Subject: Lake Como region, Italy
Hi Ziners,

Some more specific questions for the Italy experts amongst us.

Is 3 full days and 4 nights too much time to spend in the Lake Como/Bellagio region?

Would you recommend basing in Como, or in Bellagio? Or spreading between the two?

My parents will be travelling into the area from Switzerland - most likely Murren - by train (and/or hire car at the end). The Deutsche Bahn web site shows the destination station as Varenna-Esino via Milano Centrale.

Dad is trying to decide whether to go all the way to Bellagio/Como using public transport (i.e. train to Varenna, then ferry etc over to Bellagio/Como), or to hop off the train (where? in Milan?) and pick up a hire car nearby and drive in. (I assume you can reach Bellagio etc from the Varenna-Esino train station by taxi or bus or walk, then ferry?)

Is a hire car worth having in this area? (This may link back to the amount of time - if 3 days is too much then might they need a hire car to make a day trip?) Is a day trip advisable but still do-able by public transport? (I don't know - Venice?) If a hire car is worth having, what pickup point (near a train station) would you recommend? Milan? (and of course, only if it's worth having).

>From Bellagio/Como they will then be heading down to Tuscany. Their base will be the agritourism they found near Pienza. Where is the best spot closest to Bellagio/Como to pick up the hire car (if they don't have it already)? Could they get one in Como? Or will it be the reverse of the above - ferry back over to Varenna? Or back to Milan? Is this drive too much for one day? If it is, could someone please recommend a nice place (town, accommodation) for a 1 night pause along the way?

At this stage the trip is broken into chunks of mainly 4 night / 3 day stays - travel from Switzerland then 4 nights (incl arrival) in Bellagio/Como, (I'm guessing they'll need...) 1 night on the way to Tuscany, then 4 nights near Pienza, then driving to Rome (dropping off hire-car outside somewhere then training in) so the night of arrival plus 3 more (4 total). I'm guessing that equal time for Bellagio/Como compared to Rome may not be quite the structure they need?!

Thanks in advance! :) Megan, still melting in Brisbane, Australia