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Top Milan Day Trips

Where to Go for a Day Outside Milan, Italy

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Here are our suggestions for day trips from Milan, Italy. Milan is a good base for visiting the lakes and interesting smaller cities and towns of the Lombardy region, easily reached by public transportation. These places would also make alternatives to staying in Milan.

Most of these places can be reached by train from Milan's centrale station (see Milan transportation map) and most locations can be found on our Lombardy Region Map.

For day trips from other Italian cities, see Italy Day Trips.

Lake Como

lake como, picture, italy
Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com
The towns of Como, on the southwest shore of Lake Como, and Lecco, on the southeast shore, are easily reached by train in 30 minutes to an hour. Como has two stations in town, one served by the national train line and the other by the Ferrovia Nord Milano, a small rail line between Milan and Como. Como is a walled town with a good historic center, lively squares, good restaurants, and a funicular that goes up above Como for hiking trails and beautiful views. If you want to visit other towns on the lake, there are buses and ferries from both Como and Lecco.

Pavia

pavia picture, piazza della vittoria
James Martin Europe Travel
Pavia is a pretty university city on the Ticino River 35 km south of Milan. Its about half an hour by train from Milan's central station. Pavia is known as the city of 100 towers but only a few remain intact today. Its interesting historic center has good examples of Romanesque and Medieval architecture. Nearby is the impressive Certosa di Pavia that can be reached by bus from Pavia.

Brescia

Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com
Brescia is a city often overlooked by tourists but it's well worth a visit. Brescia has Roman remains, a castle, Renaissance squares, and a good medieval city center. My favorite Italian museum is in Brescia, the City Museum in the Monastery of Santa Julia. Trains from Milan take 45 to 90 minutes and a local bus connects the station with the city center although it's in walking distance.

Cremona

cremona picture
Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com
Cremona is home to the famous handmade Stradivarius violins and is has a beautiful, compact center that's pleasant for walking and easily reached on foot from the train station. Trains from Milan take a little over an hour. Most of the sights are centered around the main square including the Romanesque cathedral, baptistery, and the Torrazzo, the 13th century bell tower with the world's largest astronomical clock. Climb up the tower for fantastic views of the city and countryside.

Lake Maggiore - Stresa

Stresa has a small walking center with tourist shops and restaurants, a lakeside promenade, gardens, villas, and a harbor where you can get a ferry to Isola Bella and other places on the lake. Arona is a little closer to Milan and a little larger. It has very good restaurants and shops but fewer tourist facilities. By train, Arona is under an hour and Stresa is just over an hour from Milan. Both stations are right by the towns.

Bergamo

The old city, Bergamo Alta, sits on a hill above Bergamo Bassa, the modern city. It's about an hour by train from Milan. The train station is in Bergamo Bassa and is connected to Bergamo Alta by bus. Bergamo Alta is a medieval walled hill town with old squares, beautiful monuments and buildings, and great views.

Lake Garda - Peschiera del Garda

peschiera del garda picture, lake garda pictures
Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com
Peschiera del Garda, on the southern shore of Lake Garda, can be reached in a little over an hour from Milan. The station is in walking distance of the town center and the lake. Its small historic center with shops and restaurants is inside 16th century walls built in a pentagon shape. There are small pebble beaches and walks along the lake. Desenzano del Garda, a little closer to Milan, also has a train station. From either town there are ferries and buses to other Lake Garda towns. Peschiera photos

Parma

parma picture, arches
© James Martin, Europe Travel
Parma, in the Emilia-Romagna region, has a compact historical center with several good attractions. Its Romanesque cathedral is covered with beautiful frescoes and the 12th century Baptistery is one of Italy's most interesting buildings. As it's the home of the famous Parma ham and Parmesan cheese, Parma has great cuisine and excellent restaurants. Trains take 1 to 1 1/2 hours from Milan and the center is about a 10 minute walk from the station.

Bologna

bologna picture, bologna italy
© James Martin Europe Travel
While it's a little farther from Milan than most of these places, the high speed train takes just over an hour (and costs about twice what the slower two hour train does). Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region, is a beautiful old university city with lavish porticoed walkways and squares, fine historic buildings, and an interesting medieval center. It's also known for its excellent cuisine.

Turin or Torino

turin picture, torino, galleria subalpina, picture
© James Martin Europe Travel
Turin, or Torino, is the largest city in the Piedmont region. Turin has Baroque cafes and architecture, arcaded shopping promenades, large squares, and museums including the world's third largest Egyptian museum. The Mole Antonelliana is a tall tower that houses the cinema museum and has a lift you can take for views of the city. Trains from Milan take close to two hours. Turin's Porta Nuova station is in central Turin but some trains only stop at Porta Susa, from where you can take a bus into the city.
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