From Milan to Lake Como – A Rail Escape

The distance from Milan to Lake Como is short, but the journey is filled with breathtaking scenery. Take the train from Milan to Como or Varenna-Esino and enjoy the sweeping views as you ride towards opulent villas and gardens.

If you don’t want to navigate the train system alone, consider booking a top-rated Guided Lake Como and Bellagio Day Trip from Milan. Every place you stop will leave you wondering how each one could possibly be more beautiful than the last.


Trains are an excellent choice for travelers looking to enjoy a stress-free sightseeing day trip from Milan to Lake Como. The region’s famous wishbone-shaped lake—also known as Lago di Como or Lario—is located at the foot of the Alps and offers jaw-dropping scenery that makes it one of Italy’s most beautiful destinations.

Visitors to the region can explore charming lakeside towns, lose themselves among enchanting villas and gardens, relax on the water with a private boat tour or just sit back and take in the stunning views. To get the most out of your visit, I recommend visiting during the off-season (April through late September) to avoid the crowds.

You can catch a regional train from Milano Centrale to Varenna-Esina station for about an hour, and you don’t need to book your tickets in advance. Tickets are fairly cheap and you can find them easily using Omio, our favorite train ticket aggregate. From the train station, you’ll be just a quick walk to Lake Como and the ferry station.

From here, you can hop on a ferry for the short journey to Bellagio. From here, you can wander around the main lakeside town and admire its breathtaking vistas, then hop on another ferry to reach Menaggio. You can also take the funicular train up to Voltiano lighthouse for more impressive vistas.

Once you arrive in Varenna, you’ll be able to buy your ferry tickets online or on the day of your visit—they sell out quickly! Be sure to make your purchases early in the day, as many routes require multiple ferries and/or hydrofoils to complete.

For the best experience possible, consider booking a pre-arranged tour that includes round-trip transportation, visits to a few villages, and a Lake Como boat cruise and/or visit to a villa. It’s impossible to see all of the most popular places on a single day—especially if you’re visiting during high season—but this is a great way to enjoy several must-see attractions without worrying about the logistics!


A ferry ride offers the opportunity to take in Italy’s picturesque lakes and picture-perfect towns. This region of the country is home to renowned cities like Milan, Verona and Lake Como and a plethora of experiences from fashion to historical marvels.

The region is dotted with picturesque villages and palatial residences with mountains plunging straight into crystal-clear water. Visitors can take a relaxing cruise along the waters or visit famous landmarks like the Duomo cathedral and the Last Supper.

A trip to the Italian lakes is ideal for families looking for a diverse travel experience. The scenery is serene and the local communities are welcoming. There is also an abundance of activities, including shopping and eating a wide range of delicious foods.

Ferries are often used by people who do not have cars and are interested in visiting different destinations on a short journey. If you are planning a trip by ferry, make sure to arrive at the port with plenty of time to spare. This will allow you to find a good parking spot and get on the ferry in an orderly manner.

It is important to understand the rules and regulations of a particular ferry before your trip. This includes knowing the boarding procedures, any restrictions on oversized luggage, and if you are prone to seasickness, taking necessary precautions such as medication or acupressure bands. It is also important to know the safety protocols in case of an emergency or accident during your trip.

If you are a car owner, it is important to familiarize yourself with the loading and unloading procedures for vehicles on board. This can save you a lot of hassle in the event of an emergency during your voyage. You should also familiarize yourself with any special requirements for carrying a bicycle. This will save you a lot of hassle in the unfortunate event that your bicycle is damaged during the trip.

The most popular destination to take a ferry ride in Northern Italy is to Lake Como. This beautiful lake is known for its palatial homes, flowering gardens and palm trees, and Las Vegas-style namesakes. The city of Lake Como is also a hub for luxury travelers and attracts a high-end crowd. The most popular towns on the lake are Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio.


The biggest Italian city is Milan, a buzzing metropolis that’s just as much of an icon for modern innovation and fashion as it is for art and fine cuisine (and lots of both). One night in the city is enough to get you over jet lag and to see the main sights such as Milan Cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper mural.

After a few days of rest in this cosmopolitan city, you can head to Lake Como, where the cities of Varenna and Menaggio sit at the heart of the lake. A ferry ride is a great way to go town-hopping around the lake. You’ll be able to enjoy some of the most beautiful views in Italy from the lake.

On our Lake Como Escape tour, you can stay in Varenna or Menaggio on the eastern side of the lake and then take a short regional train or bus to Bellagio or other towns on the western side of the lake such as Lecco or Como. A few hours in each of these towns is all you need to appreciate the beauty of the Lake Como area.

The rocky shoreline of the northern lakes is an ideal place for some peace and quiet, but it’s also a very scenic location to take in the mountains that surround the lakes. You can walk along the shores or stroll up into the hills for some amazing vistas. If you’re a nature lover, there are even some hiking trails that go all the way to the shoreline of the lakes where you can spot rare species of birds.

While you’re on the water, don’t miss out on trying some of the local seafood. This is a popular region for fish such as sardines and anchovies. You’ll also find fresh pasta and risotto made with local ingredients.

Join Tauck on this wonderful journey through Northern Italy, where you’ll sample the fabled food, wine, and traditions of this romantic country. You’ll fall in love with this region of Italy as you visit awe-inspiring landscapes and charming villages. You’ll need a passport that’s valid for six months past your tour departure date to travel to Italy; contact your embassy or consulate to learn more about what documents you’ll need for your trip.


If you love to road trip and have the time, you can see much of northern Italy by car. Unlike the south of the country, where public transport is abundant and fairly inexpensive, northern Italy is more of a driving zone, with only Milan and Verona having good public transit options.

Getting around in northern Italy is easy enough, with a good map, GPS and the help of an online guide or app. You can also hire a private driver (noleggio con conducente), although this option will significantly increase your travel costs.

A common way to experience northern Italy is to fly or take a train into Milan and then rent a car, with the aim of seeing as much of the region as possible before heading back to Milan or Venice (or even Florence or Rome). This northern Italian itinerary is perfect for those wanting to enjoy many different cities and towns, including the stunning Lake Garda area, without rushing through it.

One of the best things to do in northern Italy is to explore the charming lakes and villages dotted along Lake Como. Spend a few days on the shores of this popular destination, taking in views of its mountainous surroundings and taking tours of the lakeside towns such as Lenno or Como town itself. Be sure to visit Villa del Balbianello, a gorgeous estate in Lenno that offers spectacular views over Lake Como and its mountains.

Another highlight of a road trip through northern Italy is to drive the winding roads of the Dolomites. These picturesque mountainous passes offer sweeping views and the chance to explore the medieval castles that cling to their sides. Make sure to include a stop at the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo cable car, which takes you to the top of Monte Baldo for jaw-dropping views over the entire Dolomite range.

Of course, no trip to northern Italy would be complete without visiting a few of its major cities. If you’re traveling on a budget, be sure to stay at a cheap hostel in Milan such as Combo, which is located in the central Navigli district and offers a spacious courtyard with a weekend market nearby. Then take a tour of the famed Duomo cathedral, which took over 600 years to build and has more statues than any other church in the world.

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