WHERE SHOULD I FLY INTO?

Varenna is a town on Lake Como in the province of Lecco in the Italian region of Lombardy, and is located 37 miles north of Milan, Italy.

The closest major airport with non-stop flights from the US is Milano Malpensa (MXP).

Flights to Milan from within Europe may fly into Milano Linate (LIN) so be aware of which airport you are flying into when looking at how to then get to Varenna.

HOW DO I GET TO VARENNA FROM THE AIRPORT?

The three easiest ways to get to Varenna from Milan are via train (that conveniently stop in Varenna), by driving, or via a car service. See below for more details from Milano Malpensa (MXP).

 

Click here if you are flying into Milano Linate (LIN)

Click here if you will already be in Europe

IF YOU FLY INTO MALPENSA AIRPORT AND WANT TO TAKE A TRAIN TO VARENNA:

To take a train to Varenna from Malpensa airport, you first travel to Milano Centrale which is the main train station in Milan. To get to Milano Centrale train station from Malpensa airport, you may either take a shuttle bus or a train:


The shuttle bus departs from Malpensa airport -Terminal 1: from 5:00 am to 1:00 am, almost every 20/30 minutes.

Journey time: 50 minutes. Ticket: € 10 one way or € 16 round trip. 

 

 

The Malpensa Express train from Malpensa airport to Milano Centrale departs from Malpensa Airport – Terminal 1 from 5:43 am to 10:43 pm, every half hour at :13 and :43 minutes past the hour 

Journey time: ~52 minutes. Ticket: Adult € 13 one way. Prices and times may vary.

Flights from the US will be landing at Terminal 1 so you will be close to both the shuttle bus and train options. Tickets for both the shuttle bus and train are available at ticket machines in Terminal 1.


FROM THE MILANO CENTRALE TRAIN STATION TO VARENNA:

  • How often do the trains run?
    • The trains that make a stop in Varenna leave at 20 minutes past the hour from 6:20am to 9:20pm with the exception of 11:20 am and 3:20 pm. Since schedules may change at any time, be sure to use the Trenitalia website (click here) for the most up-to- date timetable and fares.
  • Where can I buy tickets? 
    • You can purchase tickets to Varenna-Esino at this Milano Centrale train station on the ground floor. Only second class (no reserved seats) fares are available for this one hour and three-minute train ride to Varenna. If you know when you will be returning from Varenna, consider buying a return ticket also since the Varenna-Esino train station is not staffed. (However, the I Viaggi del Tivano travel agency is located in the Varenna-Esino train station and they do sell local train tickets without a service fee).
  • How do I get to the hotel once I arrive in Varenna? 
    • From the Varenna-Esino train station it is about a half mile or 12 minute walk to Hotel Cipressi. Taxis are available at the train station also.

CAR SERVICE:

If you will be traveling with others or do not wish to take the train or drive, you may decide to get from the airport to Varenna via a car service. Below are links to four car service companies where you can find the types of cars, passenger and luggage capacity and associated fares from Malpensa and Linate to Varenna. Their prices are comparable and vary based upon passenger and luggage capacity.

Car rental companies are plentiful at Malpensa and Linate airports including Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and many local companies and booking ahead is recommended. It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Malpensa to Varenna and about an hour and ten minutes from Linate to Varenna. Villa Cipressi’s address is Via IV Novembre, 18, 23829, Varenna LC, Italy. Google maps can provide you the best driving routes to take from either airport location.

There is public parking available in Varenna but it can be pricey - € 15+/day. You don’t need a car for the wedding festivities but you may want one if you are driving to other cities before or after the wedding. There is a public pay parking lot across the street from the Hotel Cipressi.

IF YOU FLY INTO LINATE AIRPORT AND WANT TO TAKE A TRAIN TO VARENNA: 

To take a train to Varenna from Linate airport, you first travel to Milano Centrale which is the main train station in Milan. To get to Milano Centrale train station from Linate airport, there is a bus service available. Take the “Air Bus” to the Milano Centrale train station. The bus departs from the Linate airport arrivals area: first departure at 6:30 am, then every 30 minutes until 11:30pm.Journey time: 25 mins. Ticket: Adult € 5. Ticket may also be purchased directly on the shuttle at the same price. To get from Milano Centrale to Varenna via train see the From the Milano Centrale train station to Varenna section above.

ALREADY IN EUROPE AND ARRIVING BY TRAIN?

If you are arriving from another European city via train, you will connect through Milano Centrale. See From the Milano Centrale

train station to Varenna section above.

If you do not have a reserved seat...

For train travel throughout Italy, unless you have purchased a reserved seat, and many trains do not offer them, you must get your ticket validated at the validation machine (sometimes yellow, sometimes green) near the train track prior to boarding. There are significant penalties (50 to 200Euro) if you are found to be using an unvalidated ticket. 


Do I buy all tickets in advance?

There is no reason to buy the regional train tickets (such as from Milano Centrale to Varenna-Esino) in advance. There is no discount and they restrict when you can use them. If you are planning to travel by train before or after the wedding and are traveling between major cities such as Milan or Florence, you can buy economy or super economy business class seats at a big discount if you purchase them a few weeks in advance. Think of it in the same way you can buy plane tickets at a discount in advance. You can do this at the the Trenitalia link above or by downloading and using the phone app Trenit. There are restrictions with these discounted tickets, but if you know when you are traveling you can get business class tickets (cleaner, less crowded, reserved seats) for the cost of a walk up second class one.


When in doubt?

Splurge and hire a private car or taxi to take you from the Airport to Varenna. If you split with a friend it will be less than 75 EUR!