Milan on two wheels, experience the city from a different perspective

See Milan from a different perspective with bike tour rentals. You can also rent a bike for the entire time you spend here.

IMG_8199If you’d like to have your “own” bike during your stay you can rent it at the historical bike shop Rossignoli, which you find here:

71, Corso Garibaldi.(find on map)
open Monday 2.30-7 pm
Tuesday-Saurday 9 am.-12.30 pm/2.30 -7 pm

40, Via Solari (find on map)
open Monday 3.-7.30 pm
Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-12.30 p.m./3-7.30 pm
Saturday 9-12.30 p.m.

Cost
1 day €12
2 days €24
3 days €34
4 days €43
5 days €52
6 days €59

1 week €65
Deposit €100,00

Rossignoli also organize tours of the city on bicycle in Italian and English and to book and get information call +3902804960 some days in advance.

BikeMi is a bike sharing service a bit like Boris-bikes in London. It’s a great feature in public transport, but beware Italian traffic habits.

BikeMi is part of the public transport system, you must register at ATM IMG_6615(Milan’s municipal transport agency) and to do that you need to have a valid credit card (so they have security for the bike and possible damages) read about the legal and practical issues here. You can get a card for either 1 week, it’s €6, or for a single day, €2,50.

For general information see here

Cycling Italian Style
Cycling in Milan is a risky business. Milan is a car city, and cyclists are not respected as equals in the traffic.

So remember to signal your intentions in the traffic clearly, so the drivers have time to give you space. Take it easy and don’t insist too much.

Two important tips: Keep an extra eye on the tram rails (believe you us; it is the voice of experience telling you this) and remember that the cobble stones get extra slippery when it rains.

Short trips are the cheapest
BikeMi is meant to be used for short trips and it becomes proportionally more expensive the longer you use them If you change bicycles frequently the trips can end up being totally free of charge. If you forget to deliver the bike within 24 hours, there’s a stiff fee.IMG_8095

  • 0 – ½ hour: €0,00
  • ½ – 2 hours: €0,50  every half hour.
  • 2 – 24 hours: €2,00  every started hour
  • Over 24 hours: €150 fee

Summer operating hours.
April 1st-November 2nd the service will run
Sunday-Thursday 7 am.-2 a.m.
Friday and Saturday the service will operate 24 hrs a day.

IMG_8960Junior BikeMi.
The municipality of Milan has now added a bicycle service for kids aged 6-10, you’ll find the junior bikes near some of Milan’s parks Parco Sempione/Piazza Castello (find on map), Giardini pubblici Indro Montenelli (find on map), Parco delle Basiliche (find on map),Parco Don Giussani (find on map) and Parco Ravizza (find on map) the bicycles are available between 7 a.m.-1 p.m. and helmets are mandatory Read more here.

 

 

MoBike and OFO.

Mobike (on the left in the photo) and OFO.

2 operators in the dockless or free flow bike sharing service, also called Uber for bicycles, have arrived in Milan, you need to download the apps for the services in order to begin to use it. Find the links for the app download here.

The first one is Mobike, the orange and black bicycles you have probably seen around the city,  The price is €0.30 for every half hour.

The second is OFO with the characteristic yellow bicycles that technically are of a slightly better quality It costs €0,20 for the first half hour, €0,30 for the second half hour and €0,50 every half hour after that. You can also rent the bike for a whole day at €5.

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Wonderful places you can visit near Milan

The Milanese love going on day trips outside the gates of the city as they say and there are lots of wonderful places nearby. Here is the Insider Guide to the greatest places

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Como.

50 km north of Milan is Como by the beautiful Lake Como surrounded by mountains.It takes about 1 hour from Cadorna station to Como lake and a return ticket is a little under €10. It’s a cosy and very beautiful small town with antique town walls and a great shopping area in the historical center and actually also the place where our personal love affair with Italy began many years ago.

Como is famous for its silk and we recommend you visit the outlet Diffusione Seta located at 8-11, Piazza Cavour (find on map).

When we were there last we had lunch at the super neat
Ristorante Sociale, 6, Via Rodari (find on map) – prices are reasonable and and the food is local and solid – but next time we are planning on trying out the much more sophisticated restaurant with all the great reviews
The Market Place, 21/A, Via Borsieri (find on map) – closed on Sundays.

Another fantastic thing to do here is to take the ferry from Como (just by Piazza Cavour) for e.g.Bellaggio or out to see the incredibly beautiful villas, located in the area. Here the app Navigazione Laghi is a really good tool – Download for Android | iPhone

You can go from Como with the funicular up to Brunate where on a clear day you get an amazing view of Lake Como and the Alps

There are several antique markets in Como:
On the first Sunday every month 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Piazza San Fedele (find on map)
On the second Wednesday every month (Except January and August) 8.30 a.m.-7 p.m. in Porto Torre, Viale Carlo Cattaneo (find on map)
On the last Saturday every month (except January and August) in Via Muratto og Piazza Ferretta (find on map)
On the third Sunday every month. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (except January and August) in Via Spallino (find on map)

Bergamo.

Then there is Bergamo, situated about, 45 minutes away by train from Milan. You can go from the stations of Stazione Centrale, Cadorna and Garibaldi

Bergamo is one of the few towns in Italy whose historical center is still located within the original town walls which have maintained their original aspect.

Bergamo is divided into two parts Bergamo Bassa (low Begamo) and Berrgamo Alta (high Begamo), Bergamo Alta  is the historical part of the town which you can get to either by the city funicular or by taking the 45-minute hike up.

There are monasteries, historical buildings and an ancient botanical garden.

The wonderful Accademia Carrara museum is located in Bergamo Bassa.

There is an antique market in Begamo Alta on the thrid Sunday of every month (except August) on Piazza Vecchia (find on map)

Among the many lunch places in Bergamo:.
Hostaria del Relais San Lorenzo, 9, Piazza Mascerono (find on map)
Antica Hosteria del Vino Buono, 25, Piazza Mercato delle Scarpe (find on map)

Villagio Operaio Crespi d’Adda.

A villlage built by the Crespi family for the workers on their factory. It was very advanced for its time (late 1800s) with free education for the children of the employees, a free indoor swimming pool and the first village in Italy to have modern public lighting. In 1995 the village was entered nto the UNESCO World Heritage List. The directions on how to get there can be found here.

Isole Borromee and Stresa.

The Isolee Borromee (the Borromean Islands) are located in the Maggiore Lake and can be reached from Stresa by boat, they are lovely at all times of the year but are paricularly stunning during springtime, They are famous for their amazing palaces and gardens. There are three islands: Isola Bella with the Borromean Palace and gardens, Isola Superiore (Fishmerman’s Island) a tiny island with a beautiful fishing village and Isola Madre with a botanical garden and Palace.

Stresa is quite close to Milan and can be reached from both the Central Station and the Garibaldi station, the trip takes about an hour.

Stresa has a lot of great restaurants where you can have lunch, some examples:
Antica Stresa, 34, Piazza Cadorna (find on map).
Astoria, 21, Corso Umberto I (find on map)

But you can also eat on Fisherman’s Island (Isola Superiore), example
Belvedere, Via di Mezzo (find on map).

San Pellegrino Spa.

If you feel like pampering yourself go for a day to the San Pellegrino spa (terme) (find on map), you need a car to get up there. Prices and opening hours here. A small piece of advice; go on a weekday.

Lodi.

Lodi is another town that is very near Milan, it takes about 35 minutes with the train going to Bologna, and you can catch it from both Stazione Centrale and Cadorna. Lodi is a lovely little town whose interesting archtecture dates all the way back to 1160.

There is an antique market in Lodi on the first Sunday of every month (except January and August) 8 a.m.7 p.m. on Piazza Castello (find on map)

A couple of good places to have lunch in Lodi are:
Antica Trattoria il Gattino, 71, Corso Mazzini (find on map)
Il Pomodoro Pelato, 48, Via Cavour (find on map)

Vigevano.

And please don’t miss Vigevano in the province of Pavia. It takes about an hour to get there and we recommend taking the train from Porta Genova railway station (find on map)

IMG_7857Vigevano is an incredibly beautiful art town with an amazing renaissance square Piazza Ducale, considered one of Italy’s finest. There is also a castle, Vigevano’s own Castello Sforzesco which was transformed from a fortress to the residence of a prince in 1492-94 by Ludovio Sforza. Furthermore Vigevano is famous for making shoes and there is a shoe museum inside the Castello Sforzesco with no admission.

There’s an antique market in Vigevanoon the thrid Sunday of every month (except August) in the area between Piazza Piazza Martiri della Liberazione, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Via S. Croce (find on map).

Good places to have lunch in Vigevano:
Cappuccetto Rosso Bistrot, 4, Via Carrobbio (find on map)
Cafe del Mar, 34, Via Leonardo da Vinci (find on map)

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Wine and Food.

If you love wine and great food there are some areas we recommend you visit and you could spend the night in one of the many agrotourisms. Some great areas are Franciacorta, Asti and Langhe (where, among other towns, Alba is located).

There are many food and wine festivals in both Piedmont and Lombardia. These festivals are great for getting an insight into small communities and their seasonal products (wine, truffles, cheeses, chestnuts, mushrooms, pumpkins etc.)

 

Star-studded restaurants outside Milan.

If you came to Milan by car there are lots of great restaurants in Lombardy. We want to mention:

D’O  Davide Oldani’s wonderful restaurant with 1 Michelin star, located in San Pietro all’Olmo, Cornaredo (find on map). Davide Oldani is the chef who invented the concept Pop Cuisine (Cucina Pop). Remember to book well in advance.

Cannavacciuolo Bistrot. 1, Piazza Martiri della Libertà in Novara (find on map) which belongs to Antonino Cannavacciulo, one of the new judges in the Italian edition of Masterchef.

Antonino Cannavacciuolo also runs the restaurant (with 2 Michelin stars) and hotel Villa Crespi at the beautiful Lago d’Orta.

You can find the Michelin guide’s other suggestions here.

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Well organized Milanese public transport to get you from the airport to Milan and round the city

20151213_184934Milan has an excellent, well-organized system of public transport, which we want to tell you about here, but let’s first take a look at what you do when you have just arrived at the airport.

If you’ve come to Milan by plane you’ve landed in either Linate, Malpensa or Orio al Serio. There are good connections with public transport from all three.

Hvis man blot rører ved skærmen får man mulighed for at vælge sprog i billetautomaterne. En standardbillet koster 1,50 €. (Foto: Ernst Poulsen)Remember to buy your tickets before getting on either bus, tram or metro, they don’t sell tickets on board. Tickets can be purchased at either the Edicola (newsstand) or at coffee shops. In some airports there are automatic ticket dispensers at the bus stop. 1 ticket is  €1,50 and is valid for 75 minutes. You can also buy a carnet with 10 tickets at €13,20, but you need one carnet per. person. Each adult with a valid ticket can bring 2 children under 11 for free.

If your payment card or phone has the contactless function, you can buy tickets in the metro directly at the turnstile (only one at each station for now), if you use the same card more than 3 times in a day your ticket is automatically converted into a 24-hour ticket at €4.50.

Linate is the airport closest to the city.The easiest is to take Bus 73 (which is a regular city bus that stops frequently along its route and doesn’t have a lot of space for luggage) or X73 – it is specifically for travelers. stops very few times and goes to Piazza Diaz (find on map) behind Piazza Duomo, so just a few steps from Duomo metro station. Currently a metro from Linate is under construction but there is no precise information on when it will be ready. We’ll update here once we know something more.

Malpensa is Milan’s “new” airport which is about a 1-hour drive from Milan. You can either take the train (Malpensa Express) which goes to Cadorna in the center of  Milan, One way tickets are €13 foma both terminal 1 and 2, a return ticket is only €20, if you purchase it online , or you can take the Malpensa Shuttle, which brings you to the central station (Milano Centrale) one way tickets are €10 – return tickets are €16. We recommend that you take the shuttle at the weekend but the train during the week, because you risk getting stuck in traffic jams with the bus.

Orio al Serio is actually closer to Bergamo than Milan and it’ll take you about  50 minutes to get to Milan. There is a shuttle service which goes to Milan’s central station (Milano centrale). Tickets are €5 one way and €9 return. You can also take a the public transport bus (ATB) , which gets you to Bergamo central station in about 10 minutes and here you can get the train to Milan. The trip takes about 40 minutes and one way tickets are between €4-9. Here you must also consider that it’s a better idea to take the train during the week, because of possible traffic jams.

If you want to book train tickets from home you do that here

As in every big city in the world you must keep an eye on backpacks and bags when in the metro, there are many pickpockets that operate there, taking advantage of the fact that it’s crowded. Don’t keep your backpack on your back. Hold it in front of you.

The Central station is another place to be extra vigilant; lots of pickpockets take advantage of visitors’ distraction; one trick, they often use, is to ask if you need help when buying tickets. Refuse politely, but firmly

2015-06-04 16.10.07Get the official app for Milan’s public transport (ATM Milano Official App) – read more about it and find the link to download here.

Taxis with fixed fares
Of course you could also take a taxi.There are fixed fares from the airports:

  • Malpensa: €90
  • Orio al Serio: €130-150
  • Linate: €13-15 (normal city rates)

IMPORTANT: Watch out for illegal taxis – the legal ones are white and have the Comune di Milano coat of arms on their front doors.

If you need to call for a taxi and don’t speak Italian the easiest thing is to use the official app myTaxi. Read more about it and find the link for downloading it here.

If you speak Italian the phone number is: +39024040

If, for some reason,  you can’t get a taxi or just want a chauffeur in uniform you know is there when you arrive or need to be driven around town you can contact Autonoleggio CAPRIOTTI, mobile number +393482819594 or email address autonoleggio.capriotti@yahoo.it. Transport from the airport is the same rate as the fixed fares above.

MilanoCard
If you’re in Milan for 72 hours or less and want to visit a lot of museums while here it is a good idea to buy the Milan city pass MilanoCard which allows you to use all public transport for free and gives a lot of discounts to museums and restaurants. You must order it online here and then you can pick it up at the airport or central station at the specific MilanoCard points upon your arrival

Milan has 4 metro lines, and a fifth is on the way, plus a lot of buses and trams. Other than the tickets mentioned above you can also buy a 1-day ticket for €4,50 or a 2-day ticket for €8,25.

It’s important to know that although tickets are valid 75 minutes you can only access the metro once with a ticket. If you need to take the metro again you have to buy another ticket..

Metro tickets to the Fiera area cost €2,50 one way and €5,00 return.

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