Northern Italy - Milan, Lake Como, Venice
ITALY : DESTINATIONS - EUROPE
Northern Italy, Milan-Lake Como-Venice
Milan is Italy’s city of the future, a fast-paced metropolis where money talks, creativity is big business, and looking good is an art form. Milan’s long and rich history is encapsulated in the Duomo, Milan’s grand gothic cathedral that is the city’s center. Built on the site of the Roman basilica, it was extended and refaced numerous times throughout the middle ages, with final flourishes and iconic pinnacles added under Napoleon’s orders that were finally completed in the 20th century. Modern skyscrapers, such as the iconic Pirelli Tower, glisten to the north, and heading west you can see da Vinci’s Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie, or partake in Milan’s other religion, football, at the grand San Siro. Hearty Lombard cuisine and sociable aperitivo are regional specialties, but fine representatives of the rest of Italy abound, as do the trendier fringes of the culinary arts.
Lake Como has been a popular retreat since the time of the Roman Empire, and its popularity shows no signs of waning. Shaped like an inverted ‘Y’, the lake is long and slender and one of Europe’s deepest. Surrounded by the Rhaetian Alps and close to the border with Switzerland, its enviable position means few fail to be charmed by its beauty. Picturesque towns, grand villas, and beautiful gardens are scattered around the lake, and exploring them is easy thanks to the ferry service.
Venice is formed of 118 islands which are dissected by some 170 canals and connected by over 400 bridges. The entire city is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building may contain works by some of Europe's greatest artists. Iconic attractions on the main Rialto islands are evocative by name alone -Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica, and the Grand Canal - a unique collection of brooding Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing, -Murano and Burano- now practiced by precious few masters. Watch artisans create delicate works of art using rare traditional practices. Delight in the magic of this charming city as you are serenaded, traveling through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
Northern Italy, Milan-Lake Como-Venice
Top 10 things to do in Milan
- Duomo di Milano - Religious Sites - Churches & Cathedrals/Centro Storico
- Il Cenacolo - Historic Sites Religious Sites/Centro Storico
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele - Architectural Buildings/Centro Storico
- Castello Sforzesco - Historic Sites – Castles/Centro Storico
- Pinacoteca de Brera - Art Museums/Centro Storico
- Duomo Rooftops - Points of Interest & Landmarks/Centro Storico
- Monumental Cemetery – Cemeteries Zone 8
- Santa Maria Della Grazie - Historic Sites-Architectural Buildings/Centro Storico
- Teatro alla Scala - Theatres/Centro Storico
- I Navigli - Historic Walking Areas Navigli
Tours from Milan
Swiss Alps Bernina Express Rail Tour from Milan, Bernina Scenic Train & Lake Como, Genoa & Portofino Day Trip from Milan,
Lake Como & Bellagio Day Trip from Milan, Lake Maggiore Half-Day Trip from Milan, Cinque Terre Day Trip from Milan.
Milan Tour for Kids
• Begin with a visit to Milan’s glorious Duomo – the kids can enjoy spotting some unusual statues, including an upside-down man, a golden statue, and a Japanese cartoon.
• Head to the nearby Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to look for the portrait of four women - one of whom is a Native American!
• Visit La Scala Square to see the monument to the great Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. Discover the sculptures of four of his pupils around the foot of the pedestal and guess which one was his favorite.
• Continue to the little church of San Satiro to see Bramante’s famous false apse, one of the first examples of trompe l’oeil (which means “fool the eye”).
• Proceed to the imposing Sforza Castle and imagine the castle as it was once surrounded by moats and accessed by drawbridges.
• Next go to Piazzale Cadorna to see the whimsical contemporary sculpture called Needle, Thread, and Knot.
• End your tour with a delicious gelato!
• Milan Scavenger Hunt - discover the ancient legends and symbols hidden in its monuments and uncover the clues to your next destination
• Artisanal Milan - visit a jewelry workshop and a leather-cutting studio
• Visit the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia in Milan - Italy’s best science and technology museum
• Milan Wood Mosaic Workshop – create a wood mosaic with boards, sections of colored pencils, buttons, pearls and old jewelry
• Milan Sketching Workshop - learn about Leonardo’s original drawings
• The Tastes of Milan – stop for a delicious tiramisu, the famous cotoletta and the traditional cassoeula, a dish known only to locals
• Cooking Class near Tremezzo
Top Attractions in Lake Como
- Cathedral of Como (Duomo)/Churches & Cathedrals
- Funicolare-Como-Brunate/ Trams - Scenic Railroads
- Villa Olmo/Architectural Buildings
- Centro Storico/Historic Walking Areas
- Basilica di Sant’Abbondio/ Churches & Cathedrals
- Lido Villa Olmo/Beach & Pool Club
- Terme Romane/Speciality Museums
- Museo Storico Giuseppe Garibaldi/History Museums
Popular Cities in Lake Como
Como-Lombardy, Bellagio-Lombardy, Tremezzina-Bellagio, Varenna, Bellagio
Top Attractions in Venice
1. Gondola Ride - Grand Canal Gondola Ride with Serenade.
2. Eat and Drink with the Locals - Don’t miss the Rialto Market where you can try local produce, perfect for grabbing supplies for an afternoon picnic.
3. Piazza San Marco - The gorgeous architecture and Byzantine mosaics make it a visual wonder that shouldn’t be missed.
3. Burano - Burano is famous for its artisanal lace making.
4. Murano - The Museo del Vetro (glass museum) is a great place.
6. Get lost in Venice at night - Getting lost in Venice, day or night, is the perfect opportunity to get away from the crowds, explore where the locals live, and shop.