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Private tour guide for half-day in Milan and how long to stay there

Private tour guide for half-day in Milan and how long to stay there

Old Jul 4th, 2014, 07:58 AM
  #1  
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Private tour guide for half-day in Milan and how long to stay there

Two of us have about one day in Milan. Never been there before. I thought one way to get the most out of the time would be to hire a private guide for about a half-day to see the sites of the city. Would appreciate any recommendations, prices and experiences you could provide.

Also, we're somewhat flexible in our itinerary, and could add a second day in Milan. Sound like a good idea? We like restaurants, art, history and cities in general. So just about any attractions you mention would be helpful.

Thank you
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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I have nothing against private tour guides, but unless you want a very special angle on the city -- opera, food or some aspect of history -- you would probably do just as well with one of the city sponsored tours that includes a visit to the Last Supper. They take a few hours, hit all the highlights, and then if you want to either revisit someplace you felt the tour didn't allow enough time for, then you can do that.

It it easy to spend 2 or 3 days in Milan visiting various museums of art and history, plus doing things like walking along the roof of the Duomo, or windowshopping in Milan's fashion district or enjoy the evening cocktail hour. There are often extremely high quality traveling art exhibits in the Palazzo Reale -- and should you find yourself bored in Milan, it is very simple to take a train and go someplace else either scenic or historic.

One of my personal favorite sights in Milan is the Ambrosiana, with a fascinating collection. There is a very moving Michaelangelo in the Sforzesca, and other pieces of da Vinci history and artifacts in town to track down other than the last supper.

Just hard to advise how long to stay there for someone with your interests. For many people who come to Italy, Milan is the absolute antithesis of what they are looking for, so it is easy to tell them to spend 2 hours seeing the Last Supper and walking on the roof of the Duomo and getting out of there. But if you enjoy spending time learning about history and art, or Italian design, and generally enjoy urban flair, Milan is quite enjoyable and invigorating.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 08:37 AM
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(And no matter how long you stay, slow down a bit going in and out of Milan's Central Station, the last grand train station built in Europe, and in some ways designed to be a politically inspirational monument, festooned with stone symbols of Mussolini's neo-Roman Empire fetishisms. If you have time to wait inside the station, if you are looking out in the direction where the trains depart, on the right side of the station, there are plaques and memorials to those deported secretly from Italy via Milano Centrale during the Fascist years, sent to death camps in Northern Europe.)
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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We enjoyed our 3 days (2 nights) in Milan. I agree about taking one of the standard tours that gets you to the opera house, the Duomo, the Last Supper; around a 3 hour tour. Ours was excellent (and we are not big on group tours).

Enjoyed getting over to La Brea neighborhood on our own, having coffee at a Galleria cafe, and the like. I wish we'd had more time there for art, for the design district, and the like, but as said above depends on your interests.

When we were there year before last there was a ton of construction going on, so traveling outside the central core took some roundabout travel. We stayed at Hotel Berna around the corner from Milano Centrale.

Have a great visit.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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Thanks for the great information, especially the recommendation for the standard city tour. I'm not opposed to such tours, particularly if they come recommended.

We'll be spending much of the rest our time in the Italian countryside, so time spent in the city would be a welcome contrast, and maybe is worth an extra day, considering what you've both said.

Question: What's the best way to book the city tour? Since we won't be there long, I'd like to have that arranged ahead of time and not waste time figuring it out when we get there.

Thanks again for the great info. Will be checking back.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Old Jul 4th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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We got our tix on line ahead of time too -- I will try to recall the tour name & check my records.

I love Venice, Rome, Siena, Perugia, Orvieto, as well as the lakes, Bellagio, Cinque Terre, etc. but I was glad we finally went to Milan. It is "northern" in flavor vs. many cities but quite sophisticated and again amazing design and fashion.

We went to the roof of the Duomo on our own and that was a highlight, along with Last Supper on the tour. The Duomo, the Galleria, La Scala are all near each other. Rinascente (dept. store right there) also has a rooftop garden restaurant.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 02:53 PM
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TY

I checked the tours online (such as Viator). Looks like the half-day is $90/pp. will probably do that one.
Any restaurant recommendation? We'll try just about anything.
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