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Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

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Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

From Florence.

We have three nights between leaving Florence and flying out of MXP (at 10 p.m.). We;re just looking for a good place to chill out for a few days (my, the wife and three kids aged 20, 18 and 16).

Imperia, Italy
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1. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

There is little difference. Both require a change of train in Milan Centrale.

From there, Stresa is a little under an hour away by the non-stop trains heading for Switzerland, rather more than an hour by the slower Regional trains.

On Lake Como, Varenna is around an hour away by Regional trains. Como itself can be around 30 minutes away by the non-stop trains to Como San Giovanni station heading for Zurich, but few people wish to stay in Como city so this would probably only be half your journey or less.

So choose your destination according to where you want to go, not according to travel times.

Stresa, Italy
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2. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

Train fom Florence to Milano Centrale. Then Milano Centrale to Stresa by train takes 55 minutes. From Stresa station a 5 min downhill walk to lake front where all of the hotels are.

Try Hotel La Palma maybe.

You can get the Alibus shuttle bus from Stresa directly back to Malpensa airport for your reutn flight. Visit the Lake Maggiore page and look at the Alibus Sticky I have put on the top of the page for times etc.

STRESA

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3. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

A couple of follow-ups....

1. What location would be better for a family with three offspring ages 20, 18 and 16? What would they enjoy more?

2. I have been looking for train tickets, but the trains from Milan to either Stresa or Como are not yet available. Should I go ahead and buy the Florence to Milan segments to get the good "Mini" fairs and then buy the Milan to Stresa or Como segments later? Or should I just wait and try and buy the whole tickets 60 days out?

Imperia, Italy
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4. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

Q2 There is no harm in buying Mini tickets to Milan now, and these will be 'ticketless' - all data being sent to you by email.

Online tickets for the fast trains to Como and Stresa are not ticketless - you will have to collect hard tickets from a ticket machine in Florence or Milan using the codes provided and the first and last name you used to book. And for the slower Regional trains, tickets are only available online seven days in advance and with no reductions, and there is little point in buying online at all, as these trains have no reserved seats.

For Q1 I suggest you read around on the two areas - you know your own children and what interests them!

Greater London...
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5. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

Why not involve your children when deciding where to stay - or might that result in a divided family? :o)

Personally, my choice would be to stay in one of the villages around the centre of Lake Como. The dramatic, rugged scenery is absolutely stunning. To stay in that area, the best option would be to take the train to Varenna (Varenna Esino), rather than Como.

Varenna, itself, is an extremely pretty village and would be good place in which to base yourselves. Bellagio, which is the most well known location on the lake is a short ferry ride away. It's the most touristy of the villages/towns, but is an excellent base for the first time visitor and might be more suitable for your children as it's the most lively.

I have always thought of Stresa as being a bit staid and catering for the more "mature" traveller.

However, both lakes are lovely and perfect for chilling out.

Stresa, Italy
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6. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

@ladybracknell.... Both Como AND Maggiore attract and older clientele ....but perhaps you haven't been to stresa for a while as things are changing... I cannot be doing with this dogma that stresa is like a old people's home! It isn't ! thankfully in Stresa we have mainly 4and 5 star hotels that obviously attract people with a certain buying power.. Living here I see the people that are here every day and I can assure you there are plenty of young people....

Come see for yourself.... ...

STRESA

Como, Italy
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7. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

I would consider taking the train from Milan to Varenna and then crossing the lake by ferry to Menaggio. Menaggio has a great lido with two swimming pools, where the young people might be very happy to hang out for the whole day. Varenna is pretty, but quiet, and if you are staying in Bellagio you can't really go anywhere without getting on a boat. Menaggio isn't as quaint as Bellagio or Varenna, but being close to Villa Carlotta, and on several bus routes, it gives you more options.

Como, Italy
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8. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

@perilizia I don't know if "few people wish to stay in como"... If it's true all the hotels there (and there are plenty of them) should be bankrupt, but maybe there is more to see and to do than what it seems. ;-)

Actually if I were from 16 to 20 i would trade any time the lovely lake views of a small village for Como. All center town within the square roman walls is walking area full of bars, shops, ice cream, restaurants, busy and attractive but much mor "real" and funny to explore than any tourist-only area. During the day it is possible to take ferries to see the centre lake without any need to worry about timetables because every ferry starts from here. With a family of five it is even possible to try the seaplane flight at a reasonable price!

Of course if parents want to "chill out" a small village with stone steps leading directly in the water it's more appropriate, so it depends on who's having the upper hand in OP family... :-)

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9. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

"....so it depends on who's having the upper hand in OP family..."

27 years into the marriage and 20+ into the parent thing,,,,we're still working that out.

:)

10. Re: Which is easier to get to by train-Lake Como or Stresa?

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