|Subject: Re: Varenna versus Bellagio|
Mum and Dad stayed in Bellagio at the Hotel Metropole Bellagio just this April 2004 (Double room, 62 Euro pp/pn, front lake view, lovely buffet breakfast; alas their web page http://www.albergometropole.it/ is currently not functioning). I too found the ferry schedules difficult to read but Mum and Dad said I did well :) They actually ferried across to Varenna on their day on the lake to find out any helpful information before they too had to catch an early ferry from Bellagio to Varenna one morning to catch the early train (to Florence in their case).
Their hotel was most helpful because they wanted to buy their train ticket (plus seat reservation?) in advance and could not the day they were in Varenna so their friendly hotel staff did it for them and gave them the confirmation number which they then produced for the ticket inspector on the train the next day. The ticket inspector was most impressed! (I am sure any hotel in the area would be able to do the same.)
Mum and Dad were leaving Bellagio on the Easter Monday public holiday so they were restricted to holiday ferry schedules. From my notes, it is a 15 minute ferry ride from Bellagio to Varenna, and a 10 minute walk from the Varenna ferry to the train station (give or take depending on fitness and luggage I guess!)
>From what I can gather on http://tinyurl.com/497by there are ferry departures from Bellagio to Varenna (direct I think?) at 7:15, 8:05, 8:35, ...
As far as trains, when I was researching their trip to Florence, departures were half an hour earlier from Varenna than Como for the same arrival time. For Varenna-Esino to Milano Centrale (I used today Tuesday 20 July 04 with required arrival 12:00) I can see it is between an hour and an hour-and-a-half by train: Dep Arr Duration 06:47 08:12 1:25 (reservations required???) 07:24 08:30 1:06 08:23 09:30 1:07 10:19 11:30 1:11
With regards to Varenna vs Bellagio, Mum and Dad would agree with Mei-Ching - that they found more things to enjoy (in their opinion) in Bellagio than Varenna including views and atmosphere. :) Megan Brisbane, Australia