Best 10 day trip from Milan

Best 10 day trip from Milan

While any day is an enjoyable day in Italy’s fashion capital, day trip from Milan will lead you to adventures exploring captivating medieval cities, cultural gems and simple, beautiful lakeside towns where moments are frozen in time.

With high-end shopping galleries, finest architectural and artistic masterpieces, and a myriad of winding streets, Milan offers so many things to do for a visitor on any given day. If you can build into your itinerary a day or two to venture out of the city on a day trip, to experience something different, exploring the hidden cultural gems of medieval cities, castles and lakeside towns, then selecting from this best 10 day trip from Milan will be a great starting point to a perfect itinerary.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

1 | Lake Como – Day trip from Milan

Lake Como, Italy by Carlo Restuccia – Pexels

Spend a day at Lake Como, Italy’s third largest lake and only a stone’s throw from the city of Milan. In under an hour in what is a seamless train journey, you will experience the most beautiful of the northern Italian lakes. The natural beauty of its settings, steep wooded shoreline and pristine aquamarine waters has been the playground for the aristocrats and wealthy since Roman times.

What to do in Lake Como:

Enjoy a luxurious cruise around its waters and take in the sights of beautiful villas and stunning alpine scenery. Combine this lake visit with a tour of the larger town of Como, located in the southern tip of the lake. Spend at least a couple of hours exploring the hidden gems of Como city, notably the neoclassical building of Villa Olmo, Como Cathedral and Piazza Duomo. Don’t forget to ride the historical Brunate Funicular, operating since 1894. It connects Como city with the village of Brunate. A 7-minute ride up gives you panoramic views over the lakes and the Swiss Alps.

Along with the stunning landscapes and medieval villages, Lake Como has been Italy’s silk capital since the 16th century. World famous, Como is home to Mantero, just 15 minutes drive from Como city centre. If you can’t get to Mantero, then stop by at A.Picci, trading since 1919 and is the last remaining silk shop in town, dedicated to selling Como silk.

A day trip to Como typically involve a visit to the smaller town of Varenna and hopping onto a ferry to Bellagio. All three offering different landscapes to the lake.

When to go:

The best time for visiting Lake Como is between March and November. The warm temperature allows you to enjoy boat tours and walks.

How to get to Lake Como: If you are exploring on your own, I would highly recommend a train journey from Milan Central Station. The average travel time between Milan and Como is 48 minutes. The quickest route is 37 minutes. There are about 58 direct trains connecting Milan to Como everyday. You can check train timetable and purchase your tickets here.

Ways to experience Lake Como, Varenna & Bellagio: Join a group tour and enjoy a full day trip to Como from Milan onboard a luxury coach with a knowledgeable guide.

Pro tip: Lake Como is often combined with other nearby destinations such as Bergamo but I think to fully experience Lake Como, a full day should be dedicated to exploring this picturesque area of the lake district in Italy

2 | Lugano and Bellagio – Day trip from Milan

Sunrise over Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy by Heyengel – Pexels

Known as “Monte Carlo of Switzerland”, Lugano sits on the southern Swiss border, Italian Canton of Ticino, south of the first ridge of the Alps. Lugano is easily reached in less than an hour from Milan offering breathtaking vistas of the Swiss Alps and shopping opportunities, a destination often high on a tourist list to this region.

What to do in Lugano:

Immerse in the wild beauty of the lakeshore, the dominating San Salvatore and Brè Mountains. Fall in love with the Italianate architecture in the city, chic shopping streets where you buy the best Swiss chocolates. The villages are huddled to the mountainsides over the lake, offering picturesque sights for perfect photo opportunities.

San Salvatore – From Paradiso, take a 12-minute ride up onboard a funicular to reach the 900 metres for amazing views over the lake and the Alps.

Monte Brè – At 925 metres above sea level, Monte Brè is regarded the sunniest mountain in Switzerland and a perfect home to a special flower, Christmas Rose, which usually only found in the Mediterranean climes

Combine Lugano with a trip to Bellagio: The “Pearl of Lake Como”, in less than an hour from Lugano.

What to do in Bellagio: Enjoy the charming town with its cobblestones and Villa Serbelloni, an 18th century terraced garden with lake views.

Ways to experience Lugano and Bellagio: Join a tour of no more than 25, from the centre of Milan, seeing the very best of Lugano and Bellagio and plenty of time to explore on your own. There are various options offered, so check and book now, pay later on the one that best fits your itinerary.

For off the beaten path adventure in Bellagio: Join a 2-hour activity exploring a wilderness trail in a place that is so close to Bellagio and yet, little known and little visited. The village of Lezzeno, between the mountains and the lake.



3 | Bergamo – Day trip from Milan

Bergamo Old City, Architecture by Ben_Kerckx, Pixabay

A visit to Bergamo is often combined with a visit to Lake Como but I think it’s worth dedicating a day exploring this historic town. With hills stretching for miles and its incredible surrounds, a remarkable experience awaits.

What to do in Bergamo:

This charming, yet hidden and unexplored city has plenty of medieval architecture to marvel at including the 5 kilometres of medieval wall encircling the old town. Explore Bergamo Alta, the hidden city at the top of the town, accessed via a funicular. Visit the Venetian Works of Defence, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for incredible views over Bergamo.

Other incredible experiences at Bergamo Alta not to be missed: Bergamo Cathedral, St. Maria Maggiore Basilica, and the Colleoni Chapel.

Getting to Bergamo: There is a direct train from Milan Centrale Station. Journey is about an hour.

Ways to experience Bergamo: Spend a day on a walking tour of this medieval city and explore its history and culture.

4 | Lake Maggiore & the Borromean Islands – Day trip from Milan

Lake Maggiore, Italy by Jonathan Reichel, Pixabay

Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Island make a perfect day trip from Milan, an escape to the peaceful haven from the hustle and bustle of the city. Enjoy a day hopping-on and off the 11 islands that form this cluster of pretty charm with a ferry pass.

What to do in Lake Maggiore & surrounds:

The main attraction here are the three distinct islands, Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori (also known as Isola Superiore). Explore their individual charms at leisure and enjoy the tranquility of the natural beauty of the islands. Visit Palazzo Borromeo, a unique 10-tiered baroque garden design in Isola Bella that has remained intact. Isola Madre is home to a fabulous Palace Museum and Gardens which should not be missed. Isola dei Pescatori is a fisherman’s village and the only village inhabited all year round.

Getting to Lake Maggiore: Begin your day of island hopping at Stresa, a lakeside town which is about 1 hour 7 minutes from Milan by train. All the islands are a short ferry ride of each other.

Travel by train options: Either point-to-point travel which works cheaper if one-off travel but if you are visiting a couple of the cities and planning on travelling by train, then the Interail Pass is a cost-effective option.

5 | Verona – Day trip from Milan

Verona City by Felix, Exposure Today

Made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, the beautiful town of Verona is as pretty as was described. With temperate weather and regarded by Mozart and Goethe as the perfect holiday spot, Verona has many other strings to its bow which must be explored and certainly merits a day trip from Milan.

What to do in Verona:

Visit the Arena di Verona, Piazza delle Erbe with its town hall and a clock-tower, Torre dei Lamberti. Splash out if you wish in the Centro Storico Certainly do not miss Juliet’s balcony. The centre of town is compact, walkable with barely any need to take public transport. Don’t miss Castelvecchio, a Roman fortress just outside of the city walls.

Getting to Verona: Verona can be reached in a little over an hour from Milan. The average travel time between Verona and Milan is 1 hour 23 minutes. The quickest route takes 1 hour 15 minutes. There are 23 trains in a day between Milan and Verona, leaving approximately every hour.

Ways to experience Verona: Join a group tour onboard a luxury coach from Milan to Verona and Lake Garda.

Pro tip: Verona is a beautiful town and offers so much to see,, do and experience. I spent 3 days in Verona and wished I could have stayed longer. Dedicate 1 day in its entirety at the very least in Verona, because Verona is so much more than Juliet’s balcony.



6 | Lake Garda – Day trip from Milan

Lake Garda, Italy by Wellox, Pixabay

Lake Garda, the largest, cleanest and the most famous of lakes in Italy definitely warrants a visit. It’s crystalline waters, the beautiful backdrop of snowcapped mountains, charming towns of Bardolino, Sirmione and Desenzano will captivate you from the moment you arrive here.

What to do in Lake Garda:

Take a quick cruise out to scale the shores and be captivated with the villas of the rich and famous. In Bardolino, there are two Romanesque churches which you simply must see. Sirmione, the “Pearl of Lake Garda” has so much to offer visitors including a medieval fortress, Roman villa and the Catullo caves.

Getting to Lake Garda: There are two ways to get to Lake Garda from Milan by train. First option is to arrive at Desenzano del Garda from Milan. The journey is 51 minutes and there are 25 trains each day. Secondly, a train journey to Peschiera del Garda will take 57 minutes, also 25 trains in a day.

Ways to experience Lake Garda: Day trips by coach to Lake Garda are often combined with a trip to Verona. An excellent value for money experience.

7 | Venice – Day trip from Milan

Sunset, Venice – by Samuel Busetto, Pixabay

Venice needs no introduction! This romantic city of canals, bridges, cobbled streets and gondolas must be in everyone’s list of things to do when in Italy.

What to do in Venice:

You may not be able to fit all of Venice’s delights in a day trip from Milan but if a day is all you have, then allow yourself to be charmed by the fantastic architecture that characterises one the world’s favourite cities. Wander the little alleys and stop for coffee at the infamous Piazza San Marco. Hop over to Venice’s nearby island, Murano and experience the colours of the island and its historic tradition with glass-blowing. If you could do a gondola ride through its many canals at sunset, it will surely be memories well worth the money!

Getting to Venice: Takes a little over 2 hours to reach Venice by train from Milan. The average travel time between Milan and Venice is 2 hours and 32 minutes. The quickest route is 2 hours and 10 minutes. There are 22 trains in a day between Milan and Venice, leaving approximately every hour.

Ways to experience Venice: Book a day trip from Milan onboard a luxury coach to Venice. This trip includes a 2-hour guided tour of Venice and a boat ride on Venice lagoon (NOT a gondola ride). You have plenty of time to explore on your own as well.



8 | Cinque Terre – Day trip from Milan

Cinque Terre, Vernazza Village by djedj, Pixabay

Visit one of Italy’s most scenic landscape with layer upon layer of rainbow-hued medieval houses perched upon hillsides – the five villages of Cinque Terre are sure to captivate and delight visitors of all ages. A UNESCO World-Heritage is also one of the most Instagrammable site!

What to do in Cinque Terre:

A day is too short a time to explore all five medieval villages but there will be enough time to wander round Monterosso al Mare (the largest of the Cinque Terre villages) and Vernazza.

Getting to Cinque Terre: There is a direct train from Milan to Monterosso which takes about 3 hours. There are other routes that require a change at Genoa.

Ways to experience Cinque Terre: Book a coach tour from Milan to Monterosso and spend one day exploring this picturesque Italian villages. This tour comes with a 1.5 hour boat trip to Vernazza, a beautiful fishing village in every sense.

9 | Genova and Portofino – Day trip from Milan

Portofino, Italy by John Bongard, Pixabay

Get away for a day and go on a scenic drive along the coast to the three colourful gems in the beautiful Ligurian Coast. Genova is Italy’s largest port and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Together with the colourful villages of Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, it is a delightful area of the Italian Riviera to explore as a full day trip from Milan.

What to do in Genova & Portofino:

The historic streets of Genova is home to monuments dedicated to its maritime history and memorials to Christopher Columbus. Sail along the coast to the glamorous fishing village of Portofino that dates back to Roman times, take in the picturesque sights of the fishing boats and spend some time exploring the Santa Margherita Ligure.

Getting to Genova & Portofino: Onboard a coach tour from Milan city centre with a tour guide and includes the boat trip to Portofino.

10 | Interlaken & the Swiss Alps – Day trip from Milan

Lake Thun, Interlaken, Switzerland by Algorino, Pixabay

Venture to another country while visiting Milan! Just a few hours and you would arrive in Interlaken – one of the most scenic places on earth!

What to do in Interlaken:

Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Swiss Alps onboard the Green Train of the Alps.as it takes you on a journey through Simplon pass, one of the most beautiful crossings in Switzerland. Take an amazing cruise on Lake Thun and explore Interlaken at your own pace before your return journey.

Getting to Interlaken: Onboard a high-speed train from Milan to the town of Domodossola to board the Green Train of the Alps.



These are my best 10 day trip from Milan which I have put together for you to design your itinerary your way for when you visit Milan. I find day trips are excellent value for money excursions and I try and go on one even when I am on a 3-day city escape. Learn more of my getaway to Geneva and what I did on my day trip to Mont Blanc.

You may also like these related articles on Milan

As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you. Please let me know if this post is valuable to you in planning your visit to Milan. I would love to hear from you.

Have a splendid time exploring Milan and surrounds!

Georgina xx

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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The 10 fabulous destinations from Milan for any wandeluster! Suitable for solo, couples and families wanting a bit more to their city break in Milan. A brief guide to what to do and how to get there is also included. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/The 10 fabulous destinations from Milan for any wandeluster! Suitable for solo, couples and families wanting a bit more to their city break in Milan. A brief guide to what to do and how to get there is also included. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Quotes on Milan that makes the City irresistable

Quotes on Milan that makes the City irresistable

Quotes on Milan
Pin - Quotes on Milan


Feed your curiosities with these 10 beautiful quotes on Milan to tickle the wanderlust in you!

Explore the hidden gems, architectural marvel and the gastronomical delights of this ancient city – be it a weekend getaway or a day trip, the City of Milan will not disappoint.


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Pin on Quotes on Milan

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners


Quotes on Milan

Milan, for me, is a city of discovery. You can find some amazing gardens behind some great houses; I also love finding beautiful galleries and incredible shops, but you have to explore. And the food is amazing.     

Francisco Costa
Brazilian Designer

My cousin Francis and I are in perfect accord – he wants Milan, and so do I.   

Charles V

[Charles V and Francis I of France took hold of Milan and Lombardy several times in a row between 1515 and 1525]

In Milan, everything is regulated by money. They say ‘cappuccio’ in bars instead of ‘cappuccino’ to save a syllable.      

Enzo Biagi

My thoughts on quotes on Milan

As inelegant as this may sound, I admit that I love quotes! Not just travel quotes, but also inspiring and motivational quotes to see the lighter side of things. There is a quote of some sort for each day, each emotion that one might feel, each experience in life, for each city and for each mountain we hike up to. Some of these quotes expresses our innermost feelings so eloquently that, you can’t but fall in love with it. I am sure at one time or another we have all related to travel or inspiring personal growth quotes. I have so many that are my favourite, especially with travel quotes. One of my favourite is “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to, and people I’ve never met Similarly, the quotes on Milan above are my favourite. They describe the characteristics of this lovable city so well and paint a picture so colourful that one cannot resist a visit. One simply has to visit Milan to find out what this city is all about.

Georgina

Look forward to connecting with each of you


Lovely quotes on Milan that will tickle the wanderlust in you to explore this ancient city of hidden gems, architectural marvel and gastronomical delight via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Lovely quotes on Milan that will tickle the wanderlust in you to explore this ancient city of hidden gems, architectural marvel and gastronomical delight via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Why you should visit

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Why you should visit and what you need to Experience

“Milan’s drawing room” is no ordinary drawing room! A symbol of Milanese style and wealth, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II famously known as ” il salotto di Milano” is a sophisticated, architecturally stunning 19th century shopping gallery. This elegant galleria is home to some of the most luxurious names in the fashion world, international chains, and gourmet eateries. Even if you do not want to splash out on a thing or two here, the Galleria is a must see destination solely for its architectural marvel when visiting Milan.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

About the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is more than just a “spot of shopping”. It is a landmark of the City of Milan, with 160 years of history and one of the oldest shopping gallery still standing. A visit here will not only have you look-up at the glass-dome but will also have you look-down exploring the beautifully crafted intricate mosaic floor.

1 | The design

The extraordinary Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a four-storey double arcade, shaped like a cross. It is dominated by a stunning neoclassical iron and glass dome at 50 metres high. The Galleria features an amazingly crafted mosaic floor and an archway.

The neoclassical glass domed at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The archway connects the two most historical piazzas in Milan – Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala.

The beautiful mosaic floor contains four distinct designs, representing the coat of arms of Rome, Florence, Turin and Milan. Rome is represented y a She-wolf together with Romulus and Remus. Florence is the Lily flower. Milan is Red Cross on a white background. As for Turin, it’s a Dancing Bull (pictured below). In the central dome of the Galleria is surmounted by stunning mosaics that represents Asia, Africa, America and Europe.

Legend of the Dancing Bull

The mosaic of the Dancing Bull of Turin

The mosaic of the Dancing Bull of Turin attracts hundreds of visitors daily because of a legend associated with it. According to the legend, if you place your heel on a particular “spot” (between his two hind legs) and turn around three times, with eyes closed, it will bring you good fortune. Millions of visitors must have done this over the years because there is a hollow on the mosaic.


2 | History of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This architectural marvel was designed in 1861 by Guiseppe Mengoni. It was built between 1865 and 1877 in honour of the first king of the realm, King Vittorio Emanuele II. However, sadly, Guiseppe Mengoni was never present for its grand opening. He was found dead under some scaffolding a few days prior. Some believed Mengoni died of a heart attack, while others say that he took his own life because he couldn’t face the criticism of his design. Mengoni did leave a tale of mystery and an architectural masterpiece!

From the time it was built, the Galleria became the city’s favourite. It was a meeting point, in particular with the Milanese bourgeoisie, academics and musicians such as Giuseppe Verdi, thus nicknamed “il salotto di Milano” (Milan’s drawing room) in the early 20th century. As a meeting point, it also became a place for student demonstrations, rallies and clashes with the police in the 1960s. Post this, the Galleria reinvented itself.

Today, it is more than a shopping arcade. It exudes an air of luxury boasting a string of high-end boutiques, and landmark eateries. It is a beautiful place to stroll, window-shop, people watch and dine. You’ll also see beautiful frescoes and arches throughout, which you can admire as you pass through. 


3 | Shops and Eateries

3.1 | Shop till you drop!

An emblem of the city’s past and present, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is filled with some of the famous Italian brands. It is one of the best places to shop in the city. One of the very first Prada stores is present in the Galleria, which opened in 1913 when the business began. Despite being renovated in the year 2000, the store still contains most of its original furnishings. 

Discover the top 5 brands in and around the Galleria – Giorgio Armani | Versace | Louis Vuitton | Prada | Gucci

3.2 | Eateries

Landmark restaurants and cafes include:

Café Restorante Biffi: which has been here since 1852 and can be found in the south wing. This cafe is named after Paolo Biffi, a pastry chef of the Monarch in the 19th century. Cafe Biffi is the oldest cafe at the Galleria. Biffi’s main specialities are Ossobucco with Milanese risotto and the Milanese cutlet. Although there are many choices, the menu has remained largely unchanged for the last twenty-five years. To enjoy a meal at Cafe Biffi will require a booking well in advance.

Bar Camparino:  Occupying a perfect spot in the Galleria overlooking the white facade of the Duomo, this bar keeps alive the ritual of the Italian aperitif (aperitivo). Back in 1897, Gaspare Campari set up his restaurant (along with his home and wine shop) in the gallery, adding his Campari location in 1915. In the 1980s, the bar’s name was changed to “Bar Camparino.” Stop in to sip an iconic Campari and soda or Negroni cocktail, while nibbling on accompanying snacks. Makes a perfect break in a long day of sightseeing.

Libreria BoccaThis charming, historic bookshop has been at Galleria since 1930. The bookseller was also once the official printer of the House of Savoy and published such authors as Pellico, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Freud. One of the oldest bookstores of its kind that is still in operation.


4 | Take a walk on the roof

The Galleria recently opened Highline Galleria – a walkway on the roof of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This exciting journey allow you, for the first time to admire the Duomo from a unique and fascinating perspective.

The walkway stretches 820 feet from Piazza Duomo to Piazza della Scala. Access is via two high-speed elevators that are located inside the courtyard at Via Silvio Pellico 2.

The rooftop walk is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00. Tickets costs €12.

You can book the full experience at the official website of Highline Galleria here.


Getting to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Getting here is pretty easy as it is at the Piazza del Duomo which is the central or starting point to begin any sightseeing activities.

Address: Piazza del Duomo, Milano

Transport : Metro Line – M1 (Red Line) or M3 (Yellow Line) and get off at Piazza del Duomo stop.

Bus – Line 61

Tram – Line 1 and 2

Pro tip: Public transport in Milan is convenient and easy to navigate.


What do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Georgina

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is more than just a "spot of shopping". It is a sophisticated, architecturally stunning 19th century shopping arcade that will have you, not only look up at the glass-dome but will also have you look down exploring the beautifully crafted intricate mosaic floor. A must visit when in Milan. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is more than just a "spot of shopping". It is a sophisticated, architecturally stunning 19th century shopping arcade that will have you, not only look up at the glass-dome but will also have you look down exploring the beautifully crafted intricate mosaic floor. A must visit when in Milan. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

People and Culture of Italy | An Overview

People and Culture of Italy | An Overview

The people and culture of Italy have flourished over the centuries making Italy one of world’s leading and influential countries. Italy is considered the home of Roman Empire, Renaissance and of the Roman Catholic Church, boasting a rich culture associated with religion, family, etiquette & customs, art, architecture, music and food. With the innate culture of Italy to celebrate, you are never too far or need wait too long to experience a vibrant festival or carnival thrown in respect of a saint or a local harvest. Italians do live life to their fullest!

Arena di Verona

Italy, a peninsula in southern Europe is home to about 60.4 million inhabitants (2020). About 96% are Italians and the remaining 4% include North African, Italo-Albanians, Albanians, Germans, Austrian and other European groups. This page tells you more about Italy.

You can find Italy at the following GPS:

Latitude: 41° 17′ 32.86″ N
Longitude: 12° 34′ 25.00″ E

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The views expressed in my blogs are my own and I will always be explicit if any of its content is subsidised or sponsored. This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links. This means that I receive a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. This is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support. Access Disclosure Policy in its entirety here.

Here is an overview on people and culture of Italy.

Culture of Italy and Language

The official language spoken by the nation is Italian. About 93% are native Italian speakers. There are other dialects and languages spoken by or understood by the minority of the nationals, such as French, German, Ladin, Slovene, Greek, Catalan, Croatian and Emiliano-Romagnolo.

Emiliano-Romagnolo is made up of two distinct languages, Emilian and Romagnol. This language is spoken by 1.7 million people primarily in Northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. It encompasses parts of Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Tuscany and in one of the world’s smallest country, San Marino.

Friulian is a dialect spoken by 600,000 people in the Friuli region of north east Italy.

Ladin, Slovene and German enjoy equal recognition with Italian in the province of Alto-Adige.

French is legally recognised in the Alpine region of the Val d’Aosta.

Catalan is spoken by a small number of people, about 0.7% in one city on the island of Sardinia. On the rest of the island, Sardinian is spoken by over 1 million residents.

Is English spoken in Italy?

Although Italian is the widely spoken language, there are subtle signs that Italians are well-versed in English as well. English is the principal foreign language taught in almost every school in Italy, so the younger generation are able to converse well. Some Italians may say that they do not speak or understand English, but you will find that they can understand enough and able to communicate with a few words in English and accompanied by hand gestures.

If you are travelling to major cities like Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, you may not encounter problems getting by without any Italian as a tourist. However, if you wish, you could always learn the language by signing up to a language class in Italy when you visit or do an online language course to be familiar with the language.


Culture of Italy and Religion

The primary religion in Italy is Roman Catholic. Rome is home to Vatican City, the hub of Roman Catholicism and where the Pope resides. About 90% of Italians are Roman Catholics. Although church attendance is low, the influence of the church is high. Office buildings have a cross or a religious statue in the lobby. There are many celebrations throughout the year honouring saints.

Easter and pre Lent celebrations are the most celebrated, best loved and ancient of traditions in Italy. The highlight is Carnavale. A vibrant celebration of dancing, masquerading and feasting takes place before Ash Wednesday. The pre Lent festivals mark an essential time in Italian culture to celebrate with food before the fasting and sacrifices of Lent is observed.

A small minority of Italians are Jews, Protestants and Muslims.

Pro tip: When visiting a church or when within church settings, avoid wearing shorts (for men) and avoid sleeveless tops (for women).


Culture of Italy & Family Values + Style

The Italians place family in the centre of their social structure and provide a stabilising factor for its members. Culture of Italy in the north is slightly different to the south. In the north, the nuclear family lives together while in the south, the extended family often reside together. In both situations, the family provide financial and emotional support to each other.

The expression bella figura” – good image is important in the culture of Italy. For Italians, appearances matter and first impressions are lasting impressions. They unconsciously assess another person’s social standing in the first few minutes of their meeting. The way one dresses goes beyond the “bella figura” meaning, extending it to cover confidence, style and demeanour.


Culture of Italy & Etiquette

In meeting people, the Italians are formal. The proper etiquette involve a handshake with eye contact and a smile between strangers. Wait till invited to address on first name basis.

Men and women dress formally when invited to business and social meetings – ties and suits for men while women dress simply but elegantly. As Italians are guided by first impressions, it is important to show propriety and respect, especially when meeting for the first time.

Etiquette on gift giving :

  • When giving gifts, choose quality over quantity. If you are gifting wine, choose a good vintage.
  • Do not wrap gifts in black, as is traditionally a mourning colour;
  • Do not wrap gifts in purple, as it is a symbol of bad luck;
  • Gifts are usually opened when received.

Etiquette when choosing flowers, do not give:

  • Chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals;
  • Red flowers as they indicate secrecy;
  • Yellow flowers as they indicate jealousy;

Gestures

The Italians are known to say that a gesture is more valuable than a thousand words. They seem to have a gesture for almost everything with hands moving in various directions and facial expressions as they speak.

Here are some to take note of when travelling to Italy:

  • People shake hands when arriving and leaving; Men slap each other on the back and may as well embrace if they know each other.
  • Women kiss cheek to cheek, starting with the left.
  • Sitting crossed legs at the ankle suggests a respect for traditional values and rules of etiquette.
  • Crossing your arms on your chest suggests defensiveness.
  • Rubbing hands together, followed by a quick kiss of the fingertips expresses satisfaction particularly after having a delicious meal.

Art, Architecture, Music, Literature & Fashion

Art

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

Every corner of Italy is painted with art! Italian art can be viewed not just in Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice but also in public buildings and churches. The artistic tradition was deeply rooted in Italian culture as early as the Neolithic Age evidenced by artefacts and ornaments. The Renaissance marked the heyday of art culture with Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. One of the most famous piece of art is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, which was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. Another most celebrated and well known artwork in the world is Leonardo’s Last Supper painted between 1494 and 1498 on the wall of the dining room of the former Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Borromini and Bernini contributed to baroque Italy. For art lovers, Italy is a paradise with invaluable works.

Take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican – it’s absolutely breathtaking! OR watch the official video from the Vatican

Architecture

Duomo di Milano – Architecture spanning almost 600 years

Architecture in Italy spans 3500 years. Showcasing a broad and diverse architectural style, from ancient Roman, to Gothic, Renaissance, Art Nouveau and modern. The Duomo di Milano is a good example of architecture spanning 600 years showcased in one building!

Music & Dance

Music and dance are an iconic part of Italian national and ethnic identity, forming an important culture of Italy.

Italian music is generally eclectic and takes various forms from opera to folk and spans a diverse array of regional styles, instruments and dances. Italian opera is world famous and is an essential part of Italian musical culture, along with other imported genres like jazz, rock, and hip hop. Development of opera, in particular has become a national pride. Many of the world’s great musicians and composers like Giuseppe Verdi and Luciano Pavarotti are Italians.

Dance

Dances in Italy takes various form, from combat dancing to love and courting. Popular dances include:

Tarantella – A dialect form used to describe a common kind of spider, which is part of a folk ritual intended to cure the poison caused by the tarantula bites.

Weapon dance – A Tuscan regional dance, this display signify the moves of combat.

Love & Courting – Duru-duru is a display of dance known in Sardinia and is about love and courting. It can be for couples or singles.

Tammuriata – This dance is performed in Southern Italy to the sound of tambourine to the lyric song called strambotto.

Literature

Italian literature, both written and spoken has its beginnings in the 13th century. Some of the great works includes Dante’s La Divina Commedia which was written in the 13th century. There are writings of Pietro Bembo, Nicolo Machiavelli and Ludovico Ariosto in the 16th century.


Fashion

Fashion has been part of the culture of Italy for a long time, playing a key role in the country’s society and lifestyle. Italy is one of the leading countries in fashion with Milan considered as one of the fashion capitals in the world, alongside Paris, New York and London. Some world renowned fashion houses such as Armani, Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Prada are all Italian. Italian fashion is about craftmanship, quality and creativity. Different regions have come up with their own specialities over time.


Celebrations

Woman wearing mask at Venice Carnivale

Despite Italy’s rich and magnificent contribution to art, architecture, and music, there is also the culture of Italy to celebrate. There are hundreds of festivals, local and national that takes place across the country. in any given day to celebrate a saint or a local harvest. In villages, towns or smaller cities, people come together to take an evening stroll – a domestic ritual referred to as “passeggiata.”

It’s worth noting that given the number of holidays and celebrations that takes place throughout the country, that some attractions will have reduced opening hours or closed altogether. Check national holidays when planning your vacation to Italy.


Food

The food culture of Italy is part of their daily life. Italians are passionate about their food, how it is prepared, cooked and served. What ingredients are used with no compromising for a substitute! They preserve the authentic simplicity of ingredients and their art of cooking. Therefore, when it comes to food, the Italians are happiest when it’s done right.

While cooking is almost a philosophy in the culture of Italy, eating becomes the irreplaceable pillar of Italian sociability – perfect moments to talk, laugh, share and strengthen relationships.

However, Italian food are very regional. There are differences in dishes, popularity and its traditions between Northern and Southern regions of Italy. Broadly, in the north, the most common dishes are comprised of fish, potatoes, rice, sausage, pork, pasta, polenta and risotto. In the south, tomatoes are a staple, either served fresh or cooked into sauce with capers, peppers, olives and olive oil, garlic, artichokes, eggplant and ricotta cheese. In central Italy, for example, spaghetti and pizza are popular. As food is a means for maintaining ties between family and friends, there is a special meal for every occasion in Italy.

So, If you want to experience Italy, then you need to experience their food!


Planning your trip?


What do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Italy? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Have a splendid time exploring Italy.

Georgina

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The culture of Italy is unique and fascinating having flourished over the centuries steeped in religion, family, art & music. Here's an overview for you via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/The culture of Italy is unique and fascinating having flourished over the centuries steeped in religion, family, art & music. Here's an overview for you via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Getting around Milan like a local – A simple guide to Milan’s public transport

Getting around Milan like a local – A simple guide to Milan’s public transport

About Getting around Milan

Getting around Milan on public transport is cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly, but you may not always need to use it. The main attractions in Milan such as the Duomo, Galleria Vittoria Emanuel II, the Sforzesco Castle are all within walking distance and you can easily cover Milan in One Day through a walkable route. Milan’s public transport is efficient in that it connects all points of interests for a visitor with dedicated tram lines across the city. It is affordable. With a ticket for €2.00 that lasts 90 minutes you can hop and off a subway, bus or a tram to get you to your destination. Moreover, Milan’s public transport is environmentally friendly using less energy, running 80 eco-friendly buses. However, the system may appear daunting to first time visitors because of the many transport links crisscrossing the metropolis. Having said that, it certainly is doable to get around Milan on public transport and to explore this metropolis at your own pace. This simple and comprehensive guide to Milan’s public transport is to assist getting around Milan if you are going to be using the system when you visit this fashion capital of the world.

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Here’s what you need to know about getting around Milan like a local.

Some basic facts to know about getting around Milan

1 | ATM is not a bank/cash machine

Most of us are familiar with the acronyms ATM – in the UK and in most countries, it refers to bank/cash machines but in Milan, ATM is the company that operates the public transportation, so you will see it displayed at ticket offices in stations and on your tickets when you purchase them.

2 | 5 Ways of getting around Milan

There are five ways to get around the City of Milan – Taxi, Bike sharing, Metro, Buses, and Trams.

The Metro, Buses and Trams are managed by ATM – Azienda Trasporti Milanesi

3 | Airports

Milan is served by 3 international airports – Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo. All three airports provide easy access to Milan by train and bus.

Getting around Milan

1 | Taxi

Like in any major cities, taxis are often in high demand. One thing to remember though, is that unlike other cities like London or New York, taxis are not allowed to stop anywhere on the streets of Milan to pick-up passengers. So, even if you see one without passenger driven along your street, and you hail it to stop, taxi drivers are not going to stop to pick you up. Another point to remember is that, there are not many taxis available after peak hours or in quieter part of Milan. Your best bet would be to go to the dedicated taxi ranks where you will find awaiting taxis. Popular taxi ranks are the ones at Milan Centrale Station and the one opposite the Duomo. You could also ask your hotel to call a taxi for you, as there are almost always taxis waiting for a few passengers.

Just so you know, taxis are more expensive in the evenings and at night – that’s just how their tariffs are regulated. When you get into the taxi, you will already see a charge on the meter – the meter starts running when the driver leaves to come get you.

Safety rules of Taxis: As in any other countries or situations when you use taxis, make sure there is a working meter before you get in the car. Also make sure the driver uses it.

Fixed taxi rates: Be aware of fixed taxi rates to the airport and some destinations. You could ask your hotel front-desk to find out for you or ask the taxi company at the time of enquiry or before you book your ride.

2 | Bike Sharing

Bike sharing – The bike sharing program in Milan was introduced in 2008 and is called BikeMi. The program has more than 200 stations throughout the City and is available for both residents and visitors. To join the program, you need to subscribe. Subscriptions can be for daily, weekly, or annual use.

Daily –  € 4.50

Weekly – € 9.00

Annual –  € 36.00

You can subscribe to the service through your cell/hand/mobile phone on their official website here. Once you have registered and subscribed, you will receive your unique user code that you will need to put into the BikeMi self-service station in order to unlock a bike. You can use the bike for a maximum of 2 hours at any one time.

Your tariffs depend upon the type of bike you subscribe to, either traditional bike or an electric bike. If you select a traditional bike, the first half hour is free, then it is €0.50 for every half hour, up to 2 hours. After that, you will be charged €2 per hour. You can return your bike to any BikeMi station, so it is convenient and easy not to exceed the 2 hour limit.

For tariffs on electric bike, see table below, taken from BikeMi official site.

Getting around Milan - BikeMi tariff

For up to date information on tariffs and regulations, go to BikeMi


Getting around Milan and how to do it on Milan’s public transport like a local

1 | Metro

The Metro in Milan is simple and easy navigate and is the most popular mode of transport amongst visitors. There are 4 major lines that you need to know.

M1 [RED] – Connects Duomo di Milano with Porta Venezia, the castle, Corso Magenta and the Fiera;

M2 [Green] – Connects Porta Garibaldi with Brera and Navigli;

M3 [Yellow] – Connects Quadrilatero with Porta Romana;

M5 [Lilac] – Connects San Siro with Porta Garibaldi and Isola;

(M4 is under construction)

Services operate between 5.30am and 12.30am (from 6am on Sunday).

A ticket is valid for 90 minutes. It can only be used for one metro ride. [More information on type of tickets and choices are below]

Tickets are sold at electronic ticket machines in the station, or at tobacconists and newsstands.

Getting around Milan - Metro map
ATM Network

To view a larger scale of the map, go to ATM Network official website here. If you need a map to use to navigate around Milan, you could pick one up from any of the ATM point offices at the Metro stations.

Metro stops are indicated by a large M signs near staircases leading to underground stations. There are plenty of stops within the historic center as well – at the Duomo, Centrale Station, and Cadorna Station.

2 | Buses

Milan eco bus – Image credit to Pierre Antoine A.

Milan’s buses are eco-friendly and offer 80 routes. It covers areas where the Metro does not. The bus lines have numbers and destination names to indicate which direction the bus is travelling.

Bus stops – The bus stops in Milan are represented by no more than a pole with a small placard showing numbers for buses that stop there. There will also be a list of stops on each line. The stop at which you are at is highlighted. The stops below will be the ones coming up. If your intended destination is above the highlighted stop/name, you will need to cross over to the bus-stop in opposite side of the road and find the corresponding destination.

The buses in Milan will stop only if there are people waiting to board or passengers wanting to get off. So, if you see your bus approaching, step forward and put your hand up, hail the bus to stop. It is important that you hail the bus that you want, as there might be multiple buses using the same stop and the driver would not necessarily know which one you are waiting for. Once on board, look out for your destination stop, indicate you want to get off at the next stop by pushing the stop button near your seat.

Remember to validate your ticket when you board the bus.

Buses run between 05:30 until between 00:30-01:45, depending on the line. On weekends, some routes have night buses, running between 02:00 and 06:00.

The following lines operate night bus services every half-hour between 12.30 a.m. and 05.10 a.m, after the metro has closed.

  • M1 replacement line;
  • M2 replacement line;
  • M3 replacement line;
  • 90/91 trolley bus line.

For up to date information on Night Bus Services in Milan, click here to their official website, ATM Night Service.

Pro tip: Take Bus 94 for an easy ride around town – it circles the city center and popular tourist highlights.

3 | Trams

Image credit to Canva

The Trams in Milan have been in operation since 1881. There are some historic trams and some newer ones. With 17 tram lines, they serve some areas that the buses don’t.

One thing you may wish to experience is to ride one of the the historic trams as they still have the old wooden benches in them. The newer ones are spacious and air-conditioned.

The numbering system for trams are basically the same as for the buses. The trams get the lower numbers and the buses get the higher numbers with the notable exception of Line 18 which is a bus line.

Visitors can treat trams as they would buses in some ways. For example, trams only stop when there’s someone at the station or when someone onboard wants to get off. As with buses, if you want to get on board, you need to be at the stop and raise your hand slightly to indicate your intention to get onboard and for the driver to notice you. Once on board, when you are ready to get off at your destination, indicate your intention by pushing a button or pulling a cord.

Remember to validate your ticket when you board the tram.

Trams 2, 4, 14 and 16 are the most central, all passing by Piazza Duomo.

Pro tip: Tram 1 – Cuts through the historic centre,. It is a retro yellow tram with wooden benches and original fittings.

You could ride this iconic Tram 1 on a 2.5 hour tour with a tour guide. The tour takes you through Milan’s historic city centre with highlights that include Napoleon’s Arch of Peace, the Duomo, La Scala House, Sforza Castle and much more. Take a look here and see if you like it.

Trams 2 and 3 – are popular for sightseeing.

Trams 9 and 10 – loop around the centre via Porta Venezia, Porta Genova and Porta Garibaldi.

Just to be aware that there are sometimes car lanes running alongside, or intertwined with tram lines, so ensure you look both ways before disembarking the tram.


Transit tickets for getting around Milan – Types of tickets, single journeys and multi-journey tickets

As mentioned above, the public transport in Milan is managed by ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi). The public transport options include the subway, buses and trams. There are transit tickets available to suit your journeys. If you are going to be riding Milan’s public transportation, here is what you need to know about the transit tickets, options available and the cost effective ways of managing it.

Single journey/ticket

A single ticket, which can be used on the Metro, Tram and Buses in Milan costs €2.00 and is valid for 90 minutes from the time of its first stamp. You can ride as many buses and trams, a combination of journeys, all within the 90-minute window. You can change trains on one Metro journey using one ticket. Once you have used a ticket for the Metro, you cannot afterwards use the same ticket for another Metro journey within the 90-minute validity period. You can leave a Metro station, and then ride buses and trams for the remainder of the usefulness of the ticket. This single ticket is valid now also to reach Rho Fieramilano, located outside the inner city area.

You can buy this ticket via SMS, by sending a message to 48444 and typing ATM.

Multi journey tickets

Carnet of 10 standard tickets

A carnet of 10 standard tickets covers 10 journeys of 90 minutes each from the time of its first first stamp. Each ticket is valid for a single journey on the Metro or rail network. If you are going to be riding Milan’s underground and the rail network more than once or twice, then this is a good option at €18.00.

Note that the ticket is non-transferable. Therefore these cannot be used simultaneously by more than one person/passenger. Each person/traveller in your group must have his/her own carnet.

Other multi-journey tickets

If your plans in Milan involve staying longer than 2 days, you can consider the following money-saving passes for public transport:

One day ticket – Valid for 24 hours; €7

Three-day ticket – Valid for 72 hours; €12

Weekly 2 x 6 pass – This covers two journeys of 90 minutes each per day for 6 days of the same week. Each journey within the 90-minute validation period may include one journey on the Metro and rail network. It costs €17. This pass is personal and non transferable.

Children

Children up to 10 years old travel free of charge on all means of public transport in Milan.


Where to buy Milan’s public transport tickets

The single and multi-journey tickets mentioned above can be purchased at Metro Stations, either at automated machines or ticket windows. Additionally, they are also available at tobacco shops, and at ATM Point Service centers located in the Duomo, Centrale Station, Cadorna, Loreto, Romolo and Garibaldi stations.

Alternatively, you can opt for one simple ticket to use the ATM public transport in Milan. A 48-hour City Pass not only is it convenient because you don’t have to purchase multiple tickets but it also gives you the flexibility to explore Milan at your own pace. Some if its benefits besides multi-use of the ATM system, include entrance to museums, including La Scala and the Gallerie d’Italia, discounts at shops, restaurants and shows. You could also take advantage of the discounts and enjoy a day trip out of the city through affiliated tour operators.

However, its worth noting that to take full advantage of the discounts at restaurants and day-trips, you may need to pre-book before your arrival in Milan to ensure your secure place. As always, and as you may already know, planning is important in travel, therefore buy your City Pass at your earliest.


Important points to remember when getting around Milan using public transport

i | Validating your ticket upon first use – this means that on the Metro, inserting the ticket on the barriers in order to get access in to the station. On the buses and trams, finding the validation machine on board the bus and tram and getting a stamp when you get on.

ii | Luggage ticket – A ticket is required for the transport of a single piece of luggage when transiting on Milan’s public transport within the City. The luggage ticket should be validated at the start of your journey alongside with your journey ticket. When required, you should hand over both tickets to ticket inspectors.

iii | Urban Tickets All of the above prices refer to what is called ” Urban Tickets” which covers the city centre of Milan. Tickets for areas beyond the geographic designation of City of Milan, extra urban areas varies depending on its distance. Likewise, the validity period depends on the zones and semi-zones crossed.

This page shows you the list of stations in the extra urban areas.

iv | Ticket CollectorsTicket collectors are usually dressed in civilian clothing and are constantly checking. Ensure to always keep your ticket after validating it on the Metro, bus or tram.

v | Useful AppsRoute maps are available from ATM info points. You can also download these via the ATM app. Learn more & download the Metro App


Learn more on Milan’s Integrated Fare System (STIBM)


Getting to Milan from the airport

Airports near Milan

Milan is served by three airports – Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo

From Linate Airport to Milan

Milan Linate is the closest airport to Milan, only 8 kilometres away. It is second largest airport in Milan. There are no train stations in Linate but is well connected by shuttle service. You can take an airport bus transfer between Linate Airport and Milan Central Station for about 5.50 one way while enjoying your ride on a comfortable, modern, and air-conditioned bus with Wi-Fi.

From Malpensa Airport to Milan

Malpensa Airport (MXP) is the main airport in Milan and is the second busiest in Italy. It is the largest international airport in the Milan area. Located 49 kilometres northwest of the city, it is easily connected to Milan by train and bus. The best option is to take the Malpensa Express that runs every 20 – 40 minutes to Cadorna FN, Stazione Centrale and Porta Garibaldi stops. Takes 50 minutes to reach Stazione Centrale. Learn more about Malpensa Express, their routes and ticket prices from their official website here.

From Bergamo to Milan

Bergamo Airport (BGY) also known by its official name Orio al Serio is the third busiest airport in Milan. Located 45 kilometres northeast of Milan, near the city of Bergamo. There are no direct trains from Bergamo Airport to Milan but the train station in Bergamo is within easy reach of the airport. It can be reached in 10 – 15 minutes by Bergamo Bus which runs every 30 minutes from 06:00 in the morning to midnight. The number of the Bergamo bus is Number 1. Passengers are dropped off outside the train station to continue their journey and awaiting passengers at the train station collected to be taken to the airport. You need a ticket for this journey. This page gives you all the up to date information on fares and schedule.

Trains depart Bergamo Station every 30 minutes to Milano Centrale.


Milano Centrale Station

From Milano Centrale Station:

To get to the Cathedral, you will need the Piazza del Duomo. The distance between Milan’s Central Station and Piazza del Duomo is 2 miles / 3.2 km. There are Three ways to get to Milan Cathedral from Central Station. I took a taxi and it was 10 Euros. Have a look at the following and you can decide what suits you.

If you are looking for the quickest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo is to take a taxi. It takes 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. It costs around 10 Euros.

If you are considering the cheapest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, then it is the line 3 subway which costs 3 Euros and takes 15 min. It is located right in the Piazza del Duomo.

You can take a direct bus departing from Central Station m2 m3 and arrives at via larga. It is about 7 to 9 minutes walk to Piazza del Duomo, The bus services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min. Costs 3 Euros.


Don’t just visit Milan! – explore other cities in the Lombardy region through Train travel.

Don’t just visit Milan! Explore other cities in the Lombardy region which is relatively a short train ride from Milan. Train travel in Italy is convenient, inexpensive and straight-forward. You can explore so much more of Italy by doing one of these day trips by train. Most visitors to Milan spend each train travel day on the Milan-Venice-Florence-Rome circuit but I would highly recommend a Milan-Verona-Venice route. Although I stayed a few days in Verona and was not strictly a day-trip, you will find the Milan-Verona-Venice route to be really convenient and good value for money.

It is worth noting that for these day-trips, Milan to Verona or Milan to Venice, that it is better to buy point-to-point tickets than to buy a rail pass. I had a seamless train journey by pre-booking my tickets in very comfortable, clean carriages.

You can reach Verona in a little over an hour. The average travel time between Verona and Milan is 1 hour 23 minutes. The quickest route takes 1 hour 15 minutes. There are about 23 trains a day between Milan and Verona, leaving approximately every hour.

Alternatively, you could book a tour on-board a luxury coach to Verona and Lake Garda – an excellent value for money experience.

You can reach Venice in a little over two hours. The average travel time between Venice and Milan is 2 hours 32 minutes. The quickest route is 2 hours 10 minutes. There are about 22 trains a day between Milan and Venice, leaving approximately every hour.

Alternatively, you could book a tour on-board a luxury coach to Venice. This trip includes a 2-hour guided tour of Venice and a boat trip on Venice lagoon (NOT a gondola ride)

You can reach Lake Como in under an hour. The average travel time between Milan and Como is 48 minutes. The quickest route is 37 minutes. There are about 58 direct trains connecting Milan to Como every day.

Alternatively, you could book a luxury coach tour day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio – another excellent value for money experience.


Are you ready to book your trip?


What do you think? Is this article valuable to you in planning your visit to Milan and help you navigate the city using public transport? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.


Have a splendid time exploring Milan and its surrounds.

Georgina

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If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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Getting around Milan on public transport can be daunting to first-timers but this comprehensive guide will have you exploring Milan like a local. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Getting around Milan on public transport can be daunting to first-timers but this comprehensive guide will have you exploring Milan like a local. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Why guided tours are sometimes necessary when we travel?

Why guided tours are sometimes necessary when we travel?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The views expressed in my blogs are my own and I will always be explicit if any of its content is subsidised or sponsored. This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links. This means that I receive a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. This is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support. Access Disclosure Policy in its entirety here.

Why Tours are sometimes necessary when we travel?

When I travel, either with family or solo, I tend to plan my travels beforehand and spend some time researching on the type of organised tours that are available. Often these tours act as guides to explore the areas and beyond. More often than not when on a short getaway of about three or four days, I tend to join guided tours to explore a neighbouring country or another city. There are times I join a free city walking tour and at other times, I like the city guided tours organised by third party providers. For me, it makes sense to book one of these tours and I share my reasons with you:

1 | Tours prove to be good value for money.

Foremost, organised tours such as day trips often covers more than one destination and I get to experience these hassle-free. I don’t have to think of transportation costs from one place to another. [Read about our amazing day trip to Chamonix, France from Geneva ⇒ A Perfect Romantic 3-day Itinerary in Geneva

Value for money is not restricted to just day trips – Combined tickets are also excellent value for money. I buy these beforehand, online at least a couple of days prior so I know I am covered. Purchasing tickets online is often cheaper than buying it at the ticket office on the day.

2 | Not to be disappointed when I get there.

I was disappointed in Amsterdam – [Read about my experience in Amsterdam where I missed on visiting a major attraction because I did not plan and purchase a ticket for the visit prior to visiting Amsterdam ⇒ Amsterdam in a Nutshell – 18 Experiences in 48 Hours. AND in Milan even when I tried to get tickets a few days prior!

3 | Organised tours often comes with a tour guide

And along with it is a wealth of information which I do not have to dig up through google or history books .

Read more on why Planning a trip is important and what you need to consider before embarking on your journey.

5 Reasons Why Travel Planning is Important 

Pretravel Planning – 25 Top Tips for a Stress-free Vacation


Suggested Tours for Greenwich, London

With these benefits in mind, I have carefully selected some tours through a third party provider which I use when I travel. I use Get Your Guide Tour group because they offer one of the best tours with excellent value for money. I say this knowing that they do because I have personally used them to organise my own tours and none has disappoint. I hope you will find these useful too.

I have chosen the below tours on Greenwich, a quintessential English town, about twenty-minutes journey from Central London. Greenwich has so much to offer visitors, from age 2 to 99! A day spent in Greenwich is a day well-spent indeed! With my absolute love for this pretty town, I have selected a combination of value tickets to some sights, guided tours and day trips – all, with the ultimate goal that your experiences at Greenwich will be enriched.

Please note that these are suggestions to enhance your travel experience to and in London. Of course, feel free to choose more appropriate tours to suit your needs from the vast choices that GetYourGuide provide.

You can read our full Disclaimer Notice here.

Selection from Get Your Guide

Value for Money Tickets – Single and Combined:

 
 

Day trips from Greenwich / London

 

Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Greenwich and London? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, Also, if there is any other interests you have in Greenwich and London which you would like to explore, please let me know, and I shall find out relevant information for you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a splendid time exploring Greenwich and London.

Georgina

I share regular highlights of my adventures with my travel community on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest where I would love for you to join me.


When is the best time to go to Italy?

When is the best time to go to Italy?

The best time to go to Italy is Spring, April – June or Fall, September to October. To be honest, Italy is best at anytime of the year! With its varying landscape and weather conditions, Italy has activities and festivals throughout the year, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Italy’s landscape is vast and its weather conditions varies from one region to another. Northern Italy is absolutely stunning with snow-covered peaks of the Alps and the Dolomites, icy glaciers and fertile valleys. Their foothills are large with beautiful lakes such as Lake Garda and Lake Como. South of these picturesque views are huge areas of flat plains and rolling hills, crossed by rivers and streams. Perfect for growing grapes and olives. The far south, on Sardinia and Sicily, the landscape is rugged and mountainous. There are three volcanoes in Italy – Mount Vesuvius on the mainland, Mount Etna on Sicily, and the island volcano of Stromboli. You can find Italy at the following GPS code:

Latitude: 41° 17′ 32.86″ N
Longitude: 12° 34′ 25.00″ E

Map of Italy with its main cities

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

About this post on best time to go to Italy

When planning my visit to Italy last year, I came across lots of information and guides with much detail. Details are good. However, sometimes these were confusing, sometimes these prompted me to research further. These were time consuming. I decided to bring all of the information together and draw up a summary for me, which I now share with you. I am sharing the same information with you so you do not have to look any further on the best time to go to Italy when planning your vacation. Below, is a month-by-month guide in detail.

The month-by-month guide includes a general weather guide, both in temperature and rainfall to eight major cities and visitor destinations in Italy. This is to guide your clothing packing list as well as to experience the varying climate in Italy should you choose to visit a particular region at a certain time. There are guides to events and festivals which are popular and are in itself a visitor attraction. You might want to witness some of these events and festivals for an enriching experience of Italy. On the other hand, you might want to avoid these events and festivals altogether because crowd, regatta and festivals are not your cup of tea. Whatever you choose to do, whatever type of vacation you want to have, the information here will help you design your fabulous holiday your way.

Know before you go – detailed month-by-month guide to best time to go to Italy

Italy in Winter is a delight

Italy, in winter takes on a distinctive charm of its own. From snow-capped mountains and alpine ski runs to relaxed city breaks and a hint of Mediterranean sun, Italy in winter is a delight!

January

Winters make Italy’s cities an option for travel during January. Visitors are rewarded with quieter sights and far fewer tourists if they are willing to brave the cooler conditions.

As it is very much off season, some attractions will be closed or offering limited visiting hours

February

The month of February is fun, popular for festivals and events.

Events & Festivals

The highlight is Carnevale. Carnevale or Carnival as we know it in England or US, is Italy’s best loved and ancient of traditions. Celebrated across Italy for two weeks leading up to Lent. It is vibrant, pageants, masquerades and confetti, making it a huge party before Ash Wednesday. Every town, even the smallest, has its own Carnevale parade. Every village in Italy celebrates, every family cooks up a storm to honour this long-standing tradition of dancing, masquerading and feasting before the fasting and meditating of Lent.

The most well-known of these celebrations is the Venice Carnival. It is a two week celebration of masks, fancy dress and spirited parties, that sees throngs of costumed people pack the famous St Mark’s Square.

Pro tip: Venice in winter, January and February is crisp, cold and becomes mystical. With a little snow flurries, it is magical – perfect for photographers. Less crowd also means no jostling of gondolas in the waterways.

In Sicily, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento hosts an annual almond blossom festival with parades, shows and craft exhibits, as a welcome precursor to spring.

Pro tip: Sicily in winter, is pleasant all throughout. You can ditch winter thermals for lighter spring clothing. Head to the coastal town of Cefalu for a beautiful beach and medieval charm. If you are looking for something Christmassy, then head over to Termini Imerese, a half-an-hour car ride from Palermo. The town put up a nativity play in the streets where everyone is in the show. It is not to be missed kind of experience if you are visiting in December/early January.

Outside of carnival dates, prices tend to be cheaper in February. As in January, there shall be reduced opening hours and limited access to attractions in certain areas.

Planning a winter trip to Venice or Sicily?

Great! – Visit Venice Italy has released the dates for Venice Festival 2021 – 2023. You can use these dates as guide either to book flights and activities to experience the Carnevale or experience a winter in Venice outside of these dates for when flights and accommodation will be cheaper. Take note of the weather so you can pack as needed


Italy in spring sees everything come alive

Italy in spring sees the beginning of brighter weather, celebrations and along with it everything else comes alive.

March

March brings in a mixture of spells of sunshine and rain. While it is much colder in the beginning of the month, the temperature begins to rise as it approaches the official spring date of 21st March. Italy starts to come alive where hotels shut for winter open again for visitors and with celebrations for Easter sees the spike in visitor numbers.

Northern Italy in March may still see some winter weather, cold, rainy days and occasional snowstorm.

Events & Festivals

Festa della Donna, or International Women’s Day is celebrated nationwide on March 8th. To celebrate this day, men bring flowers, usually yellow mimosa to the women in their lives. There are often small local festivals to mark the event and restaurants have special Festa della meals on their menu.

Festa del Mandorlo in Fiori is held in Agrigento in Sicily. It is a delightful spring festival celebrating of all things almonds which includes culinary, artistic and cultural aspects. Usually held in the first week of March.

April

April is a beautiful time to visit Italy. Wildflowers bloom everywhere across the countryside. Temperatures are pleasant and comfortable, with the odd showers. The north can be much cooler with interchangeable weather. April also welcomes the beginning of visitor season as it is now open for business after winter closures.

Events and Festivals

Depending on when Easter falls, March and/or April sees a number of events taking place across the country. Most town and cities host their own Holy Week celebrations and processions. In Rome, the Holy Week is led by the Pope which includes a Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square and the Settimana Santa procession of the stations of the cross at the Colosseum. Both of these events attract large numbers of visitors.

Other events to take note of:

  • The Rome Marathon is held on the 3rd Sunday of March;
  • On 25th April Venice enjoys the Festa di San Marco. Men offer a single rosebud to the woman they love in celebration of the city’s patron saint;
  • Liberation Day, held on 25th April, commemorates the Allied overthrow of the Nazis and the end of Mussolini’s rule, and is a national holiday.

May

May is known as the month of the rose and is a beautiful time of the year to go to Italy. It is warm but not too hot. The attractions are busy but not quite the crowds of the summer visitors.

Events & Festivals

Giardino dell’Iris is a botanical garden specializing in the cultivation of iris flowers, symbol of Florence since 1251. It opens to the public (without charge) from May 2 to May 20.


Italy in summer means regattas and open air performances

June

As the peak season gets under way, high summer temperatures attract visitors to the beaches as well as the cities. Visitors can enjoy open air performances in cities like Verona and Rome.

Events & Festivals

The most impressive of events is the Festa della Sensa in Venice. and the Luminara di San Ranieri in Pisa.

On June 1st and 2nd, the Festa della Sensa is celebrated in Venice. An ancient tradition that marks the wedding of Venice to the Sea. It is a colourful, vibrant and joyous event. A huge regatta and traditional rowing races, culminating with a symbolic union with the mayor tossing a gold ring into the waters of Venice. It is celebrated on Ascension day and is a national holiday.

On June 16th, the Luminara di San Ranieri is celebrated in Pisa. Pisa by Candlelight takes place in the evening, the eve of patron saint, San Ranieri, feast day. The bigger celebration, Regatta di San Ranieri takes place on the actual feast day, on 17th June, in late afternoon. The tradition of lighting the city with candles dates back to 1688. Over 70,000 candles are lit along River Arno and the Lungarno comes alive, wearing its best flickering dress made of candle wax. The evening culminates in a dramatic firework display.

In June, the summer opera season at the amphitheatre in Verona begins along with the Estate Romana programme of events in Rome.

July

With summer dry days, schools and universities breaking for summer, and soaring temperatures sees the soaring number of visitors to Italy. This is the most expensive time of the year and a getaway needs to planned and booked well in advance.

August

August is typically the hottest month with high humidity in many parts of the country. This is the main reason for Italians to treat this as their vacation month and head to the beach.

Events & Festivals

On August 15th, Italy celebrates Ferragosto, also known as Assumption Day, It is a national holiday, so some shops, restaurants and museums will be closed on this day.

On August 16th, the second of Palio di Siena takes place. Boasting centuries old origins, Palio di Siena is Italy’s most famous historical horse race. It takes place twice a year at Piazza del Campo, the main medieval square in Siena. The first is held on July 2nd.

Open air performances and concerts take place in areas like Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast, and in Sicily’s Greek theatres in Syracuse and Taormina.

Verona’s Opera Festival continues through August and early September. Venice International Film Festival starts at the end of August and continues into September.

Pro tip: Italy in August. Every beach in Italy is packed in August, and every hotel near a beach is at full capacity. If you are planning a beach holiday in Italy, you need to book well in advance.


Italy in autumn is harvest time and colourful autumn foliage

September

As September comes around, the temperature drops slightly but still very warm during the day. Nights are cooler. Less crowd as summer visitors have returned home. Italians are now back at work and schools are back. For most part of September, Italy experiences a summer weather still perfect for a swim in the coast. It is towards the end of the month when fall weather creeps in.

Events & Festivals

September is the beginning of harvest season in Italy which means there are festivals throughout the month all over the country. The most popular ones are:

Regatta Storia takes place in Venice on the first Sunday in September and is the most famous in this month. This historic boat race has been practised for thousands of years and still uses gondolas from 16th century. Another vibrant festival where gondoliers are in traditional dress and plenty of waterborne pageantry.

International Film Festival takes place in Venice. It is considered one of the world’s top three film festivals alongside the Berlin International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival. Visitors will be treated to art exhibits, dance performances, movies, theater, and architecture exhibitions.

Juliet’s Birthday is celebrated in Verona on September 12th. Visitors can enjoy dancing parades, costumes and street entertainment. The atmosphere is said to be especially romantic for couples.

La Vendemmia, the grape harvest begins toward the end of September.

October

October sees the last of the summer heat and plenty of regional harvest and food festivals to enjoy. Often considered a “shoulder season”, is now increasingly popular with visitors who come to enjoy the many harvest festivals held throughout the month and the brightly coloured leaves of autumn.

Events & Festivals

Most popular are chestnuts, mushrooms, truffles along with grape and olive harvests.

Truffle festivals & fairs in Italy take place in the Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche, and Emilia Romagna regions during October and November.

Boccaccesca in Certaldo Alto, Tuscany,takes place in early October. It is an annual gastronomic fair featuring food stalls and regional wines where you can sample and buy some of Tuscany’s best like Chianti Classico or Brunello of Montalcino.

Pro tip: Certaldo Alto is just a 30-minute drive from Florence. It makes a perfect day trip if you want to see a little of the countryside and enjoy the colours of Fall foliage in Tuscany.

Barcolana Regatta in Trieste is a historic event and is one of the biggest boating events in the world. It takes place on the second Sunday of October. This international Regatta over 2000 sailing vessels converge in the Adriatic Sea for a spectacular event culminating in illuminated boat parades at night


Italy in early winter is all about roasted chestnuts, truffles and Christmas

November

November is all about chestnuts, truffles and mushrooms! It is also a wonderful time to travel to Italy but it is the rainiest as well. The milder Mediterranean winters make Italy an attractive option to travel with much warmer temperatures in the south. The cities and attraction sights are much quieter. As it is off-season, many hotels outside the major cities are closed and hiking trails in areas like Cinque Terre are closed to reopen at Easter.

Events & Festivals

Alba White Truffle Festival in San Miniato, Tuscany is held on the second, third and fourth weekends of November. It is one of the biggest truffle events in the country. Wide range of of truffles including the highly-coveted and most expensive truffle, Tartufo Bianco, is featured here. [Fiera Internazionale Tartufo Bianco D’Alba}

Crastatone in Piancastagnaio, in the Province of Siena, is one of the oldest and most important chestnut festivals. It is celebrated from end of October through early November, to mark the end of chestnut harvest and the arrival of winter. Enjoy chestnuts in more ways than one at this festival – roasted, boiled, and dried, and don’t miss the special fall menus at regional restaurants, which highlight truffles, chestnuts, and wild mushrooms.

La Festa della Salute in Venice is on November 21st to commemorate the City’s deliverance from the plague in 1621.

December

Though Italy is quieter in winter, it is no less beautiful. With lesser crowd, its a perfect opportunity to explore the cities at a slower pace.

Events & Festivals

Events and festivals in December revolve around Christmas. From the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, Christmas Eve on December 24th, Christmas Day on December 25th, and Saint Stephen’s Day on December 26th right through to December 31st, where New Year’s Eve is celebrated with fireworks displays all throughout Italy.

Florence Noel is a family event that takes place in Montecatini Terme, northeast of Florence, Tuscany. This annual tradition starts at the end of November and runs through to early January. featuring a nativity village, food and chocolate sampling.

Perugia Christmas Festival in Perugia, capital of Umbria takes place in the city’s historic 16th century fortress, La Rocca Paolina. Features food and crafts, runs from early December through to early January.

Festa di San Nicolo is a week long celebration held in Murano, Venice for the patron saint of glass blowers, San Nicolo on December 6th.


As you can tell, Italy is a perfect destination at anytime of the year. Whether your visit is in the cold winter, hot humid summer or in-between seasons, there is something for you to experience. The main consideration is to plan your travels well in advance so you do not pay an expensive flight, or pay double the price for accommodation or miss out on activities. Below, I share with you some of the resources I use when planning my travels:

Resources to use for planning and booking your vacation when it is the best time to go to Italy

Airlines and package holidays for when it is best time to go to Italy

When researching for the best value on airline pricing, do a thorough research. Airlines are competitive in their pricing and in what they offer their customers, so take a look at a few of them. In addition, most airlines now offer accommodation as part of a package which makes it much cheaper and beneficial to a customer.

Learn more on the 10 benefits of a package holiday

If you are planning on a trip to the beach, like the Amalfi Coast, you may want a provider that specialises in holidays on the beach so you can access best choices at the best prices. If you are considering a quiet weekend getaway, you may want to spoil yourself with a luxury escape. Whatever type of vacation you intend, here are some choices for you to research upon:

Activities to explore in Italian Cities

Whether it is beach, city, countryside or luxury getaway, you may want to explore your surroundings and get some activities into your schedule. Here are some cities which you could explore.

Places to stay when it is best time to go to Italy

Generally, the following three resources are my go-to sites to select accommodation to suit my stay if I cannot find something suitable as a package. I hope it will help you in selecting what is suitable for you when you travel to Italy.


My thoughts on the best time to go to Italy

Without a doubt, Italy is a must visit country in Europe. There are so many highlights in this beautiful picturesque country – from the canals of Venice to the narrow cobblestone streets of Verona, snow-capped mountains of the Alps to the foothills with refreshing aquamarine waters of the lakes…and so much more. I don’t think there is any place quite like Italy.


What do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Italy? If so, please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Happy exploring Italy!

Georgina xx

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How to enjoy the best of Milan in one day

How to enjoy the best of Milan in one day

Exploring Milan in One Day may seem impossible given its enormity and possibilities that it affords but it is certainly doable. Some may wonder what to do in a metropolis such as Milan. Some may contemplate if it is worth visiting just for a day. There may be some of you, who like me, love to read about cities you are yet to visit and select the best of a city to add to your travel list. If you are amongst any of these categories, then you are in the right place – this article is for you. I share with you my best experiences which I enjoyed during my visit to Milan in one day so that you too, can design your visit for a fabulous day in Milan.

About this article on how to enjoy the best of Milan in one day

This article introduces Milan by way of a brief introduction to its geographical location and popularity as a City. Milan is one of the major hubs in Europe, and attracts hundreds of thousand of tourists each year. Given it’s enormity, it is impossible to experience everything the city offers in one day. Therefore, this article will take you through possibilities of shopping experiences, a little exploring and a little adventure. You will find a list of the best places to visit, how to maximise your time in this city, and how to obtain tickets for some popular sights where tickets are sold off months ahead – in essence an ideal guide to how you can enjoy Milan in one day.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

About the City of Milan, Italy

1 | Which part of Italy is Milan? 

The City of Milan, is located in the northern region of Italy, more precisely in the Lombardy region. The Lombardy region covers a vast landscape ranging from the Alps to the countryside, has many art cities to small hamlets rich in history. This region is home to about fifteen of Italy’s lakes and some of the best ski resorts. Milan will host the 2026 edition of the Winter Olympic Games. You will find Milan located at the following GPS code.

45.4641° N 9.1919° E

Location of Milan in relation to other cities in Italy

2 | Milan is a fashion hub

As a metropolis, the city of Milano is the second largest city in Italy. It is one of the best known cities in the world and is arguably the global capital of fashion and design. As a fashion hub, the city is home to the most popular fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino and Missoni to name a few. Every year the city attracts countless visitors to its runways and design showrooms.

3 | Milan is a financial centre

In economic terms, Milan is the third largest city in Europe, after London and Paris. Italy’s only Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana is located here, and if you are a football fan, I’m sure you know, Milan is renowned for its own dedicated international football team, AC Milan.

4 | Milan is a history and cultural centre

Besides being a fashion and financial hub, Milan is packed with history, culture and centuries old architecture which will blow you away! It is home to many iconic buildings such as the infamous Gothic Duomo di Milano, Castello Sforzesco, Santa Maria delle Grazie Convent where you will find Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of The Last Supper, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II are just some of the sights that will have you in awe – reasons which makes this City a tourist hot spot.

5 | Milan is a city where “I could become someone here”

When you visit Milan, if you haven’t already, you will know that Milan is a City that depicts wealth. Dotted all around you, you will find high fashion names, high-end restaurants, and bold architecture like the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. You will feel right at home as well because everyone is so friendly and welcoming here. It’s okay if you don’t speak or know Italian, everyone seems to speak English either well or little, with a twist of Italian rhythm. It reminded me of what Giorgio Armani once said about this lovable City:

Milan is a true metropolis: strong and fearless but welcoming, too. Little by little, I came to realize that I could become someone here.

GIORGIO ARMANI

What to see in Milan in one day

As a visitor to Milan, you will note that it is a City that is easy to get to, both by air and land (more on transportation below). Exploring Milan will undoubtedly require a few days, or multiple visits or just a weekend getaway but my planned visit to this City was a brief one – a little shopping, a little exploring and a little adventure.

My list of places to visit in Milan in one day were:

Duomo di Milano;

Castello Sforzesco;

Parco Sempione, and the

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Although armed with a list, I realised it was an ambitious itinerary. If there was one thing I wanted to do in Milan, it was to visit the iconic landmark of the Duomo which took centuries to build and to Walk on the Rooftop of the Duomo during sunset. I was happy to accomplish both and cross them off my Milan’s bucket list. However, I was disappointed at not being able to experience one other which had been on my bucket list. While it was a short visit, I discovered that Milan has so many hidden treasures that ought to be explored besides the main touristy spots, and for this reason Milan remains firmly on my return list.

With so many impressive places to see, Milan in one day will be a long one but it is certainly doable. Luckily for me, the one day when I visited was a glorious day of sunshine in the cool month of November. My experiences were amazing and will surely stay with me forever.

A quick overview of my visit to Milan in one day

Typically, Piazza del Duomo, the main square in Milan should be the starting point of any itinerary. Most of the popular places are easily reachable from here either through a walking route or via metro.

However, my one day in Milan began upon my arrival at Milano Centrale Railway Station. I was completely taken by surprise at the sheer size of it and soon realised this was an attraction in its own right, requiring some time to explore. Afterwards, and following a quick and simple late breakfast at an on site cafe, I caught a quick taxi-ride to Piazza del Duomo. Piazza del Duomo connects the rest of the places I intended to visit.

Arriving at Piazza del Duomo and coming into direct contact with the magnificent majestic Duomo in white and pink marble was an indescribable awe-inspiring moment. I took many photos of the Duomo from all angles, each being unique in the sunlight. The carvings on the exterior walls were of all kinds which ignited my curiosity. After some exploring and an immersive experience (crowd and pigeons!) at Piazza del Duomo, I walked through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to the north to reach Piazza della Scala. While on the way, witnessing queues of tourists awaiting their turn on the dancing bull of Turin (more on this below). The Galleria Vittoria Emanuele shopping centre was exquisite, to say the least. I did not stop to shop at this point, although something did catch my eye.

From Piazza della Scala, it was a brisk walk to Castello Sforzesco, then a glimpse of Parco Sempione.

I looped back to the Galleria later in the afternoon for a little shop, late snack, an aperitif and to rest my feet before visiting the Duomo di Milano. I do not wish to confuse you with the looping back and be repetitive, so I shall list all the experiences under its respective headings. Hence, giving you the flexibility to design your own one day itinerary without missing out on these valuable experiences.

Here is how you can enjoy the best of Milan in one day for memories that will last a lifetime.

1 | Milano Centrale Railway Station

Milano Centrale Railway Station is no ordinary railway station. It is huge! It is magnificent! It is the largest railway station in Europe by size and the main train station in Milan. The station’s imposing, grandiose architecture has sculptures of winged horses, lions, bulls and eagles adorning it’s roof!

Milano Centrale

The station depicts various architectural styles and art deco. The only thing you must not forget to do is to look up!

1.1 | Know before you go – practical information on Milan Central Station

Opening hours: Milano Centrale train station is open every day from 04:00 to 01:00.

Address: Piazza Duca d’Aosta, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy

2 | Piazza del Duomo

The Piazza del Duomo is the one place you do not want to miss. This is the main square in the city centre where the locals and visitors love to meet. It is vibrant, large, rich in history and culture. One reason why this is a popular meeting point is because it gives access to the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral), the symbol of Milan and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Museum of 900, an incredibly beautiful museum of modern art is located on the side of the Piazza. Nearby is also the Royal Palace of Milan, home to Museo del Duomo, a cultural centre and home to international art exhibitions.

Piazza del Duomo – View from the steps of Milan Cathedral

From Piazza del Duomo, you can admire the magnificent architecture of the Duomo and the incredible Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II from the steps of Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral in the centre of Piazza del Duomo
Milan Cathedral in the centre of Piazza del Duomo

Unfortunately, the Piazza is always busy with people, as one can imagine. Therefore, there will not be a moment where you can quickly take a people free snap. Nor will you be able to take a shot without the people friendly pigeons! Unless perhaps at 5 in the morning!

3 | Statue of Victor Emanuele II

With everything that goes on at the Piazza del Duomo, one can easily miss (if you don’t look up!) the iconic monument in the centre of the Piazza. The monument was erected in honour of the first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II in 1896.

The Statue of Victor Emanuele II is an equestrian statue set on a marble pedestal. It shows the king leading his troops to battle, flanked on either side by a large lion. On the sides of the pedestal, are soldiers ready for combat. The monument, which is set on a massive plinth, was created by Ercole Rosa, an Italian sculptor.

Statue of Viktor Emmanuele II
An equestrian statue set on a marble pedestal shows the king leading his troops to battle, flanked on either side by a large lion. Reliefs on the sides of the pedestal show soldiers ready for combat.

The Piazza del Duomo gives you easy access to Milan Cathedral.

4 | Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)

No trip to Milan is complete without a visit to the Duomo di Milano – the symbol of Milan. For many, a trip to Milan is primarily a visit to this impressive Gothic and Romanesque architecture. It is the most visited site in Milan.

4.1 | View of the Duomo from the floors of the Piazza del Duomo

Mystical, magical, majestic or an awful failure – just some of the descriptions thrown at this old Cathedral that stands proudly in the centre of Piazza del Duomo. For me, the Duomo is a mesmerising beautiful masterpiece in pink and white marble facade. The walls are adorned with intricate carvings, when taken a closer look left me with more questions than answers. It is so beautifully crafted that each tells a story of exquisite craftmanship and tales. No doubt the Duomo has seen a lot of history pass her by in the 600 years or so that has taken to construct her. Some say there is work still continuing with the ever presence of the scaffolding on the roof of the Duomo. Nevertheless, she stands, in all her glory to be admired by the hundreds of thousands that flock the city each year.

The external walls of Milan Cathedral are adorned with intricate carvings that tells stories of exquisite craftmanship and tales.

Given that the Duomo was a bucket list destination for me, I could not resist snapping away. I tried taking photos from different angles of the Cathedral, the front, the side and every time I looked up, the spires seemed to lead to the clouds! However, later in the afternoon I came to experience the view that I was most comfortable in – the view from across. (picture below).

The view of Milan Cathedral from across
View of the Duomo from across

Whichever way one looks at it, I think we will all agree that it is huge!. Afterall, it is the fifth largest cathedral in the world. A visit to this iconic structure, either external or internal viewing including a visit to the Duomo Terraces does not disappoint.

4.2 | Internal viewing of the Duomo

I am fascinated with the past, the history, old monuments, and often wonder if only the walls could talk, what amazing stories be told. I could only imagine what life would have been like then. So, it will be no surprise to you if I say visiting Milan Cathedral proved to be an occasion of exploring and discovering.

There are so many reasons to visit this masterpiece and there are so many fascinating spots to explore and to delver deeper, right from the moment you step inside the Cathedral. The first a visitor will note upon entering is the uniquely designed marble floor that rules the Cathedral. Apparently, at one point you could set your watch by it! There are marble columns that are high, really high and large beautiful paintings all around the walls. Walk around and you will be blown away by the stained glass windows – they are massive and beautiful. The Cathedral is lit up not only by sunlight seeping through these stained glass windows but they also lit from the inside to aid visitors to appreciate the details that these windows depict. To give you an idea of what awaits you at the Duomo di Milano, here is a sneak preview:

4.3 | Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

The terraces of the Duomo was an incredible experience. I visited the terraces at sunset and I would encourage and highly recommend a sunset visit on the rooftop of the Duomo. The roof is covered in openwork slender pinnacles and spires crowned with almost 2000 sculptures that overlook the city. Apparently, this Gothic Cathedral has the most statues than any other building in the world! On the highest spire of the Cathedral, you will find the Madonnina, a gilded bronze statue of Mary, which was sculpted by Giuseppe Perego in 1774. 

Exploring the rooftop via narrow interconnecting stairways and, sometimes standing on slippery rooftops trying to get the best views and “clicks” was indeed exciting and fun as I reflect on these moments.

Here is a sneak preview of what awaits you on the terraces of the Duomo di Milano at sunset:

4.4 | Half an experience or in its entirety?

To visit the internal and the rooftop, you may have to consider the time factor. You need to allocate at least an hour for the Cathedral and an hour for the rooftop, meaning two hours in total at the very least. If you are planning on the sunset at the rooftop, you may well need an hour and half. Then, there is the queuing time to purchase your tickets. For this reason and given that you only have a day, some may suggest that you forego the internal viewing altogether. However, I would disagree with this view. I suggest that it all depends on you and the question need asking is – “When you visit Milan, would you want to experience the Duomo in its entirety?

As a person who travels often, who juggles one too many things at a time, I like to visit a landmark or a building and explore it in its entirety. I do not like to return home and feel that I should have done it or I should have done better. Moreover, I love history and enjoy exploring monuments and historical architecture, therefore whenever there is an opportunity for me to experience a monument in its entirety, I grab that opportunity. For this reason, I spend some time planning my travels, deciding on the activities I want to do. For me, the Duomo was on my bucket list of things to do in Milan, therefore it was not going to be just half the experience.

4.5 | How to save time and maximise your experience?

If you want the whole experience of the Duomo, here is how you can save time and maximise your experience when visiting the Duomo:

To save time queuing for tickets, you can fast-track your visit and skip-the-line by purchasing your tickets before hand. You can do so prior to arriving in Milan or even as late as on the day, which is what I did. Purchasing the skip-the-line tickets are super easy through a link. then you download the ticket on your phone, show the mobile voucher at the door, and walk right through. With this fast-track ticket, you can take the dedicated elevator to the terraces, saving you even more time., hence allowing you to maximise your experience.

4.6 | Know before you go – practical information on Milan Cathedral

Opening times of Milan Cathedral

The Cathedral and the Rooftop is open Everyday.

Cathedral – 8 am to 7 pm | Rooftop – 9 am to 7pm | Last entry is at 6pm

For further details on their daily activities and prayer times, please check their official website at Duomo di Milano.

For Accessibility information, click here.

5 | Museo del Duomo | Museum of the Duomo – Milan

Described as a “a living place, a place to discover to learn the history of the monument,” the museum showcases all of its work on and about Milan Cathedral. A visit to Museo del Duomo helps one to appreciate the unfolding stories of it’s six hundred years of history. You can enjoy close-up of the sculptures, colours of the marble, details of its unique art and so much more!

Museo del Duomo, Milan

5.1 | Know before you go – practical information on Museo del Duomo

The Museo del Duomo is located inside the Royal Palace, next to Milan Cathedral.

Opening times: Everyday except Wednesdays | From: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The last ticket is sold at 5:00 p.m. | Last admission: 5:10 p.m.

The tour includes the Church of San Gottardo in Corte.

6 | Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an enchanting shopping mall and a must visit landmark to cross off your list in Milan. It is spacious, airy and pretty. This incredibly impressive four storey double arcade, glass-topped 19th century gallery is Italy’s oldest and one of the most exquisite shopping sites, alongside Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. If you want to delve deep into the fashion world, you can join a two-hour shopping tour and explore the luxury fashion district of Milan.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

On the other hand, when a visit is limited to one day in Milan, you may want to explore and experience the Galleria at your own quick pace. As the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is home to luxury shopping, it hosts many exclusive and prestigious labels and brand shops to feed the desires of the Milanese elite. There are several cafes and restaurants here which have been visited by the rich and famous such as Verdi, Puccini and Frank Sinatra. There are several roof top bars giving you exclusive views across to the Duomo and over Milan. Some of these shops, cafes or restaurants have been here since 1867.

Sitting next door to the Duomo di Milano and a few steps away from the Piazza del Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II makes an ideal stop either before or after a visit to the Duomo. I stopped here briefly on my way to Piazza della Scala and looped back later in the afternoon for a longer experience.

What to experience at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II when visiting Milan in one day

Here are the highlights of my visit which you can experience at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan when on a quick visit.

6.1 | Cafe Biffi

Cafe Biffi is the oldest cafe at the Galleria. Biffi’s main specialities are Ossobucco with Milanese risotto and the Milanese cutlet. Although there are many choices, the menu has remained largely unchanged for the last twenty-five years. To enjoy a meal at Cafe Biffi will require a booking well in advance. More info below in Food & Drinks.

Biffi Galleria, IT
Photo credit Biffi, Galleria, IT

6.2 | Enjoy a direct view of the Duomo di Milano from the open terraces of the Galleria over a Campari

As I wanted to experience the sunset from the terraces of the Duomo, a little downtime on the fifth floor of the Galleria over an aperitif was a perfect intervention. We were able to get a table on the open terraces, of Terrazza Aperol, giving us a perfect view of the Duomo.

Open terraces at the Galleria overlooking the Duomo
View of Duomo di Milano from the terraces of Aperol Spritz
On the terraces of Aperol Spritz, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan

Terrazza Aperol

Piazza Duomo Angolo Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan, Italy 

6.3 | The dancing bull of Turin on the beautiful mosaic floor of the arcade

The mosaic floor of the arcade is beautiful and intricately crafted to display four distinct designs to represent the coat of arms of Rome, Florence, Turin and Milan. Rome is represented by a She-wolf together with Romulus and Remus, Florence is the Lily flower, Milan is the Red Cross on a white background and as for Turin, is the Dancing bull (below);

Dancing Bull, symbol of Turin. Intricately crafted into the mosaic floor of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade in Milan
Dancing Bull, symbol of Turin. Intricately crafted into the mosaic floor of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade in Milan

This dancing bull mosaic attracts hundreds of visitors daily, because of a legend associated with it. One only need see the queues of curious visitors and their giggles as they pose for an instagrammable shot on the spot!

Would you like to know what the legend is? Here goes…

6.4 | Legend of the Dancing Bull of Turin

Well, according to legend, apparently if you place your heel on a particular spot, between his two hind legs, and turn around three times, it will bring you good fortune. Millions of visitors must have done this over the years because there is a hollow on the spot.

Regardless of whether one believes in the legend of the dancing bull of Turin or not, it seemed a fun attraction to watch.

6.5 | The best views are above!

You need to look up! The incredibly beautiful iron and glass ceiling is a must see attraction – so you need to pause for a moment and look up! Easily missed when you are busy shopping, or looking at the window displays.

The incredibly beautiful architecture of the Galleria in Milan
The incredibly beautiful architecture of the Galleria in Milan
The iron and glass roof at the Galleria, Milan
The iron and glass roof at the Galleria, Milan

6.6 | Shopping at Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II

Last but not least is the shopping experience at the Galleria – here are some suggestions for you to consider. Even if you do not have time to do the usual browsing, unrushed shopping (because this is Milan in one day schedule), take a peek inside these shops and experience the grandeur of the top brands such as Giorgio Armani, Prada, Gucci, Versace and Louis Vuitton. I must admit, I did spoil myself with a little gift from LV.

  • Louis Vuitton

Photo credit to respective official websites

6.7 | Know before you go – practical information on Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria itself is accessible all hours.

The shops are typically open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.

Restaurants & bars are open from 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. [Check individual restaurants and bars as some stay open longer]

Address:

Piazza del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

7 | Piazza della Scala

Piazza della Scala is a small town square. It is pedestrianised and quieter than Piazza del Duomo. The main attractions here are the statue of Leonardo da Vinci which is located in the centre of the square and La Scala Opera House, one of the world’s most popular opera houses.

8 | Teatro alla Scala – La Scala Opera in Milan

Teatro alla Scala also known as “Temple of Opera” is one of the most famous theatres in the world. It dates back to 1778 and has seen many composers who wrote and performed here including Rossini, Puccini, Verdi and Toscanini. The building itself has often been described as unimpressive from the outside, but I thought it was nice. Perhaps, it was being compared to the opulence of the interior (picture below).

La Scala Opera House in Milan
La Scala Opera House, Milan – photo credit H. Asprou

I did not plan to watch a performance or do a full guided tour of the La Scala Opera House. I wanted a quick preview of the area because it is so close to Piazza del Duomo (about 6 minutes walk) and it would be a shame to miss it. In any case, tickets for performances were unavailable during my visit as these are sold out months ahead of time. I am saving the full experience for my next visit to Milan.

However, if La Scala is in your bucket list on Milan, then you could join a one hour private tour to learn about its history or go a little further, explore the La Scala museum as well. If you intend to fit this experience on your visit to Milan in one day itinerary, you may want to book the tickets before hand, well inadvance of your visit to ensure your place.

Pro tip: There are no access when rehearsals are on. Plan your day well if La Scala is your bucket list experience. Tours are usually scheduled for after 2 pm. Check timings when purchasing tickets

If you want to skip the guided tours and purchase opera tickets, take a look at their official website and buy your tickets there.

9 | Castello Sforzesco

About 15 minutes away (I’m a slow walker!) from Piazza della Scala is Castello Sforzesco. Built on a 14th century fortification, this ancient building looks very much like a medieval castle. It was once home to a series of Duke of Milan, the Sforza family.

Today, the castle is home to many art museums and a library. In addition, it houses a beautiful fountain, Fontana di Piazza Castello.

Access to castle grounds are free, so you get to enjoy Castello Sforzesco even if you are in a rush.

Although I love to spend time visiting museums, I could not do so on this occasion as it may have involved a good part of half a day or two hours in the least. However, if you plan to include the Castello Sforzesco in your itinerary and learn more by visiting it’s museum, you may want to rework your itinerary and allocate sufficient time for a memorable experience. Purchase your tickets for a live guided tour before hand so it is not sold out or select to do a 2-hour guided tour of the castle and the museums.

9.1 | Know before you go – practical information on Castello Sforzcesco and its museums

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. | Grounds of the Castle are free to explore

Opening hours of the Museum: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | Tuesday through to Sunday

There are various guided tours offered by third-party companies which I generally use to design my experience of a destination. In my experience they turnout to be such good value for money and I learn so much more from the tour guides. There is a 2 hour guided tour of Sforza Castle and Museums which may appeal to you. Please note that these activities are timed to take place at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30 pm.

10 | Parco Sempione

Adjacent to Castello Sforzcesco at the rear exit is a large park, Parco Sempione. It is the largest park in Milan and one of the prettiest I had seen. It has a large lake, cycle and jogging paths with a lot of shaded areas.

I did not venture too far to explore Parco Sempione as it was time to head back to Galleria Vittoria Emanuele for a late lunch and a little shop, before my amazing experience at the Duomo di Milano (see 4 above)


What was missing on my “Milan in one day” itinerary?

I had an amazing experience in Milan but I did miss some destinations which would ordinarily be on most visitors’ itinerary. I list five main attractions below which are on my next visit list to Milan and it may well be on your list when you visit.

M-1 | Santa Marie delle Grazie Convent – Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper

The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci is one of world’s most popular and undisputedly one of the world’s masterpieces of painting. This artwork was painted between 1495 and 1497. The representation by Leonardo da Vinci depicted the moment immediately after Christ said, “One of you will betray me”.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci – photo credit to Wikipedia

Leonardo’s Last Supper is located in its original place, on the wall of the dining room of the former Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is a huge painting of 4.60 meters high and 8.80 meters wide, was made with tempera and oil on a gypsum preparation instead of the technique commonly used in the fresco period.

Several measures have been implemented to protect the paint from deterioration. One of the measures is to ensure that the room temperature is maintained and for this reason visitors are restricted to a group of 25 people every fifteen minutes.

Given the strict measures to protect the painting, both in terms of number of visitors and the time allowed for each group, one cannot just arrive at the ticket window to purchase a ticket. Tickets are sold out months and months ahead of time. It is almost impossible to get a ticket! You can check availability here .

Viewing the Last Supper is one of my bucket list experiences but I had to give it a miss this time because I could not get tickets even through third-party providers! It remains a priority for my next visit.

M-1.1 | What can you do to ensure viewing of the Last Supper mural by Leonardo da Vinci?

If you can’t get tickets through their official website, your best bet is to book a guided tour that includes a skip-the-line tickets for da Vinci’s Last Supper via a third-party provider. Third-party providers are tour companies who prebook tickets in advance and therefore affording availability even on short notice.

You may also want to do a broader Milan day tour that includes the Last Supper. There are several choices and combinations to meet your itinerary. For example you could do the skip-the-line Duomo and the Last Supper combination if you are thinking of visiting the Duomo or if you want to, you could do a walking tour of the city and combine this with the Last Supper viewing.

M-2 | Brera District

Brera is an upscale part of town with a good mix of history, modern design, countless shopping and dining options. With lively cafes and restaurants, Brera comes to life in the evening. You will be spoilt for dining choices with the variety of options here.

Dining aside, Brera is home to Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan’s largest museum of art, established since 1776. You will also find Braidense National Library, and the Brera Astronomical Observatory located here.

Pro tip: On a one day itinerary, you may not have time to visit the museum but the Braidense National Library is a 18th century library. It is reputed to be one of the most beautiful libraries in Italy. It is open daily except Sundays and entrance if free.

M-3 | San Bernardino alle Ossa

San Bernardino alle Ossa is best known for its bone chapel. The walls of the ossuary are said to be covered in bones and skulls, some from the old ossuary, some from other local graveyards. Even the doors, door knobs and the pillars are decorated with skulls and bones!

The ossuary dates back to the 13th century, though its current formation comes from the 17th. The skeletons are believed to primarily have come from people who died at the nearby Brolo hospital, which no longer exists.

You can locate San Bernardino alle Ossa at:

Via Brolo
Milan, 20122
Italy

Directions

M-4 | Porta Nuova district

Porta Nuova is an upcoming area of Milan and is the main business district of the city. Also known as Milan’s most futuristic district, it is adorned with modern skyscrapers defining its skyline. Apparently it is not an area many tourists visit because of it’s modern architecture. However, for some it can be an interesting adventure exploring the modern side to Milan with it’s skyscrapers. Porta Nuova is also the name of an arched gateway built in the early 19th century.

M-4.1 | Getting to Porta Nuova district

You can walk to Porta Nuova via Sempione Park from Sforzesco Castle – its 1.5 – 2 km, 20 to 30 minutes walk. Alternatively, you can take a metro to Garibaldi FS Station.

M-5 | Navigli Canals

The Navigli neighbourhood is famous for Navigli Grande and Naviglio Pavese canals and is highly recommended for an evening experience. The picturesque canals are said to be surrounded by colourful buildings, lots of restaurants as well as small boutiques and art stores.


Places to experience food and drinks when visiting Milan in one day

Well, you can’t go to Milan and leave without experiencing their best Pizza, best Risotto and their best Campari.

1 | Pizza

Not sure about you but I like my pizza really thin and crispy. Check out Superpizza when you are in Milan.

Superpizza is a family run business committed to using locally grown, all organic ingredients and therefore I can be sure of its highest quality at all times. Moreover, they serve super-thin, crispy pizza – low on oil, light and yeast-free. With an extensive flavourful combinations on their menu, you are sure to find one to suit your palate.

2 | Risotto alla Milanese

One of the simplest, yet most luxurious rice dishes, this creamy risotto gets its vivid color and flavor from saffron.

Photo credit to Biffi official gallery

According to legend, the dish was first created sometime in the 16th century, during the construction of Duomo. However, the first recipe under the name risotto alla Milanese was found in Giovanni Felice Luraschi’s 1829 cookbook Nuovo Cuoco Milanese Economico, and over time, this saffron-flavored classic became a traditional accompaniment to ossobuco, another signature dish of Milan.

Veal Ossobuco & Milanese Risotto – Biffi, Galleria

If you are lucky to get a reservation at Biffi, you can dine in style in one of the oldest restaurant in Milan – details on Biffi are above. Otherwise, look up Ratana or Antica Trattoria della Pesa

3 | Vegan kitchens

A plant based diet is no longer seen as strange but it is becoming a healthier choice where people are incorporating it into their everyday diet. Milan has a plethora of restaurants and cafes that offer a wide choice vegan treats. You may want to look up Flowerburger and Joia Kitchen.

4 | Drinks

Whether it’s a perfect Negroni you are looking for or wanting to try something new, Milan has it all. If you are looking for an authentic no-frills Milanese experience, then look-up Rita & Cocktails or if you want to experience something British with a Milanese soul, then head over to Kilburn Cocktail Bar.

But if you are looking for a refreshing cocktail during the day, look no further than Camparino in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – the reputed trendy venue since 1915 for an authentic Milanese aperitivo. You can have it whichever way you prefer, in a glass packed with ice and a slice of orange or without.

Barman at Camparino, Galleria. Photo credit to Campari official site


Where to stay when visiting Milan in one day?

Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Milan, IT

Radisson Blu Hotel, Milan, IT

For more choices on accommodation, use this link and check on the vast choices available in Milan – Accommodation in Milan


How to get around Milan in one day

Taxi

Taxis are often in high demand and you may not see one to hail easily on the street. Your best chance is going to designated taxi ranks usually outside the train station, like Milan Central.

Tram & Bus

ATM also manages the trams and an extensive bus network in Milan.

Tram 1 – Cuts through the historic centre,. It is a retro yellow tram with wooden benches and original fittings.

Trams 2 and 3 – are popular for sightseeing.

Trams 9 and 10 – loop around the centre via Porta Venezia, Porta Genova and Porta Garibaldi.

Route maps are available from ATM info points. You can also download these via the ATM app.

Night bus services run every half-hour between 12.30am and 5.10am, after the metro has closed.

Metro

ATM is the company that runs Milan’s public transport, including the metro.

The metro in Milan is simple and easy to navigate. It is the most convenient way to get around. It consists of four major lines which you need know:

M1 [RED] – Connects Duomo with Porta Venezia, the castle, Corso Magenta and the Fiera;

M2 [Green] – Connects Porta Garibaldi with Brera and Navigli;

M3 [Yellow] – Connects Quadrilatero with Porta Romana;

M5 [Lilac] – Connects San Siro with Porta Garibaldi and Isola;

(M4 is under construction)

Services operate between 5.30am and 12.30am (from 6am on Sunday).

A ticket is valid for 90 minutes. It can only be used for one metro ride.

Tickets are sold at electronic ticket machines in the station, or at tobacconists and newsstands.

Tickets & Passes

Depending on your plans in Milan and for how long you intend to stay, there are a number of good money-saving passes for public transport. which you may want to consider:

One day ticket Valid for 24 hours; €7

Three-day ticket Valid for 72 hours; €12

Weekly pass Offers unlimited journeys from Mon-Sun on most of the metro system, buses and trams; €17

Airports near Milan

Milan is served by two airports – Malpensa and Bergamo

From Malpensa Airport to Milan

The Malpensa Express runs every 20 – 40 minutes and takes 50 minutes to reach Milano Centrale. Learn more about Malpensa Express, their routes and ticket prices from their official website here.

From Bergamo to Milan

There are no direct trains from Bergamo to Milan. From Bergamo airport take the ATB bus to Bergamo train station. Trains depart every 30 minutes to Milano Centrale.

Milano Centrale Station

From Milano Centrale Station:

To get to the Cathedral, you will need the Piazza del Duomo. The distance between Milan’s Central Station and Piazza del Duomo is 2 miles / 3.2 km. There are Three ways to get to Milan Cathedral from Central Station. I took a taxi and it was 10 Euros. Have a look at the following and you can decide what suits you.

If you are looking for the quickest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo is to take a taxi. It takes 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. It costs around 10 Euros.

If you are considering the cheapest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, then it is the line 3 subway which costs 3 Euros and takes 15 min. It is located right in the Piazza del Duomo.

You can take a direct bus departing from Central Station m2 m3 and arrives at via larga. It is about 7 to 9 minutes walk to Piazza del Duomo, The bus services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min. Costs 3 Euros.


How to save time and maximise your experience when visiting Milan in one day

Milan is one of the busiest cities in Italy and a tourist hub which means it will be busy at any time of the year. Having said that, my visit was in November, and considered off season but we could not get tickets to the Last Supper. I realised then that even if off season, it does not mean popular places are not sold out. My tips to you, if you want to save time and maximise your experience when visiting Milan for a day is to

Plan Ahead!

Personally, planning ahead saves a lot of frustration! Indeed it saves time as well. Things can and may go wrong sometimes but at least you will be prepared for the eventualities by having some alternatives in place.

Consider an off-season visit

Although I could not get tickets to the Last Supper viewing through third-party providers, but my experience in Milan was lovely and pleasant. Although I pre-booked the skip-the-line tickets to the Duomo, I did it on the day and was easily obtainable. The Duomo was not crowded so it was nice to walk around at my own pace. Exploring the Castle and the park were also enjoyable. I was fortunate with the weather, perfect for sightseeing.

Comfortable walking shoes

Attractions in Milan are conveniently located and are within easy reach through walking routes. Whether the weather is kind on the day of your visit or it is not, you will be walking a lot. So, pack yourself a pair of comfortable walking shoes! .

Consider day trips from Milan

Time permitting, and provided you are visiting Milan for longer than one day, consider visiting other parts of the Lombardy region – explore the neighbouring cities of Verona, Venice and Italy’s impressive and scenic lakes, Lake Como and Lake Garda.

You can reach Verona in a little over an hour. The average travel time between Verona and Milan is 1 hour 23 minutes. The quickest route takes 1 hour 15 minutes. There are about 23 trains a day between Milan and Verona, leaving approximately every hour.

Alternatively, you could book a tour on-board a luxury coach to Verona and Lake Garda – an excellent value for money experience.

You can reach Venice in a little over two hours. The average travel time between Venice and Milan is 2 hours 32 minutes. The quickest route is 2 hours 10 minutes. There are about 22 trains a day between Milan and Venice, leaving approximately every hour.

Alternatively, you could book a tour on-board a luxury coach to Venice. This trip includes a 2-hour guided tour of Venice and a boat trip on Venice lagoon (NOT a gondola ride)

You can reach Lake Como in under an hour. The average travel time between Milan and Como is 48 minutes. The quickest route is 37 minutes. There are about 58 direct trains connecting Milan to Como every day.

Alternatively, you could book a luxury coach tour day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio – another excellent value for money experience.


My thoughts on Milan in one day

In retrospect, my visit to Milan in one day was a busy full-on day with some respite in between. I did not rush through the places I visited. I sat down a few minutes at Sforza Castle to admire the architecture. My walk to Sempione Park was a slow one. Admiring it’s beauty in the autumn sunshine allowed me moments to pause. Pause to appreciate the “now”, reflect on the activities so far and to decide what to do next.

I had seen an item of clothing in the shop windows of Louis Vuitton that morning and I wanted to return to have a closer look. Also, I wanted to enjoy a late lunch and a Campari from the open terraces of the Galleria across Milan Cathedral. I chose both of these experiences instead of a rushed visit to Brera District, and San Bernardino alle Ossa.

My experiences at and of Milan Cathedral were rewarding and I was totally pleased with the sunset experience. Go, read both my blogs on Milan Cathedral and watch the video that goes with it – you will see what I mean.

I think it’s important that we make time to enjoy our visit to Milan or to any other destinations. It is important to our wellbeing so we are not pressured to visit attractions just because we need to complete a list. It is also important that we appreciate what we see and be in the moment than to rush from one spot to another only to realise that perhaps, just perhaps a moment or two longer would have added value to our experiences. I am confident that this post gives you the flexibility to design your itinerary and is the ultimate guide to enjoying Milan in one day


Are you ready to book your trip to Milan in one day?


Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Milan in one day? If so, please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Have a splendid time exploring, discovering and experiencing Milan when you visit.

Georgina xx

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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A detailed and thorough guide to planning your one day itinerary to Milan, Italy. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/A detailed and thorough guide to planning your one day itinerary to Milan, Italy. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/