Go on day trips from 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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Flea markets in Milan

In Milan there are flea markets every Sunday and besides them there are little markets in the city both on weekdays and at weekends. Here you can find those unique objects you won’t find anywhere else.

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The flea market in the Navigli area every last Sunday of the month

If you like antiques, flea market bargains or vintage there are various possibilities in Milan and surroundings.We have chosen the best ones and comment on them.

The flea markets in the surroundings of the city are easier to get to if you’ve got a car. Here you can really find many unique Italian things for your home at very good prices – remember to haggle!

It’s a good idea to be polite and cheeky when haggling. Italians love negotiating!

If you are tired of having the same  IKEA objects at home as everybody else, then take advantage of your trip to Milan to find some unique pieces.

You’ll find everything you find at a normal flea market: Jewellery, toys, hats, chandeliers,vases, lamps, mirrors, cupboards, furniture, vintage – at all price levels.

  • “Mercatino di Brera” (find on map)  the third Sunday of every month from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.this market is located in one of the most beautiful areas in Milan and you should expect pricy objects.
  • “Artigianato e Collezionismo” every second, third and fourth Tuesday + every first Sunday of every month from 8 am to 7 pm in front of Pinacoteca di Brera in Via Brera (find on map).
  • “Mercatino del antiquariato” in the Navigli area, one of the city’s most interesting markets. the last Sunday of every month 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (find on map)
  • “Mostra mercato di antiquariato”  in Piazza Diaz (find on map) on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Thursdays + 3rd Sunday of every month from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. – just behind Piazza Duomo.
  • “Little Market” products of craftmanship and collectors’ items, in Piazza Sant’Eustorgio (find on map) every 1st Friday and Saturday of every month.
  • “Mercatino” vintage and collectors’ items every 2nd and 4th Friday and the last Saturday of every month close to Porta Venzia/Corso Buenos Aires in Via Spallanzari (find on map).
  • “Fiera di Senigaglia”: in the Navigli area, every Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.in Ripa di Porta Ticinese (find on map) along the wharf. Here you find everything  Indian, South American and African craftwork, new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, perfumes, candles, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs.
  • “Festivalpark”: Every Saturday and Sunday at. 7 a.m.-3 p.m., here you find clothes, shoes, watches, toys, kitchenware, bicycles etc. This market is in Via Sacile (find on map) near Milan’s wholesale vegetable market.

Brera flea market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flea markets in the outskirts of Milan.

First Sunday of the month
Corsico on Via Togliatti (find on map)

 Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m

Second Sunday of the month
Buccinasco on Via Emilia (find on map)

 Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m

Third Sunday of the month
Corsico on Via Togliatti (find on map)

 Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m

Every third Sunday of the month at the flea market in Corsico, there’s a flea market for children. Here you can find games, books, clothes and lots of other stuff..
Time: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Fourth Sunday of the month
San Donato Milanese Snam parking place on via Emilia (find on map)

 Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m

Fifth Sunday of the month;
San Donato Milanese Snam parking place on via Emilia (find on map)

 Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m

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