Day Trips From

Day Trips From
Day Trips from Milan

Day Trips From Milan

Friday, July 22, 2016

A day in Lodi

The town of Lodi in the northern Italian region of Lombardy is within an easy reach from Milan. The prosperous attractive town has many well-preserved medieval buildings, beautiful squares and tons of character.

Once a small Celtic village, Lodi had a turbulent past and saw destructions, wars and a succession powerful rulers. Today the town has many historic sites and pretty corners that keep day trippers amused.

Piazza della Vittoria
Considered one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, the central Piazza della Vittoria is dominated by the statue of young Napoleon who erected it to celebrate his first victorious battle here against the Austrians. Relax in one of the cafes here sipping a coffee and admiring the elegant medieval building with porticoes that surround the piazza, the old Town Hall and the Cathedral. 

There are many beautiful churches in Lodi that are worth a visit: Duomo di Lodi with its 15th-century frescoes, the opulent Renaissance Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata with important artworks of the 15th-19th centuries, Sant’Agnese and many others.

Decor of Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata
The romantic ruins of the 14th century Visconti Castle remind of the days when the powerful noble family ruled Lodi. The town also has many noble palaces such as the 18th-century Palace Modignani where Napoleon once stayed, the Renaissance Palazzo Mozzanica, and the elegant Palazzo Vistarini. 

Lodi is famous for its ceramics tradition that dates back to the 16th century. You can see old ceramics workshops in the town centre where artisans still use centuries-old techniques to make beautiful white vases, plates and figurines decorated with colourful floral motifs.

No visit to the town would be complete without sampling excellent local cheeses such as mascarpone, Pannerone, Lodi Granone and Raspadura. Try hearty local dishes boiled tripe with beans and chestnuts, pulenta pastissada (polenta made with ground beef, butter and flakes of grana cheese), wild hare stew, frogs cooked in a tomato sauce and the famous almond cake, tortionata.

Photos by: Francesco Gazzola/Flickr, Giuseppe Diotti/Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A day in Pavia

Once known as the city of 100 towers, Pavia is a pretty city only a short drive from Milan. Home to an old reputable university, Pavia has plenty of sights to keep you busy for a day. 

Pavia’s most famous landmark the Certosa di Pavia monastery, just a few miles outside the city. One of the largest monasteries in Italy, the Certosa combines Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles to a spectacular effect. You can easily spend several hours here admiring beautiful cloisters, spectacular frescoes, elaborate carvings of the apostles, saints and Roman emperors, stained glass windows. 

In the city itself there is a pretty historic centre with churches and elegant palaces. In Piazza di Leonardo di Vinci near the University you can see a few surviving medieval towers. Check out the 14th century Castello Visconti that once was an opulent residence of a local nobleman, Galeazzo II Visconti. Today it is home to the Museo Civico, Museo del Risorgimento and an art gallery with excellent collections of Venetian paintings, Roman jewellery, pottery, glassware, mosaics and sculpture.

Pavia University was built in 1361 and had many star students over the centuries such as Christopher Colombus. You can learn about its history at the Museum of University of Pavia and walk around its elegant cloisters. 

Certosa di Pavia
There are many important churches in Pavia but if you are short on time make sure to see the main cathedral with its impressive interior and enormous dome. It took almost 400 years to build with such illustrious masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante participating in the project. The Church of San Michele is also worth a visit as it was a coronation venue for Charlemagne and Barbarossa.

Piazza della Vittoria is a good place to chill out after sightseeing. Take a sit in one of the bars or gelaterie here and relax surrounded by elegant palaces. No visit to Pavia would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Try  the zuppa alla pavese, a broth with slices of bread, cheese and raw eggs, risotto alla certosina with mushrooms and seafood or oca con le verze (goose and cabbage stew).

Photos via Flickr by: Pier Paolo Cedaro, Thierry Bignamini.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A day in Cernobbio

The pretty town of Cernobbio is nestled at the foot of the Mount Bisbino on the shores of Lake Como, only an hour drive from Milan. It make a great destination for a day trip if you want to get away from the crowds and noise of Milan and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

There are no notable museums, galleries or archaeological sites to rush to in Cernobbio. The town is all about soaking up la dolce vita atmosphere and enjoying the views that the Italian Lake District is famous for. Stroll along the picturesque waterfront filled with a subdued buzz of coming and going ferries, enchanted visitors and locals going on with their daily business. Lined with sleek shops, pretty cafes and inviting restaurants, the five kilometres long promenade connects the town of Como to Cernobbio. If you have some time, walk its length or hire a bike to enjoy the lake views. 

Cernobbio is renowned for its opulent 19th century villas built by the European rich and nobles. Many of them are still privately owned residences, others have been turned into luxurious hotels. The elegant Villa d'Este is the most famous of them all, a favourite with jet setters who are prepared to splurge up to €1500 per night for a suite. The best way to admire the splendid villas with their impressive gardens is to take a guided boat tour on the lake.

Villa D'Este
Cernobbio has several lovely churches that are worth a visit. In the Church of San Vincenzo founded in the 12th century you can see beautiful frescoes and baptismal font dating back the Renaissance times. The small simple church Madonna delle Grazie has a beautiful Baroque door and 17th century frescoes that will take your breath away.

Church of San Vincenzo
For another breathtaking experience walk the trail “Via dei monti lariani” to the top of the Mount Bisbinio to admire the vistas over Lake Como. Alternatively, you can chill out in one of the waterfront cafes, sipping wine and listening to the gentle murmur of the waves caressing the shore and watching the sun go down. 

Photos via Flickr by: Martin Hapl, Joe Shlabotnik, Britt-Marie Sohlström.