Extra vacation days in Zurich or Milan?

Nov 16th, 2005, 06:49 AM
  #1  
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Extra vacation days in Zurich or Milan?

Would really appreciate your help! My husband has a business conference in St. Moritz, and I'm thinking of joining him for a few days before or after. The two cities we can easily fly in or out of are Zurich and Milan. Which would you pick for a few extra days and why? Thanks so much!
Weadles is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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It is certainly o lot easier to go from Zürich to Sankt-Moritz than from Milan to Sankt-Moritz.
In spite of this, I would prefer to spend some extra days in Milan.
Why?
- Shopping facilities; Milan is the fashion center in Italy.
- Italian cooking
- A fair chance to have nicer weather
- Brera pinacoteca
- La Scala, if you are an opera fan
- The possibility to take a train to some small medieval towns in the neighbourhood or to the Lake Como (Bellagio).
baldrick is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 07:10 AM
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I'm for Milan.
Why? See baldrick's comments.
bill_boy is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Zurich, easily. No-hassle train travel between the airport and St Moritz (train schedules at www.rail.ch). Then spend your extra few days in either Luzern or Rapperswil or even in the city of Zurich!

When are you going?

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Nov 16th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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Definitely Zurich. Except baldrick's first point about shopping (but shopping in Zurich is not bad either!) I'd say Zurich offers the same or more in each category he mentioned.

Italian food? There is plenty of such in Zurich (and excellent other)
Weather? Don't forget smog in Milan.
Brera? Kunsthaus in Zurich (and some more galleries)
La Scala? Zurich's opera house is one of the best in the world.
small towns? dozens around Zurich.

In general, of course Milan is worth to visit. I personally would love to do some sightseeing there. But as swandav (hi!) wrote: what time of year? This is the question.

Ingo
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Nov 16th, 2005, 07:49 AM
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C'mon now, let's just be realistic and, I know it's difficult, less subjective here.

I know that there are Italian food in Zurich (as there are tons of excellent ones here in New York City). But I still prefer the ones in Milan, ITALY, for truly good Italian food. If I wanted authentic Swiss food, I'd go to Zurich.

La Scala is an intituiton that's incomparable due to it's grand history, legacy and stature in the field of world class opera house and performances. Perhaps, for the benefit of other readers (my wife's an avid opera fan and we like to travel based on our interests), what would be a comparable opera house in Zurich?

And just to add to the Milan list - da Vinci's The Last Supper at Cenacolo Vinciano is definitiely worth a visit, for artistic reason or if you're just curious.

The Duomo in Milan is also not to be missed (it's hard to miss when in MIlan). But, imho, that there are others in Italy that are more breathtaking.
bill_boy is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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Oh, I agree with you on the duomo and da Vinci's Last Supper (and there is still the castello Sforza and some more churches which I like).

La Scala, however, has gone down in quality in the past years. Unfortunately - for example - the orchestra and the conductor did not co-operate (they hated each other), and the quality of the performances suffered a bit from that.

The Opera House in Zurich is one of the best in Europe. Definitely. Under the management of Alexander Pereira it has attracted spectators with excellent performances, innovative settings and top singers.

By the way, I am an avid opera fan too - I am looking forward to "Tosca" on Monday in Dresden's Semperoper (and the New York Philharmonic in the Frauenkirche this Saturday - yahoo!).

Finally I have to say it is still depending on the time of year.
Ingo is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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Time of year for this trip is mid January! Now what? Milan or Xurich? Thanks so much, everybody!
Weadles is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Thank you, Ingo, for the opera information in Zurich.
BTW, I'm not the opera fan (I yawned myself to a headache during Il Barbiere di Siviglia in La Scala last month), but my wife would be appreciative of the information on the opera scene in Zurich.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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I'd pick Zurich! I have not spent time in Milan, but have spent many days and nights in ZRH.

You can spend time along the Bahnhofstrasse and in the old city, shopping and dining.

Take the train to Lucerne (1 hour) for a day of the lake sights and shopping and a FABULOUS ITALIAN MEAL at a place called La Fenice in the old town shopping area!!

Have a great time.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 12:55 PM
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iloveitalymore
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Is there anything that you know about Milan that you don't like about.

It looks to me that all you did was pick and recommend a city that you've been to over a city that you've not been to.
 
Nov 16th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Just in case the last post was adressed to me: I have been to Milan.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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iloveitalymore
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No, not you. Your post and recommendation was clear.
That message was meant for simsonc510.
 
Nov 16th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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I really appreciate all the advice, you guys. I'm obsessed with Italy,( esp. the food!) but have only passed through Milan on the way to Maggiore a few years back. Just wondered, given the mid-winter time of year, which city would be best for sightseeing, etc. I think I already know which one would be best for food...!

And for Baldrick, if you know the answer to this- what's the train travel time between Milan and St. Moritz? Thanks!!
Weadles is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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Both are great cities for a few days. Weather will be largely the same in both, take a look at weatherbase.com.

There are a number of art museums in Zurich, but if you lean more toward Italian masters and if you want to see a great cathedral like the Duomo, then you should go to Milan, as Zurich cannot offer the same. Zurich has a much more charming and extensive old town area, a large lake and river and the Alps in the distance. Food is very good in both, IMO. There are a number of excellent hotels in both.

From St Moritz, the fastest train to Milan would take you 4.5 hours, partly by bus and then one train change, not sure this is what you have in mind. Most of this is a very pretty ride If you fly, you have to go back to Zurich (just over 3 hours) and then itís an hour flight, so door to door it is going to take you even longer including to and from the airport, check-in time, etc.

Zurich to St Moritz is just over 3 hours by train with one change. This is a very very pretty ride, parts of which are part of the Bernina Express route.

Finally, I have to say that the Swiss countryside is extremely beautiful in the winter, you might want to stay in the St Moritz area and do some winter activities like down hill or cross country skiing, snowshoeing,ice skating, curling, winter waking, horse back riding, horse drawn sleigh rides, ballooning, visiting the gorgeous villages in the Engadine (Guarda esp), taking the great train rides like the Bernina Express or just taking cable cars up to mountain tops for great views. The famous Cresta Run bobsled is next door to St Moritz in Celerina. There are polo matches on the lake in St Moritz in late January. Not sure which if any of these activities your husband's conference may be planning, but all are fun and easy to do in St Moritz. And lastly, there are a number of really wonderful 5 star hotels in St Moritz, most with spas that are worth a few days. You may not want to leave the area. As much as I like Zurich, Switzerland is really all about the countyside, and you will be lucky to be in a very beautiful part of it that not enough Americans take the time to get to.

Cicerone is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 06:24 PM
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Having been to both Zurich and various places in Italy since late September, I must say I would definitely choose Italy. Zurich was cold and pricey with too many serious people rushing around in their business suits, cell phones in hands in comparison with the warmth of the Italian people, not to mention the great wine and food.
No need to flip a coin on this one!!
carven is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:14 PM
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loveitalymore
I'm not sure why you are picking on me, when others on this thread have also opted for one over the other, some not mentioning whether they have been to both or not. I said that I had not spent time in Milan. (I've only been through it a few times on my way to other places in Italy.) I was very up front about that.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 08:23 PM
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Just to substantiate my pick , which is Milan, I've been to Zurich 3 times and Milan once over the past 4 years.
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Nov 16th, 2005, 11:43 PM
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Weadles,
Cicerone answered for the time schedule, I noticed.

Just as everyone is substantiating their pick, I go the milan and zurich 2-3 times à year in recent years.

Doing a lot of cooking myself, I have to confess I am a bit amused when I hear that the italian cooking is as good in Switzerland as in Italy. And if, by any chance, there is a white raven italian cook in switzerland, the price advantage goes to his italian counterpart.
As for the Brera-Kunsthaus comparison, Brera has a very rich collection of 13th to 17th century, maybe less of the 18th-20th centuries. The Kunsthaus, from what I recall of my last visit, is richer in 18th to 20th century painting.
Someone mentionned the Duomo. Just a walk on the rooftop of the Duomo justifies the trip to Milan IMO.

Weadles, good luch with your choice and your trip, wherever you decide to go.


baldrick is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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IMO it is foolhardy to base a trip on seeing one sight, as this often does not work out. The Duomo could be covered in scaffolding, or the roof could be closed. La Scala could be on strike as they were for many performances in the winter last year. Most of the exhibitions rooms in the Kunsthaus in Zurich are currently closed for renovations until sometime next year. You need to make sure you don't make a choice based on one event or sight.

Baldrick, you may want to be more circumspect when saying that Italian cooking in "Switzerland" is sub-par; as them's fightin' words in the Tocino. . . . .

Billboy, on 3 trips to Zurich, I am surprised you don't know about its little wedding cake of an opera house by the lake, especially if your wife is an opera fan; but go to www.opernhaus.ch/d/index.php. Inside it is a little jewel and champage on their terrace during the intervals overlooking the lake or the spires is one of my favorite memories of living in Zurich.
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