Northern Italian lakes to Swiss Alpine Zermatt Train Holiday Travel

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Lake Como

Great European Holidays by Train

While travelling from norther Italy to Switzerland by you can relax and watch the world go by instead of driving or spending too much time at airports - without seeing the real Europe as it's been for centuries.

European trains are fast and well-connected in the 21st century. A flexible Eurail pass can give train travellers a wonderful, good value European holiday.

There is no better place in Italy than Lake Como Lombardy region of northern Italy to start your exciting train travel around the Italian Lakes. After you've explored the wonders of Como including Villa d'Este, Bellagio and Menaggio, head west by train towards Lake Maggiore. Lake Maggiore also supports wonderful little towns around its banks.

Many pretty towns on the Italian lakes heading to Zermatt

Make sure you stop at Stresa with its pretty cobbled streets and cute ferries to three islands on the lake, including Isola Bella owned by an old Italian family which allows visitors to see its grand buildings and grounds. Isola Bella is listed as one of the thousand places in the world to see in your life.

Take the little blue train through pretty little Italian villages as you cross into Switzerland for more of the same beautiful scenery.  The little train stations are a wonderful reminder of the simple things in life as you watch the locals in action in the traditional way it's always been. The scenic trip on the smaller blue train is only a little longer than the non-stop yellow train.

Eurail train travelling into the northern Italian alps

As you venture onwards by train through this beautiful scenery, you'll find the attractive lake town of Lugano, Switzerland but so near to Italy that it still feels Italian in atmosphere and temperament.  Lugano is even prettier than nearby Locarno because of its location at the bottom of a mountain on the lake.

Next stop is Locarno, a bigger lake town on the Swiss side but with an Italian name, Italian signs and Italian speaking locals. The views across the lake are very pretty and you can take ferries to other lakeside towns.

As you continue on your train travel north, get off at Domodossola at the foot of the Italian alps and near Simplon pass. From here it's a quick trip to the little town of Visp, where you change trains to the narrow guage little train that takes you to the end of the line at the famous Swiss alpine resort of Zermatt.

Zermatt is a pretty pedestrian-only alpine village surrounded by stunning mountains including the mighty Matterhorn mountain. Take the Gornergrat cog railway up toward the top of this 3089 metre summit for a spectacular view of some of the world's best scenery.

The end of your great train journey at Zermatt in the Swiss alps. Photo of accommodation near Zermatt train station.

In Zermatt, stay at the new Cervo Hotel, an alpine lodge with a fantastic restaurant serving fresh local produce.  Cervo is the Italian name for deer, and here you'll meet the charismatic owner Daniel F. Lauber, who is as charming as he is talented.

The fresh venison in the restaurant here is literally out of this world, while the fish is also locally sourced and superb. You can also relax by the roaring open fire as local musicians entertain you. Daniel's partner and chef Seraina Muller uses organic produce where possible, and this really adds to making a stay at Zermatt one of the world's best holidays.

The 5 star Cervo Hotel Zermatt has the best accommodation near the Swiss Alps.

Cervo Hotel restaurant produce is fantastic, overseen by owner Daniel F. Lauber

From Zermatt, you can take the famous Glacier express from Switzerland's west right across the Swiss alps to the ski resort of St Moritz on the other side of Switzerland in the east.  This is a spectacular European alpine train travel through some of the world's best scenery, with huge panoramic windows that even allow you to look up through glass to see the mountain tops above you.

In the fast pace of Europe in the 21st century, with congested roads and wasted time at airports, the romance of European train travel through some of the world's most beautiful countryside is still the best way to experience Europe.

Top of the mountain on the cog railway near Matterhorn mountain behind to right

Zoom to BIG interactive Northern Italy to Zermatt Train Travel Map by Google


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