Top 5 (+1) Amazing Day Trips from Milan

January 27, 2015
Enrico Catani

Considered the economic and industrial capital of Italy, the city of Milan has so many things to see and do that it's almost impossible to list them all: from the artistic heritage to the design and high fashion, up to the technology.
But if you’ve already thoroughly explored Milan, or if you want to make your holiday  a little 'more adventurous, we’d suggest including some exciting day trips into your itinerary?
In fact, Milan can easily be the starting point for an amazing day trip in one of the many interesting destinations in Northern Italian that otherwise you may not get the opportunity to visit. So here is a list, brought you by ItalyXP, of the 5 (+1) amazing day trips from Milan that will make you want to book more vacation time!

1. Genoa and Portofino

The first stop of our day trip in Genoa and Portofino will depart from Milan in the early morning. First stop will be Genoa, a city characterized by a beautiful historic centre, especially the ancient port district, renovated and designed by the famous international architect Renzo Piano. The core of the old city is organized in a series of medieval lanes with numerous testimonies related to its historical events, particularly those during which Genoa was part of the four Maritime Republics.
After the guided tour, you will have some free time to explore the city on your own, and have lunch with typical regional dishes. Later, aboard the bus, you'll head to what is called the “Dolphin Coast”, to visit Santa Margherita Ligure, a lovely sea-village, characterized by narrow alleys, small squares and many churches, not to mention the Castle and the impressive Villa Durazzo-Centurione.
From the port of Santa Margherita you will embark on a boat for a cruise that will take you to Portofino, one of the most famous seaside villages in Italy with a history of over a thousand years. Visiting the historic centre, you can visit several ancient churches, a castle or simply indulge in some shopping.

2. Cinque Terre

This amazing day trip in the Cinque Terre from Milan will take you to discover one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Early in the morning, you’ll reach the Gulf of Poets (town of La Spezia), whose nickname comes from the fact that over the centuries many poets had explored the villages of the gulf, enchanted by the beauty of this “water amphitheater”.
Accompanied by a professional guide, you’ll explore the beautiful village of Porto Venere, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its historic importance. Then, you’ll embark on a boat to reach the town of Monterosso sul Mare, situated on quaint natural bay, overlooked by an imposing castle, in the valley of the river Buranco. Besides the guided tour, you’ll have some free time to explore on your own its charming alleys, churches and typical squares, surrounded by calm and tranquility.
After the lunch you'll take a train to Vernazza: a picturesque medieval town dating back to the 1st century AD. Here, you’ll admire the majestic Doria Castle and several beautiful churches (tangible monumental traces of that period).

3. Venice

You cannot miss this day trip in Venice from Milan: a unique opportunity to have a through sight of this enchanting city. The itinerary also includes a fantastic excursion by boat to explore the Venetian Lagoon, characterized by a breathtaking scenery. 
Founded in the 5th century, Venice is spread over 118 small islands separated by canals and connected by bridges and walkways. Your boat will pass through the Canal Grande (the main water-way of Venice) and other narrower canals that will show you the hidden corners of the historic centre. At the end of the cruise you will reach the glorious St. Mark Square, one of the symbols of the city, where you’ll meet your professional guide.
From here you’ll start a walking guided tour that will let you discover the architectural treasures that have made Venice one of the world’s top tourist destinations. The itinerary  also includes a traditional glass factory, where you can admire the manufacture process of the artisans. 

4. Bolzano and the Dolomites

This amazing day trip to Bolzano and the Dolomites will start in the early morning from Milan. You’ll experience an immersion into the heart of the Dolomites, a mountain area declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. First stop will be Bolzano, an enchanting city contaminated by the influence of different dynasties over the centuries. After a walk tour with your expert guide, you’ll take a cable car to reach the prominent area of Soprabolzano, enjoying a breathtaking view.
Once arrived in the village of Soprabolzano, located on the plateau of Ritten, you will take an antique train to explore the most beautiful and evocative panoramic points of the Dolomites, until reaching the highest point, from where you can take pictures of the Alpine scenery
Then, you’ll head to Callalbo, a typical mountain village, where you can admire the “pyramids of rock”, imposing stone columns that emerge from the soil. Here, you will have some free time to stroll around and have lunch with delicious local recipes.

5. Saint Moritz

If you like mountain ares, you cannot miss this day trip to Saint Moritz, departing from Milan: first, you’ll reach the picturesque town of Tirano, with its beautiful Sanctuary of the Madonna, the Oratory of St. Peter and the majestic Palazzo Salis. After the guided tour you’ll take the characteristic Bernina Express, a comfortable red train with panoramic carriages that will allow you to admire the breathtaking scenery, until reaching the Bernina Pass (2253 meters above sea level).
The final stop will be St. Moritz, world-known as a ski resort in winter and leisure tourist destination in the summer. You’ll enjoy the surrounding mountains, strolling through the picturesque narrow streets with boutiques and stores of all kinds. Also, make sure not to miss the chance to visit the famous chocolate shops or cozy cake shops where you can sample and purchase products of local tradition.

(+1). Northern Italian Lake District

The lake district, which stretches from Piedmont to Lombardy and the Veneto, is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Italy. The main attractions of this area is the authentic pleasures that travelers have appreciated since ancient times. Beloved by celebrities and illustrious personalities, the district is full of top hotels and restaurants, but also little-known treasures that you can discover with our tours, such as an 11th century abbey where monks have bottled home-brewed liqueurs for centuries.
For example, our day trip of the Lake Maggiore, departing from Milan, will take you to the town of Stresa, located in the shore of the lake. Founded around the 1st century AD, Stresa is a charming place that you can freely explore, before starting a boat tour on Lake Maggiore, the second largest lake in Italy. The cruise will turn around the archipelago of the Borromean Islands, stopping in some of them for exciting explorations.
In alternative, you can visit the Lake Garda, with a day trip from Milan: first stop of this tour will be Verona, a city rich in art and culture, with a huge archaeological heritage and a charming medieval historic centre. You’ll visit its impressive 2nd century AD Arena, the ancient amphitheatre and the famous “balcony of Juliet's house”. After the guided tour you’ll discover the villages along the Lake Garda, such as Sirmione, where you’ll visit the Roman Baths, an archaeological complex dating back to the 1st century BC.
Furthermore, there is a day trip of Lake Como, departing from Milan: an exciting excursion  that will start with a visit of the picturesque town of Como and its most important monuments, such as the impressive Villa Olmo and the ancient Basilica of Sant'Abbondio. The itinerary includes a boat trip to enjoy a nice cruise on the lake, surrounded by a magical scenery, until reaching  Bellagio, to stroll through craft shops, traditional markets and cafes.

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