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    Places to see near Milan: beautiful and interesting towns in Lombardy.

    In this article you will find useful info for planning a day trips from Milan to discover some places to see, about an hour away from Milan. At the end of this article you will find links to deepen the knowledge of the various cities, countries listed.

    What to see in Lombardy

    The writer lives in Italy and knows his territory for which can recommend beautiful places to see near Milan not only famous towns but also hidden gems from mass tourism.


    In this post: Monza, Vigevano, Pavia, Soncino, Bellagio, Zavattarello. 

    In the second post: Visit Crespi D’Adda, Bergamo, Como Lake villas, Visit Castles near Milan, Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore, Visit Iseo Lake e Montisola.

    Places near Milan to visit

    1. Monza: 18 km from the Lombardy chief city.

    A lovely town to visit near Milano is Monza and its Cathedral. The historical city center is an ideal place for a walk among the little shops and coffee bars, often crowded, in which it is nice to stop for a fast break.

    Places near Milan to visit
    Monza city center

    Apart from the historical center I advise you to see the “Villa Reale” and its huge and famous “Monza Park” where it is possible, weather permitting, to have a picnic, rent a bike, see the racetrack where the Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place. It is the ideal place if you looking for “nature” near Milan. Monza is close to Milan. You can reach it by public transport or by car. I recommend visiting this city you will not be disappointed. Where to stay in Monza.

    Hotel near Milan.


    2. Vigevano: 50km from Milan.

    Duomo: Vigevano square

    The Ducal square, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, lies in the medieval city of Vigevano. To best admire it, you are advised to climb the Tower of Bramante. The 100 steps to arrive at the top and see the panorama below are worth the effort. From the Ducal Square you can access the castle of the Sforzas, still under restoration; the riding stables and the gardens are accessible and are worth a visit just to relax in a Renaissance location. If you need:

    Stay in this hotel in Vigevano

    Map of all the sites mentioned in this article


    3. The Versailles of the Lombardy

    Chignolo Castle, Pavia: 60 km from the downtown of Milan.

    If you want to spend the afternoon admiring Tiepolo’s frescoes, the Procacci Castle is the place for you. The castle it is not well known (it is a private property and often used as wedding location) but in spite of this it’s worth a visit: it is big, monumental and the interior rooms are well preserved. The visits are guided.

    Accommodation in Pavia chosen for you.

    Short trips from Milan

    4. SONCINO

    Soncino, Cremona: 70 km from Milan Central station.

    posti da visitare in Lombardia
    Soncino Castle by night

    You’re going to see over the small village in Soncino, the beautiful and majestic Rocca Sforzesca, the basement, the mill and the Museum of printing. Visit the castle costs 5€ (2017 prices) without guidance. The castle is empty inside but is well preserved.

    hotel in Crema near Soncino castle.

    TIP: to enjoy the medieval climate you can arrange a visit to Soncino medieval fantasy festival that occurs once every year or make a “night visit” to the Dungeon of the fortress. Very impressive.

    cities near Milan
    Beautiful Cremona

    If you want to prolong your tour, you can visit the city of Cremona with its beautiful churches: the baptistery, the Cathedral, the monastery, the Cathedral square and, for enthusiasts, the Museum of the violin.


    5. Bellagio

    Bellagio: 70 km from Milan Central station. Bellagio is a tourist country and therefore quite expensive. Car park (few), restaurants and entrance to Villa Melzi are not the cheapest. However, if you want to enjoy a romantic day, with your partner, a visit to this country is required (you can also arrive by ferry).

    Bellagio what to see: 
    1. The Villa Melzi gardens in the months in which they are open long, are worth a visit. Different varieties of plants and flowers make the Park a very relaxing place, colorful, fragrant and pleasant. Nice panoramic view of the Lake.

    Lago di Como

    2. Basilica di San Giacomo Romanesque church with Baroque notes due to a remodel done in that period with various works of art inside. You will see it walking through the Center.

    3. Villa Serbelloni on tour of villa Serbelloni provides only a visit to the Park and not the building. The visit is only accessible with a guide. The beauty lies in glimpses and views that can be seen from the top of the park. The guided tour is on foot and takes about 1 hour.

    4. Navigating Lake Como. In front of Bellagio, on the other side of the Lake of Como, there are 2 villas that recommend you visit: Villa Balbianello and Villa Carlotta (the first one I loved more than the second). If you want to prolong your visit you can take a boat to visit Lake Como and the famous villas.



    Zavattarello, Pavia: 90 km from Milan Central. You can spend an enjoyable Sunday in the heart of Oltrepo Pavese strolling in the streets of the old town of Zavattarello with an additional visit to Verme Castle found on a promontory with a beautiful and relaxing view which is lost among vineyards and hills.
    Unfortunately this castle was completely burned down during the Second World War but was subsequently reconstructed and now is now fully open from late March to the beginning of April every year.
    The guided tour of the castle takes around 1 hour.

    Foto da Pinterest. Castello del Verme, Pavia.

    TIP: To drop even more in the medieval atmosphere, you can attend to the “medieval days” where is possible attend like a spectator to the historical evocation. Usually this event is held on the 15th of August – a public holiday. There are many interesting events planned as the “the mystery tour”, concerts and shows … 

    Related articles: 

    Well, that’s everything for this week. Now you have several ideas at your disposal for your holiday in Nord Italy in Lombardy. Please, help me to promote the beauty of Lombardy by sharing this article. Thanks 😍

    Aggiornato Ottobre 2017

    Moira R.

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