Milan- a beautiful metropolitan city – always bustling with people. Which I love, but sometimes you just need a break and an escape. Which is easy done with Milan’s high-speed train hub and with its array of picturesque destinations only a short distance from the centre! Personally, I prefer my day trips to involve less than two hours in transit overall. From Milan, that will get you to a number of destinations. Here are my tried and tested DIY day trips from Milan!
Genoa – The city of Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is home to Italy’s largest port and is a popular starting point for Mediterranean cruises. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of former stately palaces (many of which are museums), Europe’s second-largest aquarium, and a waterfront promenade that simply begs for a stroll. Genoa is roughly 1 hour one-way from Milan by train. We visited in April 2016, perfect weather and not too busy! Be prepared to queue for the Aquarium but it is so worth it!
The old city in Bergamo is where you want to be , high on the hill overlooking the modern city. It’s called the Città Alta (High City), with medieval streets and buildings and 17th century walls surrounding it that are stunning! A perfect place for a peaceful Sunday stroll. Bergamo is just under 50 minutes one-way from Milan on the train, and then you can take the number 1 bus from the train station to the Città Alta or walk to the funicular at the base of the hill and ride that to the top. We visit in February 2016.
Monza is a short 20 minute journey one way. The attractive historical centre is pedestrianized and there is a wide range of shopping, including a lively market. Just outside the city centre is the entrance to the famous Park, where you will find the former Royal Palace and the motor racing circuit that is home to the Italian Grand Prix. We visited in Apr 16
The Roman town of Como, on the lake with the same name, is just an hour away. Lago di Como – The inverted Y-shaped lake on which George Clooney chose to make his Italian home, Lago di Como, is ringed by postcard-perfect villages and steeply-sloping green hills. In nice weather, you can even see Alps in the distance. The town of Como at the southwestern tip of the lake is beautiful for a day of walking, shopping and visiting the duomo. We visited in Nov 15.
Few places are as romantic as Lake Como, and even fewer resorts as beautiful as Bellagio. Called the “Pearl of the Lake”, Bellagio’s world class hotels and restaurants provide the perfect place to soak up the lake’s famous panorama. The village is characterised by century-old buildings, stone lanes and picturesque cobbled stairways . 45 minutes by train to Varenna and then a 15 minute ferry ride will easily get you to this beautiful town!