Best Italy Itinerary By A Local!



14 DAYS TALY ITINERARY DAY 14-15 | MILAN & LAKE COMO


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DISCOVER MILAN:


Milan is one of the coolest cities in Italy. It is the city of fashion and the economic capital of Italy, which are both quite clearly visible when you’re walking around. There are modern and trendy skyscrapers dotted here and there, surrounded by beautiful historical buildings all over the city center.

Many of its most interesting sights and attractions are not readily apparent, so you’ll need to dig a little deeper to discover the gems that really make the city unique.

Luckily, Milan is surprisingly walkable and at times feels more like a compact town than a major European metropolis.

And once you start chipping away at its foreboding exterior, you’ll find untold treasures below the surface: priceless works of art, eccentric beautiful buildings, world-class restaurants and oases of calm. Explore the best things to do in Milan and remember: appearances aren’t everything.



DISCOVER LAKE COMO:



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Como is filled with luxury Villas you can visit, like Villa Balbianello here, perfect setting even for weddings!


The itinerary for your Italy Road trip started in the glorious city of Rome and it couldn’t end in a less glorious fashion in the amazing Lake Como’s setting.

Relax in the shade of a tree on Lake Como and admire its beautiful views … nd, who knows? You might even spot George Clooney(owner of one of the most beautiful villas in Lake Como), his buddy Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or in fact any other A-list visitor here, but there’s so much more to this destination than its famed visitors.

The glacial lake Como is a mere 1.5 hour’s drive north of Milan and only 30 minutes or so from the border of Switzerland. For me, the biggest draw to Lake Como is its natural beauty – especially the dramatic mountainous region that always draws me in!

Don’t forget to hop on the ferries that cross the lake, it’s a perfect way to explore the beautiful towns surround it like Menaggio, Bellagio, and Varenna, to mention but a few of my favorites.



THINGS TO DO IN MILAN IN ONE DAY:


In Milan, as previously stated, is actually super easy to get around, either by walking a bit or via their efficient public services (the underground metropolitan system is very good). This way you will able to do quite a lot in one day.

The most famous things to do in Milan are:


  • The famous Duomo di Milano, the symbol of the city.
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (on the left of the Duomo)
  • Sforza Castle for a bit of history
  • Parco Sempione to end your day in total relax!



THINGS TO DO IN LAKE COMO IN ONE DAY:


Honestly? If it was for me (personal taste!) I would spend just half day in Milan and aim straight to Lake Como, but the itinerary is yours so maybe you are a fashion addict and want to spend a whole afternoon shopping in Milan 🙂 Either way, Lake Como would deserve at least 2 days of exploring in my books!

 

So, what to do and see in Lake Como?


  • Visit Varenna, a lovely village with great views of the lake
  • Take the Ferry! It will make you discover the hidden spots as well as the more popular sights
  • Visit Villa del Balbianello
  • Discover Castello di Vezio for awesome views



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Villa Del Balbianello, Lake Como

Best Things to do and see in Milan:


Il Duomo Di Milano: Do I really need to tell you why you should visit it? There is so much info online already and the pictures speak for themselves. It goes without saying that this should be your first stop in Milan, no question about it. And it’s as beautiful as the pictures would suggest. My only tip: Go there super early in the morning, you will make the most out of the experience!

Castello Sforzesco: Nearby the Parco Sempione, the Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castel) is also a mandatory stop on your visit to Milan, set aside for its famous towers, it hosts several museums from the Ancient Arts to the Pinacoteca and the Egyptian museum, just to name a few. If you love history, this is a great place to visit.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: Just on the left side of the Duomo di Milano, it’s architecture (especially the roof) will leave you in awe. You’ll find all sort of shops, from luxury ones to nice cafes where you can sip an espresso and relax, bookstores, restaurants and more. Since it’s in Piazza Duomo, you can easily make it your second stop in Milan.

Best Things to do and see in Lake Como:


Villa Del Balbianello:  Located on the left-wing of the Lake, near the village of Lenno, it is a must see for sure. Beautiful views of the Lake and the Villa itself with its terrace garden is truly out of this world! One of the best spots to admire Lake Como mighty beauty. It’s surely one of the most touristy and popular Villas to visit.

Villa Carlotta:  Just a few kilometers away from Villa Del Balbianello (heading north of Lenno), it’s a true gem with its botanical gardens, museums, stairs and the stunning entrance right on the lake. Not to be missed! (I will write an article just for the villas to visit around Lake Como as they are all jaw-dropping material!)

Take the Ferry: One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Como is by Ferry. There are both public and private Ferries. The public one is quite cheap but obviously, it doesn’t let you hop off to explore what you want. For the Private companies, you either find them online looking for “private ferry lake Como” or, as suggested below, I’d recommend the tour from Milan without the hassle to drive there and back.


MORE THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN MILAN


I Navigli Di Milano:  A system of Canals running in the heart of Milan, filled with lovely cocktail bars, are the perfect location to spend your dinner and after-dinner hours, not to be missed for a great aperitif. Great for a romantic walk at sunset as well. It’s easy to reach by public transport which is always a bonus!

Parco Sempione: Located in the heart of Milan, Parco Sempione is a lovely park where you can relax and chill and also visit the Sforza Castel and the Arch of peace, two of the most famous landmark in Milan… As for the Duomo, you can’t say you have seen Milan if you miss this spot!

Via Montenapoleone:  If you are in Milan and love Fashion, via Montenapoleone is the place you want to be! Filled with luxury shops, whatever brand you are looking for, you will find it there! Splurge as much as you want and enjoy!



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The famous Navigli Di Milano, great for the nightlife and the peculiar atmosphere


MORE THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN LAKE COMO


Trekking/hiking Lake Como:  If you have some time or, during your Italy Road trip planning you decide to skip a place or two, this is one of the best and more rewarding activities to do, with breathtaking views over the lake. The most famous walks/hikes are the Greenway Del Lago and Spina Verde (suitable for everyone, they will take you to the top spots like Villa del Balbianello). For more advanced Trekking and Hiking, it’s better to organize with the private companies.

Castello di Vezio:  Located in the middle of the Lake Como, with an overview of Varenna village, it is a lovely spot for the jaw-dropping sights over the Lake and history provided. It was built over a thousand years ago. Don’t forget to climb its famous tower to enjoy even more incredible panoramic views!



The stunning views you can admire at Lake Como are endless!




WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN AND LAKE COMO :

HOTEL BELLAGIO (LAKE COMO)


In the city center, accessed directly from Bellagio’s main square by 38 cobblestone steps, Hotel Bellagio is walking distance from the town’s shops, cafés, and restaurants. Parking available, free cancellation and incredible views on the lake of course. Check out this Hotel!  If you prefer to take a day tour to Lake Como and base yourself in Milan, check out the NH PORTA NUOVA hotel, convenient and well located.



BEST TOURS IN LAKE COMO :


Given the proximity of Lake Como with Milan, you can opt for booking one of the great tours from the Lombardy Capital, instead of spending money (and time) using your car. Many people choose this option and they are able to enjoy a full day in Lake Como without stress and seeing all the top sights stated above.

Usually, when talking about the tours,  I my advice is to decide either way (car or tour) but in this specific case, the day trips from Milan are truly the best option, also money-wise. Highly recommended!




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