Things to do in/around Milan

Old Feb 1st, 2015, 05:32 AM
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Things to do in/around Milan

We're doing a European Delivery for a new car and will be driving Munich to Nice. Most of the time will be spent in Italy. We are planning to do Verona and then Lake Como. We then plan to go to Milan primarily to see the Last Supper.

I have budgeted 2-3 days in Milan but is there that much to do in Milan? Options would be to spend a day in Bergamo on the way to Lake Como. Or perhaps spend some time in small town near Milan if it was interesting. I have considered Cremona but it is a little out of the way for this particular itinerary.

Anyone have thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.
athorp is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 07:42 AM
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I think 2-3 days in Milan are fine if you're into shopping or just like hanging out. Depending on the time of the year, you can also just go to a park and have picnic etc.. not enough to sightsee in Milan for 2-3 days, in my opinion.
mytravelove is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 07:59 AM
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Without knowing your interests and the time of year you are traveling it is hard to know how to answer your questions. Be aware that this summer Milan is hosting "Expo 2015", which might interest you in and of itself (it's theme is "Feeding the Planet") but it will fill up hotels in and around Milan and create traffic issues, etc. Just about any time of year, being in Milan with a car for 3 days is not something I would want to do. Essentially, you'll just be paying for parking. If you want to see things in Milan other than the Last Supper, it would be better to stay in town and pay to keep the car parked rather than stay outside the town and constantly be driving into town. Milan is a fast paced busy city with lots of tram tracks, pedestrian islands, one way streets and rules about where you may and may not drive. Lot of hassle if you are not a native and worried about scuffing your brand new car!

For me, there is not only plenty to do and see in Milan, but I am interested in most small towns and sights in Italy, but not at all times of year (due to weather considerations) and you may not be interested in what interests me.

Finally, are you planning to drive from the Milan area to Nice in a single day?
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 08:32 AM
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No to a car in Milan. I think you could spend 2-3 days there. Some ideas:

The Last Supper
The Duomo -- inside and rooftop
Sforza Castle
Tour of La Scala
Brera District and its gallery
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 09:34 AM
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If you are interested in North Italian Lakes, you should leave the Munich - Verona motorway at Rovereto and drive all along Lake Garda up to Salo (or even Desenzano) and then on the motorway to Bergamo (highly recommended!).
If you travel after May 1st, you may be interested in the World Exhibition EXPO 2015 at Milan Rho
neckervd is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 09:44 AM
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A ar would be a nightmare in Milan. Lots to do in Milan -- here is a list of museums.
yestravel is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:33 AM
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We enjoyed our three nights in Milan as well. There are plenty of museums--we particularly liked the Museo Poldi Pezzoli--and even if you're not a big shopper, window shopping and people watching on Montenapoleone is a great way to spend an afternoon.

We'd go back without any hesitation.
outwest is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 10:40 AM
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Sorry to piggy back on this thread, but I am finding that there seems to be plenty to see in Milan for a few days. We will be coming from Switzerland, which ought to be scenic enough for us, and then on our way to Venice for the Biennale. I'm thinking that we will spend time in Milan at some of the many museums, historic places and art galleries that are in the link that yestravel provided. Guidebooks have a lot of churches listed too.

I'm not going to shop per se, but if there are streets with gorgeous shops, I'll certainly take a walk and look.

I think we can easily fill two full days in Milan. We're sort of in-depth travelers and like to research and find interesting sites that may not be quite as universally known as others.

Don't know when you are going, but I will get tickets for the Giotto exhibit at Palazzo Reale, which coincides with our trip.

Now if I find out about a great park or two, we'll hardly have time to see all that is already on our list.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Now I know I don't want to drive into Milan. A follow up question is what is a nice, smaller town near Milan that we could stay in and use public transportation to get into Milan? Is there such a place?
athorp is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 01:47 PM
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We loved this cemetery (there are two large ones in town)
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 01:53 PM
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You could stay in Pavia, which might also be convenient for going onward to Nice. It has a rather amazing church complex -- charterhouse and cathedral -- that is very much worth gawking at if you have a car. It also has nice risotto and other treats. It's a university with a cheery aspect and no tourists and about a 20 minute train ride from Milan, with lots of trains going in all the time and back.
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 02:00 PM
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Here's more about Pavia:

Something that article doesn't mention is that Pavia makes a particularly delicious version of "pan di morti" -- bread of the dead - which is a special treat traditionally baked for all saint's day (Halloween). But increasingly it is the case that seasonal sweets are baked year round -- which is just a heads up that if you do stay in Pavia and you spot a bakery selling pan di morti, grab a bag for the rest of your car trip. It's a crunchy long cookie made with chocolate, figs, nuts, spices
sandralist is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 07:51 PM
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I second SANDRALIST'S suggestion about PAVIA, particularly its CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY with its magnificent cloister and grounds - breathtaking.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 03:11 AM
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The Science Museum of Leonardo DiVinci is good and they have an Italian navy submarine, which requires a reservation. The aircraft section is interesting, as well.

In the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle is nice and look for the ceramic "Il Torino,"little bull, in the floor. It's easy to find-when you enter from the Piazza Del Duomo at the center turn left and there is usually a crowd around it. Place the heel of your shoe on the bull's testicles and spin for good luck. It's a Milanese tradition. You will see the area is quite worn and needs replaced every few years.

A few blocks away is the Gastronomia Peck. It is THE upscale food store with all sorts of fancy foods. Downstairs is a wine cellar containing thousands of bottles and upstairs is a nice cafe.

If you are there in the warmer weather head to the Navigli district to take your evening passeggiata, evening stroll. The area consists of two or three streets along a canal in a former warehouse zone. It is now gentrified and has lots of cafes, bars, ristorante, and gelatorie. It's a nice place to spend time after dinner.

Buon viaggio,
rbciao47 is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 05:28 AM
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Even if you're not going to shop, you might like to pop up to the restaurant in La Rinascente department store for a snack or cocktails -- it has a great view of the Duomo.

Plus the departments for gourmet food and also for soaps, etc are fun to poke around and have many modestly-priced items -- we came home with about a dozen bars of beautifully packaged Italian soaps that cost about $5 each.
WeisserTee is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 06:20 AM
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Bookmarking for our May trip - such a wealth of information! Grazie!
DebitNM is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for all the information. We will be going in April.

If you are driving to Verona and you like art you should probably go to Padua. Padua has Scrovegni chapel (reservations needed), Saint Anthony's and the first large bronze sculpture after the knowledge was lost during the middle ages.

RobIm is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 11:55 AM
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Great, informative thread ... we'll be there in early June.
Debs is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 11:56 AM
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Wanting tickets for "The Last Supper" for May. They haven't opened sales up yet for them. Is it 90 days in Advance?
DebitNM is offline  
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