Let the train take the strain- and the ferry too

On December 29, 2015 I posted a blog about getting from Milan Malpensa Airport to one’s chosen accommodation by private limousine. Very convenient, comfortable, reassuring and relaxing. However, if you want a little more adventure, at a little less cost, AND you are travelling reasonably light, there are other options and modes of transport that can be combined to make it less of a “transfer” and more of a “journey”.

Taking the train to Varenna on the shores of Lake Como is an excellent alternative but first you have to reach Stazione Centrale in Milan from MXP. There are several options at the airport (MXP) to take you to the Stazione Centrale in Milan such as, in order of preference, shuttle buses (which leave from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 every half hour and will take you directly to Stazione Centrale in Milan), taxis (readily available, and hopefully direct!) and trains (the station is next to Terminal 1 but you will need to change trains, well actually stations).

The train leaving MXP arrives at Stazione Milano Nord Cadorna in Milan and not the Stazione Centrale. If you choose to take the train from the airport, you can try the M underground train network or maybe splash out for a taxi between the two railway stations. Once you make it to Stazione Centrale you can easily take the train to Varenna. Trains are very frequent, usually every hour, and the journey only takes around an hour. If you are planning to stay in Varenna – it’s journey’s end and your holiday can begin in earnest.

However, if you are heading for Bellagio or Menaggio you can easily transfer from Varenna by ferry; a 10-15 minute journey. This route is convenient and easy, plus it gives you a good feel for the region and how to get around during your stay. Oh, and did I mention the breathtaking scenery?!

Another suggestion is taking the train to Como (which DOES actually leave from the Stazione Milano Nord Cadorna) and then transferring to a ferry to take you to your final destination in Lake Como’s Golden Triangle. There is a high-speed hydrofoil if you are in a hurry, but I would certainly recommend the regular ferry if you can spare the time as it will blow away any stress and strain you my be feeling and start your holiday off in the right key.

If you are planning to take the train and ferry combo, may I suggest checking the schedules (see the links below) a week or so before you leave home? Times may change according to the day of the week or a local celebration, so look at the small print. Good planning will hopefully make for a smooth and enjoyable journey.

For the Milan to Varenna-Esino train link click here

For the Milan to Como train link click here

For the ferry link click here Check the menu on the left-hand side for schedules



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