Suggestions for too many days in Milan

Nov 12th, 2014, 07:59 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Suggestions for too many days in Milan

Our plans include April 6-14 in Rome; then, one couple will go to Cinque Terre while my son and I go to Venice, April 14-17; when my son returns to the US on April 17, I will meet my friends in Milan on April 17- 22 before we return to US. In looking for an apt in Milan, I have found it is the high season because of the Expo. After reading trip reports, there also does not seem much for us to do for the 5 days.
We would appreciate suggestions of 1) where to stay so that we can visit Milan 1-2 days, 2) alternatives to the day trips to Bergamo, Lake area. Our plane tickets have already been purchased.
Thank you!
donaquixote is offline  
Nov 12th, 2014, 10:00 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 708
There are a lot of possible day trips from Milan. Parma, Cremona, Bergamo, Torino, Verona, Genoa, Lugano (Switzerland) are the first places coming to my mind - but even Bologna and Florence are possible by fast trains (if expensive). The Expo will begin on May 1st so most of the next year will be very busy.
asps is offline  
Nov 12th, 2014, 10:22 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,302
Verona. Vicenza.
Sassafrass is offline  
Nov 12th, 2014, 10:22 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,165
I guess the obvious question is why stay in Milan for more than a couple of days if you're not really keen? Can you not choose another destination for say 3 nights and end in Milan for your last couple? Do your friends live in Milan?
dreamon is offline  
Nov 12th, 2014, 10:23 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,302
Florence, then last night in Milan
Sassafrass is offline  
Nov 12th, 2014, 11:21 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Thank you for your suggestions and I will research the day trips mentioned. Separately we have visited Florence and my friends traveled throughout Venice and surrounding area previously, which is why my son and I are going to Venice while they travel to Cinque Terre. I was hoping we might split the five days between two locations. But, I am not sure where we should meet before ending in Milan to see the Last Supper and our return flight to the US.
Any recommendations for areas to find an apt in/out of Milan as well as rental agencies would be appreciated. I am not finding too many places on vrbo, homeaway, sleep in italy.
donaquixote is offline  
Nov 13th, 2014, 04:49 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19,737
I happen to like Milan. I think you could find plenty to do with 4 full days and possible day trips, especially to Vicenza, as one poster noted.

You're not finding places for April 2015? What's your budget?
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2014, 06:28 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 387
A wonderful day trip would be to take the train (1 hour) from Milan to Turin. A rare exposition of the Shroud of Turin will be on display April 19 - June 24, 2015. You will need a reservation to see it. Reservations aren't available to book now, but will be soon. Here's the link where you'll make your reservation: http://www.sindone.org/the_holy_shro...ly_Shroud.html

Here's the website where I learned the above information:
http://goitaly.about.com/od/turintor...d-of-turin.htm

Also, are you aware you will need tickets to see The Last Supper? You'll need to purchase far in advance. Here's the link I will be using when they open up the dates for our trip:
http://selectitaly.com/browse/things...-milan/aff:160
jewelhawg is offline  
Nov 13th, 2014, 06:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19,737
Good tip about getting LS tix in advance. Also, some of the local tour companies organize tours that include the LS along with other sites in the city, if you're interested in spending a day or half-day on something like that.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2014, 08:00 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,525
Ignore the trip reports that say there's nothing to do in Milan. We were there for four days a few years ago, and didn't get a chance to see all we wanted to see. We're going back for four days again this year. If you're looking for quaintness, Milan won't offer much of that, but if you want to visit a vibrant city with lots of things going on all the time, Milan is one of the best cities you can visit.

There is, of course, the Last Supper. It's not easy to reserve tickets for this, because when they go on sale, they're snapped up almost immediately. A good many are sold to tour companies, who make this a highlight of a day-long tour. We couldn't commit to a day-long tour when we were there, but we found out that it would be open for visits without reservations on the Feast of Sant'Ambrogio (patron saint of Milan) which happened to fall (December 7th, I believe) when we were there. So we lined up about half an hour before they opened and got to see it. Although it's very damaged and perhaps restored badly, it's still worth seeing. There are web sites that offer advice on how to snag a ticket.

While we were in Milan, there was a temporary exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci's John the Baptist, on loan from the Louvre, which is one of the most compelling paintings I've ever seen (more so than the Mona Lisa in my opinion). This is the kind of thing that kept happening while we were there: while on our way to some place, we'd run across something else fantastic. I'd never worry about having too much time in Milan.

There's a Van Gogh exhibit in Milan this year, in connection with the Expo. (It's already begun and goes through June 28th.) It's been very popular, and the reservation site encourages people to go mid-week if they can. That's on our agenda for our upcoming visit.

One of the things we only had a chance to glimpse the last time is the Castello Sforzesco, a large castle in the center of Milan. We walked through the courtyard, were we saw that there are several small museums inside which we didn't have a chance to visit. We want to go back to the castle for a more leisurely visit this time.

The Brera Painting Gallery is a jewel that shouldn't be missed, with great master paintings from various countries and time periods.

The Duomo of Milan is one of the world's most beautiful Gothic cathedrals. You should really make time to go up to the roof terraces, which are a fairyland of stone carving. Truly unbelievable.

There are boat rides on the Grande Naviglio, one of the few remaining canals in Milan. When we were there, the canal was decorated for Christmas, but it would be beautiful at any time, and there are lots of trendy bars and restaurants on the banks.

There are always concerts, dance exhibitions, and temporary exhibits of all types in Milan. On this trip, we're going to a concert of Schubert sonatas at the Scala. While you're in Milan, there will be a production of the ballet Giselle at the Scala.

There are many beautiful medieval and paleochristian churches in Milan, apart from the Duomo. One of the most beautiful is the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, which dates from the 4th century. It was restructured several times, with the most recent major restructuring in the 11th century.

If you want to take a day trip, Torino is a good choice. Other possibilities would be Lake Como (especially if the weather's good) or Bergamo, which has a beautiful old walled town, the Città Alta, which rises above the modern city.
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 13th, 2014, 10:26 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 708
The real problem of Milan is that it is in Italy. Were it in France or Germany, it would be considered an art city and flooded with tourists. In Italy, it gets compared with Florence and Venice and Rome and is considered as a second class tourist destination. I have lived several years in Milan, I still go there every now and then, and there is always something to see.
asps is offline  
Nov 13th, 2014, 11:24 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,525
I think Milan compares well even with those three more-visited cities.
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 13th, 2014, 12:16 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,290
I am not the OP but thank you both, asps and especially bvl, for opening my eyes to what there is to see and do in and around Milan. It wasn't very high on my list of places to visit in Italy [we did a half-day trip many, many years ago] but it's just got moved much higher up.
annhig is offline  
Nov 14th, 2014, 02:14 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Thanks to everyone for their responses! I realized I, unintentionally, posted on Europe forum rather than Italy so I have had a hard time locating my post!
Given our plane tkts are set, I will try and ignore reports that only 1-2 days are needed for Milan. I, too, read about the need to monitor sale of LS tickets and, given website provided by jewelhawg (thank you!) noticed tickets are available thru March. I will now monitor weekly for April. Vincenzo: budget is running around 250-300 euros for Rome (2bedrm/2bath), hoping for much less for Milan. So far, I have found few 2bed/2bath apts. The response I received for 1 apt was that there is a big exhibit (Salone del mobile) beginning April 13 that is causing rental rates to double (high season rate) and suggested I choose another time if flexible. I was hoping fodorites might suggest alternate areas to look for an apt since it appears we don't need to stay in Milan if we are doing day trips out of the city. I am keeping a running list of your suggestions and am glad info is helping other travelers!
donaquixote is offline  
Nov 14th, 2014, 02:36 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,290
I realized I, unintentionally, posted on Europe forum rather than Italy so I have had a hard time locating my post!>>

donaquixote - there is no Italy forum, just a Europe one, and your threads should come up at the top of your page, after you hit the welcome button.

To deal with your specific questions, it sounds as if you only need to be in/near Milan the night before you fly home. so you could look at Lake Como, or indeed anywhere that you can get to easily by rail between Venice and Milan - from Padua to Verona, Garda, Mantua, Parma, even Bologna. What do your friends want to do?
annhig is offline  
Nov 14th, 2014, 05:52 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,557
After many trips to Italy that did not include Milan (passed through it a bunch of times but never stayed), a couple years ago I finally spent 4 days there. I did do day trips two days - one to Bergamo (loved it), and one to Parma and wished I'd had more time. Next summer I'm planning to include Milan for at least another 4 days. Even if you don't have a huge interest in Milan, spending 5 days and doing a couple of day trips only gives you 2 or 3 days IN the city and there's plenty to do for that time frame.

You seem to be considering only apartments but if you decide to go the hotel route I can recommend Hotel Berna. It's in about your price range for two rooms, it is close to Milano Centrale for easy access for day trips (and a metro stop to get to the center in five minutes), and has a fabulous breakfast buffet.
isabel is online now  
Nov 15th, 2014, 04:54 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,290
isabel - I think that the OP's problem is not the idea of staying in Milan, on which she is sold, but the expense of staying there during the opening of a big exhibition, which is likely to push up the cost of all accommodation, not just apartments.

However, I did look at TA for the night of 14th April '15 and there is some availability at the £150 /night level so the OP might get lucky!
annhig is offline  
Nov 24th, 2014, 10:27 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Once again, thank you for the suggestions. Annhig, you are absolutely correct regarding the higher cost of accommodations making us question our staying in Milan for 5 nights. We are considering outside of Milan, perhaps Bergamo. If anyone has suggestions where to look that we can use as a base and still easily get to the airport for our departure, I would greatly appreciate it. My friends do not want to split the time into 2 places but do day trips from one place.
donaquixote is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 06:03 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,056
Last month we stayed at Hotel Rio in Milan, a recco from a poster on this forum. It is cheap and could not be more central, a few steps from the duomo. Ask for a quiet room as the trams are noisy, and go out for breakfast.

In Bergamo we were at the B&B Fleur de Lys, which is very pleasant but one night in Bergamo was enough.
tarquin is offline  
Nov 25th, 2014, 10:33 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,290
Ask for a quiet room as the trams are noisy, and go out for breakfast.>>

do you know which cafe the trams go to, Tarquin?
annhig is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:53 PM.