Suggestions for side trip to Italy from Lucerne?

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24 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2019 - 5:41 PM

My wife & I had such a great time in Switzerland last October, we decided we needed to go back for a bit longer this October. One of the things we didn't do during our 9 day trip last year was see the southern part of the country, so this year we'd like to visit Italy, even if only for a brief time. We'll be staying in Lucerne - loved using it as our base last time - and were thinking of a train to the border and then maybe a boat ride to the Italian shore towns. I'm not sure if we'll spend a night there or just make a long day of it and return to Lucerne.

Has anyone done a quick trip to the Italian border from Lucerne? Is a one day trip realistic? Any Italian towns you'd recommend (or not recommend)? We certainly enjoyed the boat trips we took on Lake Luzern last year, and we would like to incorporate that into our Italian adventure. Lake Maggiore looks quite interesting.

We are also planning a quick side trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich once we arrive, simply because we've never been there. Probably won't do much more than pop into the country for lunch and a bit of exploring.

Any advice or tips are welcome.

Last modified on Jun 10, 2019 - 5:55 PM by CabinJon
7303 posts
Jun 10, 2019 - 11:07 PM in reply to CabinJon

Why not consider Lugano as a base. The Ticino Region is fabulous. Lakes galore and close to the Italian border. Not that you need to bother as you are in the Italian part of Switzerland.

See trip report at

24 posts
new member
Jun 11, 2019 - 12:12 AM

Rockoyster - Thank you for the link and trip report. Sounds like you had a great time, and it gave me many places to consider. However, Luzern will be our primary base since the reservations are already made. But spending a little extra time in the region isn't out of the question. Thanks again. I need to go read all the other parts of your extended trip report too.

2042 posts
top member
Jun 11, 2019 - 12:30 AM in reply to CabinJon

You can easily visit Ticino for the day from Luzern. Express trains Luzern - Lugano or Locarno via the Gotthard tunnel take 2 hours. Once in Lugano or Locarno you can take the boats around Lake Lugano or Lake Maggiore, some of the ports they visit are in Italy.

1833 posts
top member &
Jun 11, 2019 - 8:05 AM in reply to CabinJon

Hello CabinJon,

You see, thanks to Switzerland's small size you will be able to fit in visiting the Ticino quite easily.
- cino

Staying in Lugano is for sure a good idea, or consider both bases, and connecting them with the Gotthard Panorama Express route:
- cerne
- gano
- tthardpanoramaexpress

To figure out traveling times use the timetable provided below, a fantastic tool for planning.
- metable


Last modified on Jun 11, 2019 - 8:07 AM by Steph

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