Besides being the fashion and finance capital of Italy, Milan has dozens of travel adventures just a short journey away that can be enjoyed in a day. Here are some of the highlights…
Cruise around Lake Como:
Driving north from Milan, it takes only around an hour to get to one of the most spectacular lake regions in the world – Lake Como. Once you arrive, you can explore splendid 17th century villas and gardens, ancient Renaissance architecture, walking trails around the lake itself, and do so while gazing up at the glorious peaks of the Italian- Swiss Alps. The defining Lake Como experience however, involves hopping on a traditional ferry for a hop-on, hop-off cruise from village to village around the lake’s shoreline.
Stroll around Venice:
Did you know that Venice is an easy three-hour journey by road from Milan? Well it is, and this means that even if you don’t have much time on your itinerary, you and your family can still get a memorable taste of this iconic city for a day or two. Also, once you arrive, all that’s left for you to do to experience much of Venice’s architecture and cultural landmarks is simply to take a stroll around town. Of course, you can also ride one of Venice’s traditional gondola boats through the city’s historic canals. Or attend one of the very popular glass-making workshops that are hosted by Venice’s legendary glass-makers.
Visit the Ferrari Museum:
About a two hour’s drive from Milan, near the city of Modena, is Italy’s famous Ferrari Museum. Dedicated entirely to this legendary sports car, the museum has many of Ferrari’s most iconic cars from the past and present on display. There’s also a fascinating array of trophies, old photographs and Ferrari memorabilia to see.
Shop at Fidenza Village:
For serious fashionistas, there’s probably no better place in the world to be than Milan. But for those wanting to head out of the city for the day, about an hour and a half’s drive from Milan is the luxury retail venue of Fidenza Village, where you can shop for high-end, luxury brands at morethan 100 fashion and lifestyle boutiques.
Explore the historical towns near Milan:
There are dozens of historical towns just a short distance away from Milan, which caneasily be visited in a day, and which all have a rich architectural and cultural heritage. Plus wherever you go, you’ll surely find delicious Italian cuisine for when you’re hungry. Along with many more historic towns, you can visit Cremona, which is famous for its handcrafted violins, as well as the Torrazzo – 13th century, 112.7 metre high bell tower that (which you can climb for fantastic views of the town and countryside below). The tower also features the largest astronomical clock in the world. Another travel highlight near Milan is Parma – the beautiful University City in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, known for its Parmesan cheese and other delicacies, and its many historical buildings and landmarks. If you time your visit well, you can also attend a classical concert at the historic Teatro Regio Opera House.
Soar into the Milan skies:
Just outside Milan, with charter services such as Balloon Team Italia, it’s possible to take to the skies in a hot air balloon for a spectacular bird’s eye view of some of Milan’s iconic buildings, as well as the surrounding landscape as it stretches away towards the magnificent snowcapped Italian Alps.
Take the family to Volandia Aviation Museum:
Just under an hour’s drive from Milan is the Volandia Aviation Museum, which ‘tells the epic tale of aeronautics in all its forms, from the pioneering flights of the beginning of the 20th century, up to the futuristic convertiplane, from hot-air balloons to the conquest of space,’ as the museum guide describes it. There are famous aircraft on display here, as well as flight simulators, a planetarium, model aircraft, a library, movies, a restaurant, and an official Volandia Store, so it’s a great place to take the family.
Visit Cinque Terre fishing villages:
Cinque Terre is a collection of five centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the towns, colourful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, and each of the village harbours are filled with traditional-style fishing boats. The region is as picturesque as they come, and the seafood is delicious too! Many travellers take the high-speed train from Milan to Cinque Terre. (At around three hours to get there, and three hours back, it’s a long journey for a single day – but there’s beautiful scenery along the way, which makes the trip worthwhile).
Oman Air flies you to Milan 6 times a week.