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Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

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London, Canada
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Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Hello, we will be staying in Zermatt Switzerland for 3 nights (already booked) but we would like to rent a car one day and drive to Italy. We where thinking we could go and have dinner in Italy but would like make it back to our hotel in Zermatt in reasonable timing (not the middle of the night). Where should we visit in Italy and approximately how far would the drive be?

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1. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Hi there,

Extremely challenging. Domodossola area is about the only area I can think of. It is

a) Drive _northbound_ the whole Zermatt valley all the way to Visp

b) Eastbound along Rhone to Brig

c) The Simplon pass to Domodossola

One way 4-5 hours, hence not that much time to enjoy Italy.

The Matterhorn massive is south of Zermatt and make the border area there to Italy impassable; hence it might look close as the crow flies but no roads and neither tunnels there...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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2. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

How about going to Milan? Could that be driven too?

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3. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Or a friend suggested Como as well

Raleigh, NC
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4. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Milan, yes, it is possible. We will be in Zermatt for 12 days, this September and we are thinking about Milan as a day trip. It is 4 hrs. by train and if we leave Zermatt early there is one change at Brig. It will be a long day. Check the train connections at www.sbb.ch. The last train back to Zermatt would be 7:25pm and arrive back just before midnight. There is so much to see and do in Zermatt, if I had only three days I believe I would enjoy the area and not spend so much time in a car or on a train. Have a great trip.

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5. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Mind you, on the Simplon route car takes a LOT more time than train; that's why they dug this nice train tunnel.

Domodossola as calculated is 8-10 hours all the way (back and forth) from Zermatt. Milan and Como each are at least 2-3 hours further so that would make it minimum 8 + 4 = 12 hours driving alone, without breaks, and without time for sightsee. And this without first 2 x 30 mins train shuttle Zermatt-Tasch plus wait plus walk to the parking lot to pick up rental car, Zermatt itself is carfree. It all sounds quite suicidal c.q. waste of precious holiday time to me. Italy is great from those southern-Swiss towns that have an easy connection to it but as you can see on the map Zermatt is NOT amongst those. For a reason, you can easily fill 3 days with the brilliant mountains there...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

London, Canada
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6. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

I was going by what Google Maps was saying, and it says the trip by car would be 3 hours and 8 mins.

Is this not possible?

http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&q=zermatt+switzerland+to+como+italy&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.45175338,d.dmQ&biw=1440&bih=759&wrapid=tlif136604845197810&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ei=zD5sUayCKOPI0QGKnYDIDg&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg

Edited: 15 April 2013, 18:55
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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7. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Yes that's the route. But Google uses an average of 70-80 km/h over land and totally ignores hairpin bends, mountain passes and other delaying factors - which cause both much slower speeds and distances inaccurate, as Google uses 'follow the road' distances which for a hairpin route are 40-50% lower than the actual mileage. Hence I estimated this same stretch as SIX hours at minimum and I'm afraid that's not that far off the truth, due to e.g. Simplon pass...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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8. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

It is about an hour down to Visp where you get to the main highway. From there it is 3 hours to Milan and that is without stops and assumes you are at least familiar with European road signs, etc. so you move along at the same pace as a local.

The website

www.viamichelin.com

is a good map and directions site for Europe. I find the estimates for driving time to be lower than it takes me and I am familiar with European driving having lived there for many years. Domodossola is the border town.

It really isn't feasible to go over for dinner as that would mean you are driving a mountain road with which you are not familiar at night to get back to Zermatt. Dinner doesn't really start until 7 or so and a nice meal will take a couple of hours.

Hope this helps.

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9. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Well am I ever glad that I asked and didn’t just go by what I saw on Google. Thanks, I appreciate your feedback. Any suggestions on what we should do while in Zermatt? We will be there in early October, but don’t have any activities planned out as of yet. We are staying at an apartment with Matterhorn view at Residence Patricia

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10. Re: Staying in Zermatt - Where in Italy could we visit?

Well a lot will depend on the weather then: snow boundary at which point? Most likely some of the skiing areas will already be partly open, e.g. Sunegga or Glacier Paradise; whilst if you would travel by cog train something like halfway up the Gornergrat you could still do nice green meadows mountain walk down to Zermatt.

Lower in the valley are also options for ski and for walk, e.g. near Stalden and then up that side valley to Saas-Grund. Maybe for 2nd day, if after first day you've seen enough of Zermatt area.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]