Is there an "easy" option to travelling by public transport from Menaggio to airport in Bergamo? I have found the option of ferry to Varenna; train (changing at Lecco) to Bergamo train station then shuttle bus to airport. Although we are happy to do this journey on arrival I am worried about the timings for our return trip back to the airport. Other than taxi, does anyone have any other possibilities? Thanks Jenny
No 'easy' option, I'm afraid. The only alternative by public transport is bus from Menaggio to Como Sam Giovanni station and train to Bergamo from there. It's an easy enough train journey though it does involve a change (as does the trip from Varenna). Times, details and fares in English on the official Italian railway website:
But that is no 'easier' a trip than taking the ferry to Varenna and then the train to Bergamo.
I'd note that there may be problems buying your train ticket in Varenna. I'm not sure if the ticket office is ever open and the ticket machine wasn't working when I visited (others have found the same thing):
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As the Varenna>Bergamo journey involves Regionale trains you (a non-resident) probably won't be able to buy tickets in advance online, though Trenitalia may have changed this since I last looked. Regionale trains do not have reserved seats and cannot get so full that you cannot board.
If there is no way you can buy a ticket you need to find the ticket inspector on the train as soon as you board and explain to him/her than you need to buy a ticket. Don't wait for him/her to find you.
Here's the summer ferry timetable:
Lecco would be a better option but the ferry trip from Menaggio involves a change of boat and takes a long time, so it's not really feasible.
You might consider pre-booking a taxi from Varenna to Lecco and starting the train journey from there? Your Menaggio hotel should be able to organise taxi bookings for you.
Once you are in Bergamo getting to the airport is easy. Bus 1/1A goes to the airport every 20 minutes or so. Buy your tickets from the newsagent just inside the station entrance. Remember to validate (date-stamp) them using the ticket machine inside the bus.
A further option is to take the C10 to Como San Giovanni, then the train to Milano Centrale and then the Terravision or Orio Shuttle airport bus from just outside the station (on the left as you leave the platform area and go downstairs) direct to Bergamo airport (journey takes around an hour):
Much really depends on the timing of your flight. If it's early in the day you may find that staying overnight in Bergamo is the best (and safest) option.
Thank you very much for your answers - very helpful. I think we will be looking at the option of travelling the day before and staying the night as our flight is early in the day.
I have to be honest and say that when my flight is early (i.e. before midday) I always spend the last night nearer to the airport rather than further away. And Bergamo is a lovely place altogether, well worth an exploration:
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When we travel on vacation I stint on many things, but not getting to the airport. To enjoy the end of your vacation, go online and book a car service to the airport. It will be of the order of one hundred dollars, but well spent. Public transportation from Lake Como is a mess any way you try it.
I don't think public transport is 'a mess' as such. European public transport is set up to meet the needs of local people rather than visitors.
Bergamo airport is 70+ miles from Menaggio. Having had a quick look, a private transfer from Menaggio to Bergamo airport starts from around 170 euro (although a local taxi company may charge a little less). The journey (without taking a ferry) takes about 2 hours.