Brussels to Italy, via Germany and Switzerland. Advice more than welcome!

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I am quietly working out my plans to travel from Brussels to Naples.
The travel date is not fixed yet, but will normally be somewhere at the end of August ... and 1st week of September.

The route I have in mind:

Brussels North - Cologne (ICE)
Cologne - Basel (ICE)
Basel - Lugano (IC)
Lugano - Milan (RE)

Departure 6u32am, arrival 17u17pm.

If I would like to reserve a seat for the ICE, I pay 5.30 euros for 1st class per person, per journey.
I wouldn't want to do that, but my travel partner isn't convinced about trains, so maybe better to reserve a seat after all. Otherwise I risk having to change seats several times.

Why does the SBB travel planner not show the train at 16u02 pm departing from Lugano in August ?
Is that because not all travel times have been communicated from Italy yet?

Would the SBB travel planner show a connection via Bern and Brig on August 26, because the 16:02 train from Lugano to Milan is not (yet) available?


Is it easy to get from Milan Central to Milan Porta Garibaldi?
Or better to go directly from Lugano or Chiasso, to Milan Porta Garibaldi?


Would the hours still change in the months of August / September, on Saturday, compared to the hours currently available for the months of April and May?

For example, on May 14 and May 21, Saturday, I find the same hours as shown in my post.


From Milan Porta Garibaldi we would then travel to Naples by night train. Just have to convince my travel partner because she currently prefers to spend the night in Milan, and then travel to Naples by train the next day.

Thank you very much for your responses.

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If my ICE 11, departure 06:25 from Brussels South to Cologne, is cancelled, I would dare to take the regional trains departing at 06:55 from Brussels South.

From Cologne Hbf I think to take the eurocity 9 to Zurich HB, arrival 17:00.

Is this the best alternative?

I should definitely be able to take the eurocity 323, departure at 17:33 from Zurich HB. Because with later trains from Zurich HB I miss my connection for the night train at Milano porta Garibaldi.



In the DB planner I see that you can also change trains in Basel SBB from the eurocity 9. This is probably something to keep in mind if there are problems in Zurich, or if a major delay is expected in Zurich.

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Or is it also a good idea to take the ICE 105 from Cologne Hbf to Basel SBB, and in Basel SBB take the EC 153 to Chiasso?
In Chiasso I then have a good hour to do some shopping to take with me on the night train to Naples.