How to Spend 2 Days in Milan for an Awesome Escape in Italy

Duomo, Milan Cathedral

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Milan is not a traditional city like Rome or charming as Florence. However, Milan has a lot to offer to those who visit. If you have a few hours to spare in Italy, pack your camera and enjoy some of the best places you can see and also try some of the best things to do in Milan.

Milan is a good destination both for solo travelers as well as for families. It is packed with entertaining activities, beautiful museums, and unique architecture, and you can see the best of it in two days. This 2-day in Milan itinerary shows you all you can do in this northern Italian city.


Disclaimer: Posts include affiliate links to products or services. I might earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.


Get Ready for Italy!

RESOURCES TO PLAN YOUR TRIP TO ITALY!

Book your flight: I use Skyscanner to compare prices before booking a plane ticket.

Book your accommodation: I’ve tried many different platforms for accommodation, but none of them beats the advantages of Booking.com.

Book your car: The best way to find an affordable car to rent is to use a powerful search engine that compares all the rental companies in the market. I use Discover Cars.

Book your tours: Live unforgettable adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide. For instance, you can visit the Colosseum, discover Milan’s Duomo, explore Pompeii, or wander the streets of Florence.

Don’t forget travel insurance: Things can go wrong at times, but travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I recommend Safety Wing for peace of mind.

Best Things to Do in Milan in 2 Days

2 Days in Milan

A Bit of History about Milan

2 days in Milan

The second biggest city in Italy after Rome, Milan, was founded in the 6th century BC. The Romans conquered the city in 293 and gave it the name of Mediolanum, the capital of the Western Roman Empire.

During the Middle Ages, it was a rich center that turned into a free city by 1117. It could already be considered one of Europe’s biggest cities in 1450.

As time went by, Milan underwent foreign dominations for centuries, a situation that strengthened the character of the people and made it a leading city during Italy’s industrialization process.
As a direct consequence of World War II, Milan became the center of the Italian Resistance.

By the end of the fifties, it was the economic capital of the country, able to receive immigrants from an impoverished Italy, and later on, from all over the World. A status that remained unchanged up to the present.

Helpful resources to move around in Milan

  • It’s a good idea to get a city pass like Milan 48-hour to explore Milan according to your interests, it includes discounts at dozens of affiliated restaurants and shops, free entrance to city museums, and convenient transport options.
  • Alternatively, you can opt for a Milan hop-on-hop-off pass, which can be valid for 1, 2, or 3 days in Milan.

Where to Stay in Milan

2 days in Milan

The city of Milan offers dozens of places to stay for all budgets, with prices starting from € 80-100 per night in affordable hotels or during the lower season. These are the places I suggest when looking for accommodation in Milan:

  • Still no idea where to stay? Check this link to find the best hotel deals as well as rental homes if you still don’t know where to stay in Lombardy.

2 Days in Milan: Best Things to See and Do in Milan

2 days in Milan
View of Milan’s Duomo and nearby buildings.

I’ve lived just a few km away from the city center of Milan for about 22 years. And while attending the Università degli Studi di Milano (the public university in Milan) I would commute to the city every single day for about 5 years. 

On weekends, instead of enjoying the more laid-back atmosphere of my nearby province, I would normally jump on a train to reach Milan to enjoy some of its many cultural activities: cinemas, theaters, exhibitions, museums, concerts, Italian aperitivos, and dinners with friends.

On other occasions, I would just reach Milan to then board another train and spend a day in one of the many cities close to Milan.

Among my favorite towns near Milan are Bergamo and Como, but also Varese, Verona, and Venice. All of them are easy to visit on a one-day trip from Milan.

2 days in Milan

Here you will find a two-day itinerary that will mostly focus on the things you can see and do in the city center. In this guide, you can also read about day trip ideas to visit Como and Bergamo after your two days in Milan are over.

Since these 2 days day in Milan will be packed with activities and places to see, you can always choose to visit only some of them if you travel at a more relaxed pace.

If you have more days in Milan, you can check this three-day Milan itinerary, or discover all the attractions you cannot miss in town. No matter how long you’re planning to stay, Milan will fascinate you, so have fun!

2-Day Milan Itinerary: Day 1

  • The Cathedral
  • Piazza Duomo
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele
  • San Carlo al Corso Basilica
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
  • Teatro alla Scala Opera House
  • Piazza Mercanti
  • Torre Velasca

Downtown area: The Duomo and its Surroundings

The best way to see the city center is to go for a walk. If you’re only interested in sightseeing, without actually entering some of the buildings, the area covered is not so big, in a day you will manage to see most of these sites.

2 days in Milan
The metro station at Piazza Duomo

You’ll need more time if you are particularly interested in any special gallery or museum, for instance, the Museo del Duomo or the Brera Gallery.

To make things faster for you, I’ve added the recommended means of transport to consider to make the most of your time in town. These are the best things you can check out in the central area of town:

The Cathedral, Milan’s Duomo

2 days in Milan
Milan’s Duomo.

Il Duomo, as locals call their cathedral, is an iconic symbol of Milan as well as the obvious first stop on your first day around Milan.

The building stands right opposite Piazza del Duomo, which is considered the meeting point in the city.

2 days in Milan
Inside the Duomo.

The cathedral of Milan, dedicated to the nativity of the Virgin Mary, is a unique masterpiece of Gothic architecture. It features more than 200 bas-reliefs, 90 gargoyles, and 130 spires. It took over five centuries to complete and has around 3500 statues.

Milan’s Duomo is the second-largest cathedral in the world and you shouldn’t miss a visit. However, the Duomo is one of the most crowded landmarks in Milan, so it is a good idea to book a tour & skip the line pass to make better use of your day in town and avoid wasting hours waiting in lines.

2 days in Milan
The back of the building, from this area you access the stairs and lift to reach the rooftop.

The cathedral’s building material is white Candoglia marble and this bright, white color was an advantage during war times. Being the Duomo white, it was visible in the dark, helping soldiers to orient themselves when flying over the city. This was an advantage also for enemy pilots who, for this reason, never bombed the church.

The impressive interior is divided into five naves. The over 50 stained-glass windows offer a remarkable visual effect, producing a calm but mysterious atmosphere; something that I did not experience in any other cathedral.

Remember to cover your shoulders to access the cathedral. Take a scarf or sarong to cover your shoulders (even in summer) as this is required to visit the place. 

Check out the Duomo’s Roof and Visit the Madonnina

2 days in Milan
Milan’s Duomo rooftop.

Not only visitors but also locals enjoy climbing to the Duomo’s roof in order to get a close-up view of the impressive architecture of the building. You can get to the top of the cathedral by means of the stairways or the lift. This access is open from  Mondays to Sundays and from 9.00 to 18.30.

From the roof, you can enjoy an outstanding view of the city, stretching as far as the Alps on a clear day. However, the main reason to climb to the Duomo’s rooftop is to admire the most famous statue of the Duomo, the Madonnina.

2 days in Milan

This small virgin is a beloved symbol of the city. The statue is perched on the highest spire of the Cathedral and it has always represented the heart and soul of the city. The gilded copper statute was erected in 1762 at a height of 108.5 meters.

>> A curious fact: By tradition, no building in Milan is higher than the Madonnina. When the Pirelli building was erected (127 meters), a smaller replica of the Madonnina was placed atop, so the new Madonnina remains the tallest point in Milan. The same was done in many other modern and taller buildings as the years went by.

2 days in Milan
The Madonnina.

Discover more by joining an organized tour:

  • If you are interested in accessing the roofs and terraces of the Duomo, it’s possible to buy a rooftop pass in advance.
  • This tour instead, offers both a guided visit to the cathedral plus access to the rooftop.
  • Finally, if you’re on a budget, you can book access just to the rooftop and then visit the church on your own, without a tour.

>> How to get to the Duomo: reach the Duomo with the metro, lines M1, or M3, and get off at Duomo station.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

2 days in Milan

This long pedestrian street goes from the Duomo down to Piazza San Babila (Saint Babila Square). It tends to be crowded at all hours every day, but on weekend afternoons it’s usually packed.

The road known as Corso Vittorio Emanuele is lined with elegant cafeterias and shops from many Italian and international brands.

San Carlo al Corso

2 days in Milan
San Carlo al Corso.

On the left side of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, close to Saint Babila Square, there is a small square; there you will find another interesting church, the San Carlo al Corso Basilica. 

San Carlo is a Neoclassical church featuring a beautiful and characteristic green dome and 36 Corinth columns, and it is inspired by the architecture of the Pantheon in Rome. It is a good idea to pay a visit after checking out the Duomo to experience the contrast between the cathedral’s Gothic style and the Neoclassic architecture of this basilica.

San Carlo Basilica was built as a thankful expression after the end of a severe cholera epidemic. It was consecrated in 1847 and dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, the Bishop of Milan during the bubonic plague that devastated Milan in the sixteenth century.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

2 days in Milan
At the end of the gallery, you can see Piazza della Scala and the opera house.

Another key meeting point for locals as well as for visitors is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Also called il Salotto di Milano (the living room of Milan), this is the place to be, to meet friends, and to be seen in the city.

The Galleria hosts luxurious design shops, a few interesting bookstores, and several restaurants. Its octagonal floor has a mosaic of heraldic emblems of the former Italian royal family and some Italian cities.

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The impressive roof in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

If you’re already at the Piazza del Duomo, simply cross the street and you’ll be inside the Galleria. For those visiting Milan during Christmas, don’t forget to check out the huge Christmas tree that the gallery hosts in its central area.

Piazza Della Scala

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Piazza della Scala.

Leaving the Galleria through the arcade opposite Piazza del Duomo, there’s a beautiful place to take a rest and take in the views. Here, you’ll be able to take some wonderful pictures of the old trams that still go by on the cobblestone streets.

At the center of the square, stands one of the most famous monuments in town, dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci. The remarkable Italian character is surrounded by minor statues of his pupils and the whole square opened to the public back in 1872.

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The statue of Leonardo in Piazza della Scala.

The sculpture was a source of controversy back in time since the locals were much more in favor of a statue dedicated to a musician due to its location in front of the theater.

The statue took about 15 years to be finished and the legend says that the payment the artist Pietro Magni received for the work was so low that it didn’t even pay for the building material, which is marble from Carrara.

Right opposite the Piazza Alla Scala, you will find the very famous Teatro Alla Scala, for ages home to opera and ballet performances.

Teatro Alla Scala (and the Theater’s Museum)

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The theatre as seen from Piazza della Scala.

Built between 1776 and 1778, this theater soon became one of the most famous stages in the world. Locally named La Scala, the theater officially opened in August 1778, and it’s one of the most important opera and ballet theatres. It has also its chorus, ballet, and orchestra, as well as a school, the La Scala Theatre Academy.

It’s the custom of the theater that every performance should end before midnight, and for that reason, long operas can be scheduled quite early in the afternoon.

The theater stands on the former site where the church Santa Maria Alla Scala used to be, therefore getting the name from the church. The building suffered great damage during World War II since it was heavily bombed, and remained closed for restoration for 3 years, reopening in 1946.

Discover more by joining an organized tour:

>> Find the theater and its museum right opposite Piazza Della Scala (Largo Ghiringhelli 1, Piazza Scala). Opening hours: 9.00 – 17.30.

Merchant’s Square (Piazza Mercanti)

2 days in Milan
Piazza Mercanti or also Piazza dei Mercanti, Milan city center.

During the first warmer days of spring, in my days as a student in Milan, I would come to Piazza Mercante to sit and simply enjoy the views of this unique place that most locals often ignore as they’re passing by.

This ancient square is located between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Cordusio. It was the center of commerce during the Middle Ages when the square would be much bigger and used to feature six different entry points each associated with a specific trade ranging from boot makers to sword blacksmiths, from bankers to hat makers!

Today, many of the streets around the area still carry the names of some of those trades, such as Via Orefici (Goldsmiths’ road) and Via Mercanti (Merchants’ road).

Velasca Tower

This tower is an iconic modern building dating back to 1957, that you can easily see from the terrace of the Duomo, so there is no need to visit it if you are climbing to the Duomo’s rooftop.

Velasca is also the only skyscraper in the center of Milan.

2 days in Milan

The structure is a modern design and interpretation of the medieval fortresses and castles of the region. The tower has 28 floors and it’s 99 meters high, with a very special shape that gets larger at the top.

You can check the building from the rooftop of the Duomo or the rooftop of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

Milan at Night Walking Tour

2 days in Milan

After all the monuments, churches, and gorgeous buildings you’ve checked out on your first day in Milan, it is a good idea to unwind and enjoy a stroll around the city when the lights go up.

Remember that days tend to be very short in winter, getting dark as early as 4 pm, so enjoying Milan at night is not as tiring since you won’t need to stay up late.

You can simply stroll around the roads in the center, visit a local trattoria and enjoy a dish of traditional Milanese risotto, or you can join an organized walking tour at night to have a better insight with a local guide. You will discover lesser-known spots ad hear stories of intrigue and mystery!

Discover more by joining an organized tour:

2-Day Milan Itinerary: Day 2

  • The Last Supper and Santa Maria delle Grazie Church
  • Brera District and Brera Art Gallery
  • Castello Sforzesco
  • Parco Sempione
  • Fashion District
  • Monumental Cemetery
  • Navigli

More time?

  • Museo Nazionale Della Scienza e la Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci”
  • Basilica Sant’Ambrogio

Santa Maria della Grazie Church and Cenacolo Vinziano

2 days in Milan

Holy Mary of Grace, or Santa Maria delle Grazie, is a church and Dominican convent that has become famous for housing the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the convent.

The painting works of the masterpiece started around 1495 and they were commissioned by the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza.

2 days in Milan
The magnificent cupola.

Other than visiting the Cenacolo (another name for Da Vinci’s fresco), I strongly suggest you also check out the church. It is an architectural marvel housing impressive paintings by remarkable artists including Titian and Bramantino.

The church and the fresco on the refectory wall have been listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Cenacolo

2 days in Milan

There are lots of different associations offering guided tours to the outer courtyard of the Church and a visit to the Mural.

Some of them include special activities for kids. Since the visit is timed, quite short, and waiting in lines is pretty much the norm, I highly suggest booking the entrance tickets in advance (sometimes even months in advance!).

Prices vary a lot, so check wisely before booking. It’s a great idea to choose a skip-the-line tour to visit the church and the Cenacoolo.

Discover more by joining an organized tour, these are the ones I suggest:

>> To reach the Cenacolo, take metro M1 and get off at Conciliazione station.

Brera Art Gallery, Milan

One of Italy’s most important art galleries is Pinacoteca di Brera. If you are interested in paintings, you will be happy to know that in the gallery it’s possible to see works by Caravaggio, Tintoretto, and the well-known The Kiss, by Francesco Hayez.

Here, other than visiting Milan’s most important painting collection, it’s possible to see Milan’s Botanical Garden as well, which is located at the back of the gallery.

The palace also houses the Academy of Fine Arts, the National Library, and the Astronomical Observatory. There are special visits and activities designed for children and families, mostly during the weekend.

2 days in Milan
Brera, Milan.

If you’re not super knowledgeable about art, but still very interested in discovering the gallery, the best thing you can do is book a guided experience.

I personally went on a guided tour that also included a walk around the picturesque alleys of the Brera neighborhood. It was a great experience and learned a lot. It’s available in English and in Italian and it will also allow you to skip the line when it’s time to enter the gallery. 

Discover more by joining one of these tours:

>> Reach the gallery with the subway M2, by getting off at Lanza station. You can also reach it if you get off at Montenapoleone station (M3).

Castello Sforzesco

How to spend two awesome days in Milan

The Castello Sforzesco is probably one of my favorite places to walk around in Milan. There are many places inside the Castle that are open to the public, while there are also some private exhibitions and collections. So, for those on a budget, it’s still possible to see its magnificent architecture for free.

The Castle was built over a medieval fortress that used to shelter the city, and it was later on rebuilt by Francesco Sforza in 1450. It has a square structure with four impressive towers on each corner. Two of them are cylindrical and two are squared.

2 days in Milan
The castle and Sempione Park behind.

When you have visited the Castle, you can exit the premises from the opposite end and visit the beautiful Parco Sempione, one of the most popular green spaces in Milan.

The Castello is mainly divided into three courtyards, one of them is Piazza d’Armi. Nowadays, the Castle is house to libraries and many museums.

  • Museo di Arte Antica
  • Furniture Museum
  • Museum of Musical Instruments
  • Applied Arts Collection and other interesting collections.

Discover the Castle by joining the Renaissance Treasures of Milan tour which also includes a visit to the Castello Sforzesco.

>> Reach Castello Sforzesco with metro M1 and get off at Cairoli station.

Sempione Park

2 days in Milan
One of the small bridges with statues in the park.

A vast area extending over 380.000 sq. m., this park includes centennial trees coming from all over the World. It offers the best view from Piazza del Cannone, towards the lake, and the Arco Della Pace or Porta Sempione (Sempione Gate).

This beautiful triumphal arch dates back to the 19th century and it’s decorated with rich bas-reliefs and other ornaments. However, the gate has very ancient origins, as it was part of the Roman walls of Milan.

Sempione Park is right behind Castello Sforzesco, just across the castle you will see this huge green extension, the biggest and most important in the city and it is a perfect place for a picnic at midday!

Fashion District: Quadrilatero della Moda

How to spend two awesome days in Milan

Milan’s fashion district, locally known as Quadrilatero della Moda, is a glamorous neighborhood home to a litany of the world’s leading fashion designers, who have spread their shops and boutiques over famous and exclusive streets like Via Montenapoleone and Via Della Spiga.

Even when shopping can be very expensive in the area (and to access some shops you might even need to book an appointment months in advance), the place is great to go window-shopping if you’re a fan of fashion and design.

>> To get to the area, take subway line M3 and get off at Montenapoleone station. Alternatively, you can take the M1 line and get off at San Babila station.

Cimitero Monumentale

2 days in Milan

The Monumental Cemetery is one of the two main cemeteries in Milan and a unique place for those who love art. Inside the museum, a collection of impressive monuments, mausoleums, and sculptures decorate the tombs and family graves of Milan’s most remarkable families.

2 days in Milan

Inside the cemetery, there is also a special Pantheon with an octagonal cupola, housing the graves of famous Milan citizens. It’s known as the Famedio.

However, not all these remarkable personalities are indeed buried in the Famedio, some of them have their graves in other areas of the cemetery.

2 days in Milan
Impressive funerary art at Cimitero Monumentale.

Among the best-known personalities honored in the place are musicians, such as Arturo Toscanini and Giuseppe Verdi, writer Alessandro Manzoni, and ballet dancer Carla Fracci, among others.

Discover more by joining an organized tour:

>> To visit the cemetery, use metro M5 and get off at Monumentale station.

Second Night in Milan: The Navigli

2 days in Milan

Nowadays, the Navigli, Milan’s canals represent the heart of Milan’s nightlife. Bars, pubs, and restaurants full of life and music are open until late at night.

The Navigli is a system of dams designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, a strategic system of canals that connected Milan to the surrounding area, including Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. In some spots, washerwomen used to wash clothes for the citizens. All around the Navigli district, you can find typical Milanese houses but also murals and graffiti.

2 days in Milan

Street art is one of the many reasons to visit the Navigli, but also its unique gastronomic panorama made of both traditional restaurants and more modern eateries.

In the Navigli, it’s possible to taste the unique polenta, one of northern Italy’s main and most important culinary traditions. The best place to do so is NOX. The Navigli is also the place where to see Sant’Eustorgio, one of the oldest churches in Milan with unique frescoes. This experience combines both a walking tour of the Navigli and the entrance to the church.

All in all, the Navigli is wonderful for a walk during the day, eating a good traditional dish for lunch, and having an Italian aperitivo before dinner and in good company.

Discover and taste more by joining a walking tour:

>> To get here jump on the M2 line. Your station to reach the Navigli is Porta Genova.

More Time in Milan?
Museo Nazionale Della Scienza e la Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci”

Check out one of the most interesting museums in Milan, especially if you are visiting with children. It’s the largest museum in the country dedicated to science and technology and Da Vinci’s works and genius ideas.

The museum also features special areas dedicated to space astronomy and maritime activities and there’s even a submarine to visit inside, as well as trains and ships.

It’s also usual for the museum to host temporary exhibitions. In my case, I was lucky to enjoy a great travel photography exhibition by the famous Steve McCurry.

Several are also activities and laboratories dedicated to entertaining and educating children, and it’s possible to spend a great afternoon with the whole family on any of those not uncommon rainy days in Milan. Discover all the activities available on the museum’s website.

Basilica Sant’Ambrogio

Sant'Ambrogio Milan

Once in the area, you can visit this church dedicated to the patron saint of Milan. Sant’Ambrogio is one of the most representative buildings of Milanese spirituality.

It was built between 379 and 386, and it features two more modern bell towers, “dei Canonici” on the left and “dei Monaci” on the right, both built over 500 years after the church itself

>> To reach both the museum and the church, take the subway M2 and the station is Sant’Ambrogio.

More Things that you Can’t Miss in Milan

Finally, there are a few things nobody should miss during a visit to Milan, so, when in town…

Taste a Panzerotto at Luini

2 days in Milan

Luini (Via Santa Radegonda 16 – M1 Station Duomo) is one of the staples of the local gastronomy in Milan. It resembles a calzone (folded pizza) in shape, only fried and smaller.

Luini has been making this traditional bite since 1888. They offer a variety of creative fillings to choose from… if you manage to choose!

Although the panzerotto is a traditional dish of the south (mostly Puglia), this shop is probably the best place in Italy where to taste them. I used to queue at Luinis every Friday after the last class at the university, and their panzerotti were always worth the wait.

Have a slice of traditional pizza

pizza

Spontini is a local landmark, which first opened in the city back in 1953. It only features plain tomato and mozzarella topping (with a small anchovy, the house’s trademark), no more on the menu. Spontini is a symbol of the city and it’s favored by people of all ages.

With a bit less than 10 € per person, you will have a meal of pizza, a drink, and coffee included. Check which is the Spontini nearer to where you are here.

Experience the Aperitivo Milanese

2 days in Milan

An Italian aperitivo is usually at about 7 pm, in most bars in towns and it’s possible to enjoy a glass of wine or other beverages and combine it with small dishes of bites that can include pasta, pizza, salad, and finger food.

It can sometimes be so abundant as to replace a meal. Usually, you pay for your drink which allows you to help yourself from the aperitivo-buffet table.

One of the best places for an aperitivo in the city is N’Ombra de Vin (Via San Marco 2 – M2 Lanza Station), a historic wine bar inside a 16th-century building.

Aperitivos are a usual social gathering, a way to meet with friends and have a good time enjoying some food and sharing a drink before dinner or clubbing.

More Time? Choose one of These Day Trips from Milan

It’s possible to visit unique cities, towns, and villages of the Lombardy region by taking a train from Milan, you just need to reach Milano Stazione Centrale (Milan Central Station) and get a ticket to one of the following destinations (don’t forget to validate the tickets before getting on the trains).

You might also want to read: Top Guide to Discover the Lakes of North Italy: Lake Orta.

Day trip to Como Lake

2 days in Milan
2 days in Milan

Como is located 45 km North of Milan, in the Province of Como. It is at the tip of the southwestern branch of the lake and just a few miles away from the Swiss border.

Lake Como is 50 km long. To the west of Menaggio, the lake splits in two, giving origin to the arm of Como and the arm of Lecco of the lake of Como.

The mountains around the lake are 2000 m high and the lake is up to 1350 feet deep, making it one of the deepest lakes in Europe.

This beautiful city is one of Italy’s most famous spots, known for its superb cuisine, snow-capped mountains, and fine style architecture.

Walk along the central main street and visit the square as well as the Gothic Cathedral, in honor of the Virgin Mary, which dates back to the 14th century.

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Pay a visit to the cathedral to admire the remarkable central dome, covered with impressive gold artwork and decorations.

Stop at the square of the cathedral to grab a bite, and then continue your visit either with the Museo Civico (Como’s Archaeological Museum), or head to the lakefront and board a ferry.

This way you will be able to spot some of the natural landscape of the lake and take unique photos of the mountains in the area.

Don’t miss spotting some of the beautiful mansions that dot the sides of the lake.

Places to See Near Como

Villa Carlotta

One of the best places to see in Como is the renowned Villa Carlotta. A mix of luxurious interiors and art collections, a house to a museum, and a botanical garden.

Isola Comancina

This tiny islet in Lake Como is close to the western shore of the Como arm of the lake. The island was invaded by Frederick Barbarossa in 1169, but also and mostly because one of Como’s bishops cursed it during the same period. There are a restaurant and a cafe, as well as very few houses, and an archaeological site.

Cernobbio

In Como, you can also take a ferry to Cernobbio a place with colorful houses and elegant villas, and home to the impressive Villa d’Este built for one of England’s Queens. The Lido (the shore) of Cernobbio is a great place for those into photography, with pretty and colorful fishing boats along the coast.

Bellaggio and other villages

2 days in Milan

Finally, there are other villages in the area that are worth a visit. You can reach both Varenna and Piona, with its amazing abbey, by train from the station of Como.

Instead, to visit the unique village of Bellaggio you must board a ferry.

Here it’s possible to admire the villas from the last century, the luxurious hotels and elegant gardens. The small town is home to unique shops and cafés.

Discover the best of Lake Como by joining an organized tour:

>>Getting to Como: By train from Milan, it takes between 40 and 60 minutes, depending on what train you choose

Day Trip to Bergamo

City on the hill, Bergamo

Once arrived at the station, there’s a bus (line 1) for the upper city every ten minutes. Or you can walk and catch the funicular.

Bergamo is a pretty old town in Lombardy, on the edge of the Alps.

It was a defensive hilltop and now this part of town is the Città Alta (upper town).

Modern Bergamo, instead, spreads over the plain below the old town. The lower town or Città Bassa was laid out at the beginning of the XX century. Both parts connect with the funicular.

Most of the historic buildings are in this area. There is no traffic and the narrow lanes are pleasant to wander.

What to See in the Upper City of Bergamo

Piazza Vecchia

This is the heart of the old town, a wide-open space surrounded by a mixture of medieval and Renaissance architecture, the piazza fills up with tourists and students from the university who gather around the fountain.

There are several bars too where you can sit and enjoy a cup of cappuccino.

Domes of Medieval town, Bergamo

The most interesting of the palazzi facing the square is the medieval Palazzo Della Ragione, with a portico dating back to the 12th century and connecting Piazza Vecchia with the little Piazza del Duomo, home to a group of fine religious buildings, including a church (Santa Maria Maggiore), a Chapel and a Baptistery.

Museo Donizettiano

After that, and if you are into music visit the Museo Donizettiano – Donizetti Museum – Via Arena, 9. The composer, born in Bergamo in 1797, is one of the most famous local artists. His grave is in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. In the museum, you can see some of his musical instruments.

What to eat in Bergamo

2 days in Milan
Polenta bergamasca.

Città Alta is a magical place, you can stroll the main street for hours, going up and down and then up again. In the upper town, stop by vineria Cozzi for a glass of wine (maybe a Fragolino) as well as their cheese tarts and other bites. It’s a great place for an aperitivo or a romantic dinner. 

Instead, for a cheaper, more informal option, try the different polenta restaurants in the area. Here polenta is a big thing. The dish can be tasted with sausages and tomato sauce, with local gorgonzola cheese, or even with bacon and beans.

Discover more by joining an organized tour:

>> Getting to Bergamo: By train from Milan it might take you from 45 to 90 minutes to get there, always depending on the train you choose, but Bergamo is always worth the trip.


Have you ever been to Italy?
Let me know in the comments below!

You might also want to read these articles:

Pin This Guide Now! Tips to Spend 2 Great Days in Milan, Italy

Best things to do in Milan in two days

About the author of this blog:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. On the island, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in summer, translating, and freelance writing.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published several travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.


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