The 8 best Day Trips from Milan

Milan is elegance and sophistication, a fast-paced metropolis where money talks, creativity is a big business and looking good is an art form.

If you’re living in – or visiting – Milan, you should also know that just within one hour you’ll find peaceful blue lakes, rugged mountain ranges, medieval towns and UNESCO sites.

Here are 8 Top-Rated Day Trips from Milan:

1 – LAKE COMO – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Lake Como - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Lake Como is an idyllic retreat, less than one hour from Milan.

In the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como has long been a playground for the rich and famous (well before George Clooney).

Expect shiny red Ferraris weaving through narrow lakeside towns and neoclassical villas take on a whole new level of opulence.

Highlights include the beautiful (even though touristy) Bellagio along with VarennaMenaggio and Como.


2 – LAKE MAGGIORE & THE BORROMEAN ISLANDS – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

LAKE MAGGIORE & THE BORROMEAN ISLANDS - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Italy’s international lake, the lesser-known Lake Maggiore is no less beautiful than Lake Como, and it is home to the three treasured Borromean Islands. Named for the aristocratic family who acquired the land in the 16th and 17th centuries, each island has its own distinctive beauty.

Loved by Ernest Hemingway and, in more recent times, by the English Royals, this Archipelago is made up of the monumental Isola Bella, the picturesque Isola dei PescatoriIsola Madre and the little Island of San Giovanni.


3 – PAVIA – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

PAVIA - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Pavia is wisdom, pride, and tradition.

Aside from its vibrant atmosphere, Pavia’s historic centre preserves a clutch of worthwhile sights including, to the north of the city, the legendary Carthusian monastery Certosa di Pavia.

Its university is considered one of the best in Italy, with previous alumni including explorer Christopher Columbus, physicist Alessandro Volta and poet and revolutionary Ugo Foscolo.


4 – MONZA – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Monza - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

The Monza track needs no introduction for racing enthusiasts: it’s best known for hosting the Formula One Italian Grand Prix since the race’s inception.

With its long straights, fast corners and reputation as the “Temple of Speed’” driving its circuit has been an unachievable dream for many.

Now even non-professionals can realise the dream by cruising the track in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Gran Turismo or Formula 3. For those less inclined towards adrenaline-pumping activity, you can experience the track driven in a minivan or by bike.


5 – VERONA – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

verona - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Best known for its Shakespeare associations, this romantic Italian city offers so much more than just Juliet’s famous balcony:

Verona is a bustling centre, its heart dominated by the “Arena di Verona”, a 1st-century amphitheatre, the venue for the city’s annual summer opera festival.

Add to that countless churches, a couple of architecturally fascinating bridges over the Adige, regional wine and food from the Veneto hinterland and some impressive art, and Verona shapes up as one of northern Italy’s most attractive cities. And all this just a short hop from the shores of stunning Lake Garda.


6 – LAKE GARDA – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Lake Garda - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Poets and politicians, divas and dictators, they’ve all been drawn to captivating Lake Garda (Lago di Garda), the largest lake in Italy.

Surrounded by three distinct regions – Lombardia, Trentino Alto-Adige and Veneto – the lake’s cultural diversity attracts a cosmopolitan crowd.

You’ll find palms oleander, olive trees and vines, in addition to picturesque villages, beaches and little ports, parks and nature reserves.


7 – VARESE – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

VARESE - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

In between the provinces of Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, Varese is known as “Garden City” for its big amount of public parks and gardens.

This, in addition to a robust representation of Art Nouveau works and 18th century villas, gives the town a countryside-like feel.

One of the first places to visit in Varese is Palazzo Estense, Baroque style palace built in the middle of the 18th century. Surrounded by lovely gardens and beautiful fountains, the palace is a great spot for pictures and a relaxing walk.


8 – PORTOFINO – THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

PORTOFINO - POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING: THE 8 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM MILAN

Crown jewel of the Italian Riviera and very popular spot among luxury travellers, Portofino lies between two gulfs creating a picturesque hamlet embedded in a Natural Reserve, a protected area that houses Mediterranean flora and fauna.

Enjoy a drink by Portofino’s picturesque and yacht-filled harbour or a stroll around its designer shops!

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