just buy them on the day you go. Ticket machines have English language options and are very easy to use: some only accept cards but there are always machines which accept cash as well.
There's no need to pay extra for first-class. Second-class is perfectly safe and comfortable enough. :-)
Remember to validate (date-stamp) your tickets before boarding, using the machines on/near the platforms. There are on-the-spot fines for non-validation and inspectors do check. See photo for an example of a Trenitalia validation machine: 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Como (attraction)
  2. Milano Centrale Railway Station (attraction)
1 thankscomments (3)

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