Day trips from Milan are exciting when you just want to break away from the hustle and bustle of the city, or see a new city solo, with your partner, or with friends. From the hills to the beachside, whatever your preference, I’ve got you covered in this post. After over six years of living in Milan and around Italy, I have found some great cities I love to escape to, planned or just last minute.
Undisputedly one of the most sought-after lakes in Italy and maybe the world! A VIP and luxury wedding destination for both locals and foreigners, it’s about one hour by train, going from Milan Centrale train station. If you want to catch and enjoy a great view of the city, take the funicular up the mountains or hike – if you are brave enough to. I recommend you visit Como when the weather is clear, this will give you the chance to enjoy more the panorama and take in the splendid view of the city.
If you would love to visit the villas, most of Lake Como’s villas are located outside Como city and in some cases only surrounded by nature and magnificent gardens.
Opting for lunch in one of the restaurants lined up along the lake can be a great experience while enjoying the picturesque view. For you who love something more upbeat, taking a boat cruise can be just what you need to make your experience unforgettable!
Lecco is a very picturesque city, famous for its lake and hill, which you can reach by funicular. Walking along the lungo mare (bank) you follow a snake line path, and it is indeed molto lungo (very long). In case you are wondering, yes! I turned back at some point – maybe a quarter or halfway.
Also, visit the Ponte Vecchio bridge which shares its name with another bridge in Florence. Close to the bridge is a walkway with fat benches nested under the trees. The benches are close enough to the railings so you can see the activities going on on the lake. This spot is very calm, calm enough to hear the little fountain located somewhere along the walkway from quite a far distance.
Your visit to Lecco is not complete until you visit its hill – Piana d’Erna by funicular. I advise you to take a jacket, even though you are visiting during the warmer days as it was a bit chilly up there.
Desenzano del Garda
Another famous lake and absolutely one of my favourites. On summer days, grab your picnic basket and swimwear, and get ready to relax on the lakeshore. Take a walk along the calm shores of the lake, visit the chocolate market that opens from Mondays to Fridays, hire a boat or dine by the lakeside.
Bergamo, Cita Alta
Hike all the way up if you are up to the task! This is a place you can experience a panoramic view once you reach the top by trail or cable car (funicular). Once up, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city while you drink or dine in one of the restaurants uphill.
If you are feeling very adventurous, try the Zipline to have an aerial sight of the city!
Whether you choose to simply explore the city, go up the Montenillino, or visit the Royal Museums, Egyptian museum, or Cinema museum, you would have a swell time in Turin. I like this city because it’s so spacious.
If you are keen on visiting the Egyptian museum, I would advise you to dedicate not less than three hours to touring the museum. It hosts one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities, hence there’s a lot to see
There are quite a handful of medieval buildings and historical places to see in Brescia, like the Capitolium di Brixia.
The Capitolium of Brixia was the main temple in the center of the Roman town of Brixia (Brescia). It is represented at present by fragmentary ruins but is part of an archeological site, including a Roman amphitheatre and museum. The temple was built in 73 AD during the rule of emperor Vespasian.
If you intend to visit the museum, check the opening days ahead as it may not open all days of the week.
If you are a lover of green, you would fall in love with Monza. Parco di Monza (Monza Park) has a very large collection of trees and the park is huge – one of the largest parks in Europe.
You should also visit the Royal Villa, which is also called the Palace of Monza. It is a neoclassical palace built by the Habsburgs as a private residence during the Austrian domination of the 18th century. Next, head to the rose garden – Roseto Niso Fumagalli, nearby.
All these attractions are in close proximity, hence they are possible to see in a day with less walking time required!
I consider the Liguria region a great escape especially during the summer season when the temperature is at its peak in Milan. You can visit the beach to cool off and wander around the city.
There are many seaside cities to explore in Liguria. Cinque Terre – composed of five different cities, namely Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – is usually a top destination for tourists.
I love the Caruggi (narrow way) in Genova. It’s quite easy to navigate through the city on foot. Don’t forget to try the Pasta con pesto (pasta with ground basil), the typical Genovese dish.
I would recommend you try Farinata while you are here, they are made from chickpeas and they taste great! If you are a lover of salty Focciacia, you would love the Focciaccia, made with an extra dose of salt.
With 20 Euros, I made a last-minute round trip by bus to Lugano, which is about an hour and a half away from Milan. As this is outside Italy, ensure you have the right to cross the border or hold a Schengen Visa. When here, find your way to Lugano Lake for an amazing panorama! It tends to be a little chillier than Milan during the winter, so I advise you to go with your hefty jacket!