Day Trips in Milan

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Milan is a beautiful sprawling city with much to be admired. It can also be an excellent base from which to see other nearby sites. Here are a few that you can see within a day, though you  may find some to be so beautiful that you'll wish to stay a bit longer.


The picturesque medieval town of Bergamo is a lovely place to start. You can roam the upper town to see the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Colleoni Chapel. The Venetian Walls, in existence since the Roman times, are also worth a visit. The easiest way to reach Bergamo is by train. You can leave from Milano Centrale Station or Milano Porta Garibalidi Station, both in central Milan. Trains run to Bergamo at least every hour between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. and take approximately 1 hour for the trip. Some trains require a change at Carnate Station, so if you require easier travel try to avoid these.


Pavia is another city with an incredible history. The old capital of the Longobard Kingdom of the Middle Ages, the architecture spans from Roman times to well beyond the Renaissance. The Certosa di Pavia is a must-see just outside of the city, as is the Old Bridge, but you can spend the better part of the day just roaming around admiring the buildings that include the Cathedral of Pavia and Visconteo Castle. You can reach Pavia by train-also very frequent-from Milan in just 30 minutes. There is a bus line that goes to the Certosa di Pavia.


A favorite of Italians and foreigners alike is Portofino. This fisherman village has grown, thanks to its mild weather and fabulous seascape views, into a thriving tourist destination. Brightly colored and peaceful, you can have lunch on the waterfront (for a hefty price) or visit the Brown Castle. While Portofino has become very expensive it's worth the trip to just walk around and enjoy the natural beauty-bring a picnic lunch! You can take the 7:20 a.m. train from Milano Centrale to Santa Margherita Ligure. Then take a boat or bus to Portofino. A return train from Santa Margherita Ligure leaves at 5:39 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.

Lake Como

There are also several lakes in the area that make for very popular day trips. On Lake Como you can visit the Isola Comacina. Take a train from Cadorna Station in Milan to Como at 8:42 or 9:42 a.m. and then catch the 10:30 a.m. or 12 p.m. boat to the island. The boat returns at 4:30 p.m., arriving in Como in time to catch the next train back to Milan. While on the island, be sure to check out the ruins of Saint Giovanni as well as Saint Giacomo and Santa Maria Maddalena, both located in the village.

Make the most of your stay in Milan by spending a few days here and there visiting these beautiful surrounding areas, and you're sure to leave Italy feeling you've seen as much of its history as it has to offer.

July 30, 2009 new by tiffanymparker

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