Milan - go or skip?

Nov 7th, 2012, 02:24 PM
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Milan - go or skip?

We are landing in Milan in April to start a 10 day Italy vacation. Leaving out of Venice. Highlights of the trip will be Florence, Venice and some towns in between. Timeframe is mid-April.

Trying to determine whether to stay in Milan 1-2 nights at the beginning before taking a train to Florence. - or whether to skip it altogether and go to Florence directly.

Thoughts or ideas on what to do in Milan?
How far is the train ride to Florence?
1 or 2 nights in Milan if any?

tips, comments welcome!
pattytravel is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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With only 10 days, I think you have better options. I would give Florence and Venice 7 days total---you decide the other places of interest.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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It's a little under 3 hours from Malpensa airport to Florence or 2 hours if you're starting from Milan.

I like Milan more than most people here (and LOVE Florence more than most people here), but a 10-day trip isn't very long for "Florence, Venice and some towns in between."

I think it depends on whether you'd like to see a few things in Milan (The Last Supper, the Duomo, etc.) as long as you're there. If you arrived in Milan by noon, you could easily see the main sights in the afternoon and head to Florence the next morning. (There are very early morning trains Milan-Florence.) But if landing in Milan in the afternoon, I would just train immediately to Florence.
Jean is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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I wouldn't spend much time in Milan myself. You could stop off for a few hours after you get off the plane - take the train directly from the airport to Milano Centrale), probably drop your bags there, and do a quick visit then train on to Florence. Depends how early you will arrive, too.
Andrew is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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skip Milan and take a day trip from Florence to Siena. about 1 hour by bus. YOu will like the Duomo better in Siena.
gfeibleman is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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ok agree! Milan is out!!!!
pattytravel is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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or rather... since we arrive at 10:15 am, maybe we see the
duomo and head off to
pattytravel is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Better yet, see The Last Supper, then exterior of Duomo.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 07:04 PM
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Um.... The Last Supper???
joannyc is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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Sorry, Happytraveler... I meant to infer......Ummm, isn't The Last Supper worth seeing?
joannyc is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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So basically, we could take the train from Malpensa to Milano Centrale, drop the bags off (WHERE? lockers??), then take the train to the Duomo.... walk around a couple of hours, head back and take the train from Milano Centrale to Florence??

What are the approximate distances here? I have not researched it yet.
pattytravel is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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I would skip Milan. I live in Moltrasio on Lake Como and I dred going to Milan. It isn't a pretty city like Florence, Venice, or Rome. If you were trying to find something to do for an extra few days I would either stay on Lake Como (which is stunning) or Lake Garda or Verona. Milan has great restaurants but I don't find the city very attractive.
jimcantwell is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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First of all, to check out anything related to Italian trains, go to the official website:

(and click on the British flag at the top right to get the English version)

From there, you can check train schedules to see how long it takes to get from city to city. They may not have schedules for April yet, but you can check them for next month and the times should be about the same.

I found this link to info about left luggage at Milano Centrale with google:
Andrew is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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great link! thank you Andrew!!
pattytravel is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Looks like I'm too late to vote, but I really like Milan. It's very different from Florence and Venice. The Duomo is magnificent.
Grassshopper is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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I may be too late to vote too but for anyone who may come across this post in the future and is trying to decide about spending some time in Milan, here is my two cents worth. We spent two days in Milan at the beginning of our trip last May (click on my name to see my trip report) and we had a great time. With only ten days you may not want to take any time away from Florence, Venice and as you put it - some towns in between but Milan has many places that are well worth seeing. For me, seeing The Last Supper, walking on the rooftop of the duomo and experiencing an opera at La Scala were once in a lifetime events that are hard to beat. Plus we found the areas of Milan that we visited to be very pretty.
john183 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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I actually like Milan a lot more than I expected to and really enjoyed spending a few days there this past summer. HOWEVER, if this is your first trip to Italy, and you only have ten days I would skip it and spend all your time in Florence, Venice and one other town (Bologna or Verona would fit nicely).

If you do decide you want to spend one night I can highly recommend Hotel Berna ( I would go to Milan again just to have breakfast at that hotel.

Here are my photos from Milan -
isabel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2012, 06:17 AM
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We flew into Milan and decided to look around before heading off to our first stop (Bologna). It is easy to get into the city (We actually took bus from the airport to Milan's central station.)

When we were there 4 years ago, the option was to leave your luggage in a manned area--there were no lockers. We did that, then walked down to the duomo. It was probably about 3-4 km, or 45 minute walk. We saw duomo, had a cappuccino at the Galleria, then took the subway back to train station. It was nice having the opportunity to stretch our legs before train ride.
mama_mia is online now  
Nov 9th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Great mama-mia, will look into that.
How did you like Bologna? Where did you stay?
pattytravel is offline  
Nov 9th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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I visited Bologna in 2007 as a one night stop between Venice and Florence. Compared to the "Disneyland" feel of those two cities, Bologna was refreshingly free of the tourist mobs. There are some tourists but not that many Americans (Bologna isn't in the Rick Steves book.)

I stayed in a little overpriced hotel some blocks from the center. Unfortunately, frequent trade shows seem to inflate the local hotel prices significantly. (at least, this was the case in 2007.)

The center of town is walkable and full of students (Bologna has a huge university). But there aren't tons of obvious attractions compared to Venice and Florence. On the other hand, the food really is to die for - the best food of my trip to Italy by far, and I was just sampling no-name restaurants and bars. I've heard it's hard to get a bad meal there. To me, the food alone is worth a stop.
Andrew is offline  

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